Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen (WINK) provides professional contract food manufacturing (co-packing) services to new food entrepreneurs, chefs, and other food companies. It has a 10,000 square foot food processing facility in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. WINK specializes in developing small batch products to help entrepreneurs build demand and awareness of their products. It is an FDA approved, state-inspected, and licensed commercial co-packing facility in southwest Wisconsin.
WINK is owned and operated by Hodan Community Services (HCS) – an organization supporting adults with disabilities.
It opened its doors for business in 2010 after a remodeling of the building owned by HCS in order to have more space for the manufacture of its own food line. HCS had operated a Dairy Queen which was the first fast food restaurant in the U.S. to be owned by a community rehabilitation center.
With a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant through the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, the focus changed to developing and processing WINK’s own successful line of Farmhouse Recipes foods that was started in 2001 to raise revenue for HCS. It expanded to include 150 different bottled liquids, jams, and dry mixes which were sold at more than 700 stores in 26 states. Additionally, the facility was rented out to area entrepreneurs to process their own products.
WINK has shifted its focus from the initial purpose of the kitchen which was the production of its own recipes; the manufacture of entrepreneurs’ products; and rent of the kitchen to the community. WINK continues to reach out to entrepreneurs to help get their product made in small, easy-to-manage batches as they work to build the interest and demand for their product. It allows existing food businesses to expand a line of production without capital investment.
Safety is our #1 priority. As much as we are providing our expertise in making food, our focus is making a product that is safe to consume. We follow strict guidelines for food preparation and facility sanitation. We have a large walk-in cooler and freezer that are temperature controlled; inspections by the Health Department; regularly monitored pest control; and our employees are trained in proper food safety.
NOTE: At this time Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen does NOT process any recipes containing meat, or that are regulated as dairy products. Dairy products can be used as ingredients, but must be less than 50 percent of the product