Want To Start My Own Cake Biz But Have A Dog.....

Business By divinecc Updated 28 Aug 2010 , 10:04am by indydebi

divinecc Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:52pm
post #1 of 24

I have been researching the requirements to start an at home cake biz, one of the requirements is no commercial food processing may occur in any household with free-roaming indoor pets. I have a small indoor dog, there is NO way I can give him up. Does anyone know a way around this? I know of several at home cake businesses who have indoor pets so I didn't think it would be a problem. I am so bummed, this will be the only thing stopping me icon_cry.gif

23 replies
TexasSugar Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:09pm
post #2 of 24

What do they define as free roaming? Is it a situation where you can keep your dog out of the kitchen or the part of the house near the kitchen and be allowed to do it?

I know it sucks, but you have a choice to make, and I know when you love a pet it is a hard one.

Can you close in a garage and keep it closed off from the house and be able to cake in there?

tootie0809 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:17pm
post #3 of 24

You need to check with the health department on what their stipulations are. I have indoor dogs too, and that is why I could not have my regular kitchen licensed because there was no way to completely separate the kitchen from the rest of the house so they never had access. Because I would not give up my dogs, I cleared it with the health department and I built a totaly separate kitchen in my basement where there are several doors and no access at all for my dogs to get in there at any time. Some states, however, have a rule against any free-roaming indoor pets at all, so you need to ask them what is and is not allowed and go from there. I love my cake business. But if I had to make a choice between it and my dogs, I'd choose my dogs. It's a tough choice, and I'm sympathetic to you and the dilemma it causes, but you will make the right choice. Ask the health departmetn first though. They may have ways around it. Good luck!

jason_kraft Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:22pm
post #4 of 24

Why not just rent space at a licensed commercial kitchen?

Ruth0209 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:24pm
post #5 of 24

Dog hair and icing don't mix. The regulation is in place for good reason. Just because others "get around" the regulation doesn't mean they (or you) should. That's not the way you'd want to run your business, is it?

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:45pm
post #6 of 24

You don't want to "get around" the regulation. I have 2 dogs, so we had to build a whole separate kitchen that they don't have access to in order for me to become a legal business.

When I go out to eat at a restaurant I am very glad that the people cooking my dinner in the kitchen haven't been allowed to "get around" the regulations and inspections--aren't you? How is you situation any different? Would you eat at a restaurant that had a small dog running around?

tootie0809 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 8:47pm
post #7 of 24

I didn't mean "get around" the rule as in find ways to do it illegally or by cutting corners. I meant that you need to specifically ask if you have a completely separate kitchen where your dog has no access if that is still considered free-roaming. In my state, it is not. In other states, it is. Just like Ladies of the house, I had to build a completely separate kitchen in order to be approved. I did not "get around" the law by bending any rules. I was up front and honest with the health inspector about my plans. I had a lengthy approval process to go through, but it was worth it.

I find you have to choose your words very carefully around here and wanted to clear up what I meant by "get around." I am one who strictly follows the law.

divinecc Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 3:11am
post #8 of 24

I haven't called the health department to find out exactly what they mean by "free roaming" but my kitchen would be really hard to seal off so I probably would have to build a second in my basement. I definitely would not want a dog roaming around a restaraunt, I guess I just think of it different because he's my dog (he can do no wrong in my eyes icon_lol.gif he's just like my child ) I finally talked my husband into starting the business and I'm not sure he will be up to build a 2nd kitchen icon_cry.gif Decisions....decisions.... thanks for all your replies, I will talk with the health department and let you know what I decide. Thanks again!

Ruth0209 Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 5:00am
post #9 of 24

Tootie, just to be clear, I wasn't directing my remarks at you, but to the OP. It sounds like you did the right thing.

jason_kraft Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 5:12am
post #10 of 24

For the cost of building a new kitchen you could probably pay for several years of rent at an existing commercial kitchen.

divinecc Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 2:25pm
post #11 of 24

I will have to look into costs of renting a commercial building vs building a new kitchen. I work in the cabinet industry so I will be able to get cabinets and such at cost and we would build it ourselves which keeps costs down. I just like being at home rather than away so I can get things done at home while cakes are baking, etc.
I should have worded "get around it" a different way icon_redface.gif I didn't mean by not being honest and hiding the dog or anything. The dept. was closed so I thought I would ask if others knew the specifics like maybe I could keep him in his crate while baking and decorating, I didn't know exactly what "free roaming" entailed. Thanks for everyones input.

icesk8ermom Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 6:08pm
post #12 of 24

Ok renting a commercial kitchen at $40.00 an hour at 8 hours a day = $320.00 a day times 5 days a week = $1600.00 a week times 4 weeks in a month = $6400.00....... Goodness I do not even want to think how many cakes I have to make to even break even let alone make a profit!

I am thinking that if one is able to build a commercial kitchen in their home it is a much better way to go! If I am going to spend $6400.00 a month on just kitchen space I would much rather build the best darn kitchen with top of the line everything in my home so I can be at home! Shoot for $6400.00 a month I could probably by a new custom built home with separate building just for caking that I can use 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

And this $6400.00 does not even include insurance or LLC....I realize that if you rent on a more stable basis you get a break on the hourly rate however even thinking about if being half the cost at $3200.00 a month??? My thought is if I am going to spend that kind of money and have to carry my own insurance, my own licensing, getting LLC etc I would rather try to get a home improvement loan and build my self a new kitchen! And on top of it the interest rate on a home improvement loan would be a ton cheap than a business loan!

Just my thoughts.

jason_kraft Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 6:18pm
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by icesk8ermom

Ok renting a commercial kitchen at $40.00 an hour at 8 hours a day = $320.00 a day times 5 days a week = $1600.00 a week times 4 weeks in a month = $6400.00....... Goodness I do not even want to think how many cakes I have to make to even break even let alone make a profit!



Commercial kitchens typically either rent by the hour, or you can prepay for how many hours you use every month. If you had enough business to keep you busy 40 hours a week, you would be making a ton of money and could easily afford a retail storefront.

As an example, we pay $500 every month for 40 hours of commercial kitchen time (typically 3-4 hours a few times a week). We are in a high cost of living area (northern CA) so kitchens in other areas would probably be even cheaper.

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 6:32pm
post #14 of 24

We chose to add a kitchen onto our house for several reasons, the most important being the value it added to our house. The others were things like being able to work from home, having total and exclusive control of the kitchen and pocketing the $700-$1200 a month rent that I would have to pay for commercial/retail space here.

As an added bonus, if I decide not to be a baker anymore or if I just wanted to take a break from baking I could easily rent my kitchen out to someone looking for commercial space. I could even choose to do that now on a part time basis to supplement my income (if I was good at sharing my kitchen, which I'm not)

Building onto your home makes a lot more sense to me than giving so much of your hard earned profit to a landlord. I think drawing up a solid business plan would bear this out on paper for you.

My 2 cents icon_smile.gif

jason_kraft Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 6:50pm
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladiesofthehouse

Building onto your home makes a lot more sense to me than giving so much of your hard earned profit to a landlord. I think drawing up a solid business plan would bear this out on paper for you.



The two plans are not mutually exclusive...you can always start out renting with a minimal up-front investment and see how business goes. If it starts taking off, you can start looking at investing more capital into adding another kitchen.

If you start out with a large capital investment, you are committed to either ramp up your business right away to recover that cost or get into the landlord business (which has its own set of issues, especially when dealing with the health dept).

And FYI, building the second kitchen would still result in giving up your hard-earned profit, you would just be giving it to the bank in the form of interest.

I definitely agree that creating a business plan is an important first step in any case.

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 7:00pm
post #16 of 24

Actually, I don't give anything to the bank. We saved the $$, built what we could ourselves, subbed the rest, bought used appliances and own everything free and clear. It didn't take as long as you would think either; we broke ground in January and I did a grand opening in December.

OP said she could do some work themselves and had access to cabinetry, etc so it sounds to me like she has a similar situation to mine.

Sorry for the earlier empty post--the quote function hasn't been working properly for me...

Loucinda Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 7:02pm
post #17 of 24

In Ohio, we are legally allowed to bake from our homes. (VERY LUCKY!) 2 years ago, we remodeled my existing kitchen to make it useful for my cake business. We did most of the work ourselves (carptenter in the family - HUGE help) and I now have a 27x15 kitchen which has spaces for my business. (my 20 qt. hobart, 6' stainless table, airbrush set, and all the other items that help me do my job.) I do not have the overhead of a storefront, I give the clients the option of coming to my home or meeting them. It is a win-win for me. I work when I want to, and have the luxury of NOT working if I don't feel like it.

deMuralist Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 1:01pm
post #18 of 24

In Tn. there can be no animals (even fish!) under the same roof as the domestic kitchen. I need to get dh to get rid of the fish tank. Anyway, here your kitchen would have to be detached. anyone wanna buy a really nice fish tank?

divinecc Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 4:07pm
post #19 of 24

Well they said I have to find a way to block him off permanently from the kitchen, I wouldn't have to put up doors just gates but from my living room into my kitchen is a pretty open space so I'm not sure how I will do that. They also said I could build another in my basement, it would be nice so my kitchen wouldn't be in shambles if I had unexpected visitors! My hubby is out of town from work so I will let you know what we decide when he gets back! Thanks again for everyone's input, I appreciate it. icon_wink.gif

all4cake Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 4:29pm
post #20 of 24

No matter what you decide, keep all your receipts and claim that on your taxes!

divinecc Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 5:56pm
post #21 of 24

I will for sure! It is hard and scary starting out. I want to make sure I do everything correctly and bring in enough business! I noticed people mentioned coming up with a firm business plan, I am working on that now... if anyone has any advice for me regarding ANYTHING to do with starting up I would love to hear it!

MissSpoon Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 10:58pm
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

As an example, we pay $500 every month for 40 hours of commercial kitchen time (typically 3-4 hours a few times a week). We are in a high cost of living area (northern CA) so kitchens in other areas would probably be even cheaper.




Jasonkraft, what kind of kitchen is this you are renting and who from? Are there specific hours of use you are limited to?

I am in the process of a catering startup and having a commercial kitchen available to me is the major issue I have to surpass.

Thanks

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 11:08pm
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissSpoon

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

As an example, we pay $500 every month for 40 hours of commercial kitchen time (typically 3-4 hours a few times a week). We are in a high cost of living area (northern CA) so kitchens in other areas would probably be even cheaper.



Jasonkraft, what kind of kitchen is this you are renting and who from? Are there specific hours of use you are limited to?

I am in the process of a catering startup and having a commercial kitchen available to me is the major issue I have to surpass.

Thanks



The commercial kitchen we rent (in San Jose, CA) is run by another bakery owner so bakers get preference over caterers. It has 3 partitioned kitchen areas so 3 renters can use the kitchen at the same time. We are not limited to any specific hours.

The hourly rate is in the $20-30 range depending on volume but you can get a discount if you prepay.

indydebi Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 10:04am
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by icesk8ermom

Ok renting a commercial kitchen at $40.00 an hour at 8 hours a day = $320.00 a day times 5 days a week = $1600.00 a week times 4 weeks in a month = $6400.00.......


Oh sweetie! I also did catering and didn't put in 40 hours a week inside the shop kitchen! To clarify, I did put in 40 hours ..... meetings, consultations, buying supplies, etc. But as far as kitchen time? Nope. Didn't do it.

Its good that you planned for the worst case scenario. But if you need this kind of time in a kitchen, you should negotiate a "volume hours" rate (like hotels who give you a weekly rate that's cheaper than a daily rate).

I have submitted an article to Cake Central magz on renting kitchens ... interviewed a local incubator kitchen owner who happily shared some tips with us! Stayed tuned! Film at 11! thumbs_up.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%