Food Entrepreneur Coworking

I worked in the restaurant industry for two years in my early twenties. During this time I learned a lot about how food regulations hurt entrepreneurs.

I don’t know if this is the same in every province or state, but in Alberta, Canada to sell food it needs to be prepared in a commercial kitchen. You are not allowed to sell food that you make in a home kitchen. It needs to meet certain government requirements, like having two sinks, and a number of other features.

As a result, the startup costs for creating a minimum viable food product are quite high. To do it legally you either need to find a restaurant willing to rent you their space. Or invest a lot of capital in building a ridiculously unnecessary kitchen that passes government mandates so you can legally run your food business.

The obvious solution to this issue is to abolish government. But since that is still a year or two off, the idea struck me that it would be cool to create a coworking space for food entrepreneurs. Instead of hot desks and printers, you could have a large commercial kitchen space, packaging/labeling, storage, and all the other necessary equipment and resources that you need to launch small-scale food businesses. You could even set up a small grocery store where the people who use the space can sell their products.

There are a ton of talented cooks and bakers out there, who are forced into shady backroom baking exchanges because they aren’t allowed to create small-scale food business. But in any city with more than a couple hundred thousand people, there are probably enough people to support a food coworking space.

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