- We understand TKC has numerous certifications (e.g. Gluten-Free, Kosher, Organic, etc.) and is registered with the FDA. Can we use these once we become clients?
(last updated March 2016)
Yes, we do offer co-manufacturing but only when volumes are high enough to guarantee a consistent production schedule. Our minimum commitment for co-manufacturing would be 1-2 shifts every week for a minimum of two years. This lower point of entry is made possible by the particular rigor we apply to our method of client selection and on-boarding.
Costing products requires a lot of specific data. In addition to understanding your ingredients, process, equipment and labor needs, volumes must also be known. For example, it costs a great deal more per pound to manufacture one batch of cookies than a pound would cost if you made fifty batches. The same is true for packaging and labels. It costs much more to buy these when you’re purchasing one thousand of them compared to buying fifty thousand. So without carefully analyzing your situation and having guaranteed volumes, a cost to manufacture isn’t possible.
The Kitchen Coop owns and manages a state of the art facility and maintains a team of experienced industry professionals. It’s unlikely that TKC will cost less than a commercial kitchen. Adding a co-manufacturer adds a layer that must be compensated for its efforts, but the value is in quality production, possibilities of scale, and allowing the brand owner to focus on sales and marketing.
The short answer is yes, because building a professional food manufacturing facility is an expensive proposition. There are dozens of costs to consider. Just a few of these include:
- Several months rent must be paid in advance for a security deposit
- Professional, specialized manufacturing equipment must be purchased or leased
- Certified sanitation services and pest control are required
- Special floor drains, washable walls and other requirements of the professional food manufacturer need to be in place
- Coolers & Freezers capable of pallet storage are expensive to buy and even more expensive to install
- Staff must be hired, trained and kept on board despite lulls in production
These are just a few of the obvious expenses for the startup food company.
For most food manufacturing companies, TKC is an extremely attractive option. For a more detailed discussion of manufacturing costs, click here.
Startups in the food industry (like startups in all industries) always cost much more and take much longer to get up and running than their founders anticipate. The average launch costs today are about $50,000 to $100,00. At TKC, the startup costs typically require at least a $10,000 cash outlay but the investment required to reach profitability can only be estimated on a case by case basis.
We understand TKC has numerous certifications (e.g. Gluten-Free, Kosher, Organic, etc.) and is registered with the FDA. Can we use these once we become clients?
Our FDA registration enables clients to state they are manufactured in an FDA registered facility. Self manufacturing clients must be individually inspected to be certified Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Kosher, etc. TKC helps its clients prepare and pass these audits. For Co-manufacturing clients TKC does more of the work required for third party audits.
Can you do purchasing for us and save us money?
Yes, but keep in mind, purchasing is a time-consuming and vital task. There’s a reason that large companies have purchasing departments. In the food world, getting your ingredients or packaging to the right place at the right time is vital. We offer purchasing to all our clients and, in fact, it’s a requirement for all clients in the co-manufacturing phases (please ask to see our “Path to Co-Manufacturing document to learn about the three phases). We charge a fee for sourcing ingredients for clients typically find this is more than made up for in their direct and indirect savings.
Does everyone really need a HACCP plan to produce at the Coop?
Yes, we need all our clients to have a HACCP plan. One of our important advantages is the professionalism of our facility. HACCP plans help ensure that no one is in violation of the standards the industry requires. We can provide the resources to help clients create HACCP plans when needed.
Can I bring my own production team to work at The Coop?
Clients may have their team working to develop their product quality standards at the outset of the relationship with The Coop. But as clients begin to transition to co-manufacturing, they must employ our team. When The Kitchen Coop began we did have clients who brought in their own teams. This was not viable and we no longer do this. We are growing however, and may be able and interested to incorporate your team into ours.
The Kitchen Coop team invests extensive manufacturing consulting into each client we bring on; therefore, we require a $2000 monthly minimum (combination of production space, warehouse storage, and production labor) for a six month or longer period. A good benchmark to know if the $2000 monthly minimum is feasible is if you are selling $6000 – 10,000/month in product. If so then you probably can benefit from the type of facility and services we offer so please email us firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Is it possible to visit The Kitchen Coop and get a tour?
The Kitchen Coop is a working food manufacturing plant and tours are offered only by special appointment for prospective clients.
Visitors can be escorted through the plant by Clients or Staff. Visitors may not wear in the plant:
- Open toed shoes
- Sleeveless tops
- Clothing with holes (including cutoff shorts) or decoration similar to jewelry
Visitors will be required to:
- Call whomever they are visiting to be greeted
- Sign in
- Be escorted
- Wear appropriate clothes
- Wear a hairnet
- Wash their hands
- Observe all plant signs and placards
- Leave personal affects in the offices
Relationship Manager The Kitchen Coop is a co-manufacturer & incubator for natural food brands. An opportunity for someone to help cultivate and nurture client and supplier relationships has emerged. The general requirements are for maintaining good communications amongst our clients, vendors, and manufacturing team. The Relationship Manager shall be a key member of our management […]
This multifaceted role in our food production and packaging operations works with our food manufacturers to transform ingredients and packaging into delicious products. Food Manufacturing Associates work with different food products and companies on different days. FMA’s may work different hours on different days as well, depending on client requirements. We need some awesome workers […]