skip to Main Content

What are Community Kitchens, and why are they important?

Community Kitchen: Any kitchen space made available to serve the community by the organization that owns it.

0
Community Kitchens Available in Santa Barbara County Today
0
Individuals Served in 2021

CKWG made efforts to contact a large number of service organizations, schools, places of worship, community-oriented entities, and a few aligned for-profit entities to find out if existing kitchen spaces are maintained and/or available for shared use. CKWG is responsible for providing a list of kitchens that are available for public use and suggesting appropriate kitchens for individual and community projects. Please contact kitchens directly for information on availability, fee scales, and equipment.

Community Kitchens Working Group is not responsible for: 

  • Providing information on individual kitchen availability 
  • Information related to rental/use costs
  • Booking/securing the kitchen spaces 
  • Assisting with and/or signing user/collaborator agreements

Community Kitchen Working Group members are representatives of the following organizations:

SBCFAN Working Group: Community Kitchen

A community kitchen is any kitchen space made available to serve the community by the organization that owns it, or in collaboration with other organizations or individuals. Commercial and mobile kitchens can be located in privately owned restaurants and businesses, religious organizations, nonprofits, schools, and state or city-owned buildings. These spaces give the community greater opportunities to conduct programs related to food security, nutrition, food waste reduction, and food-related entrepreneurial endeavors.

Community kitchens can be used to:

  • Repurpose food waste into nutritious meals
  • Provide space for entrepreneurs and artisans to grow their food businesses
  • Host training programs and educational centers that teach culinary skills
  • Build access to healthy food and connect the community to their local food system
  • Act as disaster response sites to strengthen community recovery during emergencies

Community kitchens can serve multiple functions, making them valuable assets for small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs, food rescue organizations, education and job training programs, and agencies that are embedded in the food system. These place-based food hubs are more accessible and encourage diversity of food programming countywide, ensuring a more resilient food system for all.

Community Kitchen Success Stories

Community Kitchens Success Story

CKWG identifies kitchen spaces across SB county and offers resources for kitchen owners and operators.

Kitchen Activation Success Story

SYV Community Kitchen and Veggie Rescue partner to activate a community food access center to address food access and security.

Food Action Plan Goals activated

Community Kitchens Toolkit

The Santa Barbara County Community Kitchens Toolkit is a repository for valuable resources for community kitchen owners, operators, individuals working in the foodservice industry, and working groups. The toolkit holds forms and guides for kitchen owners and users, health permitting information, food safety manager certification information, templates for meetings, kitchen supply lists, grant applications, suggestions for MOU and facility use agreements, and so much more.

Commercial Kitchens Toolkit

General Food Facility Permit Application

Santa Barbara County EHS Food facility permit allows for the distribution of food on-site and preparation or re-purposing of food items. Preparation or re-purposing includes activities such as heating, cooling, combining ingredients, and re-packaging/re-portioning foods. This permit is commonly referred…

Food Packaging Suppliers

A list of eco-friendly food packaging suppliers and brands. Updated regularly.

Equipment List – Food Demonstrations

Equipment list for food demonstration supplies. This list is customizable.

Equipment List – Mobile Kitchens

A checklist of mobile equipment accessible in many kitchens. Workgroup members can customize the equipment list. This list is customizable.

California Code Handbooks

Links to Plumbing, Mechanical, and Building Standards Code hand books

Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation System Form

Plan Check Data Form for Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems.

Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems Guidelines

Design, Calculations, and Operational Guidelines for Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems.

Vertical Broilers

Guidelines for the safe preparation, cooking, and serving of meats with Vertical Broilers.

Open-Air Barbecues – Installation and use

The California Retail Food Code contains requirements for the use of open-air barbecues, which are defined in Section 113843.

Clean and Sanitize

How to guide on cleaning and sanitizing a three-compartment sink.

Food Labels

Food label information for California food processors.

Water Heater Sizing Calculations

Complete this form to verify the adequacy of the proposed hot water heater for the hot water demands proposed in the food facility plans.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations Toolkit

Shared Kitchen Authorization Form

Santa Barbara County EHS states that Food Caterers/Shared Kitchen Operators must provide authorization from the permitted food facility owner to operate as a shared kitchen operator at the permitted facility

Limited Services Charity Feeding Operation

Santa Barbara County EHS states that this permit is needed for use by nonprofits who distribute prepared foods such as soup kitchens. This permit limits food service to distributing food as it was received by a donor. Note that this…

Catering/Host Facility Permit

Santa Barbara County EHS states that this permit allows caterers to prepare food at a permitted location, then distribute that prepared food off-site. This permit does not allow on-site distribution. Examples include breweries that offer tours, sports stadiums, etc. This…

Cottage Food “Class B” Food Permit Application (indirect sales)

Santa Barbara County EHS states that Cottage Food Operators may sell directly to their customers (direct sales) within California and may also sell to restaurants or retail facilities (indirect sales) within the County in which they hold their Cottage Food…

Cottage Food “Class A” Self Certification Application (direct sales)

Santa Barbara County EHS states that Cottage Food Operators may sell directly to their customers (direct sales) within California. They must complete a self-certification registration checklist with EHS.

Cottage Food FAQs

Santa Barbara County EHS permit for home-based food preparation for retail in small quantities, with certain limitations (e.g. must generate

Cottage Food Guidance

Santa Barbara County EHS required that all applicants for a Cottage Food Operation must reside within Santa Barbara County. Applicants should read and be familiar with the Cottage Food Guidance educational document before completing the application.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Standard Operating Procedures Form

Santa Barbara County EHS Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) procedure form.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Plan Check

Santa Barbara County EHS plan check for application for Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs).

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Frequently Asked Questions

Santa Barbara County EHS FAQs for MEHKO.

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) Start Guide

Santa Barbara County EHS steps to Opening Your MEHKO.

General Food Facility Permit Application

Santa Barbara County EHS Food facility permit allows for the distribution of food on-site and preparation or re-purposing of food items. Preparation or re-purposing includes activities such as heating, cooling, combining ingredients, and re-packaging/re-portioning foods. This permit is commonly referred…

Mobile Kitchens Toolkit

General Food Facility Permit Application

Santa Barbara County EHS Food facility permit allows for the distribution of food on-site and preparation or re-purposing of food items. Preparation or re-purposing includes activities such as heating, cooling, combining ingredients, and re-packaging/re-portioning foods. This permit is commonly referred…

Food Packaging Suppliers

A list of eco-friendly food packaging suppliers and brands. Updated regularly.

Mobile Food Facility (MFF) Permit Application (16-1a)

Santa Barbara County EHS application for mobile food facility health permit.

Mobile Food Facility (MFF) Permit Information

Santa Barbara County EHS permit exclusively applies to mobile kitchens that exist within a vehicle that is registered in Santa Barbara County.

Equipment List – Food Demonstrations

Equipment list for food demonstration supplies. This list is customizable.

Equipment List – Mobile Kitchens

A checklist of mobile equipment accessible in many kitchens. Workgroup members can customize the equipment list. This list is customizable.

California Code Handbooks

Links to Plumbing, Mechanical, and Building Standards Code hand books

Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation System Form

Plan Check Data Form for Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems.

Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems Guidelines

Design, Calculations, and Operational Guidelines for Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Systems.

Vertical Broilers

Guidelines for the safe preparation, cooking, and serving of meats with Vertical Broilers.

Open-Air Barbecues – Installation and use

The California Retail Food Code contains requirements for the use of open-air barbecues, which are defined in Section 113843.

Clean and Sanitize

How to guide on cleaning and sanitizing a three-compartment sink.

“The Santa Barbara County Community Kitchen Toolkit has been an invaluable resource for my students – and their employers. By working closely with Santa Barbara County Public Health, licensed commercial kitchen operators, and industry professionals, the CKWG has created an accessible, real-time, one-stop guide for utilizing existing and activating new or underutilized shared kitchen spaces. Through this work, we hope to improve the utilization of kitchens and create educational, economic, and collaborative opportunities.”

Ron Lovell, CKWG Member, and Allan Hancock College Culinary Arts and Management Program Coordinator

Back To Top