California....help Me Please!

Business By betty88 Updated 7 Jul 2011 , 7:59pm by betty88

betty88 Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 2:53pm
post #1 of 15

Hello all!

I, like many out there, would like to start up my own business. I live in CA and as you know we are NOT allowed to legally sell baked goods from our home thumbsdown.gif
I was thinking of turning my garage into a licensed commercial kitchen but I have no clue where to start or what the requirements are...PLEASE HELP!!!!!! icon_cry.gif

Thank you!! icon_rolleyes.gif

14 replies
kakeladi Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 3:45pm
post #2 of 15

You not only have to deal w/health dept requirements but city (village, whatever), county and state laws. Most cities will not allow you to turn a garage into a kitchen.

In one town I lived in they would not even allow me to offer classes in my home because 'it would bring traffic into a residencial area'. Only piano lessons were allowed and that was because a town official's wife did it!! When I ?ed their thinking I asked "can I hold Bible study classes for say 20 people?" Oh, that's ok. "But I can't have 3-5 people come in to learn how to decorate cakes?" NO!

What it comes down to is using residencial property for commercial use.

betty88 Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 4:10pm
post #3 of 15

so would it be best for me to just try and find a kitchen to rent?

StacyN Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 4:14pm
post #4 of 15

I too am in Ca. I remember reading somewhere that in Ca. you cannot even add a kitchen onto your house to bake from because if its zoned residential. Im sure there is someone on CC here who knows more. But I think in Ca. really the only way is to rent a commercial kitchen.

betty88 Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 4:39pm
post #5 of 15

dang that really sucks!

Thank you though for letting me know....it's gonna be pretty hard to find a commercial kitchen to rent in the small town I live in but I will try...I was hella looking forward to it too :/

jason_kraft Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 4:55pm
post #6 of 15

Where in CA are you? If there are no rental kitchens or incubators in your area you may be able to work out a deal with an existing restaurant or church to use their kitchen.

staciessweets Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 4:55pm
post #7 of 15

Check to see what your area is zone for.

betty88 Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:00pm
post #8 of 15

I am in Los Banos CA
small city....very small

I work full time in San Jose and have to commute to and from work everyday...it is such a struggle to have to do that then go home to a very active 5 year old and have to bake on top of all that...but I love it. I have recently been thinking of quitting my day job to focus more on my son and on baking but I don't know if it will be worth it if I cannot find somewhere to do my baking legally...what do you think? I am pretty lost and confused icon_sad.gif

jason_kraft Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:12pm
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by betty88

I am in Los Banos CA
small city....very small

I work full time in San Jose and have to commute to and from work everyday...it is such a struggle to have to do that then go home to a very active 5 year old and have to bake on top of all that...but I love it. I have recently been thinking of quitting my day job to focus more on my son and on baking but I don't know if it will be worth it if I cannot find somewhere to do my baking legally...what do you think? I am pretty lost and confused icon_sad.gif



There are actually several commercial kitchen rentals in the San Jose area (we use one for our business) but as you know it's a haul from Los Banos -- I can't imagine taking the 152 every day, what a pain. The best bet would probably be looking for existing restaurants or bakeries in the area that would be willing to rent you time during off hours.

I'm not sure how strict Merced County is, but Santa Clara County is tough on unlicensed bakers. If you don't need the money from home baking and stick to only family and close friends without advertising the risk might be worth it, but otherwise I wouldn't.

If you want to make money baking without having to worry about managing a business (i.e. accounting, legal compliance, marketing) you are probably better off working for someone else. There are a few bakeries in Los Banos and Dos Palos you may want to contact. There is also already at least one custom cake shop in Los Banos that's advertising and seems to have a good reputation (not sure if it's legal or not), so it might be difficult to compete in such a small market if you set up shop on your own.

Fairytale Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:30pm
post #10 of 15

You might want to check with the cake club in Morgan Hill. They have a lot of members and might know of some options down your way. The club is called "Sweet Things of Silicon Valley. You can find their web page on-line. The trouble is that there is nothing really very close to Los Banos. Good luck.

betty88 Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:39pm
post #11 of 15

jason_kraft


what is the name of the cake shop in los banos?

and thank both you and Fairytale
for all the help. I will try to find some place that is willing to rent their kitchen out to me. What will I need if I do find a place though? my own insurance? license?

jason_kraft Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:50pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by betty88

jason_kraft


what is the name of the cake shop in los banos?



This link shows all bakeries in the area:
http://www.google.com/search?q=bakery+near+los+banos,+ca&num=20&hl=en&prmd=ivnscm&source=univ&tbm=plcs&tbo=u&ei=qfAVToauNualsQKF8Plo&sa=X&oi=local_group&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CDAQtwMwAA&biw=1125&bih=707

Aside from a Mexican bakery that probably doesn't focus on custom cakes, Nani's Cakery looks to be a custom cake shop and appears to be run from home (although I can't confirm that). Even if she is unlicensed, working for her might be an option so you don't have to shoulder the risk yourself, assuming she has enough business to hire help.

Quote:
Quote:

I will try to find some place that is willing to rent their kitchen out to me. What will I need if I do find a place though? my own insurance? license?



The way it typically works is that you bring your own insurance (~$400-500/year) and business license (~$50/year depending on the town). You are then inspected separately in the kitchen, inspection fees in Santa Clara County are ~$700/year so they'd probably be similar in Merced.

betty88 Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 5:55pm
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by betty88

jason_kraft


what is the name of the cake shop in los banos?


This link shows all bakeries in the area:
http://www.google.com/search?q=bakery+near+los+banos,+ca&num=20&hl=en&prmd=ivnscm&source=univ&tbm=plcs&tbo=u&ei=qfAVToauNualsQKF8Plo&sa=X&oi=local_group&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CDAQtwMwAA&biw=1125&bih=707

Aside from a Mexican bakery that probably doesn't focus on custom cakes, Nani's Cakery looks to be a custom cake shop and appears to be run from home (although I can't confirm that). Even if she is unlicensed, working for her might be an option so you don't have to shoulder the risk yourself, assuming she has enough business to hire help.

Quote:
Quote:

I will try to find some place that is willing to rent their kitchen out to me. What will I need if I do find a place though? my own insurance? license?


The way it typically works is that you bring your own insurance (~$400-500/year) and business license (~$50/year depending on the town). You are then inspected separately in the kitchen, inspection fees in Santa Clara County are ~$700/year so they'd probably be similar in Merced.


WOW thank you soo very much! all of this is very helpful!!
i really appreciate you answering all of my questions and taking the time to send me the link

i can't thank you enough!!

Fairytale Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 7:54pm
post #14 of 15

You may also need to file for a factitious name permit, which you then need to have published in a newspaper. If your not using your own name, but a business name, you will also need to do a name search to make sure it is not already being used.

betty88 Posted 7 Jul 2011 , 7:59pm
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairytale

You may also need to file for a factitious name permit, which you then need to have published in a newspaper. If your not using your own name, but a business name, you will also need to do a name search to make sure it is not already being used.


thank you icon_smile.gif

i will do so

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