My beloved husband has offered to build me a separate commercial kitchen in our (unfinished) basement.
I have plans going round and round in my head, but would love some feedback from those who have done the same. I'd really like to know:
- what worked, including flashes of inspiration that turned out well
- what you'd do differently next time
I know that storage is a major thing, plus lots of counter space, plus racks for drying cookies. Anything else you can think of?
Thanks in advance.
My favorite thing about my in-home bakery was the "niche" I had for my bakery rack. I could roll it into that space between the tall cabinets and it would be out of my way and not taking up precious floor space.
One thing I would do differently would be to put my lights on two different switches. I had 6 florescent lights all on the same switch, and when I'd be working late at nite...well...it was a little too bright!
Another thing I would do is to have enough space for a metal bakery table "island". I miscaculated the amount of counter space I would need for decorating, and put up a 6' banquet table in the center of the room. OK, but too low for some things....especially rolling out fondant!
I had a separate little storage area with a door...may sound stupid, but when I gave classes, I was able to close the door to my clutter!
Another thing to consider: have an outside entrance to your basement shop! and put in a wider-than-normal door, if possible! Nothing worse than trying to navigate steps with a cake in hand- or find that the huge cake you just did will barely fit through the door!
Good luck in your planning! I miss having my little shop!
Honestly, my biggest regret is building my kitchen in the basement and not on the ground floor. The issue for me is the cakes and the stairs and of course bringing in supplies (it's not fun to have 5 50lb bags of flour and sugar to take down the stairs) but this may not be an issue for you.
If possible I agree that you should do a separate entrance so if clients come by they don't have to go into your home. Trust me with 3 kids it is a pain to have people come over. I am always scrambling to try to clean up!
Over estimate the amount of space you need. I thought about 400 sq.ft. would be plenty and it's not. Better to have more than enough than the other way around!
Another thing that is at a premium for me is freezer space. Get one, two if you freeze cakes. I spent a lot on a walk in cooler when what I really needed was a single door frig and another freezer!
I will also second having lights on different switches if possible. And get those mats for the floor where you will stand a lot, it will save your feet and back.
If I can think of anything else I'll post again. HTH!
Oh and congrats, what a great hubby you have!
Right on! Now, not to insult you or your husband's intelligence, please make sure you do everything up to code! And let us know how it turns out!!! I want to do this soooooo bad myself! The last thing I want is a bunch of run around with building codes and inspectors!
oh....and have a separate desk/phone area!
My phone/desk/file cabinet were at the end of the same counter where I did my decorating, and my paperwork clutter sometimes tended to overflow into my decorating area!
And yes, make sure it is up to code-if you are a registered, legit business that will be a given, since you will have the health inspector visiting you on occasion.
Thanks so much for these replies - very helpful and exactly what I was hoping for.
Everything will be to code, and I have a contact at the health inspectors' office for advice, so I think everything will be passed, but I was looking for the little tips that I wouldn't have thought of.
Due to regulations, my space can be no more than 30 square metres anyway, so we will probably go as big as possible, even though I can't imagine filling it yet. I'm only really starting out!
I had thought of making a little office nook, although it will probably be quite small - I thought it would be useful to have somewhere for the computer, printer, phone etc, even if there isn't quite enough space for a proper filing cabinet etc. Maybe I will rethink that and try to make it larger.
It has to be the basement - no choice in that, but at a later date there might be the option of turning the window on the stairs into a doorway (we cursed the builders 5 years ago when they &*^%$ed up that window, but it may turn out to be a blessing later!). The stairway and doors are nice and wide, so I don't see access being too much of a problem, although you're right about lugging bags of flour etc. Still, I consider it a price worth paying to have this kitchen. I'm so excited! And I can introduce the extra door idea to my husband AFTER all this work is finished!
I definitely want a big island, partly for prep space, but I would also like the option of teaching classes. Anyone know where you can get the kind of fatigue mats they have at Ikea for their staff to stand on at the computers? They are amazing.
The tip about separate light switches is great - I wouldn't have thought of that.
Thanks so much for your input. Any other thoughts, keep 'em coming!