Hi! I'm fairly new to cake decorating, but my parents have very supportively decided to fund my little business. They are building a shop for me on my home property (yes, we're going along with all the proper zoning laws for our area) that will measure approximately 14 x 30. I will have a small area set separated from the rest for consultations, tastings, etc..., but I would like some input from more experienced decorators about how you would go about organizing the actual work area. I have many items already, including airbrush, Cricut, tons of decorating supplies, etc..., but is there any equipment you just can't live without (or would love to have)?
Definitely designate some space for office stuff.... even if it is just a small desk. You'll be amazed how much stuff you'll want to keep just at the shop.
I absolutely love my rubbermaid storage drawers. use them to organize all kinds of stuff.
whatever you allocate for shelving and storage area ... double it. You'll need it in about 3 months or less.
Clear, stackable drawers, clearly labeled, are inexpensive and great to have for extra storage. Vertical storage ... good! VERY good!
My only regret when putting my kitchen together was that I got a very nice walk in refrigerator ... but only a 2-door freezer. I actually needed more freezer space than refrigerator space in the long run!
KReeves, I am putting a plan together almost identical to yours! I'm glad you started this thread, I was going to post one myself.
Instead of adding another building,I am looking for a mobile home trailer that I can place on the property, gut and redesign. I was pretty surprised at how cheap my insurance quote was.
I was thinking of eventually installing a small walk in freezer and a glass front refrigerator for my kitchen. But to start I would be using an upright freezer and a regular kitchen sized refrigerator. I'm not sure what type of oven I should use? I was thinking that just starting out I could get by with a 30" model range and possibly a double oven wall unit. I was also wondering how much counter workspace would be good?
I would like to offer my services at the bridal shows but I hold back in case the Health Dept wants to see my shop and it's not quite there. Should I go ahead and rent a booth anyway?
I've been doing cakes for family and friends for quite a few years now, but most all of them have been "donations". I finally took the virtual "CAKES FOR FREE" sign down and began to stand my ground on cake pricing. Which brings up another question, Would it be a good move to purchase Cake Boss?
I'm honestly trying to fit in as much counter space as I can...I never seem to have enough. We're putting a separation wall in so that I can have an area for tastings, etc..., and I think if I shave just a few feet off of that I can actually increase my dry storage space that will hold a bunch of equipment. One of my friends from cake club suggested starting out with a regular double oven, and he also suggested going big enough for a full sheet. I don't remember the measurement off the top of my head. My building, as of right now, will be about 14 x 30, and hopefully I won't have to increase the size yet again before the darn thing is built!!! I like everyone's suggestion of the Rubbermaid clear drawers...being able to see where things are, even if they are labeled, would surely help...
I know several bridal shows in our area won't even allow you to have a booth unless you can present your health department certificate. I'm not sure about your area, but they are pretty strict about that sort of thing in mine.
I don't know enough about Cake Boss software to say anything about it...I think there are several other threads in here about it. I will say that I'm very organized about record-keeping and I already created my own spreadsheet that calculates costs per cake for me. I think Cake Boss offers many features, but for now these are the only 2 things I need.
Good Luck to you! I hope it goes well for you...I'm already overwhelmed at all of the little decisions!
Good luck with those new projects!!, can wait to hear from you in a couple of months
Counter and storage space is KEY! I love my label maker- in order to pass any health inspector you must label everthing. Plus it helps organize the kitchen. I use to go hunting when ever I needed something (cookie cutters... ).
Also - I love being able to take time out to research recipes and having a place for all my torn out pages - so I use binders. I get these at work when they are ready to toss them! FREE is for me.
[quote="Reneesg"]...Instead of adding another building,I am looking for a mobile home trailer that I can place on the property, gut and redesign. I was pretty surprised at how cheap my insurance quote was.
I love this idea! Would you be willing to post pictures of your progress???
Looking forward to this posting!
have you talked to the inspectors? They are very east to work with in texas and seem very easy to please - at least the one sin Austin I have talked to who would cover my area. I am not within the city limits and our county inspectors are from Austin.
As for what I use ALL THE TIME, do you have a professional mixer? That is a must and you need space for it. An area to store the cakes after you have them decorated for customers to pick them up. Let me think some more....
As for cake boss software, I use Quicken because it is what we use for our personal finances. Doesn't do all cake boss does but works well for keeping track of orders, etc.
I had Cake Boss when I first started but now that I've grown I use Quickbooks. I highly recommend Quickbooks. You can make professional invoices for you customers, track your inventory and it's great for tax time too!
I recently did the mobile office space kitchen and LOVE it and the guilt-free feeling of being legal. I bought most everything used on ebay and craig's list. The things I am most pleased that I got were the commercial cake oven (Deluxe brand which can bake an entire wedding cake at once) and my 20 qt. Hobart. I'll post a link to my cake kitchen post. I didn't put a consult area in my building because I am located in the middle on nowhere rural Oklahoma and meet most people at a coffee shop, etc. but do have an office space (thankfully!!) and loads of shelving/storage.
my space is 10x23, and im getting a little cramped now, but ill have to live with that. another thing to get is over the sinks have wire shelves and hooks so you can hang the tools with holes inthe handles, mixing bowls with handles, whisks etc up to dry. also i got a small wire tray thing from ikea that hangs off the wire shelves that i can just throw my washed tips on and they sit with the point down, perfect for drying them. i just love this little feature. ive used all my wall space up to the ceilings. DH made me book shelves over the door, need to use a step stool but they're close by and easy to get if i need to. im looking to get the Deluxe oven too, wish i had gotten it at the beginning, but its a big investment if things dont work out. Also before you start work your plans must be approved by the health department and city.
Thanks so much for the needed information. I'm still on the lookout for the mobile home and as soon as I find it I"ll be planning my layout. I have one in mind but I"ll have to see if whatever I find will have the space for it.
I will definitely check into the deluxe oven. That sounds so nice to bake everything at once instead of taking up the whole day. I have 2 ovens now and sometimes I wish I had more. The 20 qt mixer sounds like a good investment too, but right now I don't have the kind of business that would put it to good use.
I was thinking of checking into factory auctions. Some of these factories that close down have cafeterias, andt hey might have some useful equipment that they will auction off.
I have my dream kitchen. I have a dual fuel 48" Viking stove,a Subzero side-by-side.stainless dishwasher, counter-top convection with rotisserie, farmhouse sink with faucet out of the wall.I have base cabinets that are deep drawers for pots and pans. Top cabinets are all glass front to display my dishes and glasses. All the upper cabinets have lighting underneath.I didn't think I wanted corner cabinets below but I have 2 and the shelves revolve so nothing disappears into a black hole.Microwave is off the counter below one of the upper cabinets and just over the countertop convection oven. The Viking has convection but sometimes it too much oven for the little bit I may be cooking.
I built my dream shop myself, designed it myself, etc., and I wouldn't change a thing. Lots of counter space is always a premium. Double fridge, yes. Single freezer, yes so far. Blodgett convection oven YES.
I had a ball designing it on a floorplanning website that was free, might have been floorplan.com or something, can't remember, but I changed the layout about a zillion times until it "worked", and I LOVE it.
The only thing I don't use is the home oven under the range top, so I could have gone with a countertop set of burners, but figured, you never know--someday I may need a regular oven. Haven't yet, except to make tater tots for the kids when they're there.
I have pictures of it somewhere, but I can post again if you want. It's BEautiful.
I love that I can work at the counter, next to the range, with the work table behind me and the sinks to my right, and I can reach them all with one foot planted on the floor, also the trash can. Actually I can (shh) fling stuff off to my right, from the counter area, and it lands in the sink. HAHA Love that...even though it can be noisy.
also--CONGRATS on starting out!!
Yes, please keep going! I'm planning my space and kitchen, and sometimes I think I'm over-doing it but probably there won't be another opportunity soon to build a kitchen from scratch.
I wonder... are the 20-30 qts mixers easy to use? I mean to load and unload. I know I need more than my faithful kitchen-aid but I'm truly afraid of a big one. Thank you!
sandra: I had a 20 qt. They are AWESOME!!! I had no problem lifting and carrying it. The bowl fit in my 3-compartment sink, no problem. It's the one piece of equipment I REALLY miss having now! You'll never go back to those little "baby" KA's!
The bakery I work at has a 20qt, 30qt and 60qt. The 20 and 30 are very light and fairly easy to lift and move around, even when full. The 60qt...ugh. While the bowl does sit on a nice little wheeled base, lifting it up to the three compartment sink, even when empty stinks! Haha!
Hopefully, you'll never get so big you need a 60qt but you'll definitely appreciate the size and ease of use of the 20qt. Good luck!
Thank you IndyDebi and Mseif! I feel more reassured about the mixer. I don't have experience with the big mixer but I'm a big girl now. *winks*
If everything goes as planned, I'll have my very own shop and dream kitchen soon!
Cher_Stef I would love to see pics. I think it always helps to visualize a layout. And of course I like to see other's kitchens. I had planned on the end of this year, but YEA found out that I can use my MIL's kitchen after inspected. I love the layout of my home kitchen---wall oven to the right of the stove top; turn around & you're at the sink w/ the garbage right next to it; with the fridge across the end of the island that has the sink & trash can.
I remember one thing after watching a gazillion home shows (that can be applied to any kitchen). Create a triangle w/ the appliances you use the most. It keeps you in one "spot" & you aren't all over the kitchen all the time
the 'triangle' doesn't work all the time. In our last house, the builder designed the kitchen in a triangle, but put the kitchen island smack dab in the middle, which meant we had to walk around it everytime we did ANYTHING in there. The sink and 'frig were on opposite walls, which meant the island was a big barrier between these two appliances/work areas.
Remember a triangle doesn't mean it has to be the same distance on all 3 sides. If you have the 'frig and the sink on the same wall and the stove on a side wall, that can STILL be a triangle. One of the sides is REALLY flat .... but it functions well if it's arranged right.