Commercial Kitchens

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Commercial Kitchens

Apply to Rent our Kitchens

We work with all startup food businesses, whether you are a caterer, food product manufacturer, food truck, baker, or virtual restaurant. No matter what type of startup food business you are, we would love for you to start up and grow your business with us. In addition to a commercially licensed kitchen, our team will help provide information and guidance to help get your food business cooking.

If you want to learn more about MCPL’s Culinary Incubator Program, read our commercial kitchen FAQs below.

Apply for Business Scholarship

How do I find out more about using the Culinary Center?

Please contact staff at the Culinary Center for more information. Email or complete a contact form.

How much does it cost to meet with Culinary Center staff for advice or consultation about my food business?

There is no cost to consult with Culinary Center staff about business practices, how to obtain requirements such as licenses and insurance, or to ask questions about opening or managing a food business.

What does it cost to use the commercial kitchens?

Contact staff for current fees at

How long is the process to start using a commercial kitchen at the Culinary Center?

It can vary depending on the needs of each client’s business, as well as the number of customers who are using a space or scheduled to use one. Typically, the time can range from a few weeks to several months.

What licenses or permits are required to participate in the Library’s commercial kitchen program?

Costs will vary depending on the type and scope of business. The following is a list of common registrations, licenses, certifications, and insurance you need to use the commercial kitchens at the Culinary Center. Some businesses will require additional items based on food products.

  1. Register your business with the Missouri Secretary of State
    • Entities registered in another state will need to register as a “foreign” entity in Missouri. 
    • UMKC Legal Services Clinic can help with this process. 
  2. Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number.
  3. Register for a State of Missouri Retail Sales Tax License (includes state of MO tax ID number).  
  4. Visit Kansas City, MO Business License Registration for information about opening a restaurant or food business in Kansas City. KCBizCare can help with this process. 
  5. A ServSafe Manager’s Certification in food safety and sanitation is required. There are several options to get certified: 
  6. General Liability Insurance: MCPL has a guide for GL insurance specifics that we ask for, I can give you that guide to share with your agent when you get to this point.  
  7. Food products that are shelf stable or products intended for wholesale may be required to meet additional regulatory requirements. 
    • Most food products will need to register with the FDA.
    • Many animal-based products will need to register with the USDA.
    • Some food products will require testing by a Process Authority.

Are there programs to help finance initial costs for licensing, fees, insurance, and inventory?

There are programs that can help you finance start up fees for your food business. A couple of options to research are AltCap and Justine Petersen.

What are some other resources to help my business?

There are more than 200 KC area organizations that are dedicated to helping small businesses. Some great places to get started are: 

KC SourceLink
Resources to start and grow small businesses. 

Offers classes and business mentors.

Square One Small Business
Mid-Continent Public Library’s in-house specialists help support local entrepreneurs through access to information, programs, and opportunity.

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