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Kitchen Food Ventures helps business of cooking go legit

Juliana D. Norwood | 8/15/2012, 5 p.m.

Kitchen Food Ventures (KFV) is renovating a commercial kitchen facility in Carson for South Bay area farmers, caterers, students studying culinary arts or anyone in the specialty food industry who needs the opportunity and resources to grow and expand food production.

The facility will house a fully approved USDA-licensed kitchen that will provide all applicable commercial kitchen equipment, storage space, including walk-in refrigerators and freezers, commercial office spaces, retail space to sell and distribute food products, demonstration-style classrooms for culinary classes, filming for television, and support services.

"If you have been or are presently 'boot-legging,' and by the term 'boot-legging,' I mean preparing food for retail sale out of your residential kitchen, you need to come and meet me," said Cherie Rutherford, director of Kitchen Food Ventures.

"As you know, food for resale should only be prepared and sold from a commercially inspected FDA/L.A. County Health Inspected kitchen," said Rutherford. "However, many of us do not have the resources, infrastructure or capital needed to invest in costly facilities and equipment or pay the high rents and leases providing access to a commercially licensed kitchen. Therefore, Kitchen Food Ventures will be a time-shared food production facility which you will pay on a pay-per-use basis, or perhaps be a tenant of the kitchen."

According to Rutherford, the kitchen will be a tool for economic development, empowering individuals to become self-sufficient through business development, job creation and retention, and entrepreneurship.

Additionally the kitchen will encompass the following:

  • * Three training/classrooms, each with a small commercial kitchen, which will be used for food demonstrations, filming for television, and culinary classes
  • * Storage space; dry, refrigerated [walk-in refrigerator] and freezer storage [walk-in].
  • * Between five and six commercial office spaces in varying square footages for food-related businesses.
  • * Ongoing business-related workshops with speakers from the Employment Development Department (EDD), the state Franchise Tax Board, Workers Compensation Board, Sysco, Kraft Foods etc.
  • * A computer technology center with scanner, laser printers, state-of-the-art computers loaded with business, graphical, word processing and Internet software
  • * A specialty food resource library, featuring industry trade publications, catalogs and dozens of files on topic specific areas
  • * Three conference rooms accommodating 50, 100 and 200 guests
  • * Reception, fax, copying machine and other office-related support services
  • * A sound room for television broadcasting and applicable peripherals for broadcasting live from the kitchen for The Food Network

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, Rutherford will hold an informational meeting at the Carson Community Center, located on the corner of Carson Street and Avalon Boulevard.

"I'm building a commercial kitchen to assist in the success of your food business. That's right, your days of dodging the health department will soon be over," said Rutherford.

For additional information, call (310)920-7001, or send an email to kitchenfoodventures@msn.com.