Hi Everyone! I am new here and already loving it! SO much information, I am in cake overload!!
I was wondering if ya'll might be willing to help me out. My DH is willing to help me open a shop (non retail...appointment only) but we have to do it for under $15K. Crazy, right?
Well, I figured that if I start with only the basics (oven, fridge, freezer, sinks, sheeter) then I can always add things as I go along. I already have mixers, table, shelving, and supplies that I can already use. This would also have to include my licenses and inspections. My question is....am I missing anything and how can I keep costs down? Do I need to have a professional come in to lay everything out?
I would appreciate ANY help and advice you long time pros may have!
I'm in the process of opening a store front and because I am EXTRA paranoid, lol...I also figured in a years worth of rent into my start up costs, a years worth of water bills, electric, phone, internet, supplies-pots,pans-tips, boxes,cardboard cake circles all of that kind of stuff, ingredients for the first 6 months and insurance etc for the business... as well as 18 months worth of my personal bills (mortgage, electric,water, car, kids tuition, grocery expenses, car upkeep, etc)
before sinking money into something so life changing, I just wanted to be prepared for anything.
Ovens are pretty costly, if you're using gas you will need a hood and those go up into the thousands...also, you will need to have a plumber and an electrician make sure the place is up to date and to get everything in working order. Other costs, computer any computer software you may purchase, furniture for your business, decorating the inside, work counters, all of that kind of stuff. It's VERY easy to go over budget is what I'm finding out.
Also...Be sure to speak to someone from your health department regarding laws and use of equipment...Here in my state you can NOT use anything you have used in your home at your shop on food that you are planning on selling...So, that means I'm going to have to buy all new supplies...Mixers, pans, spatualas bowls, right down to the decorating tips.
$15K would be a good amount to keep a business running out of a rented commercial kitchen for a few years, but I don't see it being enough for outfitting a retail shop to pass inspection in most areas, unless a lot of the work is already done for you. If you need to improve the infrastructure of the building it could easily be 5-10 times as much.
Thanks for all of your replies and info!
Well, it won't be retail. Rather than rent kitchen space, it is cheaper for me to create my OWN commercial kitchen. I have rented for the past year and biz has grown more than I an handle in that little space and with the limited hours. I guess I am unsure about how to purchase the equipment. Obviously I'd like to buy used but if something really should be new then I'd like to plan for that.
There is no renovation needed on the place other than to put in flooring and my dad, DH, and I can do that easily enough. Do any of you have experience buying used equipment? What do you recommend?
Even though it won't be an actualy storefront shop open to the public, it would still have to meet all of the crazy requirements that a storefront sell shop would need to meet as far as equipment requirements and restrictions, bathroom requirements, electrical requirements, etc.
I don't honestly see any difference in cost as far as just opening up a place where you make cakes VS. opening up a store front where you make and sell cakes. Both versions of the shop would still have to meet all of the same requirements and would still have all of the same bills/expenses coming in every month.
I've never bought used equipment and was wondering about that myself...From what I understand, make sure it has a warranty even if it's used and make sure your business insurance will cover any damage that may occur to your appliances. I know in my city there are quite a few restaurant supply stores that sell both new and used equipment. Also, you may want to check craigslist out. Tons of restaurants have been going out of business lately and they list their equipment on there.
For some reason the site isn't allowing me to edit/add to my posts so I have to create a new one...
My best advice would be this...If your budget is $15K...I would save $25K just to be safe and to have that extra $10K cushion. You never know, you could get into opening your shop and realize the space needs more work than what you've planned for. Hidden costs and expenses have a crazy way of popping up and surprising us.
You have to go to the health department and get the requirements. Appointments mean customers in the shop, so a restroom they can use is a must. Tearing up a floor for a drain and wiring for commercial ovens will eat up most of that budget. If you need to bring the main line to a box, the wire alone is $8.00 per foot. Have contractors give you a price for buildout and double it. Problems arise. Permits will be several hundred dollars and only licensed contractors can do this. Do your homework. I owned the finished space. Both my husband and I have contractors licenses, so permits were pulled by us and work could be done by laborers, not contractors. Without a license, you may need an architectural approval. $15K would not touch our buildout. If you find an abandoned, approved kitchen, then you will be ok.
My only bill is an electric bill. You must have rent, etc., whether you make any money or not. And the rent starts with the signing of the lease. Buildout must be factored at double the time also. You may be several months to opening.
I don't mean to burst your bubble, but I don't see how 15K will even touch it. I know in our area you are not allowed to do your own work...you have to have a license contractor. They have to be commercial contractors for insurance reasons (especially if you are in a shopping center and he burns down the shopping center while working on your space, things like that) A hood will cost you more then 15K alone And a grease trap is required in most areas these days Do you realize how high your electric bill alone will be? And then you should have a cushion in savings to live off of for at least a year....(which also is more then 15K) And yes, you will have to bring your restroom up to code for disabilities (a lot of them aren't up to code in older buildings) which means a new toilet, and such. I would get lots of estimates then double it.
It all depends on where you live. I am putting a separate kitchen in the back of my house which is an existing room, but my husband used to do construction so hes doing all the work. Its going to run a couple thousand for the work to be done. Ive been collecting things for about 4 years now but still need allot. the fridge and sink I will buy after the room is done. Its allot of work but if thats what you want than go for it. I would like to have a store front eventually but my goal is to get this going first. i know that for at least the 1st year I wont make anything, so be prepared for that.