Kitchen Local’s permits cover the kitchen facility, but clients selling food to the public still need their own permits, depending on whether they’re selling wholesale or retail. In some cases, Sutton says, USDA approval may be needed as well.
Sutton requires those who use the facility to sign an agreement to ensure that they know the rules and have the insurance they need.
Newburyport’s Katie Habib has been a part-time personal chef since 2003, providing meals and catering in her clients’ homes. She has been looking for a licensed shared kitchen space that would allow her to ramp up her business, selling prepared meals at venues like farmers markets. She knew Sutton through a mutual friend, and Kitchen Local appears to be the answer to her needs.
“She gave a lot of thought to the layout, so two chefs will be able to cook there at the same time without getting in each other’s way at all,” Habib said.
Habib has booked a couple of days totaling six to eight hours at Kitchen Local each week while her children are in school. She is planning ahead to make a serious run at expanding her business.
“I booked time for an event I’m catering in October, and Lisa said, ‘Is that a typo?’ ” Habib said with a laugh.
Joel Brown can be reached at email@example.com.