Project ID



One way for small-scale food producers to make money is to add value to their products. Shared-use kitchens offer an option for further processing, cooking, or preservation for a variety of fruit and vegetable crops. This project examines some of the critical factors in establishing and successfully operating a shared-use kitchen.

Key Question

Are shared-use commercial kitchens feasible in three central and south central Iowa locations?


An initial evaluation of the three sites narrowed the focus to a facility in the Sherman Hill neighborhood of Des Moines. The business concept for the site included four possible uses for the kitchen: 1) catering, 2) creating shelf-ready food products, 3) making baked good products, and 4) preserving fresh produce. The feasibility of creating a shared-use commercial kitchen for these uses combined market research with analyses of technical, organizational, and financial aspects of establishing the kitchen. The project’s results showed that the answer was yes on all three of these aspects, and work has begun to create the kitchen.

Principal Investigator(s)

Jack Porter


Gary Huber

Year of Grant Completion