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Facts about the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen:
Since 2002, the NOCK was formed as a non-profit kitchen incubator. Managed by CIFT and based at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation, it accommodates the needs of local, regional, statewide, and even out-of-state aspiring food entrepreneurs.
As a shared-use facility, it is designed to assist entrepreneurial efforts and expand current food-related business by providing access to a commercially licensed kitchen, networking opportunities and technical assistance.
We offer low-cost kitchen rental, refrigerated, dry storage and warehouse space. Products made at the NOCK can be sold at local, regional and national markets. The facility cannot accommodate meat or alcohol products.
The NOCK has the following licenses:
- Food Service Operation License for catering businesses, food trucks, etc.
- Ohio Department of Agriculture Registration for making a shelf stable product
- Frozen Food Establishment License
What can be processed at the NOCK?
- Baked items
- High Acid products – tomato based sauces, ex. (Sloppy Joe, BBQ)
- Acidified products – salsa, hot sauce, etc. (products that have chunks of peppers or pureed)
- Refrigerated products
- Dry fill – spices, teas, rubs
- Dehydrated products, excluding jerky
- Have another product in mind? Contact us as we may be able to accommodate.
What services do you offer?
- Assistance for food entrepreneurs in the initial stages of development
- Small business development services
- Nutritional information is offered (for a fee)
Can I make a product without following all the necessary steps?
The NOCK is designed for business advancement and therefore the requirements are necessary to ensure the integrity of all operators at the facility. The NOCK is audited by a third party to ensure Good Manufacturing Practices and therefore, in order to maintain the exceptional level, all directives need to be enforced.
Is it possible to make product at NOCK for personal use?
An individual or organization desiring to use the kitchen needs to be an official business, comply with the health department regulations, and have the necessary license.
Who makes my product?
Each business is responsible for soliciting their own workforce and the necessary training associated. Depending on the product, on average 4-5 workers can achieve production in a 5-7-hour day. On occasion, people working for one business are willing to assist others which is valuable in knowing the operational details. NOCK manager can share contacts.
How do I protect my recipe?
All food products need to include ingredients on the label in order of prominence in the recipe. Therefore, patents are not pursued. Production methods are shared with facility staff but not the recipe.
What equipment is in the general kitchen?
- 4 burner commercial stove with 2 convection ovens
- 2 bakery depth convection ovens
- Hobart dough mixer with attachments
- Hobart chopper
- Refrigeration and Freezer space
- Dry filler (to be used to dispense dry product into containers)
- Three compartment sink, vegetable prep sink
- Stainless work surfaces
- Liquid filler (to be used for sauces, condiments, etc.)
What equipment is offered in the food processing area for bottling?
- Grade level loading dock
Piston filler for automatic filling of containers
- 2 – 60-gallon and 1-100-gallon steam jacketed kettle
- 1 – 40-gallon braising pan
- Stainless tables, certified scales and pH meters for testing batches
- Labeler to be used with your labels
What other capabilities are available?
- Storage ability – (if product is taken off-site you would need to have a warehouse license)
- Conference Room Rental – (for events, meeting room, etc.)
- Facility video security system provides increased protection
- Specialized programming with other similar operators for information and networking
- Visibility of the product as displayed on the shelves at the facility
- Once you go through training with CIFT staff the processing areas are open 24/7 and you can schedule time in advance
Did you know?
The NOCK can help restaurant owners; food trucks or entrepreneurs take that next step in making a signature sauce or a delicious snack! Develop your new food product at the NOCK! Numerous clients have achieved success transforming a recipe into a product.