Yesterday was our 26th anniversary and I got a card (for the first time in years) that was very sweet and said basically "good luck in your new kitchen" and the gift was an apron with my website name embroidered on it. He's finally confident that I can make a go of it. We got to 26 year by caring about what each other thinks, taking time with big decisions, and every life changing decision requires 2 yes's. Now that I have that ....
We have a separate two car garage with two single garage doors and a side access door. Upstairs is an unfinished space with plumbing lines gratefully in place. Does anyone know if an upstairs space is outlawed? I wouldn't be surprised - ha! My real questions are ... I have a blank space - what to do with it? How do I proceed? Looking for what really works for you fellow cake business people, what you wish you'd done. Thanks!
Your upstairs location should be fine and not make a difference as long as you meet all of the requirements listed in the Texas Food Establishment Rules and those set by your city and/or county. All of the food court s in malls in my area are upstairs, just for perspective.
That's one of the sweetest gifts I've ever heard of!!! Call your county's health department to speak with an inspector and have them come out and look at what you've got. They will tell you how to proceed. Every county is a little different, so you'll want to get the info straight from the horse's mouth, as it were. Good luck, how exciting!!!!!
I did order Cake Boss. I looked over the 200 pages of Texas rules - ugh! Does anyone know ... should I speak with an attorney and/or a tax professional? I think this should be seperate from our family accounts just to be safe. Any thoughts about that?
Also, still hoping for thoughts about how to set up a really nice kitchen so that it works well.
Thanks for that link to the Texas rules!
How sweet!!! Best of luck in your new business! I am excited for you!
If the kitchen is inside your home at all even if it is a separate kitchen from your home use kitchen it is not allowed in Texas. However a separate building (ie: garage) can be converted into a commercial kitchen and is Ok with the state for use.
We are very lucky to have an attached garage and also a two car COMPLETELY SEPARATE garage with the bonus unfinished space upstairs. I am way too familiar with the Texas restrictive laws! That's why I am so very thrilled at this gift!
Any tips for how to set up the kitchen? Any tools you can't do without? anything you wish you had access to? Nows' the time as it's a completely blank spot awaiting some imagination. Thanks!
i know how excite you are, i have done what you are going to do. I only used half my garage so its getting smaller by the week it seems, but that was all i could use. A bakers rack is invaluable, get one of those. plus i have a moving cart that i keep my 50lb boxes of shortening on so i can just wheel it over to where i need it. pm me your email and i will send you some pictures.
I agree with sweetcakes, also a stainless steel worktable at least 6 ft. long. Storage racks, storage racks, storage racks, and did I mention...storage racks.. Have a separate refrigerator and separate freezer, you will need the added space. Your upstairs can be your cake gallery and consultation area - that is what I use my spare room for in my house. Get an 'at point' instant water heater, at least a 4 gal. size. They are invaluable and not that expensive at Home Depot. You of course need a 3 sink system with drain boards, utility sink, separate hand sink, Keep the garage door available to open as this will assist in cleaning your floor, you can simply hose it down! You will probably have to have a floor sink/drain installed for any water overflow. Get the fatigue mats that have holes in them for ease in clean up. Exhaust system over the oven that vents outside, usually you can use residential stove/oven/vent-a-hood for small cake kitchens. But if you go all out and get a big cake oven make sure they vent the exhaust outside. A/C is a must! No fans though, they can be problematic.
Thanks so much for the input!!! Here are some thoughts/questions ...
Do I need a pantry? - or do I keep everything on the storage racks ... I was thinking about broom, mops, etc.
One of the 8 year old twins thought of the A/C before I did! An absolute must in Texas!
Are there websites you can share where I can see working kitchens? I've googled and found nothing. Do you know of a kitchen supplier online?
What's a fatigue mat? The kitchen will be upstairs so the easy hosing off the floor won't work. Also, I saw a mat for the floor at an upscale kitchen shop. Said it would make your feet/legs feel better after a day standing at the work station. The floor right now is bare. What is the best flooring as far as easy to clean and easy on your feet?
Any books you'd recommend me reading as far as business ... taxes, legalities, etc.
I think also a desk with computer and phone would be a must. I hadn't thought of a meeting place for tastings, etc. as I haven't done any wedding cakes. I want to keep it simple but who know the future? Maybe I should think about keeping a corner free for such needs. I would have never thought of that.
Your thoughts are really appreciated!