Has Anybody Renovated A Storage Shed For Their Cake Business

Business By cupcakefetish Updated 2 Apr 2011 , 5:34pm by labmom

cupcakefetish Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 6:18pm
post #1 of 16

I live in Alabama and the law says I can't have my business at my home. I have heard of people renovating their outdoor storage sheds into commerical kitchens for their cake business. Has anybody done this? How much did it cost and what advice do you have? Thanks in advance thumbs_up.gif

15 replies
fourangelsmommie Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 6:25pm
post #2 of 16

I wondered that myself when we determined we just couldn't afford to build a seperate kitchen.

Hummmm....I will keep an eye on this thread.


Anyone else have any ideas or suggestions????

sugartopped Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 7:34pm
post #3 of 16

I live in Florida....and we were told by our county guys that converting a storage shed wouldn't work b/c they are not constructed to meet building codes. but maybe it depends on the type of shed you have.....they were talking about the premade things you can get at like lowe's or home depot...or even on the net.

leepat Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 7:49pm
post #4 of 16

Cupcakefetish,

I live in Alabama and I am not sure you can do that . Now I know of several that have converted their attached garages, but not storage sheds. Go to your health department and check out the rules, they will be glad to give you a copy and then you will be able to decide if that would be a feasible project for you.

oceanspitfire Posted 5 Aug 2006 , 8:12pm
post #5 of 16

I would imagine the place you go to get your liability insurance would have a list of criteria to make you qualify for insurance in the first place. Other types of insurance operate that way as well.

Also, if it's cost issue related- in the time being can you maybe shop around for a commercial kitchen (like at a convention centre/community hall/hotel or banquet room) and ask what their per hour rental rates are? They try and fill their 'dead' time to create cashflow by renting out their commercial kitchens. That may not be reasonable if say for a smaller birthday cake or other cake, but if it were a bigger project, maybe 10 dollars an hour space rental wouldn't be so bad? Just a thought.

tonyah Posted 6 Aug 2006 , 12:26am
post #6 of 16

I inspect places in converted storage sheds....one caterer and one BBQ joint. Call the local health department and they will tell you if they allow it... We do in my county so it's worth a shot.

cupcakefetish Posted 8 Aug 2006 , 12:16am
post #7 of 16

Well I contacted the walker county health department (jasper alabama) and found out some interesting things. Infact I can convert a storage shed into a business as long as I have enough room for storage and equipment etc. I also found out that I will need a seperate bathroom in this building even though it would be on my property and I would be the only one there. I was told a perk test would have to be done on my soil to make sure it is safe. I wouldn't need a grease trap since i wouldn't have that much grease waste to accumalate. I would need to have the framing done in the building and then call the health dept. and come up with a plan review drawing to show the inspector where everything would be located. I would need to make sure there was proper ventalization, had an adequate dumpster, mop sink, hand sink etc. Of course there was alot more but to much to type. I didn't realize i would need a seperate bathroom in this building. That seems to be an unexpectated expense I didn't calculate into the equation. If anyone has any more questions maybe i could answer them. thumbs_up.gif

aces413 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 4:24am
post #8 of 16

Hi!
I live in Delaware, so I don't know if this will be much help to you...

http://www.bellascookies.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=storepage&pageID=23

I read your post a few days ago, then came across this bakery's website tonight. It's a family-owned bakery, housed in a storage shed in their backyard!

PS--this is NOT my bakery, I swear...lol...NOT an advertisement...just trying to be helpful.

platinumlady Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 4:51am
post #9 of 16

aces413 your link isn't working

aces413 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 4:58am
post #10 of 16

It works for me! But if you go to bellascookies.com, click on 'About Us' on the left side, and then click the second green link that says 'Click here!', it takes you to the page that illustrates what they did to make the kitchen in their backyard. HTH!

LKing12 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:21am
post #11 of 16

They aren't using an old shed. They are building a new building where the shed was. We are doing the same thing. We have an old building that we are tearing down and then a new one is going up. The health department was hear last week doing soil samples for where to put the new septic system. The plumber was here Saturday to get our sketches for the building. This a great commitment on our part.

aces413 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 3:15pm
post #12 of 16

Who said old shed?
But yeah, it looks like a huge project. Lots of dedication and $$$!

KASCARLETT Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 3:49pm
post #13 of 16

Great information cupcakefetish! I am in Alabama and I had actually thought about converting my storage shed at one point. I see now that it just isn't feaible for me. I think I'd rather just build on to the house.

labmom Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 10:45pm
post #14 of 16

I would be careful what you wish for in your back yard. I speak from experience. My girlfriend and I thought it would be easier to have the business at her house. Building got built, half for her husbands business and the other half for the bakery. Things were fine. She would run out when customers go there. But after a whle the fun of being out in the building when everyone was in the house, and no customers coming (most orders by phone) it made her tied to the house. She couldn't even run up town to get eggs for the cakes or to the post office for fear someone would come. I would go over and watch the shop while she did things, and I would do my baking at night and she would do her baking during the day. It was a fantastic shop. Candy cakes, and everything you need to make and decorate them. Now.. she has totaly burned out. Tired of not being able to take vacations, and leave the shop. Even cake delivery and keeping the shop open became a problem. Customers come even at the unexpected time. After 9 yrs we decided to close the shop and let her husband have the whole building. He does custom cabinets. Now she can't even sell the equipment for what she put into the business and still owes on the business... I think she is now down to 15k for everything mixers ovens tables racks pans everything. 2 yrs now.. everything is still sitting. sometimes having a business where customers frequent is better than being in a back yard.

kelleym Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 5:25am
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by labmom

I would be careful what you wish for in your back yard. I speak from experience. My girlfriend and I thought it would be easier to have the business at her house. Building got built, half for her husbands business and the other half for the bakery. Things were fine. She would run out when customers go there. But after a whle the fun of being out in the building when everyone was in the house, and no customers coming (most orders by phone) it made her tied to the house. She couldn't even run up town to get eggs for the cakes or to the post office for fear someone would come. I would go over and watch the shop while she did things, and I would do my baking at night and she would do her baking during the day. It was a fantastic shop. Candy cakes, and everything you need to make and decorate them. Now.. she has totaly burned out. Tired of not being able to take vacations, and leave the shop. Even cake delivery and keeping the shop open became a problem. Customers come even at the unexpected time. After 9 yrs we decided to close the shop and let her husband have the whole building. He does custom cabinets. Now she can't even sell the equipment for what she put into the business and still owes on the business... I think she is now down to 15k for everything mixers ovens tables racks pans everything. 2 yrs now.. everything is still sitting. sometimes having a business where customers frequent is better than being in a back yard.



So, she had a retail location in a back yard? That sounds like a nightmare. Is there any way the business could have been (or could still be) altered to be a custom, by appointment only shop?

labmom Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 5:34pm
post #16 of 16

it started out as a regular shop.. she even had her husband build a huge 30ft wedding cake with beautiful drapes in the front yard with the sign. (this is a large farm..the shop was behind the 2nd house on the property... you couldn't see it until you drove down the drive. Most people would just follow the signs..
She did slow business at first. Then it grew and she was very busy with cakes cookies and people buying candy and supplys to bake, and make candies.
She also sold cake supplies, and sold custom cake stands. It was just with any business you could not predict what people would want, and when they were going to want it. And it was feast or starvation with the business. And people would call and say they were on there way over at 4:30 just before close and not show up until 7pm.. and say ooh i knew you would be here so i waited to come until after we ate... or some similar excuse. It isisn't the kind of town where the appointment onlly would work. Unless it was moved to a location up in the middle of town. She came from a well known family in the town and was well known herself so it wasn't like she needed to advertise except for the people in surrounding towns. What she thought would be good and convienent for her turned out to trap her. Even with my help and taking over off and on weeks it was still difficult. She only does custom things now for her family and is m backup for emergencies. Thatis something I would suggest to everyeyone. I ended up in the hospital for a month. fine one day in icu the next. She was a blessing taking over all my cakes, and refusing any compensation. I did the same for her when she had a death out of state and was gone for three weeks.. so I would stress anyone to have a backup. She is still my best friend but I miss the everyday fun we had.. she made the business fun.

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