Had An Idea For A Business. Will This Work?

Business By CutiePieCakes-Ontario Updated 7 Oct 2009 , 7:50pm by CutiePieCakes-Ontario

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:16pm
post #1 of 21

After having a very frustrating (and emotionally draining) weekend at my full time (pays the bills) job, I was feeling very defeated. "I'll never get my business off the ground ... I can't afford to completely rehaul my basement into a working kitchen ... My life sucks" - that type of feeling.

Today, as I was driving to yet another massage therapy and chiropractic appointment (still doing that nearly a year after I was hit by a drunk driver), I had an epiphany! There are so many people who want to do cakes, but can't afford to either build a separate kitchen in their home (or don't have the room), or can't afford to rent kitchen space from a church hall (or other such venue) ...

What about a 'cake store' where you can rent a section of kitchen space (by the 1/2 or whole day) to do your cakes in? A set up of 3 or 4 separate kitchens (not too big but big enough), completely outfitted (oven, fridge, KA, major utensils) but you bring your own baking and decorating stuff (and you can 'rent' the baking pans instead of bringing them). You pay by the hour (or day) for full use of a legal, inspected kitchen for your baking and decorating needs. Also, there would be storage space for those big cakes that don't get done in a day (again rentable). AND, I could run my business out of there as well (have my own separate kitchen).

I may even consider having private storage for "regulars" so they don't have to haul their stuff back and forth.

Admittedly, this isn't something I could do right now, but as a goal, what do you think? For those who have to find off-site facilities, is this something you would consider using?

Thanks for your input.

20 replies
tatorchip Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:28pm
post #2 of 21

I was wishing for a place like this from day one, great idea. Maybe large private lockers for the reg. users to keep supplies in and don't forget insurance HTH

traceyjade Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:31pm
post #3 of 21

That does sound like a great idea, too bad you aren't closer (I'm in Cambridge) ; ) Its a pain to make cakes and cookies out of my kitchen, never enough room. So I would definately go to a place like that when I had an order thumbs_up.gif

motherofgrace Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:33pm
post #4 of 21

can you move to alberta??? great idea! I would use it, im in an apartment so i could use the space!

Uniqueask Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:35pm
post #5 of 21

That is a great idea, I wish I could find something like that here where I live

CelebrationsbyLori Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:45pm
post #6 of 21

Kinda like a hair salon, where the cosmotologists rent booths... hmmm... not a bad idea! You would definately need a solid contract for rent or percentage or whatever and think about pick up times. Are you going to be hanging around waiting for someone else's client to show up for cake? A lot of little (annoying) stuff would need to be thought out and remedied in contract form but I say it's definately doable! Good luck!
Lori

joenshan Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:46pm
post #7 of 21

That is a great idea. I have given it so much thought myself. I searched high and low for kitchen space to rent and nothing. It would require a bit of capital, but I think you could soooo much. I have so many ideas. If you are interested in any of them, PM me. I currently work in a cutting edge pharmaceutical lab and got a lot of ideas from there. I am in southeastern PA, so I don't think we have to worry about competing with each other!!

maggiev777 Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:47pm
post #8 of 21

Sounds like a great idea at first glance. One thing you would have to consider, though, is that the different people who would be renting would actually also be competitors. That could be kind of a tricky situation, IMHO, especially if virtually anyone could rent space whenever they want. People might not like (or trust) others seeing their ideas, designs, techniques, in-progress work, etc.

OTOH, with the right mix of people, it could be a great idea. Id just make sure you have VERY clear rules, and complete control over who rents it (rather than having to be willing to rent it to just anyone who comes along and is willing to follow the rules). Also, unless the spaces would be completely separate and secure and private (and even if they were but diff bakers were using the same space at diff times), you would probably want to brush up on your conflict management skills. I see a host of possible catty (but legitimate) complaints like,
-  She stole my design!
-  I left my supplies here and now two of my tips are missing.
-  I came to start work and the area was not clean. (are you going to inspect between each customer?)
-  I saw that other baker do something illegal/unsanitary/unethical/etc.
-  She turns on her radio soooo loudly it drives me nuts!
-  My cake was fine when I left yesterday at 5pm, but when I got here this morning, it had collapsed! Someone must have moved/touched/bumped/sabotaged/etc. it! (sorry but sometimes cakes DO collapse on their own but if there were two other bakers in that kitchen after she left that night, she would surely be suspicious)

Sorry, I hope my post is not a downer! I think it is a great idea, but just make sure you go into something like that with your eyes wide open about the potential problems, kwim?

-Tubbs Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 11:23pm
post #9 of 21

There is actually a place in Calgary a bit like this. It's a really big commercial kitchen, with separate areas that you can rent. They have all the equipment and rent to all kinds of food people. I was quite keen on using it, but at the time couldn't justify the time. It was $75 minimum, or 10% of the selling price of whatever you were making. In the end I decided I really wanted to work from home, and we set up my basement kitchen for very little money (free stove, $40 fridge etc etc - you do NOT have to have everything new and fancy to be functional).

I do think it's an interesting idea, maybe do a little research to see whether people in your area would go for it... Perhaps you could also use it for classes.

indydebi Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 11:35pm
post #10 of 21

Definitely do the research, especially the cost. If you have, for example, 6 mini kitchens, is that 3 ovens (1 that is shared by 2 kitchens) or 6 ovens, one for each kitchen? Is that 1, 3 or 6 three-compartment sinks? Each separate refrigerators or one big walk in? How is space divided in a big walk-in? Will you receive shipments of supplies or is each person responsible for their own? As mentioned above, be ready to deal with the "I have an egg missing!" issues. Each kitchen has their own work table or is there a massive table space in the center for all to share. (Are you keeping track of all of the pieces of equipment you'd need to purchase here?)

Great concept ... expensive to execute .... with proper management, it can pay for itself.

dstbni Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 11:44pm
post #11 of 21

Another member posted about starting an incubator kitchen like this. The thread is here:
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-654334.html

I heard somewhere that there are grants from the US gov't for this sort of thing. Maybe Canada has a similar program?

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 2:40am
post #12 of 21

Thanks for all the input. As I said, this was just an idea that popped into my head this afternoon. And it's ironic that at least one other person had the exact same idea, at practically the exact same time today! Must be the full moon!

I'm pretty sure the Cdn gov't does have small business start-up money, so that's a venue I can check. I'd also do a great deal of research, as IndyDebi suggested, for all aspects of this. I have a friend who runs a restaurant in a nearby town, and she's been all thru this, so I'm sure she'd lead me the right way.

There's a perfect building just 2 blocks from my house as well. (My husband just mentioned the same building. Freaky.) This would be a bakery only, no pickup for their customers. I want it more like Charm City Cakes than Carlo's Bakery. And my DH also suggested making it into a place where I could offer classes, cake decorating parties, etc. as well.

I currently work for a law firm, so there would be no problem getting contracts done up for kitchen and equipment rentals, etc.

Lots to think about and do, but something to aim for and something positive to focus on.

icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif Thanks again!

Jaeger Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 3:17am
post #13 of 21

I think it's a great idea and I wish there were more facilities like this available in Ontario. It's definitely something I would consider using. thumbs_up.gif

aymezort Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 4:05am
post #14 of 21

I use a place like that where I live. It's called the Business Incubator. They charge a $100 deposit (you get it back if you clean up after yourself) and it's $10 an hour. Caterers use it, people that make jams, etc... I'm the only cake decorator there. It works great for me.

G_Cakes Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 4:22am
post #15 of 21

I like the idea...but agree with Indydebi that you need to do more research on it.

They have a similar concept in East York a place called Supper Works (not 100% on name)

and they allow you to select food from a preset menu and make dinners that you can freeze (more for the busy working mom I imagine).

Maybe you could do something similar for cake decorating.

Your could have preset menu for cakes, fillings, fondant and other decorations...maybe even offer some classes too icon_smile.gif

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 4:52am
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by G_Cakes

I like the idea...but agree with Indydebi that you need to do more research on it.

They have a similar concept in East York a place called Supper Works (not 100% on name)

and they allow you to select food from a preset menu and make dinners that you can freeze (more for the busy working mom I imagine).

Maybe you could do something similar for cake decorating.

Your could have preset menu for cakes, fillings, fondant and other decorations...maybe even offer some classes too icon_smile.gif





I think I've seen this place on "Until Debt Do Us Part". Gail took a couple who always had takeout or ate out there to make a week's worth of meals. You have to put the ingredients together (from a provided recipe) and then you freeze ready-to-cook dinners to take home. Is that the place?

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 4:55am
post #17 of 21

I just had a thought. I have a GF who, when she gets an idea in her head, is like a dog with a bone. She planned a "Swap and Shop" event earlier this year ... all women's/children's clothes - you dropped off your stuff and got 'credit' towards taking stuff at the event. She even had over 2 dozen vendors there (including me - I supplied a cake). She had a great turnout!

I should sick her on this idea! She'd come back in two days with all my info!! icon_wink.gif

MichelleM77 Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 6:31pm
post #18 of 21

Sorry, this is OT, but what happened to that show, Till Debt Do Us Part? They used to show it here on ALTLN (American Living TV Network I think?) and I haven't seen it in a while. Is it still on in Canada?

PattyT Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 6:53pm
post #19 of 21

There is a shared commercial kitchen in center city Philadelphia. Fairly new within the last year or so I think.

http://www.phillykitchenshare.com/

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 7:49pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleM77

Sorry, this is OT, but what happened to that show, Till Debt Do Us Part? They used to show it here on ALTLN (American Living TV Network I think?) and I haven't seen it in a while. Is it still on in Canada?




Yes, we get in on the Slice channel. They`re just now starting their 8th season. Gail Voz-Oxlade is great! I don`t if I`d want my business on national (international, I guess) television, but if you`re getting free money advice, and up to $5,000 and don`t mind, go for it.

Episodes are on www.slice.ca . Not sure if you`ll be able to see it in the States, but you can try. We often can`t downloan US shows because it`s blocked outside to anyone outside the country.

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 7 Oct 2009 , 7:50pm
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PattyT

There is a shared commercial kitchen in center city Philadelphia. Fairly new within the last year or so I think.

http://www.phillykitchenshare.com/




Thanks, Patty. I`ll go check this out!

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