I've been operating a licensed & inspected business from home. I've been contacted about a storefront becoming available soon and asked if I'd be interested. Oh, my word! To have a separate place would be no less than incredible! I don't have the funds to furnish a bakery...plain and simple. I don't want to borrow to do this.
Here's what I would like feedback on:
To rent the storefront...install a 3 compartment sink, a hand sink, some shelving, a couple of ss tables...use it to assemble cakes...finish cakes...make icings...other sugar work...as a contact point
Then, as I was able, acquire an oven, refrigerator/freezer, etc...
but until then, bake at home still.... all thoughts appreciated 'cause all I can see is MORE SPACE and it souuuuuuuuunds soooooooooo goooooooood!
Well how much is it?
How much more do you have produce regularly to keep it?
As was noted earlier I'm not in a great mood-but how about a shed or something? I mean if money is an issue it will become a greater issue paying rent yes?
One good way to get cheap restaurant equipment is to watch for which ones are closing in your town. Just a thought.......
$650. a month
It's that I don't have a chunk of money accumulated for big-ticket items. I have had a steady increase in customers and them become repeat customers...steady increase as opposed to a sudden increase in interest that would probably lead me to think it was not a fluke-type thing and more that it could be that word is beginning to spread.
I don't advertise other than business cards. I meet new customers elsewhere...some I meet only upon delivery...some mail me items along with their contact info and I call them with proposed design and quote..they then mail me payment and I deliver. I would be more apt to advertise with a separate place.
It may be the mood you're in and you're just messin'---I seriously think it would cost a pretty penny to get a shed or something ready for food service....not to mention, I rent and the landlord may not go for paying higher taxes (if assessed) for a structure put on his property.
I do appreciate the bluntness (DH ain't home yet to remove my "glasses")
$650 a month is for starters. You got utilities, licenses, more taxes, security, gas for the commute, time.
Glory . I think it would be harder to divide myself to do half in one space and drive that over to the other space,. Dude, carting that stuff everywhere would wear me down quick.
But while we have firmly established that I am old and crabby and sans patience:
You have to produce enough product and sales to cover at least a thousand dollars (not counting ingredients but one thousand clear) to do that. Plus go crazy driving Miss Dasiycakes.
So how much more product is that a month? Plus the valium.
I work out of my home, and I've given thought to opening a shop, but K8 is right, it's more then just the rent that you need to think about. To cover all the expenses you'll be incurring you'll need to up your production substantially (I assume.) That means putting more time into the shop as well. I personally am lazy and prefer to be able to work flexible hours, and not 80 of them a week. It depends on what you want to get out of it, too. Are you going to have a full-service bakery or just do cakes? Is there enough foot traffic that you'll get impulse customers if you do plan on doing a shop with more products than cakes?
I like the flexibility of being able to work from home. That way I can get my work done, but I can also schedule it around other things (like yesterday, when I had to deal with the computer repairman and unexpected trips back and forth to Staples )
I also think that the best business to be in would be a pastry shop that sold one-off items, cookies, cupcakes, etc., that was located in an area of town that was also near a lot of bars and a college, and the shop was open from 9pm to 3am, but that's just me!
Considering it's less than 2 miles from my house, and it would keep me from having to drive to meet with potential clients...having consultations elsewhere, I will not count the gas at all.
I already pay taxes, licenses, utilities(it is a significant enough increase on my bill to include it in the list...
$1000 is a legitimate/fair/rational amount (if it doesn't take that much...all the better, right?)...
with that amount to meet, I would need to produce 4.62 (okay, say 5) of the least expensive cakes a week...that's not extra cakes, that's total needed to produce to meet that amount. On average, 1 of 3 of my orders is in that range, the others exceed that amount by more than double. I have no doubt the ability to meet the rent.
Now, that I'm done being side-tracked. I done forgot what my question was...
I wanted to know how others thought about maintaining a licensed kitchen at home for prep and renting a place for completion and contacts. Has anyone else done it? I've heard of people renting office spaces for consultations...what about larger spaces for additional work.
As for being old and crabby...I went from being 19 to being 60 overnight...someone tell me how the heck that happens!!!
living not far from Fayetteville, I can only advise as to what I saw happen to a caker there.
Had a great storefront just off the Hay St. Market Circle.
Didn't last all that long.
I asked her why.
Simple -- the cost of maintaining a store front where you are basically doing just cakes and not full bakery and/or coffee shop type place was too expensive.
She could not price her cakes high enough to compete with all the licensed home bakers who did have to pay the rent, the taxes, the utilities, etc., not to mention be Health Dept. inspected vs. just Dept. of Ag approved for her storefront while also paying all the same bills at home.
In NC, if just doing cakes, much better off to stay home based.
and you really must check with the Health Dept -- will they let you bake off site and them bring in the cakes for finishing? that alone can stop this plan in its tracks if they say no.
DH made it home (he is the weight to this helium filled balloon). He reminded me of things we'd discussed.
Doug, those are definite things to consider...I wouldn't have gone any further without checking with the hd first to be sure. The thought of more room just seems so wonderful and I was really curious if anyone else had/does it this way...
thanks for everyone's input.