The timeshare production kitchen acts as a very tangible incubator of emerging businesses. Also called a Culinary Incubator it will consist of a well equipped ground floor production space available to rent on a timeshare basis for low risk food production e.g. jam making, preserving, bakery etc and onsite culinary and food production training. Entrepreneurs will hire the facility only when needed – by the hour, by the day etc. and pay only for the time that they use the facility and the level of equipment that they use. Clients bring just their own ingredients and packaging and can start production immediately without the prohibitive cost of building their own commercial kitchen. Everything from pots and pans to cooking to freezing is available for their use. The shared kitchen is very well appointed with access to commercial scale equipment and facilities (provided as part of the Royal County Lwhich includes the following :
The timeshare production kitchen is an important first step for emerging food companies who use it to test their product and market prior to a major investment in equipment or a dedicated production unit. Typically clients will supply local shops and farmers markets in the first instance while they refine their process and business model while generating income to reinvest in the business. It minimises risk and facilitates innovation is a very real way.
The Community Kitchen concept emerged in the US as a unique way to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with time-share access to production facilities and the opportunity to start and expand specialty food and catering businesses without the prohibitive cost of building their own commercial kitchen. While other timeshare facilities are available in Leitrim and in North Tipperary Food Works in Rearcross, none are as well appointed as the Meath Food Hub in terms of scale and equipment access.
Timeshare production kitchen dedicated to adding value to meat products
This will be Ireland’s first timeshare production kitchen dedicated to adding value to meat products in a fully equipped processing facility. This facility will facilitate the high potential and growing area of Charcuterie, the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products. It will operate on the same principle as the low risk shared timeshare but will meet the stringent needs of a high risk meat product process.
Royal County Food Hub Ltd and JM Food Services seeks to develop food production timeshare and incubation units for hire to independent food and culinary entrepreneurs in Co. Meath. Based in a leased underutilised food production unit in Navan, the project involves the renovation of an underutilised food production facility involving the internal kit out of creating three individual workspaces and two shard use facilities as follows:-
3 x independent, own door incubation units circa 540 sq ft each (on first floor)
The food business incubator facility will comprise of three starter work units ideal for start up and emerging food businesses.
The incubation facilities have been designed to address the needs of two distinct food group manufacturers:
entrepreneurs who may not have the initial seed capital to invest in a start up production facility, and
food businesses who have established at the kitchen table who require dedicated production capacity as their sales volumes increase.
Each unit comprises:
Tenants will be responsible for their own fixtures, fittings and equipment which will be specific to their business. They operate as independent units and are responsible for their own overhead costs through metered electricity and gas. They will be subject to a minimum lease and are also required to register their production unit with the relevant authorities. The units, while small, are ideal starter facilities allowing businesses the benefits of an own door production unit. The size has been determined through consultation with Leitrim’s Food Hub who verifies that units of this scale are in significant demand (they have instigated two phases of development of similar units which are now all full).
Tenants will also be able to avail of other facilities on site including:-
One of the biggest challenges for food entrepreneurs is finding premises suitable for food manufacture and fitting these out to meet the exacting legislative requirements of today’s marketplace. It is recognised that capital infrastructure investment costs are a significant deterrent to food business development and expansion. The food sector is a heavily-regulated industry and players therein have significant additional demands in terms of their establishment and overall operations management.
At the Meath Food Hub companies will be able to transform product concepts and ideas into a successful thriving business. Clustering food businesses in a central multi-tenant production hub is a proven dynamic business development process involving a strong community focus and input. A center can not only provide affordable production space, but also in developmental terms, help to reduce the failure rate of early stage companies and speed the growth of companies which have the potential to become substantial generators of local employment and wealth. What distinguishes a food production infrastructure center is that it creates a unique environment to include the lower expense of a shared production facility, and can incorporate on-site advice, support and business assistance.