Commercil Kitchen Questions

Business By lacey88 Updated 8 Feb 2011 , 11:15pm by Cascades

lacey88 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 12:37am
post #1 of 17

i am in the process of starting my own cake business. i have a shared commercial kitchen that i am looking into renting. $250 per month.....and only 20 hours per month.

however, today i came across a small storefront that has been vacant for a long time. for just a little more money i could rent the storefront, and have 24 hour access....instead of trying to share a kitchen with a million other people.

i guess what i'm wondering is....this storefront doesn't have a kitchen. how much could i expect to spend on a kitchen if i pursued the storefront. i dont need a lot....an oven, 3 compartment sink, and some sort of cooler.....i'm sure there are oher things as well (i just dont know what they are). can you even use just a regular fridge? this may sound silly to some....but i've never done this before. thanks!

16 replies
bellaudreycakes Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 12:54am
post #2 of 17

I am going through the same process right now, the place I am renting use to be a salon so I have the plumbing and electrical however I will need to add additional outlets and plumbing ect. I have to have a 3 compartment sink, hand sink (bathroom does not count) and mop sink all NSF, along with all my equipment has to be commercial NSF including oven, fridge, and freezer. Some states may have different requirements. As for the place you are looking to rent if it doesn't have much plumbing ect I would have a plumber and electrician scoop out the place first to make sure you don't have to spend a fortune for that. I would call your local health dept. for the rules and regulations in your state, they were very friendly and helpful to me, and answered all of my 1000 questions lol. Good Luck thumbs_up.gif

SonolitoSweets Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 1:31am
post #3 of 17

Good for you on taking the first step lacey88!

jschilt1 is totally correct about contacting your local health department. A couple of things to keep in mind as your doing this process:

1. Compare the cost of doing business in a storefront versus sharing a kitchen. Remember that you will have quite a bit more overhead to maintain (electric, rent, insurance, gas, etc...) with a storefront.

2. Talk with a small business planner or equivalent. This is a big step! talk with financial planners and advisors to give their input. You don;t have to take it, but at least you'll have options.

3. Check out local restaurants that are going out of business. They usually are willing to sell their equipment at a reasonable price.

4. Meet with your community/economic development planner. Believe it or not, they may have some programs that are grant based that may help cover some of your initial construction costs. Tax Increment Financing is very common.

5. Check local zoning requirements. Certain areas in municipalities allow certain businesses. Make sure your bakery is allowed in that storefront.

6. Do your homework on the property. Sometimes a lengthy storefront vacancy is for a reason. High rent, foreclosure, building code violations could be factors. Check with you local tax assessor to inquire about the owner. A bank will likely mean foreclosure, but not always. Your local building department can provide information for you about the property through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Good luck!!

lovescakes Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 1:32am
post #4 of 17

I just went through the same process, rented a store front with a small kitchen in the back and the health inspector only require me to put a 3 compartment sink, a hand sink and a mop sink... I have regular refrigerators which are ok, I just have to keep it at 40 degrees and the oven it's a regular house stove because that's what the town allow me to have beacuse I have tennants living upstairs so it's ok with the health department, they are very helpful and easy to work with..for now I don't use the store front, I only use it as a work shop!
now I have to pay rent/water/electricity/gas/internet/phone + ingredients and supplies, but I'm confortable and I don't have to share with anybody and since I double my prices its going Ok, soon I'll be hiring help!!

lacey88 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 1:40am
post #5 of 17

thank you both. you have really given me a lot to think about!

jschilt1....this may sound silly, but what do you mean by NSF? does that simply mean commercial grade? i'm assuming most states don't let you use a basic fridge and oven (like the ones found in our homes)?? i'm just wondering if i can do this cheaply at first....

i've just looked at this place from the outside. if i get lucky maybe there will be a kitchen inside! its located in a small town near my home. a lot of small businesses have gone out of business there thanks to the economy.....

bigwheals Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 1:49am
post #6 of 17

I just opened up my cake shoppe three days ago and i did have to do quit abit of plumbing because of the three comp sink and hand sink plus they require a mop sink to be in also if you have a regular stove you will need a hood range and that can be costly and tricky just find out from your local health dept. I also have tenents living in the upper section of the building hope this helps

jason_kraft Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 1:52am
post #7 of 17

As a point of reference, I know someone who brought an existing vacant property up to code for use as a commercial kitchen in northern CA, and it ended up taking about 18 months and cost $120,000.

bellaudreycakes Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 2:12am
post #8 of 17

NSF means National Sanitation Foundation basically meaning they certify cookware for commercial use. Trust me when I started this process I didn't know what half this stuff meant either. I would assume that you probably would have to have commercial appliances but check with health dept. they will give you a packet of info that they require. Also check into used equiptment or wholesale places you can find things cheaper. I found a local wholesaler that had blodgett oven for 2,900 brand new full size, 3 compartment sink for 400, fridge for 1100 freezer for 800, hand sink for 80, just to give you a price range, however thats all new stuff you may be able to find it cheaper used, also check craigslist. Just be careful what you buy that it is NSF listed, works good, etc.

there are alot of hoops and loops you have to jump through to get buiding and health inspectors to okay everything plans and permits but if you really want to do this like I do than go for it, get all of your information together talk to a plumber, electrician and health dept, and go from there. Everyone has to start somewhere, good luck to you!

lacey88 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:49pm
post #9 of 17

thank you everyone for your help! i so appreciate it! i have a lot of research ahead of me, but you all have made it that much easier icon_smile.gif

lacey88 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:50pm
post #10 of 17

thank you everyone for your help! i so appreciate it! i have a lot of research ahead of me, but you all have made it that much easier icon_smile.gif

lacey88 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:51pm
post #11 of 17

thank you everyone for your help! i so appreciate it! i have a lot of research ahead of me, but you all have made it that much easier icon_smile.gif

lacey88 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:52pm
post #12 of 17

thank you everyone for your help! i so appreciate it! i have a lot of research ahead of me, but you all have made it that much easier icon_smile.gif

lacey88 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:53pm
post #13 of 17

thank you everyone for your help! i so appreciate it! i have a lot of research ahead of me, but you all have made it that much easier icon_smile.gif

lacey88 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 6:54pm
post #14 of 17

thank you everyone for your help! i so appreciate it! i have a lot of research ahead of me, but you all have made it that much easier icon_smile.gif

lacey88 Posted 3 Feb 2011 , 11:57pm
post #15 of 17

i only posted my response twice.....sorry no idea why its on here like 50 times

tiaracakes Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 6:18pm
post #16 of 17

$250 per month for 20 hrs? that is seriously cheap. I pay $25 per hour icon_sad.gif

Cascades Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 11:15pm
post #17 of 17

I too am seriously thinking of opening a cake kitchen in a building that was previously a hair salon. It has an upgraded electrical system and there is existing plumbing. I have my own commercial kitchen (fully licensed) on my property in CA. I have outgrown it though and was thinking I could go forward and have a street front. Just custom orders. I have all the equipment, but there is a tenant above the store front...so don't know what to do with hood. So many things to think about, I know what you are feeling.

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