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Upstart is a shared kitchen space that operates on a subscription model. You will have access to cutting-edge equipment as well as support and coaching. Upstart kitchen is more than just a shared kitchen space; it is also a community dedicated to assisting food entrepreneurs in becoming successful.


At Upstart, we provide training on using the equipment, help you obtain health permits, and provide advice as your company expands. We also provide professional cleaning services, workspaces, and Wi-Fi. Everyone has to go through an application process and mandatory culinary 101 training program to gain the confidence to run and scale your business in a commercial shared kitchen supported by industry professionals.

At UpStart, we have a tiered membership structure.  Fees are based on where your business is at in the development process.

Food truck operators

Food Truck/base rental
(no monthly minimum)

$100 per month
$50 Cleaning fee Requirement


  • Monthly base payment

    Business writing 

  • Trucks are prepped and cleaned in licensed space

  • There is no hourly rate to check into your base, however, when actively engaged in mobile food services, Health Department regulations require that you check into your base every 24 hours.   All food truck operators are expected to check into the base keep a logo of the operation.

Incubation Stage

Before receiving license and permits 
$130 per month

HOW LONG: 7 months

Companies that are getting ready to hit the market and are not yet licensed to sell work in the Kitchen, helping to prepare  meals for families in need.  This incubation period will familiarize you with the kitchen equipment and give you hands-on experience with the process of institutional meal preparation


  • Support with completing permit and license application while in training

  • Business writing class to help ensure compliance and set goals that are SMART

  • Culinary business support training

  • Safe Serve Manager training

  • Learn sources and processes for acquiring products used in the production of large-volume meal preparation

  • Learn about membership in professional organizations

  • Classes arranged by Upstart Kitchen with partners, BizStarts,  WWBIC and others

  • Hands-on support while learning large volume meal preparation

  • Gain work experience, and earn income, while learning proper use of equipment

  • Receive assistance in obtaining LLC legal status and in setting up a website and developing a logo, etc.

Start-up Stage

After receiving license and permit
Hourly Tier
(8 hours month minimum)

$112 per month

HOW LONG: 6-9 months

Every member begins at this level for at least three months and is required to rent space in the Kitchen for at least 8 hours each month.  At this level, members will also be supported in creating an online presence as a first step in developing a marketing plan for your business.  At this level, the member is more independent and works 90% of the time in the kitchen unsupervised.


  • Attend 50% of monthly classes

  • Attend the entry-level business class BizStarts

  • Rent time in the Kitchen for at least 8 hours every month.

  • Work with UpStart staff to establish an online presence

  • Increase kitchen time with master the chef for hands-on learning 

  •  Attend culinary class 101 – Cooking with passion

Part-Time Entrepreneur

(20 - 25 hours month minimum)
35-hour cap

$375 per month

HOW LONG: 12 months


  • Attend 50% of monthly classes

  • Be approved by Master Chef for operation at this level


  • 1 - 2 events monthly

  • (115 dollars saving for members)

  • One-on-one consultation with Master Chef to help build a customer base 

  • Technical assistance with product development

  • 24/7 access to operate in the kitchen without supervision

  • Independently prepare meals for the Community Meals Program with oversight by Master Chef to review and approve recipes

  • Coaching with a Master Chef through “Restaurant Boot Camp.”

  • Peer learning through monthly  cohort  sessions to discuss challenges and lessons learned

  • Shipping, receiving and janitorial services

  • 24/7 access to kitchen space and storage

  • Membership in professional organizations

  • Industry connections & financing help by means of UpStart’s program partnerships

  • Introduction to market opportunities

  • Culinary and Business Support

Growth Stage

45+  hours month minimum
60-hour cap

$630-700 per month (members save $140) 

HOW LONG: 12 months


  • Attend 75% of monthly classes


  • Market products in food hall shops / retail spaces, but continue to use UpStart Kitchen for food preparation

  • One-on-one assistance for sell-sheet development(One-page sell sheet of your company, in life hr types of products, different packs and customer segments) recipe development, financial model, and  marketing

  • Coaching with a Master Chef to scale business through “Restaurant Boot Camp.”

  • Peer learning through monthly cohort meetings to discuss the challenges and lessons learned

  • Shipping , receiving and janitorial services

  • 24/7 access to kitchen space and storage

  • Membership in professional organizations

  • Industry connections &  financing help by means of UpStart’s program partnerships

  •  Introduction to market opportunities

  • Culinary and Business Support

  • Small batch manufacturing/  catering  for 400 guests (shipping and packaging)

Services to Member-clients of UpStart Kitchen

Through group instruction and through one-on-one coaching, member-clients of UpStart Kitchen will receive guidance on good business and culinary practices including:

  • Business basics – understanding and adhering to regulatory and legal obligations

  •  Culinary basics – product development, menu building, using quality food products

  • Successful kitchen operations – managing one’s time efficiently in terms of meal prep, cooking and serving/packaging

  • Efficient cooking practices – Cleaning as you go; starting with items that have the longest cooking time, etc.

  •  Health, hygiene and safety – proper clothing, fire prevention, rodent control, preventing cross contamination with proper sanitization practice

  • Equipment maintenance and operation – planning in advance for equipment and utensils that will be needed

  • Scaling your operation – strategies for business expansion; networking with other practitioners

Shared Kitchen Pricing 

$200 Application Fee

$200 Membership Fee

Additional fees


Shelves: $35/month

Refrigerated Storage

Shelves: $35/month


Shelves: $35/month

We cover the hidden costs of running a commercial kitchen

  • Equipment and repairs

  • Insurance

  • Pest control

  • Cleaning Services

  • Utilities

  • Basic equipment


UpStart provides food entrepreneurs with access to small business resources in licensing, planning, marketing, budgeting, hiring, and financing. In addition, UpStart partners with excellent, existing resources in Milwaukee to help entrepreneurs thrive.

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