What does it take to be able to use the kitchen?

The first step is to fill out our brief, online questionnaire. Once we receive this, we will contact you to discuss your needs. If it appears that we're a good match, you will need to submit an application, along with the application fee. After your application is approved, you will sign a contract and provide a deposit. After you complete the onboarding process, you will be an approved client, able to set up reservations for the commercial kitchen.

Can I have other people help me in the kitchen?

Yes, our kitchen can meet your needs even if you have a team. Realize that all staff members will need to attend an onboarding session that will include overall food safety training, as well as training on the equipment that they will be using before they work their first shift.

What if I am a one-person operation?

Many of our clients have started as one-person operations. We are happy to provide your commercial kitchen needs regardless of the size of your company.

I don’t want to be a client. Can I just use the kitchen one time?

Yes, for non-commercial clients, you will not need to submit the application nor pay an application fee but you still begin with the brief questionnaire. You’ll also be required to provide a deposit, but it’s lower than our regular clients.

How long does it take to become an approved client?

Our goal is to complete the approval process as quickly as possible. We know that you want to get started on your new business as soon as you can. Typically, the process can be completed in about a week, although sometimes, due to circumstances beyond our control, the process can take longer. Prior to using our kitchen for the first time, you (and your staff, if applicable) will also be required to attend an onboarding process that will provide you with overall food safety training, as well as training on the equipment that you will be using.

How do I know when space is available?

Once you've been approved, our manager will share a link to our reservation system calendar to see what days and times are currently scheduled, so that you know if your requested time is available. Also, when you submit your request, the system will warn you if the kitchen or a resource (such as a deck oven) is not available at the time you are requesting. Our three kitchens are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, so availability will usually only be limited by the specific time you want.

How do I reserve time?

We use an online reservation system for scheduling. We ask that you place reservation requests at least 7 days in advance. Requests are usually approved in less than 24 hours. If you plan to use our kitchen on a regular schedule, we will work with you once you to set up your schedule and, afterwards, you will only need to use the reservation system to make changes.

How can I make changes to a reservation? What if I need to cancel a reservation?

If you need to cancel or revise, please contact Jburton@bloomington.com or call 812-339-2256 Ext. 21.

What tools and equipment are available in the rental kitchens?

Each of the three kitchens provides stainless steel prep tables, a 60-qt. mixer, a two-bay prep sink and a three-bay dish sink. All clients will have access to dry storage areas, as well as a walk-in cooler and a freezer for additional fees. In addition, we also offer the following resources that can be reserved along with your kitchen; a 30-qt. VCM (vertical cutter mixer), a food processor, convection ovens, conventional deck gas ovens, a “combi” (combination) oven, two gas ranges (with oven), a 2-burner low boy range, a deep fryer, a meat slicer, a manual tomato slicer, a lettuce dicer, a proofer, a high capacity ice maker and a microwave. We also offer a loading dock for deliveries and a pallet jack to move deliveries on pallets.

The rental kitchens sound like they meet my needs but I’d like to visit to make sure. Can I come in to see them?

We offer a facility tour every week, email Jburton@bloomington.com for current scheduling. We only hold these tours if someone has signed up, so if you are interested in touring our facilities, be sure to make a reservation.

What happens if I don’t use all the time I’ve reserved?

Clients will only pay from the time they begin using the kitchen (but no later than the start time for the reservation) until the time they are finished and clock out (including cleanup time), not necessarily the end time of their reservation. Obviously, under this system, it is important for us to ensure that clients only reserve the time they need in order to allow other clients the use of our kitchens. Since it will be difficult for new clients to accurately estimate how long their process will take, we will allow all new clients a month to determine their expected time needs. After that, we will expect clients to create relatively accurate reservations.

I’ve got a surprise event. Can I use the kitchen without a reservation?

In order to ensure we can provide the resources that our clients need, we will not be able to allow clients to work in the kitchen without a reservation. In emergency situations, you can contact our KitchenShare manager and, in some situations, we may be able to allow a last-minute reservation. However, that is only if the kitchen and resource(s) you need are available.

How far in advance can I reserve time?

We allow clients the ability to reserve time up to a year in advance. Most clients will have a regular, repeating schedule. In those cases, that schedule will be reserved for as long as you meet the requirements as a client.

What storage space is available?

We offer dry storage, walk-in cooler storage and freezer storage. See fee schedule for current fees. We will work with you to meet your needs. All clients are expected to utilize a minimum amount of storage to retain their client status.

What if I don’t know how to use the equipment in the kitchen?

Part of our agreement with you is to train you how to use our equipment. In fact, everyone that works with our equipment must receive training before using the equipment. 

Can I just make my food at home?

State heath codes generally require food for resale to be made in an approved facility. It’s unlikely that your home kitchen would meet these requirements. It would need to be certified by the health department and meet all requirements of the health code. Our kitchen meets or exceeds all requirements, and we are responsible for maintaining all the equipment. We eliminate the headaches so you can focus on your product.

How much does it cost to rent a kitchen?

In addition to the hourly rental fee, we offer a variety of storage options. Ongoing clients are required to maintain storage at our facility. We offer reasonable storage rates for dry, refrigerated and frozen ingredients. Limited pallet storage is also available. Here is the fee schedule.

What if I need a place to park my food truck?

We offer a variety of services specifically for food trucks including parking spaces with electrical service. We have approved facilities for trucks to dump gray water and fill with sanitary water. We also offer ice and efficient cleanup facilities available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Do I need insurance?

Commercial clients will need to meet insurance requirements. Non-commercial clients do not need to meet these insurance requirements but will need to sign a hold harmless and waiver agreement for use of the facility.