aka our culinary incubator
The Pop Up @ Forage is a perfect program for you to start your food based business. Not only do you become a member of the Forage community, you'll have full access to all amenities in our full commercial kitchen. This program is meant for those who are starting or serious about pursuing a food based business. We can assist you with scheduling and marketing, and can also guide you through licensing and inspection of your new business. Interested? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, but first read the FAQs below and the steps you'll need to complete (or are planning to complete).
- Double commercial convection oven
- Double wide commercial coolers
- Three compartment stainless steel sink
- Cold & dry storage (additional costs may apply)
- Gain access to business, marketing, and food safety seminars
- One-on-one business coaching/feedback from the Forage owners
- Co-marketing opportunities with the Forage community
- Wi-Fi, iMac, printer and other office equipment
- Public restroom
- Freight elevator
want to start your culinary adventure?
there's a few things we require first…
Create a Business Plan or Outline
A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. Need assistance? We suggest contacting the Western Dairyland and Women's Business Center.
Legally Form Your Business
If you're a budding entrepreneur, a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC) will probably be the right fit for you. Information on creating a new business can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's website.
Start a Business Checking Account
After you have applied for your EIN# and legally formed your business, you'll be able to open a checking account! Having a bank account will not only give you a place to deposit all your hard-earned cash, it will help keep your finances straight for tax season.
Meet With the Health Department
Contact the city or county where your business will be located and inquire about the requirements and permits you need to help ensure safe dining experiences for your customers. The health department is located in Eau Claire's courthouse.
How does the Pop-Up differ from the other event spaces or main kitchen?
The Pop-Up space is meant for those who are starting or seriously pursuing a food-based business. We expect users are planning to or will have already set up a checking account, formed an LLC, and that will have a basic business plan. They should come to us with a knowledge of their product, with some idea of how they’ll produce it, what their market might be, etc. These things don’t have to be 100% worked out, but the space is created for the people who are ready to roll with an idea or product. The Pop-Up is ready to use as though it were your own brick and mortar - except that you don't have to worry about most of the small details associated with a brick and mortar.
The event space is for single events or a series of events, such as a series of classes on nutrition. The event space is connected to the main kitchen which makes it ideal for parties, weddings, cooking classes or larger cooking demonstrations, and many other events. To see a variety of past events, go to both the Events page and Cooking Classes page, and click on View Past Events (towards the bottom left side)
Do I get my own key for entry?
Yes, you’ll have a key while you’re under contract for the space.
Do I have to bring my own POS system?
Yes, you have to bring your own system. We can work with you to find one that suits your business idea.
Are there limitations in merchandising the space around my product?
We would love for you to merchandise the space around your product! We intend to co-market as much as we’re able to. We’d like to build a community around the pop-up space and use each other for the success of all. We simply ask that you give us a heads up before ideas go public, especially if Forage is featured.
How long can I use the Pop-Up space?
We don’t have a limit. Eventually, if you’re serious about your business, you’ll probably want to move out and establish your own space. However, there’s nothing in the contract about a time limit.
Can I hang art or retail displays on the wall?
We'll consider requests on a case-by-case basis, especially if displays involve nail or screw holes, paint, or anything that will permanently alter the walls, floors, etc.