Grease Traps...

Business By loriemoms Updated 10 Nov 2009 , 2:51pm by homebasedbaking

loriemoms Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 9:26pm
post #1 of 7

We are going through the long long long long process of trying to get a commercial space. Currently my home bakery is bursting at the scenes, with us doing about 300 cakes a year now. I have taken over the bakery area of course, and my living room, my dining room, my office and my family room. (the funny thing, the kitchen is about the only space I haven't taken over! haha) So much so, the family room no longer has any furniture in it, just work tables. The breakfast nook is also work space. I have no house. I have two part time employees now as well, so we are REALLY in the need to expand. We have found a space, have put in a letter of intent and now are going through the fun of figuring out how much this will cost. The space we found is fully A/C, has a nice frontage to it, with very little to do as far as making it pretty. We do have to put in a firewall that is more then 1 hour, we have to up the electric to handle mixers and oven, but the big question has been grease traps. We are getting so many different answers on if we need one, if it can be a box kind or has to be the underground kind. This is in Cary, NC. Has anyone dealt with Cary (they are very strict, especailly when it comes to this stuff) We are not going to do deli food or any kind of restaurant food, just cake. They are concerned about buttercream, we guess. Is it worth the money to do a grease trap or should we find a space that already has one installed? (which are usually more expensive in rent too! This space we found has low rent and no ticam! (we handle trash, etc ourselves!) Any advice also on this new venture is always appreciated!

Thanks!

6 replies
Amylou Posted 26 Oct 2009 , 3:30am
post #2 of 7

Of course, every county is going to be different, but from what I understand the concern is grease going into the city system. So if anything you put down the drain contains grease, they will want a trap. IDK about the box vs. underground thing.

I know that in my home, we are out in the country w/ a septic so the county could care less about what we put down the pipes.

littlecake Posted 26 Oct 2009 , 3:45pm
post #3 of 7

i bet you'll be able to get by with a small under the sink one like i have.

loriemoms Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 11:07am
post #4 of 7

Just an update, with our frustrating task! We have been told even though all of our cakes are custom, made to order, nobody eats them at our shop and 90% of them are delivered, we are still considered a restaurant and have to go through all the restaurant rules. People from up north move down here and wonder why there are no bakeries in town, except home bakeries. I suspect this is why. It costs 10 times more to open a restaurant then a bakery for just the basic things, like a specil grease trap (about 30K) special hoods (another 10K at least) and firewalls. Its nuts. So we are now looking for a restaurant space that is currently already completed, and giving up on the flex space idea. The rent is so much higher and really dont walk in customers, but currently my poor house cannot handle it anymore. Especailly now I have two employees...

kellymae68 Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 7:10pm
post #5 of 7

I am in Fayetteville and they are currently checking all resturants grease traps. EPA has cracked down resulting in the city having to check all the resturants.

jsmith Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 1:20am
post #6 of 7

I'm not sure about your area but here in LA, I learned that we didn't need the vent hood because our oven is electric not gas and we didn't have a range, oven only. That's from the fire marshall so check with yours. Also, we had to submit our menu and ingredients to the health dept. and propose a size grease interceptor we would use. (the box under the sink cheaper option. She wanted us to go a size bigger than we proposed but it was only a few hundred dollars. So you'll probably need to submit a list of ingredients you use to the health dept. first. She tried to get us to use a grease trap "in case we ever expanded into fried foods". Never gonna happen and too expensive so she said the interceptor was fine.
If you don't think you need those expensive things then you'll need to argue for that a lot. We had to submit several proposals in order to get them to exempt us from the crazy things but our plans were finally approved. So fight (nicely!) not to be held to the same rules as a restaurant making fried foods who have a lot of customers come through.

homebasedbaking Posted 10 Nov 2009 , 2:51pm
post #7 of 7

I am from Cary, NC now living in Georgia. I can tell you, you will need a grease trap, small or large based on the type of food prep. The state of North Carolina is strict when it comes to food safety rules and regs. Please contact the health department and tell them what you want to do and ask them what is the most cost effective way to proceed. Don't beat around the bush with it just ask up front. If it's too costly move to another location, if not stay there and equip the place. You can also ask the landlord if you can take off the money spent in putting in the grease trap from the rental fee. He might say yes, since he will make up the money when he re-rents the facility (complete with grease trap) when you move to a larger location. It's a win, win.

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