If You Build It, Will They Come?

Business By bpoff Updated 4 May 2010 , 3:47pm by Chef_Stef

bpoff Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 8:05pm
post #1 of 5

Hello good cake central residents!

Thanks for taking time to read this post, and thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

I'm kicking around the idea of doing cakes as a part time, side business. I've got the fortune of being in Pennsylvania, but the misfortune of having an HOA agreement that forbids any home based businesses in our community. I also have a darling and loving soon to be wife, that I drive absolutely nuts with the messes I create (though I tell her it's art). With those thoughts in mind, I've decided renting a commercial kitchen is the route that I plan to take.

Thankfully with the help of people from this board I've been able to gather a large volume of information about the best practices for renting out a commercial kitchen, along with the licensing needed. I do have a few questions though that I couldn't find an answer to while browsing...

Since I will be brand new to the area and just starting up, building a customer base will take some time. When I start negotiating the deals with the local kitchens, would it be possible to setup a "pay as I go" type arrangement or do you typically just pay a flat monthly rate? Ultimately, I know that I'm going to have some investment expenses I need to consider, especially when I'm first starting to grow the business. Ideally though, I would like to be able to have some control over the facilities if possible, so I'm not paying $500 in a month I have $50 in cake orders.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this lengthy post!



4 replies
sarah5008 Posted 1 May 2010 , 11:17pm
post #2 of 5

Is there anyone out there who can answer this? I also have this question. I know prices will depend on the area, but ball park figures? I don't want to over pay for space since I will be starting out small too.

lulus Posted 1 May 2010 , 11:23pm
post #3 of 5

The answer to this question will depend on the person renting it to you. It never hurts to ask the question, since you don't know what their individual circumstance is.
I have three 'tiers' of pricing. Flat rate for unlimited usage, half of that flat rate for a certain number of hours per week, and an hourly rate as well. Of course the hourly rate is a little higher.

In my opinion, hourly is the best way to start until you can build your customer base.

Echooo3 Posted 1 May 2010 , 11:32pm
post #4 of 5

I through around all of these questions as well. I seached for months for a kitchen and kept coming up with NOTHING. Checked my church - nope.

Finaly I just kept asking everyone I met, didn't care if I knew them but you know how it works -- people know people who know people. Fast forward, found a place, not close enough for my liking but the price was right for me.

Orlando, $250 per month for 10 hours per week (set hours). I didn't negotiate as I though the price was fair. It is, however, about 45 minutes from where I leave. I am able to keep a rolling cart there (the big one) so I keep most of my supplies there.

HTH and good luck!! Remember, never give up.

Chef_Stef Posted 4 May 2010 , 3:47pm
post #5 of 5

When I was renting space, I paid by the hour, and the last place had a sliding scale so the more hours you're there, the less you pay per hour.

We finally bought a space and built it to be my dream kitchen, and yes...we built it, and they came. It's been paying its way, and they keep on coming. It's a ton of work, but I love it.

Best of luck, and don't give up.

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