Bake One Place, Sell Another-Anyone Do This?

Business By Lenette Updated 4 Sep 2008 , 1:08am by tblide

Lenette Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 5:13pm
post #1 of 17

I have an opportunity to rent an affordable space but my licensed kitchen is at my home and no chance of moving it.

The space is just big enough to sell a few cupcakes/cookies, meet clients...

Just wondering if anyone does this and if you can provide any insight on managing this.

Thanks! icon_smile.gif

16 replies
sweettoothmom Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 5:25pm
post #2 of 17

That is a neat idea. I had a few thoughts run through my mind as I read the post. It would give you a professional image (not that you dont have one now, i hope you understand my meaning there) and professional place to meet with clients. It could open up a retail option for you to provide an income part time when cakes are slowing.
Here is a few questions I had if you can address them I would appreciate your thoughts. It is interesting to see how others solve issues we could all face.
You still get the tax break for the house use if the house is the primary place of business will that have an impact on you come tax time?


Would it be hard to negotiate running back and forth to meet people at the "store front" and then run home to bake etc?
Would you need someone to keep the "store front" open for you while you bake and decorate?

Lenette Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 9:12pm
post #3 of 17

I'll try to answer your questions, a lot of stuff of stuff I am still trying to figure out.

I want to maintain that I am primarily a custom order business and the retail hours would be limited. The rent is really good and I only have to pay electric on top of that, best deal I have heard of around here except for "daddy" owning the building. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
So, I do have a younger sister and really good friend who are willing to help me so I would have to spend about 2 days a week at the shop.

It's only about maybe 10 minutes away in heavy traffic so I am not too stressed about going between the two.

I think it will largely be about planning, baking the cakes for my orders and freezing, I don't know I may be nuts. I just thought there may be someone else out there who does this.

Hadn't thought about the tax implications, that is a good point. Thanks for bringing that up!


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JoAnnB Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 5:23am
post #4 of 17

Unless you use your kitchen exclusively for business, it would not be deductibe.

You need to check with the health department about the legality of a store front without a food service certification. there may be limits for a retail food operation.

It would be a not expensive way to check out the market, but without the walk-in retail, I am not sure you have an advantage to just working from home.

peg818 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 12:42pm
post #5 of 17

There is a lady here in town that does this. She has a small store front and carries on her appointments there, then does all the work (she caters too) from home, her home is in an out of the way spot and i think she did this for visibility very smart move if the rent is right.

seagoat Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 1:05pm
post #6 of 17

I want to do this where I live also. I'm looking forward to future posts. The pros, cons and ideas...

seagoat Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 1:06pm
post #7 of 17

sorry for the double post icon_redface.gif

I guess my computer knows, I;m just that excited...lol thumbs_up.gif

doitallmom Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 1:28pm
post #8 of 17

Now that's a thought.

Lenette Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 1:31pm
post #9 of 17

I have talked to the health department. My kitchen here is separate and licensed for business use. As far as the retail location, they do have certain requirements for instance a hand washing sink and cleanable surfaces but that is all very do-able.

Keep the input coming, I didn't realize that other people were interested in this too!


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OhMyGanache Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 5:19pm
post #10 of 17

I thought about going this route also... but realized it wouldn't work for me.

If I had a storefront, the more I was there, the more money I could make. If you are doing cakes only, I think it could work. However, if you are doing other baked goods, it would be much more difficult.

If you are transporting all of your cakes and such, the health department might require you to have certain types of containers and such (I had to do this because I bake out of a licensed kitchen and then bring things home and then transport them to the farmers market, etc.). You will also then HAVE to register your vehicle as a business vehicle and get the associated (and more expensive) insurance. Unless of course you already do deliveries, then your vehicle should already be properly insured.

I have worked in many bakeries. And what happens if you have a cake and something is wrong with it... are you going to run home to get the ingredients to fix it? If you don't have access to all of your supplies, ingredients, etc. it is much more difficult to fix.

Also, you could have your oven going and be helping clients at the same time if you were only in a single location.

I figured it would be like living in a house with no bathrooms - and you had to use bathrooms that were 5 miles away. Imagine packing all your toileties up and driving that distance just to take a shower?!? (I actually know people who lived like this - had to shower at their gym)

I have thought long and hard about this - and honestly, I decided that the cons definitely outweighed the pros for me.

I want an all-in-one location.

Solecito Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 6:00pm
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoleKitten

I thought about going this route also... but realized it wouldn't work for me.

If I had a storefront, the more I was there, the more money I could make. If you are doing cakes only, I think it could work. However, if you are doing other baked goods, it would be much more difficult.

If you are transporting all of your cakes and such, the health department might require you to have certain types of containers and such (I had to do this because I bake out of a licensed kitchen and then bring things home and then transport them to the farmers market, etc.). You will also then HAVE to register your vehicle as a business vehicle and get the associated (and more expensive) insurance. Unless of course you already do deliveries, then your vehicle should already be properly insured.

I have worked in many bakeries. And what happens if you have a cake and something is wrong with it... are you going to run home to get the ingredients to fix it? If you don't have access to all of your supplies, ingredients, etc. it is much more difficult to fix.

Also, you could have your oven going and be helping clients at the same time if you were only in a single location.

I figured it would be like living in a house with no bathrooms - and you had to use bathrooms that were 5 miles away. Imagine packing all your toileties up and driving that distance just to take a shower?!? (I actually know people who lived like this - had to shower at their gym)

I have thought long and hard about this - and honestly, I decided that the cons definitely outweighed the pros for me.

I want an all-in-one location.




I've been thinking the same things.....

muddpuppy Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 12:50am
post #12 of 17

I just have a similar question... I was wondering if anyone holds a kitchen space and a separate office space. Not a retail store front.. just a small office for meeting clients... would this work?

Cascades Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 2:34am
post #13 of 17

I am seriously thinking about doing the same thing. I have a legal kitchen on my property in a small town. I want to do more business in a large city about an hour from me.

The problem I am having is when people find out how far away I am they get nervous about deliveries. I explain that it's not a problem and that I have been doing it for years.

If I had an office to meet with these people (decorated like a showroom) I think I would avoid a lot of the explaining. I just started advertising on The Knot and it is producing a lot of inquiries. But they always ask where are you located?

Also with the price of gas and me having to go meet my brides at locations near them (condition of my permit- no one allowed at my house) it just would be easier to meet them in one location. Does that make sense?

sweettoothmom Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 2:39am
post #14 of 17

Just an office space doesnt seem to bad for meeting clients etc.
If the rent is right it could be a wonderful setup for me as well. Now to find the space. hee hee

sugarlove Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 6:46pm
post #15 of 17

I actually worked for a top named cake designer in California who had a similar setup. She shared kitchen space where all of the baking etc... was done and meet with clients by appointment at the studio location. Now, that I'm back home in Atlanta I have been looking for a smallish space to hold consultations and tasting and possibly some retail of cupcakes since I will bake from my licensed commercial kitchen. You'll need a refrigerator/freezer and sinks. There is also a very high end pastry shop here in Atlanta that doesn't bake on premise. The pastry chef bakes from a large licensed commercial kitchen. However, his retail location does have a kitchen or scullery room with sinks, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezer. I think it's a great idea if you can find that perfect location at a reasonable price.

Cascades Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 12:34am
post #16 of 17

I know a cake designer in Ca that does the same thing. I wonder if it's the same person. Anyway, the office space I want to rent is in a beautiful old hotel that has been renovated into office spaces. The rent would be $350 a month. I am hoping to work out a deal where I can put a few display cakes in the lobby or in the window.

I was thinking that I could get away with no sinks because I always box up my samples for my brides to take with them. ( I think Duff does it that way, but not sure) My brides seem to like it that way so they can take them home and have others taste them. I would get a small refrigerator though.

I think I am going to give it a try. With the money I spend on gas going to meet with my brides I think it would almost be a wash. Plus, it's a lot less time on road for me.

tblide Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 1:08am
post #17 of 17

I have a few things to say about the tax issues discussed here. I am a tax preparer and have been for the last 9 yrs. I am just getting into the cake decorating and getting ready to start my 2nd class. So I don't know that much about cake decorating but I do know about tax issues.

This only applies to the US, don't know anything about taxes in other countries. The IRS considers a "home office" as a place that is used regularly and exclusively for business. If your state requires you to have a separate kitchen to run your cake decorating business, then you have an area that you use regularly and exclusively for business. This means that you can take things like (for the whole house) rent or mortgage, insurance, power, water, sewer, maintenance. The way that it is figured is that you can take a percentage of those amounts. You take the total square footage of your entire home and divide it by the square footage of the space used for business. Say its 20% then you can take 20% of your mortgage, rent, etc. as a tax deduction. These deductions go on your itemized deductions. Also keep in mind that IRS will look at this a big giant red flag to conduct an audit. Make sure that you keep all of your receipts for anything that you claim, even if it is just a percentage.

If you also have a separate store front that you pay rent on. These expenses will go on your business deductions.

I hope this makes sense to people. If anybody has any questions feel free to PM me.

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