Cave City Convention Center – It’s a kitchen co-op!

submitted by Cave City Convention Center

Located in the heart of the Cave Region, Cave City Convention Center was one of the first large meeting facilities constructed in the southern region of Kentucky and hosted one of the first Farmer’s Markets in the area, providing a permanent pavilion for area vendors. Cave City Tourist & Convention Commission continues the tradition of supporting sustainable Kentucky producers and craftsman with access to the commercial kitchen at the Cave City Convention Center for food and product preparation.

Approved by the Kentucky Department for Public Health Food Safety Branch, the Cave City Convention Center is making

its commercial kitchen available to qualified applicants for use in expansion of their food production. A shared use kitchen offers a huge cost savings to anyone wishing to produce or market locally fresh products by allowing multiple users to set up production on an assigned schedule. Utilizing an existing commercial kitchen allows the small producer the opportunity to access a licensed and certified kitchen for food preparation, packaging and distribution in an environmentally safe facility for minimal cost.

The Cave City Convention Center facility is equipped with…

  • a 20-burner gas stove
  • double convection ovens with five racks each
  • four ovens
  • a deep fryer
  • a meat slicer
  • three-sink sanitation system
  • a commercial dishwasher
  • a cooler/refrigerator
  • over 200 feet of stainless steel workspace.

Producers within the Allen, Barren, Edmonson, Hart, Metcalfe, Monroe, and Warren County area will be given first priority to use the kitchen on a first come, first served basis. However, anyone outside those counties can use the facility as well.

The commercial kitchen will be available daily, with the exceptions being the day before and the day of Convention Center catered events. The kitchen is available for $10 per hour, with a maximum of $40 per day. Advance reservations and prepayment are required for kitchen use.

Individuals utilizing the space are responsible for supplying their own ingredients, canning supplies, utensils and recipes. Each processor must have proper health department certification, which includes attending the Food Handlers’ Certification Program in Barren County and proper liability insurance. Processors who are not permitted as Home Based Processors or Microprocessors are required to obtain a General Food Manufacturer Permit through the State Health Department by contacting the Food Safety Branch in Frankfort. Labels must be approved through the Food Safety Branch of the State Health Department.

Using a commercial grade, inspected and certified kitchen allows value added producers to expand and diversify their operations into the retail/wholesale market without the expense of constructing their own facility.

Food producers are not the only entrepreneurs who can utilize the facility. The space allows ample room for soap and candle makers and other artisans requiring heat sources for their production process.

For more information contact Cave City Convention Center, 502 Mammoth Cave Street, Cave City, KY, 270-773- 3131.

Photos by Photografics, Ben Runner, Jr.