Questions For Anyone Who Has A Home Bakery...

Business By confectionsofahousewife Updated 3 Dec 2009 , 2:48am by confectionsofahousewife

confectionsofahousewife Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 5:57pm
post #1 of 22

Hi all. I received an email the other day from the health department for my county with the requirements for home food establishments. The main things that would be required for a home bakery are:
-separate kitchen from our regular food prep kitchen
-three compartment sink OR commercial dishwasher
-separate handwashing sink

Unfortunatley we don't have a separate kitchen but we do have a lot of garage space that could potentially be converted into a kitchen. I just wanted to see how everyone that does this at home got started and how you made the upgrades that were necessary. Thanks for any input.

21 replies
Loucinda Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 7:27pm
post #2 of 22

You might want to post this in the business section.

Here where I live, a seperate kitchen is not required. I am legally allowed to bake out of my own home kitchen (mine is kind of divided in hald though - regular kitchen on one side, and industrial one on the other)

Good luck!

11cupcakes Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 1:27am
post #3 of 22

Rules are different for each state. There is cake business owner in Texas that had to convert her garage into kitchen.I think her name is Earlene Moore, you can read about her business on her website.

-Tubbs Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 1:58am
post #4 of 22

Everyone will have a different reply to this, since each area has different regulations. For example, where I live it also has to be a separate kitchen with three sinks plus hand sink. However the appliances do not have to be commercial grade, whereas in some areas they do... Best thing is to liaise closely with the health dept people; they may have some good suggestions for you.

Good luck!

di60 Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 2:01am
post #5 of 22

In SE Georgia, where I'm located, you are allowed to run a bakery business from your home kitchen. However, at the same time, you can not operate a 'catering' business from your home kitchen, Catering requires a seperate kitchen AND it can't be attached to the home at all (not even a garage). I found this out when I opened my catering/cake decorating business in 2001.
Since rules differ from state to state and even county to county, I'd suggest you contact your local environmental health office and get the scoop directly from them.

JenniferMI Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 3:15pm
post #6 of 22

I know people that have converted garages...but you really are best to check with the powers that will approve/disapprove. They can tell you flat out what you need.

Jen icon_smile.gif

350BakerStreet Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 6:05pm
post #7 of 22

My county is the same way...you can use your home kitchen as long as you have everything for your business in separate storage. I was blessed enough to find a home with a basement "apartment" that I'm converting to my work kitchen.

In fact...I should be tiling the floor instead of getting on here right now, haha!

Man, this place is addicting!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

Best of luck to you and keep us posted on your progress!

confectionsofahousewife Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 1:44pm
post #8 of 22

Thanks for your input everyone. I know what the rules are as I have talked to the health department directly. I just wanted to get an idea of how other people made it happen. It sounds daunting and expensive. I have no clue what a three compartment sink or a commercial dishwasher would cost.

-Tubbs Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 2:41pm
post #9 of 22

Some people seem to get lucky with used fixtures and equipment. The only used three compartment sinks I could find were less-than ideal! (One was on the other side of the country, the other was just up the road but was 12 feet long!!) Check on Craigslist, Kijiji or whatever your local free-ads are. Also talk to any local suppliers of this kind of equipment - they often remove older stuff to refit restaurants. Some people have got really lucky at auctions.

Good luck!

350BakerStreet Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 2:59pm
post #10 of 22

I've gotten really lucky with Craigslist...I found two blodgett ovens for $600, that just need a really really really good cleaning. Check out their business section, household (because sometimes the kitchen stuff gets put in there even if it's commercial equipment) and of course, the free ads.

A new three compartment sink is going to run you at least a couple hundred dollars. Check out restaurant suppliers like Hubert.com or GalaSource.com.

Have fun shopping icon_wink.gif

-Tubbs Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 3:05pm
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by 350BakerStreet

A new three compartment sink is going to run you at least a couple hundred dollars.



Nearly $1000 for me up here in the great white north icon_sad.gif I ended up doing a regular double bowl kitchen sink with a deep laundry sink next to it. That way you can also get away with regular kitchen faucets, rather than the $400 commercial ones. My handwash sink is a Home Depot bar sink.

This is why I was asking OP whether commercial appliances and fixtures are required where she is. If they are not, you can use regular household stuff and save a packet. My fridge was $40 and my stove was free from a neighbour who was replacing it with something fancy and stainless steel. No, these things are not perfect or what I would choose if $ were no object, but cheap or free is GOOD when you're just getting started!!

goof9j Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 3:18pm
post #12 of 22

What are the laws for Kentucky??

FromScratch Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 3:19pm
post #13 of 22

You'll need a sink that can you can submerge your biggest pans in, so make sure you measure. One with coved corners is ideal. If you have a coved corner 3 bay you can get away with not having a prep sink if your state requires that (though it sounds like you don't have to worry about that), though you will still need the handwashing sink. The other option is a square corner which will be cheaper, but they don't sanitize as easily since the corners are sharp and things can get stuck in there. Find out if you need drainboards on each side or just one. Things that you don't think about that can throw a wrench in the works. icon_smile.gif Commercial dishwashers are pricey... at least a three grand new. I'd opt for the 3 bay sink since that will run you much less (even new). I'd see if you have a restaurant consignment shop near you. I have one up the road (and I live in podunk NH) and they have great deals on used equipment.

I am going to convert my garage to a full commercial kitchen so I have more to think about than you do, but food for thought anyway. icon_biggrin.gif

bfranzen Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 3:24pm
post #14 of 22

Make sure to ask your HD about using regular or commercial appliances, sinks, etc. They don't tell you that you can use regular sinks, etc. but if you ask, they may give you approval. I have a separate kitchen in my basement and I got permission to use the attached bathroom as my hand wash sink, as long as the door was self-closing. We temporarily moved our convection oven downstairs for a few months to get started; since then, someone has given us a stove for our family kitchen.

I found my 4 compartment sink at a garage sale for $50, so look around--you never know where you'll find something! Make sure to let people know you are looking for items--my Dad gave us two brand new fluorescent light fixtures, flooring, paper towel holders and a stand for my mixer from stuff he had (nice time to know a pack rat!) My sister is letting us borrow (long term, probably forever) a refrigerator that was in a rental property that they sold--used just a few months.

We had an extra dining room table with a smooth surface and that's what I started with. A friend just gave us a bigger table that is really great, so I'm using that now. My husband added some height to the table so I wasn't hurting my back bending over.

We bought 2 big sets of shelves, wire shelving to go by the stove and over the sink, containers for flour, sugar, etc., building materials and that's it. My husband did the building for us, so try to find someone who can do that for you--you'll want to price out the lumber, wiring, drywall and paint because I was surprised at the expense for those things.

Good luck! Keep asking questions and dreaming your dream!! I didn't think we would ever have a kitchen and we ran into problems getting business permits, etc. but I really believe it works out just when it is suposed to!!

Becky

-Tubbs Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 8:01pm
post #15 of 22

Also be aware of a possible pitfall for people converting an already developed room: where I am, all surfaces, including the ceiling, must be washable. Therefore no sprayed or stippled ceilings.

kakeladi Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 8:31pm
post #16 of 22

Besides the HD you need to check w/the city/village head directors. In many places it is illegal to have a business in the neighborhood.

When I lived in CA I wanted to teach in my home......city fathers said "NOPE icon_sad.gif It would bring too much traffic into the neighborhood." I said, "I can't have 5-6 people come to my house so I can teach them a craft?" "NOPE! because of the traffic impact." Well, I replied, "what if I decided to hold a weekly Bible study for 20 people." Oh, they said, "that's o.k. OR you CAN teach music/piano lessons but not anything else."

Guess what the head city father did for a living?? He was a music instructor icon_sad.gif

love2makecakes Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 1:23am
post #17 of 22

For me I have the same rules; separate kitchen, washable surfaces, 3 compartment sink, separate hand washing sink...

I am lucky enough to have a house with 4 levels where our fourth level was just unfinished and only used for storage. Also I have stairs that lead from the garage right down to my kitchen so that my clients do not need to walk through my house. My husband built all the walls and hung the drywall. We subbed out the electric, plumbing and sanding of the drywall. I got my sink from a used restaurant equipment store (still ran me $550!), I had a second refrigerator already, I bought a bread oven with a proofer on the bottom the proofer work (but I didn¡¦t need a proofer anyway) so I got a great price on craigslist for it. (I just use the proofer bottom as pan and cooling rack storage.) I found cabinet bases at a building outlet place cheap and bought regular laminate countertop at menards. sams club sells stainless tables and nsf shelves.

My point with all this is look around, you may find things everywhere. I could not afford all new things when I started. Now when I have extra money in the account I buy some of the things I really want that I didn¡¦t get at first or just upgrade.

Like someone said before me about the traffic thing. I luckily can have my business, but I can not put a sign outside my house telling people it is there.

If you are absolutely positive that you can and are going to start your business, you should try to start buying some things that you find along the way so that your expenses are spaced out. Then it wont seem like you are spending so much at one time.

Now if I could just find a deal on a Hobart like I have seen so many others post on here! That is my next goal!!

Good luck to you, go for it and don¡¦t give up º

350BakerStreet Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 1:25am
post #18 of 22

I would love to find a sweet deal on a hobart! I'm using my 600 series Kitchenaid at the moment icon_smile.gif

love2makecakes Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 1:30am
post #19 of 22

at this point i would even settle for one of those 6 quarts. i am using my 10 year old 4.5 quart. i hate spending so much time on tons of icing batches! not to mention my oven has more capacity than i can mix at a time so i spend so much time mixing batches of batter then filling some pans and keep doing that same thing till my oven is filled!

confectionsofahousewife Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 2:37am
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Tubbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by 350BakerStreet

A new three compartment sink is going to run you at least a couple hundred dollars.


Nearly $1000 for me up here in the great white north icon_sad.gif I ended up doing a regular double bowl kitchen sink with a deep laundry sink next to it. That way you can also get away with regular kitchen faucets, rather than the $400 commercial ones. My handwash sink is a Home Depot bar sink.

This is why I was asking OP whether commercial appliances and fixtures are required where she is. If they are not, you can use regular household stuff and save a packet. My fridge was $40 and my stove was free from a neighbour who was replacing it with something fancy and stainless steel. No, these things are not perfect or what I would choose if $ were no object, but cheap or free is GOOD when you're just getting started!!




Cheap or free is definitely good! I have looked on craigslist for a commercial dishwasher but didn't see anything. The document that the health department sent me did not say whether or not the appliances need to be commercial. I believe i just need the ability to sanitize my bakeware and such via the sink or dishwasher. I don't think the ovens have to be commercial. Just have to be separate from my home kitchen. I do need to ask if I can build a kitchen in the garage. Although my husbands grandparents have a kitchen in their basement that they don't use that they said I could upgrade.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 2:44am
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

Besides the HD you need to check w/the city/village head directors. In many places it is illegal to have a business in the neighborhood.

When I lived in CA I wanted to teach in my home......city fathers said "NOPE icon_sad.gif It would bring too much traffic into the neighborhood." I said, "I can't have 5-6 people come to my house so I can teach them a craft?" "NOPE! because of the traffic impact." Well, I replied, "what if I decided to hold a weekly Bible study for 20 people." Oh, they said, "that's o.k. OR you CAN teach music/piano lessons but not anything else."

Guess what the head city father did for a living?? He was a music instructor icon_sad.gif




WHAT! That's insane. I fear that our neighborhood covenants say that you cannot operate a business out of your home but my husbands family built the houses in much of our neighborhood so I think we could skirt that issue. Plus, husband really thinks we should buy a new house anyway so that we can have a separate building for my kitchen (and because we are planning a 4th child). Alternatively I can use his grandparents basement kitchen and they don't live in a neighborhood so there are no covenants governing business.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 2:48am
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by crlovescakes

at this point i would even settle for one of those 6 quarts. i am using my 10 year old 4.5 quart. i hate spending so much time on tons of icing batches! not to mention my oven has more capacity than i can mix at a time so i spend so much time mixing batches of batter then filling some pans and keep doing that same thing till my oven is filled!




I would settle for a 6qt. too. I saw a 20quart hobart on craigslist last week but it was still really expensive! Not to mention I don't have a place to put it yet!

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