Union Kitchen’s Newly Certified Facility Provides Growth Path for Local Brands

After a months-long process, we are excited to announce that Union Kitchen has been issued a Grant of USDA certification. This makes our Ivy City kitchen the only USDA Inspected communal kitchen in the district. This certification allows businesses to produce, package, and distribute meat products outside of Washington, D.C. Prior to this, businesses based out of Union Kitchen were only able to sell directly to consumers within the district.

For Union Kitchen members, this certification provides a key growth path for scaling their businesses and expanding to markets outside of the city. Janalee Redmond, Union Kitchen member and founder of Brainy Belly, is already excited for how Union Kitchen’s new certification could impact her bone broth business. “As an inspected product we can wholesale product across state lines,” says Redmond.

Before Union Kitchen received this certification, Brainy Belly products made in the Ivy City Kitchen were not designated by the USDA as an inspected product. This meant that their sales were limited to direct to consumer transactions within the district. The inability to market their products across state lines was a significant obstacle on Brainy Belly’s growth path. Union Kitchen’s USDA certification is critical to Brainy Belly’s ability to expand to new markets and grow their customer base outside of the city.

For Redmond, use of Union Kitchen’s newly certified facility could prove to have a significant impact on her success in the district and beyond. “The USDA Inspected facility allows me to test the market in a more profound way, still without making the investment in a brick and mortar location, expensive equipment and wearing even more hats than I already do,” she says.

Brainy Belly is one of the first of many new companies that will be positively impacted by Union Kitchen’s USDA certification. As a resource for current kitchen members and those to come, the Ivy City USDA inspected facility will help Union Kitchen achieve their mission of building successful food businesses by creating products that can be brought to markets throughout the country.