CoMo Cooks First Stop

A quick and simple guide to what you need to start a food-based business and begin using our shared kitchen.

City of Columbia Business License

All clients must have a City of Columbia Business License and, if applicable, an Alcoholic Beverage License and Caterers Permit. Food and beverage businesses must pay a $30 application fee, a $17 criminal records check fee, a license fee starting at $15 and increasing based on annual gross receipts, and an annual inspection fee starting at $220 and increasing based on annual gross receipts. These fees are required for all businesses, regardless of whether they are in our kitchen. For details and an online application, visit:
www.como.gov/finance/business-licenses

Boone County Merchant's License

All businesses operating within Boone County must have a Merchant's License. The cost is $25. For details and an application, visit:
www.showmeboone.com/collector/merchant.

Health Department Operating Permit

All food service establishments require an operating permit from Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services and mobile food units have additional requirements. For businesses with mobile units, a meeting will take place at the commissary kitchen with the mobile unit. Operator must show where items will be stored in the commissary. Water must be turned on to demonstrate hot water availability, and a demonstration of how water will be collected and disposed of is required at time of inspection. 

All fees must be paid in full before an operating permit will be issued. The annual inspection fee for the operating permit is based on annual gross receipts, starting at $205 and increasing from there. For an application and a list of the additional requirements for mobile food units, visit:
www.como.gov/health/environmental-health/food-safety/food-service-establishments/mobile-trucks.

Health Department Plan Review

For mobile food units, you must undergo a plan review of your mobile unit and your food storage and preparation processes with the Health Department. The fee for the plan review is based on the risk of your establishment. Risk is determined by the Health Department based on the type of food you serve and who you serve. Low risk is $140,  medium risk is $215, and high risk is $430. For more details and to schedule a plan review, visit:
www.como.gov/health/environmental-health/food-safety/food-service-establishments/mobile-trucks.

Food Handler Cards

All clients and employees working in CoMo Cooks must complete food a safety class and receive a Food Handler Card. Cards are $15 each. Any manager or employee selling alcohol must also complete the State of Missouri Alcohol Responsibility Training (SMART) and have a Server Certificate. This is $5 or free with a Food Handler Card. For details and a schedule of classes visit:
www.como.gov/health/environmental-health/food-safety.

Fire Inspection

CoMo Cooks has been inspected and approved by the Columbia Fire Department. However, mobile food units and some other types of businesses may require an additional inspection. Contact the City of Columbia Fire Department at (573) 874-7556 for details. 

Insurance

All clients must have the following:

-Liability Insurance and COI covering the kitchen ($1 million minimum)
-General Liability Insurance ($1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 aggregate limit)
-Worker’s Compensation Insurance, if additional employees ($500,000 each accident, $500,000 each disease/each employee, $500,000 disease policy limit)

The following entities must be included as additional insured:
REDI
500 E. Walnut
Columbia, MO 65201

Business Loop CID
14 E. Business Loop 70
Columbia, MO 65203

City of Columbia
701 E. Broadway
Columbia, MO 65201

Contact your local insurance agent for a quote or for details on the Food Liability Insurance Program visit:
www.fliprogram.com 

Deposit

A $200 kitchen deposit is required upon entry. This is refundable upon exit provided the client has incurred no damages or lost items.

CoMo Cooks Policy Documents

Because this is a shared kitchen, we've outlined our rules and guidelines for using the space in a way that respects others. Why so many documents? There are a lot of important guidelines to keep the kitchen a useable and pleasant place to be, from keeping the kitchen clean to safety policies to being professional when interacting with other clients. Because of this, we ask all clients to review and sign these documents to make sure we're all on the same page. To download the full packet, visit:
CoMo Cooks Policy Documents

Questions? Contact us at [email protected]

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