I'm currently renting kitchen space part time. Within the next year, I'd like to move into my own space. I'm not looking for walk-in clientele, so location isn't critical. For those of you in your own spaces, how did you begin looking? I'm looking to lease, so I don't know if I should be in touch with a real estate agent? I thought I'd start perusing online, but all I seem to find are businesses for sale, which I don't want. Am I not using the right search terms? Are commercial kitchens very rare? Am I just a total flake?
Sorry, I hate to be the asker of dumb questions, but I really need something to inspire me during my day job lunch hour!
HA,HA, HA..... CC is my home when I get bored at work too!!
Anyway, I don't have a place a my own, but these are the guidelines I am going by.
1. Location - Even though I'll want it as an appointment-only, having a good visual presence will be good advertising in itself and leave the door open to the possibility of have an 'open' shop. Also I HATE driving and would definitely want something close to where I live. that'll make it easier to come and go. Ideally, I'd like to do a duff and owner the building so I can live upstairs and have the shop on the main floor.
2. Decide which you want - a place with a kitchen already in place so you can come and start right away, or a cheaper place and you install/build the kitchen.
I'm far from having my own place, but these are two things I have thought about.
i just rode around town looking for"for rent" signs....that's how i found my place....called different numbers off signs in the window.
Call an agent. They have all the business listings and can help you find a location.
If I was going to rent a place. Very close to the top of my list would be. make sure it is close to home. You don't want to be baking all day 1/2 the night, and waste sleeping time by driving. If you get busy you'll have to sleep there.
Close to home. Mine is 3 minutes away. VERY handy when I forget something!!
Initially, I searched for "commercial property for lease" and came up with some places to check out. But I found my space just by driving around. Comm'l property owners tend to manage their own rentals, so I didn't go thru an F.C.TUcker type of person. Comm'l property owners also tend to have a website of all of their properties, so once you see a name of one of these companies, you can search their site.
Location .... If you plan to have people come by to pay you, for samplings, etc., you will want a place that people feel safe in. I could have rented any number of places much cheaper, but no one would come there at night, if you get my drift! (Plus hubby was very nervous about me being in places like that at night, when working late, when unloading the van after an event, etc.)
If you can find a place that used to have a kitchen in it, or even that used to be a hair salon, you will save quite a bit on plumbing and contracting since the water lines are already in and you will avoid the costs of trenching thru concrete.
Do you deal with sales reps from sysco or gfs? These folks are definitely in the loop on food businesses that are closed or going to close and may be able to give you a lead on a space that is or will be available.
Really wonderful ideas--thanks to you all! I'll have to start trolling around town on my lunch hour
Not all available properties are going to have signs.
I highly recommend contacting an agent - not a property management company. They have listings of all the available properties and will work their butts off trying to help you find the right location (just as they do when they want to sell you a house).
ETA: They will also help negotiate with the landlord for you, or tell you if they think you're getting screwed. I've driven around and looked at properties and called those numbers and was told one thing about a particular property ($2,600/mo.) but when an agent made the call for me - suddenly the price dropped to about $1,700 with a few months free rent during the build-out.
DEFINITELY contant an agent. I tried working with a local space (very close to my home) that I saw was available. Got the run-around from these people at every turn.
I went to a RE agent (they get paid by the other agent, so no money from you there) and they showed me listings that weren't publicly posted somewhere and are getting alot of professionalism because they are going realtor-realtor. Both want to make the deal. Plus, I expanded my options to consider a location 50 minutes away ~ because the traffic is soooo much better and my opportunities for sales are greater. They can help you with that as well.