For food entrepreneurs looking to launch their dream business, the financial burden of investing in a new commercial kitchen of their own can be daunting. In order to help these businesses to grow and to incubate future growth in the food industry, the Township of North Glengarry has partnered with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to launch the new “North Glengarry Community Kitchen” pilot project. This initiative will enable food producers to rent time at the North Glengarry Community Kitchen, located at the Maxville and District Sports Complex (25 Fair Street, Maxville) so that they can produce food items for resale.
Food-based businesses represented a $25.4-billion food manufacturing industry in Canada in 2017.
Initial use of the commercial kitchen will be for the production of shelf stable items, such as jams, jellies and spreads; or quick consumption items such as baked goods. Food operators will work directly with food inspectors at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to ensure the safe manufacture, delivery and storage of goods.
There was a minimal cost associated with opening the new Community Kitchen. In order to be able to have multiple users utilize the same kitchen, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit mandated that there would be a designated dry storage area for ingredients used by those clients, as well as a designated refrigerator available for their use. This is to ensure the traceability of ingredients. Those two items were purchased by the Township of North Glengarry to facilitate this project. Council also agreed to reduce the rental cost of the kitchen to $50 per day, so that it would be more accessible to food businesses.
The kitchen was already up to standard and is regularly inspected by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, as the hall and attached kitchen are used for weddings, conventions and other activities on a regular basis.
As a pilot initiative, the kitchen will be used to help better define the rules and protocols for this new operation, so that it can be easily duplicated and rolled out to other communities in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and in Prescott-Russell. Other municipalities interested in starting their own kitchens should contact the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.
The cost to rent the North Glengarry Commercial Kitchen is $50 per day.
Before booking the North Glengarry Community Kitchen, all food producers will be required to complete their Food Handlers Certification Program, which is now required of all food establishments within the province. For a list of Food Handlers courses, visit https://eohu.ca/en/classes-clinics/food-handler-certification-program
To book the North Glengarry Community Kitchen, or learn more about the program, contact Anne Leduc, North Glengarry’s Director of Community Services, by phone at 613-525-3199 or email [email protected]