In the state of Washington it is illegal to do cakes from home unless I have a 2nd kitchen. I currently rent a commercial kitchen (which I can't stand!)...With the housing prices being more affordable, I have been considering purchasing a home so that I can convert space into the 2nd kitchen. In my area all the equipment must be commercial grade, so it could be quite costly.....My dilema here is, do I continue to rent space from a commercial kitchen or take the leap and build my own space? My husband is concerned that we will invest all this money and not be able to pay it off for a long time or I will get burnt out and quit....I do not forsee that happening, but you never know! I do not have any desire to open a bakery, I want it to stay a private cake studio. At what point do you know it's time to take the next step and build your own space?
One thing to consider is if you can have a comercial property (which is what you would end up with if you converted a house to a comercial kitchen) in a residentual neighborhood.
TexasSugar is right. It is not just the health dept that has the final say. There is the planning commission, sanitation, architectural and engineering permits, plumbing approval, electrical approval, and a restroom requirement if you are going to allow the public in the shop (especially for tastings). Then there are requirements like floor drains, pumping stations, and underground grease traps that will never give you a return on your investment.
If you plan on moving, get ALL approvals in writing before you ever sign a contract on a house.
Yikes! I knew about some of the zoning/permits, but that is alot! Sounds like I would be better off waiting this out until I find a restaurant closing so I can lease space of my own. I wanted more than anything to do this from my home since I have 2 little boys, but in Washington state they make it impossible! Thanks for the replies ladies For now I will continue to rent the commercial kitchen.