Have any of you shared a commerical kitchen with others? I am interested in doing this and I wondered how it worked out for other bakers/decorators. I was also thinking of renting a small area from at bridal shop to set up a showroom. Does anyone think that might be a good idea. I really don't want to make the investment of a shop right now.
We actually started out in a shared commercial kitchen run by the county. It was great for us to start in, but we quickly out grew it. Not having the costs of purchasing equipment right away was great. The down side was previous users leaving the place an absolute mess, which would set us back 30 minutes to an hour, not something you want to deal with at 3am. We probably weren't the typical kitchen users, since we used it 5 days a week from 3am to 9am, but it was a pain to lug all of our stuff out of our storage cage and set everything up.
If you were only occasionally using the kitchen it would probably work out a lot better. Just be careful as to what other items are being prepared there and their storage policies. We lost about 200 pounds of butter because someone thought they'd thaw some meat on the fridge shelf above ours. Ick!!!!
I share a kitchen and so far it works well. It means less lugging thing around and more actual work time. It also is a dream to have a large work space and comercial sized oven, mixer and a walk in fridge. It makes it easier to work effciently and quickly. The only draw back is the cost of the rent. In order to cover it it makes me less competive with home bakers, but I think it makes more sense if I am trying to be legit. Some Senior centers rent out their kitchen by the hour if you want to give a try before comitting long term. Good luck
Also be sure to have a back up plan. If something happens with your kitchen you are renting......that you are not just sitting there with orders and no where to bake out of ......been there done that.
senior centers....what a great idea........was thinking of a retirement home but never thought of the local senior center...........
Thanks for all the great suggestions and input!
I'd like to ask another question of those who share kitchens....where to you meet with customers? How do you advertise without an address?