Starting Your Food Business at the Flint Food Works
We have many tasks to accomplish together while you begin your journey as an entrepreneur at the Flint Food Works. Below is a list of items that we will check off together while bringing you on board as a new kitchen user. Some of these tasks will take some time while others will be easy to follow up on. Rest assured we will get through this together.
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
- Vince Lombardi
For A Checklist To Follow Click Here-
Step 1- Create an Account on The Food Corridor
The Food Corridor is our platform for scheduling kitchen time, hosting your kitchen user account, issuing charges for your kitchen and storage rent and also storing your important business documents like licenses and certifications.
Step 2- Submit an Application To Join The Flint Food Works
The Flint Food Works is currently accepting applications to our incubator program. Applications for membership are reviewed on a rolling basis with offers extended to “good fit” food startups as long as space is available. Our application fee is $20 and we suggest having an intial conversation with the Director prior to applying.
*Before you apply you apply you may schedule a meeting to take a tour of our facility and discuss your business with our director prior to applying to the incubator program. We use these meetings as a "Wayfinding" session to ensure that entrepreneurs are ready to start their business at the Flint Food Works. *Wayfinding Meetings are required before an intake application will be considered.
Step 3- Following Your Application To The Flint Food Works
After review and acceptance of your application to the Flint Food Works you will begin the orientation process. The Flint Food Works orientation consists mainly of a review of several important documents and policies. We have moved our orientation documents 100% online to remain as “paperless” as possible throughout the process.
Documents to be reviewed and signed:
Flint Food Works Culinary Incubator Policies and Procedures
Flint Food Works Kitchen Safety and Sanitation Rules
Flint Food Works Cleaning and Sanitizing Instructions
Flint Food Works Kitchen Rental Agreement
Flint Food Works Storage Rules and Agreement
Flint Food Works Hold Harmless Agreement
Flint Food Works Confidentiality Agreement
Step 4- Provide Documentation to the Flint Food Works
All businesses are required to be an established business with the State of Michigan. How you structure your business (LLC, INC, Sole Proprietor) is up to you. You may wish to visit with legal counsel, an accountant, a business advisor or another professional to discuss how best to structure your business. Flint Food Works will request a copy of your Articles of Incorporation.
Business Entity Establishment Resources
State of Michigan Articles of Incorporation For LLC [FILE AND PAY ONLINE]
Univeristy of Michigan Flint Innovation Incubator Counseling
A Helpful Video Outlining How To Establish An LLC in Michigan
Liability Insurance On Your Business: Flint Food Works requires that any business utilizing its kitchens carry a $1 million Liability Insurance policy and that Flint Food Works LLC be named as an "Additional Insured" on the policy. Flint Food Works will require a copy of your insurance declaratrion page to place in your file.
Liability Insurance Resources
ServeSafe Manager Certification: All Food Businesses utilizing the Flint Food Works kitchens must have a ServeSafe Certified manager. You will also be required by MDARD and the GCHD to carry a current certification as a ServeSafe Certifed Manager before they will issue you a food service license. Flint Food Works will require a copy of your current ServeSafe Certification to place in your file.
You Are Almost Ready To Go....
Step 5- Obtain Your Food Service License
Once you have completed the steps of getting your business onboarded through the Flint Food Works orientation you can move on to obtaining your food service license. This will be done with one of the two authorities that oversee food service licensing in the area; the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) or the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). Who you will work with to obtain your license is dependent on how you operate your business. Learn More...
HOW DO I OBTAIN A FOOD SERVICE LICENSE?
If you are operating a business that creates food that will be packaged, either refrigerated, frozen or dry, and sold either directly to a consumer or via wholesale, you will be licensed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).
If you are operating a business that sells food that will be ready to eat, either as a catering operation, food truck or “ghost kitchen” style business you will be licensed by the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD)
Each of these Authorities has their own process of licensing new food businesses as well as their own set of application forms that will need to be completed prior to your inspection. Link will be provided below for you to review.
As a Flint Food Works kitchen user you may work with our team to complete these documents and we can help you navigate through the various manuals and applications to make it easier to understand.
!! The Documents in each of the sections below do not need to be printed if you plan on working directly with the Flint Food Works to obtain your license. We will handle all of that with you using our online forms.
For Businesses Working With The Genesee County Health Department
Use the links below to view and print copies
A. Complete the Food Service Application
B. Complete a Food Establishment Plan Review Application and Worksheets
B-1. Food Establishment Plan Review Submission Instructions
B-4. Plan Review Manual
C. Complete a Standard Operating Procedures Manual
Food Service Establishment License Fee: Full service w/o alcohol, Bar with small food menu, Fast food, Pizza & additional menu, Catering, Ethnic menu w/o alcohol- $705 Annual Fee
Food Service Full Plan Review: Full service w/o alcohol, Bar with small food menu, Fast food, Pizza & additional menu, Catering, Ethnic menu w/o alcohol- $1,100 One Time Fee
For Food Trucks: Operating as a Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU)
+ Other Food Service Licenses: STFU $156
+ Food Service Full Plan Review For STFU: $605
E. Needed for your application: Copy of your menu
For Businesses Working With The Michigan Department of Agriculture
Use the links below to view and print copies
A. Complete the Food Service Application
B. Complete a Standard Operating Procedures Manual
C. A Copy of Your Product Label and Sample Packaging
D. Pay Your Fees To The MDARD
Retail Food Establishment (License Fee: $186)
An operation that sells or offers to sell food directly to a consumer. Examples includedirect to consumer sales, a grocery store, convenience store, party store, retail bakery, fish market, butcher shop, candy store, and produce market.
Limited Wholesale Food Processor (License Fee $186)
A wholesale food processor that has $25,000 or less in annual gross wholesale sales made or business done in wholesale sales in the preceding licensing year, or $25,000 or less of the food is reasonably anticipated to be sold for the current licensing year. Only the food sales from the wholesale food processor operation are used in computing the annual gross sales.
Wholesale Food Processor (License Fee $471)
An operation that processes, manufacturers, packages, or labels food for wholesaling. Examples include an ice manufacturer; wholesale bakery or bread plant; winery; brewery; water, juice, soft drink, or beverage plant; canning plant; flour mill, cereal plant; specialty foods processor; wholesale fish or seafood processor, wholesale fish smoking operation, fruit & vegetable packer, egg grading plant.
Once You Are Done With Your Application Documents and Fees...
You can now schedule an appointment with your respective inspector to meet with you in the Flint Food Works kitchens to undergo an on-site inspection. Details of the requirements for your business will be provided by the inspector. This should take no longer than 1-3 hours and can be scheduled using the Food Corridor program while you are on the phone with the inspector. Your inspection session is FREE at the Flint Food Works. After you pass, you are all set and ready to go!