Hubby and I made the offical decision this past weekend that we are enclosing the garage for my legal kitchen. I'm scared to death!!!! Just because it's such a big step and I don't know where to begin. We are in the process of cleaning out the garage and getting it bare so we can see the next step. I've been reading the missouri food code, now my head hurts. I know our county follows the state's guidelines (we don't have separate laws for the county). One of my questions is, in the food code it states that
" a private home, a room used as living or sleeping quarters, or an area directly opening into a room used as living or sleeping quarters may not be used for conducting food establishment operations."
I have a door that joins the garage to the house (it opens to a hallway one way goes upstairs and one way goes to my boys bedroom) will I need to enclose the door? My other question is who do I contact first , the health department, zoning (I live in town), business license? I just don't know where to start. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!
Before you do anything, talk to your town's zoning department, as some towns do not allow commercial activities in residential areas. If you are OK zoning-wise, the health dept would be able to answer your questions about enclosing the door. The business license would be next, followed by liability insurance.
Thank you, I would think we would be okay on zoning. We live across the street from a used car lot and down the street a neighbor had her hair salon in her basement.
Usually the application is online with the health department. Even if you know that your zoning is ok, you may need an engineering permit which will include a planning commission approval form, which needs to be signed off. After you download or get the application, study it and make notes. Fill in every part you can. Then make an appointment with the health dept to answer questions. They will send you to the next step... engineering, fire dept, whatever is required in your state. By this time, you should have an equipment list and building permit or engineering permit. You may need more or less than this, but it is a place to start. Once you are committed, get your business license, but that may not be available until certain approvals are met. Just be informed and familiar with the process before you ask for too much help. My health dept gets home kitchen calls all the time and they just send an application so they don't waste their time.
Where are you at in Missouri?
I am in north central MO. The only application I have found online is one for ice cream shops. Thanks for all your help.
Good luck with your venture. Once you get the ball rolling, it goes pretty quickly. Then all you have to do is pay for it! I have all of my approvals, am finishing construction, and then will get my permit to open. A suggestion, once you get your equipment list, find a good rep at a restaurant supply store to keep an eye out for used eqipment you need. They will call when something come in at a good price.