Is It True I Can Get Liscensed Using A Church Kitchen??

Business By dandy207 Updated 12 May 2008 , 11:49pm by indydebi

dandy207 Posted 11 May 2008 , 2:53pm
post #1 of 15

I wont be even STARTING the process of starting my own shop for another 3 or so years, I have lots of school to do and I need to build up my clientel, but I need to advertise right now and I have to be legal. I know my church would let me use their kitchen, Ive heard some small talk on CC about this, but dont know much. Do I have to have the kitchen inspected? What is the first steps that I need to take?

Thanks everyone, you are such a wonderful help! icon_smile.gif

14 replies
indydebi Posted 11 May 2008 , 2:59pm
post #2 of 15

Yes, you can. Yes, the kitchen has to be inspected. Now, I was under the impression that the kitchen you lease had to be already HD approved. A caterer friend of mine is using that church kitchen that was not HD approved. She told me as long as it had the equipment she needed to do her catering properly, the HD would come in and approve the kitchen for her use. This may differ from state to state, so you should check with your HD on how this works in your area.

kelleym Posted 11 May 2008 , 3:01pm
post #3 of 15

It depends on the church. Some kitchens have large commercial kitchens that they maintain a license for, and other churches have kitchens that are only considered "warming" kitchens, and are not licensed (or legal) for food prep outside church functions. You would have to check with the facilities manager of the church in question to find out if they already have a license. Then check with your county's health department to see if you would need your own separate license for your business to operate in the kitchen (usually the answer is yes). Good luck! icon_smile.gif

mkolmar Posted 11 May 2008 , 3:08pm
post #4 of 15

It differs from state to state. I'm located in MI (just above the OH state line) and MI is a PITA to get licensed through. After jumping through hoops to hear from my town hall and county hall that Yes I could start a business in my home I found out from state level you can not and that they were wrong. I decided to ask my church located in OH and they said yes. I was inspected by HD and everything has been alright since. I wanted to keep overhead low while building up clients so this works great for me. I just make sure the church gets a good discount if they order from me.
I just went and talked to the deacons at their monthly meeting and took a bribe...oops, I mean cake with me. Everything just kind of feel in place from there. The church was happy because I scrubbed everything and re-organized the chaos that was in the kitchen.
Good luck with everything. If you have any questions just pm me.

dandy207 Posted 11 May 2008 , 3:08pm
post #5 of 15

What is HD? Sorry I really dont know anything about this. lol I know the kitchen is not just a warming kitchen , they do full on meals out of that church for the whole congregation. It has double ovens, stoves, and a huge dishwasher. But I definitly will ask them at the church just to be sure.

tenleysmommy Posted 11 May 2008 , 3:15pm
post #6 of 15

HD is Health Department.Thats who you would call to get approved for a liscence.

indydebi Posted 11 May 2008 , 3:19pm
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandy207

What is HD? Sorry I really dont know anything about this. lol I know the kitchen is not just a warming kitchen , they do full on meals out of that church for the whole congregation. It has double ovens, stoves, and a huge dishwasher. But I definitly will ask them at the church just to be sure.




HD = Health Dept.

If the HD requires the kitchen be already HD approved, don't be fooled by what the kitchen looks like. I've been in a number of parks dept and church facilities that have kitchens that look so professional, it makes my comm'l kitchen look amateurish, but they are not HD approved ... they have warming kitchen status.

Again, check with your HD to see how they work stuff like this. Just because it looks HD approved, doesnt' mean it is. Just because it's not HD approved, doesn't mean you cant use it.

DebBTX Posted 11 May 2008 , 11:34pm
post #8 of 15

If you decide to share the space with the Church, will they allow you to keep your supplies in a separate area? Something that you could mark with your name, and even lock?
It would depend on the Church, but some are open to the congregation several days and nights during the week. People might honestly not understand that your bowls, ingredients etc. were for your business and not for their use. You might arrive to bake and realize someone had used your items or carried them to another part of the building.
If the situation was right it could be a real blessing. I hope everything works out for you.

Tellis12 Posted 12 May 2008 , 3:29am
post #9 of 15

Does anyone know how it works in Ohio with the cottage laws? i know OH is one of the easiest places to bake in, but how do you get something from "warming" to "commercial"?

mkolmar Posted 12 May 2008 , 4:51pm
post #10 of 15

Whenever I bake for business reasons I have to bring all of the items with me and take them back home with me. It's a hassle but easier than looking for my items since their is no place for me to lock them up.

Tellis-The cottage laws apply to those who want to bake from their houses. You can not have any refrigerated items if you do it this way. However, if you use a different location other than your house and it is up to code you can be called commercial which allows you to do refrigerated items. (at least that's how it is where I'm located).

SweetArt Posted 12 May 2008 , 7:01pm
post #11 of 15

You also may need to check with zoning. When I tried this, the HD said they didn't care where the kitchen was located as long as it was up to there standards, but when I called zoning, they said churches, day cares, and schools, were all zoned private, and you could not run a business out of their kitchens.

DebBTX Posted 12 May 2008 , 7:06pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkolmar


Tellis-The cottage laws apply to those who want to bake from their houses. You can not have any refrigerated items if you do it this way. However, if you use a different location other than your house and it is up to code you can be called commercial which allows you to do refrigerated items. (at least that's how it is where I'm located).




What kind of refrigerated items would be included?

mkolmar Posted 12 May 2008 , 9:02pm
post #13 of 15

anything that needs to be in the fridge, such as certain fillings, certain icings, mousses, cheesecakes..etc.

DebBTX Posted 12 May 2008 , 11:43pm
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I realize that real estate costs will be different in each area of the country, but do any of you renting Church kitchens have an approx. price range to rent them? I hate to ask a personal question; I just wanted to know how to judge a fair price. Is your space available at any time of the day or night?

How do you handle the week of Vacation Bible School when people will be in the building night and day, all week long? They often fill the kitchen with people making snacks, etc. I guess you could avoid orders for that week, but it might be right in the middle of a busy summer schedule.

What happens if you are in the middle of the cake and need to leave the building to eat, or buy more supplies? The cake would then be left unattended. Have you had any trouble with the youth wanting to taste test while you are gone, or Mother's Day Out looking for a snack? What about the Wednesday night suppers? They often use all of Wednesday to cook. Do you have any trouble with the women coming in during the week for a Ladies Bible Study? It seems you might look up and have an audience.

I think the idea of renting the Church kitchen is great. I am just not sure how things work out. I would appreciate any input y'all have. This might be something I should look into. Does anyone know how Texas views the zoning issue?
I was rereading my post and had to laugh. I really sound like someone who worries too much. icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 12 May 2008 , 11:49pm
post #15 of 15

DebBTX (Hey! We're BOTH "Deb B's"!), good questions.

I have a caterer friend who uses a church kitchen and she has in her contract that she can't use the kitchen a certain week because of a very large event the church has going on. She messed up her calendar so I'm letting her use my kitchen that week.

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