What Size Is Your Commercial Space?

Business By cakesweetiecake Updated 1 Feb 2010 , 4:16pm by springlakecake

cakesweetiecake Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 9:00pm
post #1 of 24

I'll give a bit of background. First, I've been decorating on and off for 5 years. (I used to be a member of ThatCakeBoard icon_smile.gif before it closed.) When I realized my passion for baking/cake decorating, I considered culinary school. I attended for one semester and stopped when I realized that I wasnt comfortable incurring debt for the total amount of tutition. After getting so obssessed with baking and decorating, I got a bit overwhelmed. I took a break and came right back to it. icon_lol.gif I realized that I love it more than I wanted to admit.

Right now, I bake for family for practice (in between working full-time). However, I'd like to move beyond that. I live in a state where selling food from home is not allowed. Homebased business is not an option.

I just want to research and get the information needed before making any moves. I've already contacted our local department of health and they emailed me some forms and the requirements. I am signed up for a Servsafe class for the fall. I figured if I ever wanted to make a go of tthis as a business, I'd need it. So, I figured I'd go ahead and get it out of the way. I've also visited our local Small Business Development Center's website for other business info.

Whew!! LOL! In terms of spaces, what is the minium amount of space needed? I am not interested in a storefront, just a place to bake. I've looked for local kitchens, but I havent found anything. I am going to keep looking though. However, I am exploring all options. I am trying to get a feel for the minium amount of space needed just for baking? What range of square feet should I be looking at?

Thank you in advance.

23 replies
indydebi Posted 13 Aug 2009 , 9:35pm
post #2 of 24

I have a total of 1150 square feet. 51 of it is restroom. The rest is about 60/40 kitchen/office, so I'd estimate I have about 600 sq ft kitchen. I have some extra kitchen equipment that you wouldn't need (since I'm a caterer), but I'd love to have more counter and storage space in the kitchen area, so if I was cake only that would be a wash.

I've seen some folks who have smaller than 600, but seriously, I couldn't imagine working in a space smaller. Whether you have storefront or not, you're doing to have to carve out a corner for an office area and restroom space.

And you never grow into a SMALLER space. You'll always wish you had more space. My in-laws are a mechanics family, and a common saying in their household is "always buy a bigger tool box than what you need at the time ...... 'coz you never end up with LESS tools!"

jillmakescakes Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 12:31am
post #3 of 24

My first question is :why don't you want a storefront? How are people going to pick up their orders, meet with you for consultations, etc?

I am a custom cake order only business with 1250 square feet. My kitchen in 750 square feet with 25 of that as restroom. I have a HUGE office that also allows for storage of dry items (less frequently used pans, plates, pillars, paper products etc) Part of the reason that my office is so big is because of how the building was already partitioned. We did move the front wall back about 5 feet, but we kept the back wall where it was.

I have a large lobby. Probably larger than most, but I have had numerous clients tell me how much they love the openness.

cakesweetiecake Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 11:57am
post #4 of 24

Thank you both for your responses. Indebyi, everything you said makes alot of sense as it relates to smaller spaces. And I definitely didnt give thought to the other space, like office space

Jillmakescakes - I should rephrase my statement. I am not opposed to the storefront. However, I would like to be custom cake orders only. I am not interested in stocking a storefront with other baked items like that of a bakery. Your setup sounds like what I am interested in.

indydebi Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 12:04pm
post #5 of 24

I have a "storefront" but don't do retail out of it. You can have this space and still do "by appt only". I use the space for office, storage, client meeting area, dummy display, (and on catering day, it's where I stage everything!)

littlecake Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 1:27pm
post #6 of 24

i have about 900 square feet.....i could make about 700 "do" for what i do....

i'm going to be building soon, i may go smaller.

jillmakescakes Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 1:44pm
post #7 of 24

sweetiecake:
I don't have any "ready to go" items either. It is something that we might do in the future, so I wanted to be sure we'd have enough space, but it also allows for us to do some fun display stuff. For example, I have a table that is a common size cake table and the table has a cake, plateau, tablecloth, chair and chair cover (the linens were provided by someone that I refer business to and she does the same for me) This helps brides picture what their cake will look like on the table.

Mencked Posted 14 Aug 2009 , 3:33pm
post #8 of 24

I recently became legal in my little commercial kitchen that is located just across my driveway. LOVE IT!!!! I am so exited to have all of my cake stuff in one place and, because I am in very rural Oklahoma, I have no store front. My space is 55'X12' overall (660 sq. ft.), and that's divided into an office, bathroom, pantry and kitchen. The actual kitchen space is about 360 sq. ft. It's just me and occasionally my daughter helping out with dishes, etc. I do celebration cakes and wedding cakes only, no catering, 5-7 cakes/week, and the most wedding cakes I've done for one Saturday is 2...so far. I also work full-time and hope to make the cakes my full-time job soon!

cakesweetiecake Posted 20 Aug 2009 , 4:17pm
post #9 of 24

I completely forgot about this thread! LOL!

Wow, Mencked! Right across your driveway! You are lucky! LOL! Wow, do you have pics yet? icon_biggrin.gif

Jillmakescakes - that makes alot of sense to think abou the option having a little more space just in case you want to utilize it for something else in the future!

Littlecake - how much smaller would you go?

Uniqueask Posted 20 Aug 2009 , 6:25pm
post #10 of 24

[quote="cakesweetiecake"]I completely forgot about this thread! LOL!

Wow, Mencked! Right across your driveway! You are lucky! LOL! Wow, do you have pics yet? icon_biggrin.gif



Wow Do you have pictures yet?

Click on the link to her website she had beautiful cakes

cakesweetiecake Posted 20 Aug 2009 , 6:31pm
post #11 of 24

[quote="Uniqueask"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesweetiecake

I completely forgot about this thread! LOL!

Wow, Mencked! Right across your driveway! You are lucky! LOL! Wow, do you have pics yet? icon_biggrin.gif



Wow Do you have pictures yet?

Click on the link to her website she had beautiful cakes




Oh, thanks! I was asking about the pictures of her commercial space. LOL! Sorry, I should've been more clear. And yes, lovely cakes!!

Mencked Posted 20 Aug 2009 , 7:54pm
post #12 of 24

I do have pictures of the commercial space up in this thread http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6522540.html#6522540

cakesdivine Posted 20 Aug 2009 , 8:12pm
post #13 of 24

I have only 450 square feet of which 50 of it is the consultation room, and about 40 is restroom, all the rest is kitchen & storage.

cakesweetiecake Posted 28 Jan 2010 , 9:07pm
post #14 of 24

Anyone else?? icon_biggrin.gif

shorty56 Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 4:23am
post #15 of 24

i have about 600 sq ft total. about 130 is the front area where i hold tastings, display sugar flowers and dummies. i have a small bathroom/storage room in the back and the rest is kitchen. its the perfect size for me to manage without any employees. with this size kitchen i can do about 800 servings of cake a week (usually 4-5 weddings), although on really busy weeks i've done as much as 1000 servings (but i prefer not to do that all the time, it wears me out).

Monkess Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 4:37am
post #16 of 24

We have 1450 out of which 65% is the kitchen and back office. Yes this is bigger than most and honestly with a 1000sq.feet you are preety comfortable. Good luck!

cakesweetiecake Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 12:34pm
post #17 of 24

I'm actually looking at a small space right now. For those of you with smaller spaces, what type of equipment do you have?

shorty56 Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 7:07pm
post #18 of 24

i have a double deck moffet convection oven, a double door fridge, a double door freezer, a 20 qrt mixer, a little 6 qrt mixer, 5 work tables, 4 shelf units, triple sink and grease trap. that covers all the major stuff i think.

Katiebelle74 Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 7:42pm
post #19 of 24

I have 500 sq.ft. NO catering, just cakes "low risk baked goods" as is legal to do in a home based kitchen in my area - kitchen is built on to the end of my home, restroom is in hallway just inside (so not included in the 500 sq.ft. addition). I have two custom built islands (storage underneath) which are 7.5' long by 4' wide each, plus counter space and a run of cabinets. 3 Ranges, 1 fridge (wish a had a double door pro fridge for more space, maybe someday). 2 kitchenaid mixers, plan to buy a 20qt mixer as soon as possible. Small area for tastings in one corner, a computer hutch in another corner with a file drawr inside it and printer etc. serves as my "office" there is a book shelf with glass doors for all my baking books and photo albums. It is a space I am blessed to have and thankful for, as I work alone it is plenty of space for now - except the fridge could stand to be larger that limits how many orders I can take. Of course you can never have too much storage space. Comes down to what you can afford to make happen icon_rolleyes.gif
Good luck.

Mencked Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 8:05pm
post #20 of 24

In my kitchen space I have a Deluxe CR2-3 oven, 1 prof. refrigerator, 2 baker's racks from Sam's, freezer, microwave, triple sink, 20 Qt. mixer, 5 qt. mixer, 3 steel tables, and a counter with hand sink and storage underneath.

YoCake Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:17am
post #21 of 24

I have about 1500 square feet, but I also sell cupcakes/pastries from the front. The front also has a consult room and display cakes. It feels pretty cramped; we are looking into a walk-in cooler....that will make a huge difference because I find that it is the way the space is organized, not the space itself, that makes it efficient or not so efficient.

muddpuppy Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 3:36pm
post #22 of 24

Wow, I'm so jelous! My space is just under 350 sq ft. total! (kitchen/consult/storage) It's super tight! I would kill for 1500!

deb12g Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 3:50pm
post #23 of 24

Mine is 1200 sq. ft. 200 sq. ft. is taken up by restroom & meeting room/office. I do catering out of mine, along with the cakes.

springlakecake Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 4:16pm
post #24 of 24

I have 212! It's a separate licensed kitchen in my home though. It's tiny, but enough for what I am doing. I would maybe like to ahve a bit more storage for stuff like boxes, cake stands that sort of thing.

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