Catering legally in Arizona

4
10
Joined Jul 20, 2011
Hello,
I've been in catering (worked for other companies as well as on my own) for over 11 yrs.
I've done all the legwork to find out what I need to get legit in AZ however; I'm having a heck of a time locating a commercial kitchen to cook out of.
I have a chef friend who claims to have their licence and cooking out of "their own" kitchen. They primarily use social media to market, they have pets and I've not seen a health dept grade sheet posted in the front window as is required.
I use the platform "Thumbtack" to acquire all my business currently but their rates to quote are astronomical now which is leading me to want to open a Facebook business account.
I am not on social media other than Pinterest & LinkedIn.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Hungry for more business!
 
872
518
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Each state is different in terms of their licensing requirements, especially when a home kitchen is involved. However, when it comes to preparing food in a home kitchen, most states "cottage laws" generally allow certain foods intended for commercial sale to be produced at home such as foods that are not meat or poultry based, including those foods that use eggs etc.

It is very unlikely that your friend is operating a catering business legally out of their home kitchen.

Unless you find a properly licensed kitchen to operate your business, advertising and marketing becomes rather academic. Sometimes churches will have a small licensed kitchen that you can rent. Likewise, private clubs like an Elks Club or VF.W. may have a licensed kitchen to rent.

Good luck. :)
 
4
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Joined Jul 20, 2011
Hi Virgil,
I agree in regards to my friend not actually being licensed.
I physically went to get the application, asked all the necessary questions and I know what is required before getting considered for approval.
Guess I just needed some validation.
Thank you for the tips about the private clubs, extremely helpful
I have reached out via email to a few churches in the area which I may also visit in person.
Thank you again!

PS: Very nice to hear you are enjoying retirement
 
1
0
Joined Oct 9, 2019
Hello,
I've been in catering (worked for other companies as well as on my own) for over 11 yrs.
I've done all the legwork to find out what I need to get legit in AZ however; I'm having a heck of a time locating a commercial kitchen to cook out of.
I have a chef friend who claims to have their licence and cooking out of "their own" kitchen. They primarily use social media to market, they have pets and I've not seen a health dept grade sheet posted in the front window as is required.
I use the platform "Thumbtack" to acquire all my business currently but their rates to quote are astronomical now which is leading me to want to open a Facebook business account.
I am not on social media other than Pinterest & LinkedIn.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Hungry for more business!

Greetings, I'm a Cottage Food Instructor in NC, 12 years now and I wanted to share some information about home food production. There are 3 states that allow cooking foods, this is allowed because of the Food Freedom Acts. The states are Wyoming, North Dakota, and Utah. There is one county in California, Riverside County that allows home-based cooking. You can use your home as a restauant and sell take-out. There are a few incubator kitchens in AZ, depends where you live. You may want to join Instagram and post photos of your food. Wishing you the best.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
4
10
Joined Jul 20, 2011
Greetings, I'm a Cottage Food Instructor in NC, 12 years now and I wanted to share some information about home food production. There are 3 states that allow cooking foods, this is allowed because of the Food Freedom Acts. The states are Wyoming, North Dakota, and Utah. There is one county in California, Riverside County that allows home-based cooking. You can use your home as a restauant and sell take-out. There are a few incubator kitchens in AZ, depends where you live. You may want to join Instagram and post photos of your food. Wishing you the best.
Thank you very much for the helpful insight.
 
2,280
608
Joined Feb 8, 2009
There are restaurants that only open for breakfast and lunch. In most cases they close by 3PM with some only opening Monday through Friday. Why not approach these people and lease their kitchen when all their equipment is sitting Idle. You just may find someone interested in making some money while their restaurant isn't open. You may also be able to use their sit-down area in the evening for private parties.....ChefBillyB
 
4
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Joined Jul 20, 2011
Chef Billy,
That is a fantastic suggestion, thank you!
Not a ton of Mom & Pop or privately owned restaurants in my area but definitely worth looking into for the time being.
For the sake of travel time added onto shopping/prepping I really wish I could find somewhere close to home.
I've looked into the culinary incubator for my state and every place is pretty far.
I'll have to dig deeper and see which one would overall be the best fit for me.

Thank you again Chef!
Christine M
Christineselegantcreations.com
 
378
115
Joined Feb 18, 2007
another option to consider is corporate cafeterias - this is a huge long shot because it is highly unlikely that a corporation will rent space during their down time (because of building access - you would need a separate entrance and not be able to get into other parts of the building when no one else is around) but you could look around and see if that is a possibility. Don't forget that as your business grows, you will need your own space eventually. Sign up on a real estate listing website where you can specify what you are looking for (square footage, location) and look for businesses as well as rental space. A pizza place or bakery being sold or going out of business might be the right option for you as well. Talk to restaurant brokers or large commercial real estate companies that have a big inventory of commercial space; you will at least have other people on your radar who might come across a good fit for you.

are you near any culinary schools or community colleges with culinary programs?
 

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