FOR FOOD MANUFACTURERS

Acadiana Incubator Kitchen is a certified food production facility. Entrepreneurs launching or expanding upon a food manufacturing business can rent kitchen facilities on an ongoing basis. In order to use our facility, you must be a food business with proper regulatory agency and insurance paperwork. 

PLEASE NOTE: It is important that primary contact be between the food business and Dept. of Health & Hospitals (DHH). It is important for food business to understand all label, certification, and permitting requirements that pertain to its product. Acadiana Food Hub can serve to assist you but will not enter into discussions with DHH about your product.

  1. Submit an email inquiry using Kitchen Application Form.  We will respond to you within 3 business days!
  2. Attend a Tour of the Kitchen Facility
  3. All products made at Acadiana Incubator Kitchen must have labels approved by DHH prior to production and sales. (Continued explanation in step #5) 
    1. Gather Information on your Food Product prior to contacting Louisiana Dept. of Health & Hospitals (DHH). Information to have ready includes: 
      1. Product Type - for example, is it a baked good, jarred, pickled, etc.
      2. Production Methods - what equipment will be used to make it? 
    2. Contact DHH with the above information to learn about label, certification, and permitting requirements - http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/directory/detail/4525
  4. Starting Your Business
    1. Determine the Type of Business: Example: Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Corporation 
    2. Register Business with the Louisiana Secretary of State 
      1. Go to https://geauxbiz.sos.la.gov/ 
      2. Reserve a name for your business. 
      3. Obtain a Federal Identification number from the Internal Revenue Service (http://www.irs.gov
      4. Then register your business with the Secretary of State
    3. We recommend you set up a commercial checking account to keep your business separate from your personal expenses. 
    4. As you prepare to sell you may need to other account numbers such as: 
      1. Sales Tax ID Number and tax forms for any Parish you have sales.
        1. Go to www.revenue.louisiana.gov and click on “business registration” to file online or to download an application.
  5. Create Product Labels
    1. Draft labels will be sent to DHH for review and submission to the DHH for approval ($27 per label).
    2. Guidance on Labels:
      1. http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutritio n/ucm064880.htm 
      2. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/labeling
    3. You may want to apply for a “Certified Product of Louisiana”, “Certified Cajun Product of Louisiana” or “Certified Creole Product of Louisiana” logo for labels. Application for License to Use Certified Logos -- http://www.ldaf.state.la.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Application-for-License-to-Use-Certified-Logos.pdf
  6. Purchase Universal Product Code (UPC)
    1. Your product needs to have a UPC to be sold in supermarkets and large retail stores. We recommend the following companies to ensure you purchase and authentic and authorized UPC: 
      1. Simply Barcodes, www.simplybarcodes.net, 877-768-4977 
      2. Instant UPC Codes, www.instantupccodes.com, 877-UPC-3099  
  7. Product Testing
    1. Get products tested for pH and water activity (if required). Nutritional Panel is optional for a new company. Some products may require a Processing Authority Review; DHH will let you know. 
    2. We have partnered with the Food Science Department of Louisiana State university to offer guidance on food manufacturing. They offer product testing and processing authority review for a fee. 
      1. Please contact gsandoz@agcenter.lsu.edufor more information.
    3. Please Note: Other testing and Processing Authority Review is acceptable (check with DHH)
  8. Attend Food Safety Certification Classes (estimated $200)
    1. AIK requires tenants participate in a recognized training and food compliance program ensuring that the facility is operating in accordance with safe food handling and preparation practices and standards. Current ServSafe certificate (or something comparable) is acceptable. 
      1. Click here for a list of classes on the DHH website
      2. Louisiana Restaurant Association - Click here for events list.
    2. Food production of thermally processed low acid and acidified foods equires the completion of Better Process Control School 
      1. ○ LSU Ag 4 day class - $875
        1. https://store.lsuagcenter.com/p-187-better-process-control-school.aspx
      2. Available online UC Irvin California (accepted nationwide) - $400 –
        1. http://ucfoodsafety.ucdavis.edu/Better_Process_Control_School_Online/
          1. http://ucfoodsafety.ucdavis.edu/Better_Process_Control_School_Online/FAQ_for_BPCS_Online_Course/#filing
      3. Better Process Control School at University of Tennessee $550 - Available online here.
  9. Processing & Recall Plans for Products
    1. All food manufacturers are required to submit written food processing and recall plans that document all steps in the manufacturing process and preparations. Tenants of our facility need to submit written Food Processing and Food Recall Plans to us prior to starting kitchen use. 
      1. Look at Title 51, Part VI of the Louisiana Administrative Code - §125. Food Processing Plan, §127. Food Recall Plan, §129. Laboratory Test Reporting Requirements and Additional Test Mandate -- http://dhh.louisiana.gov/assets/oph/Center-EH/sanitarian/fooddrug/PartVIofTitle51.pdf 
      2. Please note: DHH may require you to have a Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Plan (HACCP) if you are producing juice or seafood products. 
  10. Product Liability Insurance
    1. Your business is required to carry $1,000,000 occurrence product liability and $2,000,000 aggregate general liability.
    2. Costs could be approximately $400-950 per year. Below we recommend FLIP. 
      1. Food Liability Insurance Program, 888-568-0548, http://www.fliprogram.com/ 
        1. Contact zack@mcmathfoodgroups.com for assistance potential member savings.
  11. Employees
    1. If hiring employees, you will need Workers’ Compensation.
    2. Please contact the Louisiana Restaurant Association for information.
  12. Contact DHH to schedule your inspection at AIK in order to issue a permit to operate. 
    1. Estimated cost per year $175, may vary according to specifics of permit.
  13. Obtain Lafayette Parish Permits (Note: these permits should be obtained after DHH permit is issued) 
    1.    Permit for Occupancy: Form here
      1. For more information and business resources, go to Lafayettela.gov
      2. The permanent fee will allow a business to operate, the temporary fee will not allow the business to be in operation
    2.  Sales and Tax Use Form: Form here
      1. For more information, go to LPSS Online
      2. Sales Tax Registration Application Form
  14. Register with The Food Corridor
    1. Upload your business license documents, your proof of liability insurance, and your ServSafe certificate to your profile.
    2. Set Acadiana Commissary Kitchen as your home kitchen.
    3. Download all kitchen policy documents.
    4. Schedule times for kitchen use.
  15. Provide Business Documents to AIK, Sign AIK Agreements, Pay Administrative Fee and Down Payment
    1. Business Documents: 
      1. DHH approved label 
      2. Processing Authority Test results (if needed) 
      3. Processing and Recall Plan 
      4. Certifications - ServSafe and others 
      5. Proof of Product Liability Insurance 
      6. Lafayette Parish Permits 
      7. Business Plan 
    2. Acadiana Incubator Kitchen Agreements (signed when applicable):
      1. Tenant Agreement 
      2. Storage Agreement 
      3. Confidentiality Agreement 
      4. Manufacturing Agreement 
    3. $100 Administrative Fee - Covers administrative wages, software, and customer service costs. 
    4. $300 Down Payment - Secures kitchen space rental for up to 3 shifts of 8 hours