Commercial Kitchen Renting...... Help

Business By hollyheartscuppycakes Updated 3 Apr 2014 , 8:00pm by KaraLynL

hollyheartscuppycakes Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 9:22pm
post #1 of 59

Hi guys!!
I've been looking into starting my own cupcake catering business but Washington state law doesnt allow this type of business from a home. Does anyone have any idea where i could rent some space from a commercial kitchen? I live in Skagit County.

Thanks for the help, thoughts, and ideas!!!
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58 replies
-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 3:15pm
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I recommend working for someone else or just enjoying your hobby. It is crazy to get into business. You have to dedicate yourself to it like caring for a new baby that never grows up.

You have to produce about a thousand dollars of overhead give or take every month if you can find a place that cheap (rent + everything else and this is low balling it) So that much over head means like roughly I don't know say $300 in ingredients give or take. Then whatever time is left in your month you can make beautiful artistic cakes with whatever part of your brain is left. And with the new month here it is time to repeat that whole thing all over again. It's not as much fun and creativity as it might seem if you can't get leeway to do it at home.

Safe yourself the grief. Enter cake contests. Enter at the fair. Do slient auctions. Be a teacher. Take classes. Immerse yourself in other ways and save your sanity.

Or plan your work and work and your pan and get a loan and jump off the cliff and hire some employees and let the games begin.

But dream a different dream--win at Oklahoma, get tagged for a tv show, make a cake dvd, write a book, start a cake club.

Make foster children's dreams come true with a birthday cake somehow.
Bake for a Ronald Mcdonald House if that's somehow possible. Maybe for the sibling of the child in the hospital or the family of the child.

tutucutecakes Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 3:48pm
post #3 of 59

I don't live in your area but I rent a commercial kitchen for my business in Virginia. To be honest, your success totally depends on your market. We do pretty well in our business because there isn't very much competition with prices as competitive as ours in our area. Have you scoped out your area for major competition? That could help/hinder your monthly goal of income. If you find a commercial kitchen that is both affordable AND allows you to walk away every month with a good amount of money in your pocket to me, it's totally worth all the time and frustration. However, it IS like having another baby in the family so make sure you're ready! Good luck to you! icon_smile.gif

-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 3:58pm
post #4 of 59

Ebony--can you share what is your monthly overhead?

Do you have employees?

What's your base price for a 100 serving tier cake?

How long have you been in business?

Just to give her an idea???

Echooo3 Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 5:04pm
post #5 of 59

I'll chime in.

I rent commerical space in orlando fl. $250 per month for 10 hours per week. I take the orders I can handle and refer out what I can't. It's just me and I do it more for the love of the hobby than for the money.

Been legal for just over a year. Happy doing what I can. I also work a full time job that pays the bills.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 5:12pm
post #6 of 59

Wow--$6 an hour is cheap!! Great deal.

Do you have your own permanent storage?

Where do you store cakes in progress and ingredients?

Any problems 'sharing'?

-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 5:32pm
post #7 of 59

How far are you from this place?

And if you are far away --they might know of some others perhaps in your area.

http://www.creativekitchenworks.biz/

tutucutecakes Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 6:15pm
post #8 of 59

K8memphis,
I pay about $600 per month for the kitchen space which gives me about 80 hours in the kitchen. They allow us to store cakes in the kitchen for 3 days as long as it is in the process of completion. At first, I was doing everything solo but that takes a toll on anyone, especially a mommy of 2 young children like myself. I only have 1 paid employee. My awesome husband helps me with sculpting figures and I pay him with dinner & waking up with our 9 month old on a nightly basis) icon_smile.gif I also have a college student from the local culinary school who interns with me just so she gets experience in the business (she's FREE & efficient) icon_smile.gif
My base price for 100 serving tiered cake depends on factors fondant vs, buttercream, fillings, flowers, etc. Most of our clients are young and request novelty cakes (cars, boomboxes, purses, etc.) so our pricing is on a case by case basis. For tiered cakes, I usually stay around $4 per slice for fondant work, That's actually really cheap compared to my competition in the area. I've been baking for about 6 years but have only been in business for about 1 year. There is such a demand for cake in our area with this being a huge military port that we have been SWAMPED which is definitely not a complaint. My hubby works full time so making cakes allows me to still stay home with the baby during the day which is a huge blessing. icon_smile.gif

Echooo3 Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 6:24pm
post #9 of 59

Do you have your own permanent storage? - It is a commericial kitchen. There are about 8 of us that share it. We are each allowed (2) 6-foot tall rolling carts that we keep our supplies on. When we ae there, we roll them into the kitchen. I also have freezer space and refrigerator space there.

Where do you store cakes in progress and ingredients? Usually in the freezer/refrigerator or I complete them and they are picked up or I deliver tham.

Any problems 'sharing'? - There has never been a problem sharing. Each of us do something different (chocolates, spices, pestos, preserves, etc). We all get along very well.

How far are you from this place? - About 45 minutes away which is sometimes a problem.

And if you are far away --they might know of some others perhaps in your area. - There are no other commercial kitchens in the Orlando area that I know of.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 6:41pm
post #10 of 59

You both have a sweet deal. Good for you!! Congrats.

jason_kraft Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 6:52pm
post #11 of 59

$1000/month in overhead is pretty high for a bakery with low-to-moderate volume operating out of a rented commercial kitchen. Our overhead (in the SF bay area) is roughly $500/month including rent (40 hours of kitchen time a month with on-site storage), insurance, and license fees.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 7:58pm
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

$1000/month in overhead is pretty high for a bakery with low-to-moderate volume operating out of a rented commercial kitchen. Our overhead (in the SF bay area) is roughly $500/month including rent (40 hours of kitchen time a month with on-site storage), insurance, and license fees.




Yes you're right. I had already mentally jumped to having your own little place 24/7 because suitable rental facilities are very few and very far between. You are correct that's high. And I should have clarified that.

Some rental places are up to $25 an hour--completely unrealistic I think so I by passed the idea. Plus having to deal with the lack of control--which has been my life long challenge.

There's a place near here where I could rent for $450 (after build out though) where I'd be paying the thousand a month at least so that's what I was referencing. Then I considered renting it out also when I wasn't in it because I have just about everything necessary.

You have an incredible deal for San Fransisco! <faint> Is this the friend deal? Is this from family? I mean it's totally none of my business. But that is an amazing rate--multiplied congratulations to you. Maybe it's someone who believes in your mission statement too. Hats off to you for filling that important niche.

Earlier in a different thread I said that we, as a commercial bakery did so many cakes per month compared to your total amount of cakes made--me not realizing the very special work you do. This was in a thread about returned checks if memory serves --anyhow I think y'all rock. Sorry if I stepped on your toes.

jason_kraft Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 8:03pm
post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

You have an incredible deal for San Fransisco! <faint> Is this the friend deal? Is this from family?



Not a friends or family deal, and we're actually in San Jose (which is cheaper than SF). We got this rate because we prepaid rent for a year, landlords like to have this kind of guaranteed income and will often give you price breaks to get it.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 8:09pm
post #14 of 59

Very cool.

hollyheartscuppycakes Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:49pm
post #15 of 59

Wow thanks for the advice. I didnt realizie how expensive it will be to rent some space. This is really something I just wanted to do on the side.

ladyonzlake Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 8:25pm
post #16 of 59

I'm in WA state and I rent from Creative Kitchen Works. They are located in Renton next to IKEA and that's quite a ways from you.

I found this on the internet http://www.commercialkitchenforrent.com/Washington-47-0.html but you might try Craigslist also.

Sometime if you can find a caterer in your area they are willing to rent you time in their kitchen.

homebasedbaking Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 4:19am
post #17 of 59

Here is some great advice on locating a kitchen incubator or shared use kitchen along with a checklist and two links for locating facilities. Hope this helps. http://bit.ly/aMeVXx

-K8memphis Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 1:17pm
post #18 of 59

The Renton Washington place is $500 for 80 hours a month rental--by the time you cover some utilities and insurance and stuff you are very close to 1k per month. If you have an employee it's surely that high.

http://www.creativekitchenworks.biz/
And it is $25 an hour if the hourly rate was available. So I was right on after all even for commercial rental space. It really does take about $1000 a month overhead give or take. Can you do it cheaper? In some cases I guess. But not by much and I think those are sweetheart deals. More power to anyone who can land one--they are unique.

But $1k is a viable operating ball park amount.

So do you guys pay utilities too?

ladyonzlake Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 3:03pm
post #19 of 59

I pay for PT hours there so it's not too bad. It's a flat price which includes utilities, small storage space and the use of all equipment.

The only extra I pay for is the use of the confernce room for tastings which is $25.00.

jason_kraft Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 5:13pm
post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

The Renton Washington place is $500 for 80 hours a month rental--by the time you cover some utilities and insurance and stuff you are very close to 1k per month.



I have never seen a commercial kitchen for rent that charged for utilities separately, that's all covered in the monthly rent. Liability insurance is usually in the $40/month range.

hollyheartscuppycakes Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 9:28pm
post #21 of 59

I spoke to one of my co-works who's mom does catering and she told me about a couple places in mt. vernon who will charge per hour. I still need to call on them but I think that's a good start.

Now I need to find a store who sells cake decorating supplies. The shipping online is outrageous.

ladyonzlake Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 9:44pm
post #22 of 59

Hollyhearts, what are you needing to purchase...maybe I can help?

hollyheartscuppycakes Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 11:20pm
post #23 of 59

ladyonzlake
cupcakes lines, sprinkles... the decorating stuff. I've found some great stuff online but the shipping is what kills me.

adventuregal Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 11:34pm
post #24 of 59

I'm in Thurston county and have my own business-I run it from a commercial kitchen like you are trying to get into. I rent from a community center and its 17/hour with a two hour minimum icon_smile.gif Just to give ya an idea of the price and a place to check out.

-K8memphis Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 11:41pm
post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

The Renton Washington place is $500 for 80 hours a month rental--by the time you cover some utilities and insurance and stuff you are very close to 1k per month.


I have never seen a commercial kitchen for rent that charged for utilities separately, that's all covered in the monthly rent. Liability insurance is usually in the $40/month range.




Hmm. Because I have so much equipment I've considered setting up a kitchen and renting it. I wouldn't make any money if my renters did not cover the utilities. You got the equipment getting older & older. I don't see how you could profit doing it as an owner.

And you did not list utilitites in your post so I thought they were separate.

hollyheartscuppycakes Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 12:26am
post #26 of 59

17 an hour doesnt seem that bad. There a couple of parks here that will rent out space I just havent called yet. This is something I really want to do but will I really profit in the end? How much are you guys selling your cupcakes for? decorated and non? I've got so many questions but I really dont have anyone around me here that could help.

ladyonzlake Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 1:13am
post #27 of 59

Hollyhearts~The best place to get those items is either CKproducts.com or Bakerycrafts.com. CK has a $100.00 minimum (I think).

The only cake supply store that I know of is in Seatle...The Home Cake Decorating Supply Co. She doesn't have a website and her store is not organized and on the pricey side but good for something you need last minute. You can always call her to see if she has what you need before making the trip to Seattle. She will also ship the item to you for actual shipping cost.

I get my baking supplies(flour,sugar,butter, cake pads ect) from Cash & Carry, Costco and also Dawn Foods. Dawn Foods has fondant, airbrush colors, Chef Master Color gels, chocolate and they may have sprinkles. Bakemark in Seattle also has some supplies. You do need to set up an account at Dawn Food's and Bakemark. They will deliver for a minimum order ($500.00 I think) or you can pick up smaller orders at Will Call.

Hope that helps!

-K8memphis Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 1:20am
post #28 of 59

Like at $17 an hour if you had an eight hour day that's $136 if you had a 40 hour week that's a staggering lot of money. Like agh over $600. if you worked four weeks a month that's over head of >$2400.

So somebody smart needs to help you figure this out. I'd run screaming myself.

I mean if you did 20 hours a week/for 4 weeks that's still >$1200

I don't know...maybe my math is wrong. icon_biggrin.gif

10 hours a week 4 weeks a month to break even and pay >$600 <faint>

I mean you gotta be taking stuff home to work on to make it with overhead prices like these.

I mean for 400 more bucks you could have your own place 24/7.
Does not add up to me.

hollyheartscuppycakes Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 1:36am
post #29 of 59

Thanks for the info ladyonzlake. If Seattle wasnt so far I would totally check Home Cake Decorating Supply Co. I'll have to check out the websites and see what they have.
K8memphis when you break it down that way it does seem a lot. But this is something I want to do on the side. I have a full time job plus a family so I dont see my self there 10hrs a week. I guess if it turned into something full time I would definitely look for a permanent location but our economy still sucks and I sure wouldnt want to pour my heart, soul and money into something that could possible fail.

adventuregal Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 3:21am
post #30 of 59

It's hard to make a profit renting a kitchen UNLESS you are doing a large order. Say you rent for 17 and hour like me, but you are only doing for a one dozen order for 30.00...thats not any profit. So you really have to weigh the pro's and cons. Ideally you would be doing large order or wedding cakes. I get great use out of the kitchen when I'm doing my holiday shows-because I rent for a few hours and bake cookies, cake pops, cupcakes, etc. Keep in mind too that you will be able to create more product in the rental than you would at home icon_smile.gif The kitchen I rent has two stoves thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

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