Moving Into A Storefront

Business By andrea7 Updated 14 Sep 2009 , 4:50am by sugarycreations

andrea7 Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 3:14pm
post #1 of 21

I really need some help and I know there is some great knowledge here. I have been legally renting space for almost 4 years, I have to get out of the situation because rent has become so expensive I might has well be in my own space. I just was approved my SBA loan, yahhh! A local bakery is going to mentor me on some asspects of opening a storefront but they are donut shop and i'm a wedding cake shop. I'm afraid i'm going to miss something major and due to budget restraints I can make a wrong move. This is what I already have going on right now.
-found a location
-got insurance quote for contents and liability
-checking on a oven
-locating an architect to change the commercial space ( basically the only change is a half wall to seperate kitchen from selling space and changing plumbing) and get the permits
-still haven't got the county health inspector to call me back on specifics of the three comparment sinks, hand sink and dump sink etc.
- life insurance policy to protect my family, should I die

Am I overlooking anything? I know state to state and county to county differ but i'm looking for any red flags. Alot of things have already been taken care of because i'm already a established company but this kitchen rebuild is stressing me to the MAX. The only things I don't have is a oven,
all the sinks and a attachment to the sink, one more table, chairs for tastings and a commercial fridg. Any help would so much be appreciated.
Andrea

20 replies
Monkess Posted 1 Aug 2008 , 11:51pm
post #2 of 21

You have got the basics, but:
Do you have all the equipment, you said you were renting so perhaps you need to look into mixers, tables etc. which may have come with the rental space?
I would not hire an architect-get a good contractor-they usually can get a designer to do the drawings you need for permits. This should save you alot, especially since you are not doing major remodelling.
Store front signage
Menus
Business cards
local listings

Good luck and keep stress free!

indydebi Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 1:12am
post #3 of 21

Check with your state on permit requirements. My kitchen designer drew up some blueprints, but the state requires all drawings to be architect approved. 5 weeks and $600 later, the architect was done re-vamping the prints and sent them to the state so building permits could be issued.

Do you need an exhaust over your ovens? Fire protection system? Your contractor should know this stuff, but check with the fire marshall to be sure of what's needed. (Fire safety is my "hot" button .... my parents had 2 house fires by the time I was 14 years old ... neither one their fault.)

Do you need a grease trap? Your health dept guy should be able to tell you this, if he ever calls you back. Somehow my designer missed this little piece of equipment, so that was an extra $1000 I hadn't planned on spending.

littlecake Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 1:53am
post #4 of 21

i have a double freezer...to me, it's more important than the fridge...cause you'll have to bake ahead if you're gonna sell enough to pay overhead.

the health dept will be very helpful to tell you what you need.

my buildout only cost 3 grand, so maybe it won't be that bad, are any of you handy?

the plumber costed about 1000.00...the ever popular grease trap was about 500.

are you gonna have stuff for walk ins...or is everything gonna be by order? i got a refrigerated case (used) for about 1000.00.

you are gonna need (at least) a 20 quart mixer...or you are gonna be mixing all the time....for my purposes i got a 30 quart.

you need to watch for the "phase" that the appliances are....not every place is wired for everything...the salesman don't care if they sell you what you can't use.

help me someone...is phase 1 the one that is more universal?

i almost bought a phase 3 mixer duh...i never heard of phases.

you can get some really great things used.

oh yeah, if you decide to get a gas oven...you'll need to get a vent...not just a regular vent, like at home...it'll cost thousands...i got an electric oven, i love it./

i can't think of anything else...my brain stopped about 30 minutes ago...lol

indydebi Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 2:04am
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

i have a double freezer...to me, it's more important than the fridge...cause you'll have to bake ahead if you're gonna sell enough to pay overhead.




agree. I have a walk-in 'frig (I also cater) and a 2-door freezer and my only regret about my kitchen is I need a 3-door freezer or more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

you need to watch for the "phase" that the appliances are....not every place is wired for everything...the salesman don't care if they sell you what you can't use.



Also agree. My designer ordered a number of 3-phase pcs of equipment and it turns out the strip mall is not wired for 3-phase AT ALL. She had to cancel the 3-phase and order stuff that would work in the building.

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

oh yeah, if you decide to get a gas oven...you'll need to get a vent...not just a regular vent, like at home...it'll cost thousands...i got an electric oven, i love it./



This is the one that they really get you on. The over-the-stove-vent system (also houses your fire extinquisher system for the cooking area) is $1000 a linear foot and I needed 8 ft. THis $8000 pc of equipment is the most expensive thing in my kitchen.

littlecake Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 2:20am
post #6 of 21

wow indy 8 grand for a vent...that's amazing...i knew they were expensive, but i had no idea they were that much!

indydebi Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 2:22am
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

wow indy 8 grand for a vent...that's amazing...i knew they were expensive, but i had no idea they were that much!




PUtting together a comm'l kitchen is way different than putting together a regular kitchen. Which is why it's so frsutrating when our family and friends just casually suggest " ...you should open a business!"

Sure, darlin'! As soon as you write the $30,000-$50,000 check to do it! icon_eek.gif

andrea7 Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 3:07pm
post #8 of 21

Thanks guys for the imput. I'm still waiting on the health inspector about the grease trap, but the bakery I work for was bought last year and they said nothing about it. I don't need a freezer. I have my eye on a True 3 door fridge. I really want a three phase oven, it's more money upfront, but I will reduce my energy costs 30 to 35% and it will pay for itself. I have to ask the landlord what he runs the building on first. I have a hobart 20 quart mixer, a 4 qt and 6qt kitchen aid mixer. I have tables, all the supplies, shelving etc. I don't need a stove, currently I just use a plug in stove (from Target), I can't have the vent and stove expense yet, maybe at a later date. I have bartered for free wedding cakes and have a plumber, master carpendar, elecrician and foreman who can do everything, so I don't have to pay for labor just supplies. I know I need a fire extinguisher. In our city you have to hire a architect to make any changes. The land lord told me he could use the man he used and it would be a $1.00 per square foot. I'm going to try to reduce that price.
I feel so much better that i'm not missing something. Thanks for the peace of mind. Tonight though i'm still having my rum and Coke.

littlecake Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 5:27am
post #9 of 21

sounds like you're set.....i'm glad i have a grease trap, it really saves a lot of problems in the line...

my other drains are not hooked to it, and my hand sink has to be unplugged as often as the greasetrap is dreained,,,,stuff gets packed in there that is the consistancy of soap so it really gets packed,

lazlo Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 3:50pm
post #10 of 21

okay so what is "phase" on the mixers or machines I have never heard of that. I have worked in kitchens for 10 years and never or don't recall hearing that..

indydebi Posted 23 Apr 2009 , 4:29pm
post #11 of 21

3-phase is a type of wiring and I don't pretend to know what it is. My kitchen designer ordered a piece of equipment in 3-phase and it turns out the strip mall I'm in isnt' wired for 3-phase ANYWHERE! And it's REALLY EXPENSIVE to put it in. So she returned the 3-phaser and ordered a "regular" equipment.

SugaredUp Posted 1 Jul 2009 , 2:12am
post #12 of 21

Debi, I'm curious about the kitchen designer. When you're ready to go into a building, who designs the space? I've been wondering that for a while. You said a kitchen designer... is this someone who specializes in restaurants and bakeries, etc.? Where do you find such a person or business? I'm sure it's different than regular interior design...?

indydebi Posted 1 Jul 2009 , 3:08am
post #13 of 21

Yes, this is MUCH different than an interior design person. These folks are more in the engineer and architect side (but not quite).

We have a friend who is a VP in an engineering/architect firm and they specialize (well, do nothing BUT!) schools, churches, malls, and other commercial buildings. So we asked him to refer us to someone who could help us with this project. He referred us to C&T Design .. here's their website, to give you an idea of the type of company to look for: http://www.c-tdesign.com/

The lady we worked with TOTALLY understood the health dept rules and guidelines; she understood work flow in a commercial kitchen; she knew what equipment I'd need and more important, what equipment I DIDN'T need. (Heck, she whacked about $15K worth of stuff off of our original equip list in the first 4 minutes of meeting her!)

indydebi Posted 1 Jul 2009 , 3:09am
post #14 of 21

Yes, this is MUCH different than an interior design person. These folks are more in the engineer and architect side (but not quite).

We have a friend who is a VP in an engineering/architect firm and they specialize (well, do nothing BUT!) schools, churches, malls, and other commercial buildings. So we asked him to refer us to someone who could help us with this project. He referred us to C&T Design .. here's their website, to give you an idea of the type of company to look for: http://www.c-tdesign.com/

The lady we worked with TOTALLY understood the health dept rules and guidelines; she understood work flow in a commercial kitchen; she knew what equipment I'd need and more important, what equipment I DIDN'T need. (Heck, she whacked about $15K worth of stuff off of our original equip list in the first 4 minutes of meeting her!)

SugaredUp Posted 1 Jul 2009 , 12:55pm
post #15 of 21

Good to know. Thanks, Debi!

SugaredUp Posted 1 Jul 2009 , 12:56pm
post #16 of 21

Good to know. Thanks, Debi!

cakesweetiecake Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 1:50am
post #17 of 21

Great thread. Very informative!

Lisa540 Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 3:03am
post #18 of 21

I'm working on the same right now! I am glad that this thread is here! Don't forget to look at Craigslist for anything commercial you might need. I have even found the vent hoods on there for pretty inexpensive, all you will need is to hire someone to install it. Call your local fire dept and see if they have one of the guys there that has that as a part time business (they all have some kind of PT business!!) My hubby is a fireman and even used to be certified to install those! Could really use that now, LOL!!

Are you working on a business plan? Marketing plans in that? I am just about finished with mine. Just some last minute touches.

Good luck to you!!

alexj9988 Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 6:07am
post #19 of 21

OK, I have been looking in to this, and my state does not require a hood vent for electric ovens that are only used for baked goods. As long as you are not roasting meats or anything else with a large fat content, it is not required. And fire supression is similar to any other retail space, sprinkler system and fire extinguishers. Am I missing something here? Our laws are based on national safety recomendations. Are you sure you need a hood vent? I mean look in a Subway sandwich shop, they don't have vents over their bread ovens....

buttercuppie Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 6:37am
post #20 of 21

I work in a bakery that's completely electric and we don't have the vents...it was just more cost effective to go in that direction. Also we use induction burners...which @ $500 a pop are kinda pricy, but they don't take up much room and cook things ALOT faster.

sugarycreations Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 4:50am
post #21 of 21

Your HD inspector will be your best friend if you'll let them. Before my brother started any of the remodeling needed for my cake shop, he got an on-site appointment set up with the building inspector & the health inspector at the same time. They LOVED the fact he was consulting them BEFORE doing anything. They became buddy-buddy & it was smooth sailing. (Not really but none of the problems that came up had to do with the inspectors. Now if vendors would get you your stuff when they say they will. icon_wink.gif ) In fact, it went smoothly enough they issued me a temporary permit to do a fundraiser before everything was completed.

Ask about the hood. If you have to have it, you won't have any choice about the expense. I think it all depends on setup, etc. I have a household stove & a double convection oven (household style) that I'm using. I had to have the fire suppressant hood over the stove. He was allowed to build a cabinet around the double oven & that was it. The hood people told my brother when he called about it that all I had to have was a regular hood vent. IF he bought one deep enough, they would be able to install their equipment in it. Cost me about $6500 less. Met the HD requirements & made the insurance people happy.

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