Opening My Own Business In A Few Short Weeks, Help!

Business By Gavriela Updated 29 Jan 2010 , 9:22pm by cakesweetiecake

Gavriela Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 1:55am
post #1 of 28

Hello My CakeCentral GURU's and seasoned decorators....

I have taken the plunge, as I am in CA and CANNOT legally bake or decorate from my home, I have found a certified kitchen. I am on a very LIMITED start up budget. The kitchen is complete except pans utensils etc. It contains, cabinets, oven, 3 refers, a freezer, 3 sink system, sanitizer, hand sink microwave and is at our fairgrounds. My rent includes electricity and water.

I am nervous, worried, excited, driven, motivated and scared.

Can I do this? I think I can, yet wonder am I ready. I know I need more experience with cakes, yet I cannot keep making cakes and throw them away. Our area does not have a quality bakery the local Sav Mor Grocery store sell pre made and basic cakes. There are a few home bakers, yet no actual bakery. My teacher is excited for me and said "you can do this and I'm happy for you". That helps yet WOW....

OK, so questions?

Can I wear a ball cap and my hair in a ponytail and be legal in CA? I'm thinking no, and am shopping chefs hats (I hate, hate, hate hair nets)

I'm trying to generate a list of items I need other than the basics and I KNOW My list in incomplete, so please help. I have very little time and have to drive 1.5 hours or order online.

Help me with the abstract things we take for granted that I NEED.... PLEASE!

Oh yes, I also will continue working to pay for my business until such a time as I can work my shop full time.

Thank you,
Nutty, wacked out ME

27 replies
Deb_ Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 2:36am
post #2 of 28

lol....Congratulations to you!

I have long hair and wear it all completely up and under a kerchief when I'm in my business kitchen.

I'm not sure what CA requires, so you may want to contact them for some more info on your business.

Do you need to get your rental kitchen licensed and inspected through the state HD?

Also don't forget business insurance, and THE most important thing you'll need to do is to sit down and write a business plan.

Get all of your costs calculated, set a budget for yourself as far as purchasing equipment and ingredients and set your prices for your products. Then you'll want to get a website up and running and start marketing your business.

It's a lot to think about, make lists for yourself and cross all your "t's" and dot all your "i's" before you open for business.

Good luck!

Mike1394 Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 10:43am
post #3 of 28

2009 food code if that's what CA is using.


Mensch Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 10:47am
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You really need to get your ducks in a row before you jump in.

cblupe Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 4:17pm
post #5 of 28

Do you have to share this kitchen with anyone? If so, will your stuff be safe?

Kiddiekakes Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 5:17pm
post #6 of 28

PM Indydebi..she is a "God" at this stuff..Although she lives in a different state she can sure help you with what you will need for start up equipment and give you VALUABLE advice that no one can give!!!

Gavriela Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 4:18am
post #7 of 28

Hello all;

My ducks are lining up like they were trained. LOL

Permit - Done
Serv Safe- Scheduled
Inspection- Scheduling- 1/11/10
Insurance- 1/11/10
Forms - done
Supplies- 90% done
DBA - done
DBA filing 1/11/10
Rent set aside for 6 mos.... Done!
Sign contract for building 1/11/10 (No I do not share my kitchen)
Marketing, in the works
Opening Date March 1st
Accounting, set up
Orders are arriving
Familiar with CA Food Codes, most and working on the rest

If I have missed something please let me know.

FromScratch Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 4:39am
post #8 of 28

I think she is asking for those little things that you never think of that you find indispensible. Or those little (or big) things that pop up. Sounds like the ducks are sitting patiently.

Good luck!!! I know it must be scary... but with orders lined up... I wish you much prosperity.

Gavriela Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 5:03am
post #9 of 28


Thank you, you hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what I was asking.

Business Plan is coming along as well.

Yes, nervous and scared.....


leah_s Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 9:11am
post #10 of 28

Any zoning permissions or city permits needed?

FromScratch Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 1:13pm
post #11 of 28

Do you need a grease trap for your sink? (a good idea to have even if not required)

Deb_ Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 1:21pm
post #12 of 28

Here's a little "after thought" smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, although if you're renting it's probably the responsibility of the landlord to provide these. It doesn't hurt to ask.

CandyCU Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 1:43pm
post #13 of 28

Wow, I think my heart skipped a beat reading through all these posts, with nervous excitement for you.

I wish you very well in your business, it will be a success.

I'm sure it is very exciting, I can only imagine what you must be feeling. It looks like you have it all covered, anything that comes up now should be easy to handle.

In a few years time I'm hoping to be in the same shoes that you are right now!

Sending positive vibes/auras across the globe --> ~~> to you....


Mensch Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 1:50pm
post #14 of 28

It sounds like you're getting there!!

From your first post, however, it seemed like it was going to be one of those *I'm-opening-a-bakery-'cause-everyone-says-I-should-they-love-my-cakes-how-hard-can-it-be?* thread!

cupandcake81 Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 3:04pm
post #15 of 28

Wish you the best of luck!

Gavriela Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 3:42pm
post #16 of 28

My dreams are filled nightly with all the twists and turns that may come my way....

I know how hard this is going to be
how many hours it is going to take away from my family
The possibility of immense struggle
The possibility of success (yet we learn from failure)

I have the support of my family and community.

I appreciate everyone's input and look forward to more of it.

Thank you

Mensch Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 3:45pm
post #17 of 28

Been there, done that.

It'll be an immense success! you'll see.

jammjenks Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 4:10pm
post #18 of 28

Oh Gavi, what a breath of fresh air! I am so happy for you and I hope you make millions!

adventuregal Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 5:31pm
post #19 of 28

Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!! Sounds like a very exciting new chapter in your life. Because you said you are working I'm wondering who will be running your shop during the times you work? Just curious because I hope to be in the same position in a year.

CakesUnleashed Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 10:39pm
post #20 of 28

Hello There,

I believe we met at the courthouse when I processed your FBN. This is Deborah from Cakes Unleashed!! Congrats on the new business. I, too, had to jump through all the hoops and it truly is rewarding once all that paperwork stuff is done. Sooooo, hang in there, Girly.

I noted that you stated in your forum post that our area doesn't have a "real" bakery and that's true. Perhaps we should open one!?!?! I have been doing this for three or so years now, starting out as gifts for friends and family and I just recently kicked it up a notch.

I lease two kitchens (paying as I go - per hour), and had to get the Serv Safe, etc. One of the kitchens had to have a new stove-top vent put in and I even stated that I wouldn't be using that and they still insisted it had to be in. But, after the owner agreed - it passed the inspection. That's the hard part.

Where are you getting yours Serv Safe cert, does it still have to be done in Sacramento? If there is closer place I'd like to know because I have someone that I want to start doing my baking for me and need to get them certified, as well.

Well, it looks like you've got matters in order. Good luck to you. I am anxious to have someone to refer business to when I get swamped and hope that you will do the same.

Best wishes,

littlecake Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 11:15pm
post #21 of 28

what kind of mixer do you have?...just having a lil kitchenaid will REALLY slow you down....for me that's the most important piece of equipment.....and a good freezer.

i'm guessing you already got a nice oven.

good luck!...if you weren't a bit nervous, i'd be concerned about you.

Gavriela Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 5:24am
post #22 of 28

I have a signed contract and have keys
I start cleaning on Sunday
Insurance is being quoted through four companies


I'll take my servsafe here in Quincy at Environmental Health.
Having a storefront bakery is my dream, and I do hope it can happen. Let's do lunch one day and chat a bit.

Mixer I have two kitchen aids, I have my eye on a 20 quart yet I cannot spend the 1,500.00.

It's time to get fliers, and some advertising done. I'm also baking samples to deliver to the locals. I hope to have them delivered by Feb 1st in hopes of Valentines orders.

I get to fill out insurance forms tomorrow, yipppeeee.
Well, I'm off to hopefully sleep tonight, I'll have a drink and take a melatonin.


jillmakescakes Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 2:07pm
post #23 of 28


start searching for restaurant auctions. you'll find killer deals on stuff that you will need if you decide to go the storefront route. I rented a storage unit for a year and a half before opening so that I could scour the auctions for deals. I managed to get all of my big kitchen stuff (20qt mixer, 3 double door commercial refrigerators,3 bay sink and double stack oven) for $1400.

littlecake Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 6:15pm
post #24 of 28
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes


start searching for restaurant auctions. you'll find killer deals on stuff that you will need if you decide to go the storefront route. I rented a storage unit for a year and a half before opening so that I could scour the auctions for deals. I managed to get all of my big kitchen stuff (20qt mixer, 3 double door commercial refrigerators,3 bay sink and double stack oven) for $1400.

i was going to suggest the same thing, a few months back i saw a 20 quart on craigslist for 500.00

i'd get a big food grade bucket....and make a bunch of icing ahead of time, or you'll be spending all day saturday just making little batches of'll drive you to madness.

rubbermaid makes one that will fit more that 30 qts of icing....on saturday i have to make at least 2 batches in my 30 you could imagine what that will be like.

CakesbyCarla Posted 16 Jan 2010 , 2:55am
post #25 of 28

This is slightly off topic, but I'm curious (if you don't mind sharing) how much you are paying for the rent? I am looking (in TX) for a rental space and am just curious what other folks out there are paying. I know it won't translate directly but I am curious. thanks!

Gavriela Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:53pm
post #26 of 28


The orders are beginning to arrive!

Thank you Cake Central!

Mensch Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:58pm
post #27 of 28

mazel tov!

cakesweetiecake Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:22pm
post #28 of 28

Congratulations! Acutally, this thread was very helpful. I am in a similar position. Just found a space and looking to move forward. Like you, I still plan to work my full-time gig. Baby steps for now!! icon_biggrin.gif

Best wishes!

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