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Use the Kitchen

If you’re a farmer or food entrepreneur, you want to focus on developing your recipe, market, and business model—not worry about the upfront capital costs of an expensive commercial kitchen and equipment! Families and community groups can also use the kitchen to prepare big meals, have a canning party, or other non-commercial uses.

Designed in 2005 as part of the renovated shared commercial kitchen project, Culinary Commons provides space for farmers and food entrepreneurs to:

  • add value to their products,
  • extend their product line and season,
  • and build their small business in a safe, certified environment. 

In just a few simple steps, you can become an approved client of Culinary Commons:

  1. Review the Culinary Commons policies
  2. Tour the kitchen with K-State Research & Extension staff
  3. Complete and sign the Culinary Commons application
  4. Provide a copy of your business’s Food Establishment License or Food Processing License, if applicable, from the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
  5. Determine need for general liability insurance and follow appropriate steps (see more below).


Culinary Commons Kitchen Policies & Application

Click here to download the Culinary Commons policies and application!

Submit application, monies, license(s) and agreement to:

Douglas County Maintenance
Judicial & Law Enforcement Center
111 E 11th St. Unit 202
Lawrence, KS 66044-2981
(785) 832-5296 Fax (785) 832-5262

Scheduling a Tour

A tour of the kitchen space (693.25 sq. ft.) is required prior to rental, so you know if the space meets your needs and are introduce to food safety and state food business licensing topics. To schedule a tour, contact K-State Research and Extension–Douglas County at (785) 843-7058.

Business License

With your application, please include a copy of your business’s Food Establishment License or Food Processing License, if applicable, from the Kansas Department of Agriculture. For more information on rates and the process of obtaining a business license from KDA, visit the Division of Food Safety and Lodging

For information on obtaining a Food Establishment License or Food Processing License, contact:

Kansas Department of Agriculture
Division of Food Safety and Lodging
(785) 296-5600

Note: Once licensed, all food products that are produced for public consumption must be produced in the Culinary Commons kitchen (or other KDA-approved commercial kitchen). It is unlawful to produce foods in a private home kitchen for sale to consumers (including farmers markets), or for distribution to other business entities such as food establishments, food warehouses and other food processing plants. KDA will communicate with the Culinary Commons kitchen management to ensure licensed operators are returning on a regular basis to produce their products.

Liability Coverage

Douglas County provides two levels of use for the Culinary Commons Incubator Kitchen—one that requires general liability insurance and one that does not. Note: Neither level includes coverage for product liability insurance.

o Usage 24 or fewer times per year, the County’s general liability coverage will cover your use. However, the County’s insurance provider reserves the right to seek payment for damages should an accident occur.
o Usage more than 24 times per year, you must provide a certificate of insurance showing current comprehensive general public liability coverage with respect to the Douglas County Culinary Commons Incubator Kitchen, having limits of liability for bodily injury, death and property damage of not less than a combined single limit of $1,000,000 per occurrence, with $2,000,000 total coverage. This certificate of general liability insurance must list Douglas County as additional named insured.

Disallowed Site Uses

The Culinary Commons Incubator Kitchen, when rented as a shared-use kitchen for entrepreneurs and small business owners, is for production purposes only—such as food cooking and preparation for catering events or food processing. Sales of food and products produced in the Kitchen must happen at off-site retail locations or immediate service at approved events.

On-site vending is only allowed when associated with a pre-approved major or special event happening in conjunction with Building 21 rental, the Community Arena, the Open Pavilion, or the Flory Meeting Hall Rentals, such as concessions at the Douglas County Fair and auctions. Clients must seek approval from Douglas County Maintenance Department before conducting any sales from the Culinary Commons Incubator Kitchen, Building 21, or elsewhere on the Fairgrounds property. Failure to comply with this policy will result in temporary or permanent revocation of the client’s approved application.