Need Help To Start Up In Sacramento County, California

Business By Lyla_03 Updated 9 Dec 2011 , 9:51pm by cakecraving

Lyla_03 Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 6:45am
post #1 of 18

Hi! I'm looking into starting up a cake biz in Sacramento, CA. I've looked into renting a commercial kitchen and having a separate studio/office. How does the health inspections work if I'm not the one who actually owns the kitchen? Where do I even begin? Health Dept or obtaining a business license? LOL I'm such a newbie! What other requirements are there?
Any help is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Lyla

17 replies
jason_kraft Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 7:46am
post #2 of 18

We rent a commercial kitchen in Santa Clara County, and we have to get inspected separately from the other tenants at the kitchen, carry our own liability insurance, and have our own food safety certificate. Sacramento probably works the same way but you'll want to confirm with the local health dept.

Personally I would work on finding a workspace that can pass health dept inspection first, that's the toughest hurdle. You have at least two good rental kitchen options in Sacramento (Mass Apeal and Steel Magnolia).

Lyla_03 Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 3:27pm
post #3 of 18

Thanks so much! I have my eyes on Steel Magnolia =) But what if I utilize two different commercial kitchens? Does it matter? If I work odd hours, how will they know when to do an inspection? I won't be in the kitchen on a regular basis since I'm just starting out =) It will be on an as needed basis.

jason_kraft Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 4:42pm
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyla_03

Thanks so much! I have my eyes on Steel Magnolia =) But what if I utilize two different commercial kitchens? Does it matter? If I work odd hours, how will they know when to do an inspection? I won't be in the kitchen on a regular basis since I'm just starting out =) It will be on an as needed basis.



In Santa Clara County you have to pay a separate yearly inspection fee (~$700) for each facility you work in, so if Sacramento has the same rule it may not be worth it to use two facilities. You would also need to maintain two sets of supplies and pay for on-site storage at both facilities, unless you want to keep moving your pans and ingredients from one kitchen to another.

We also don't have set hours in our kitchen, the county inspector contacts us through our kitchen manager to schedule a time if they need to conduct an inspection.

Lyla_03 Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 4:56pm
post #5 of 18

holy moley! $700, yeah I'll stick to ONE kitchen! lol Is that for the health department fee??

Thanks for all your help! I'm going to have a million questions. I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before I even think about charging people and advertising...The last thing I want to do is get in trouble with the law! =) But all this is making my brain hurt! haha! So I am VERY grateful for the help.

Lyla

jason_kraft Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 5:04pm
post #6 of 18

$700 is what the health dept charges annually for an inspection in Santa Clara County. Some other annual overhead costs we ran into are $800/year for an LLC (if you have a sole prop instead there's no fee), $50/year for the city's business license, and $500/year for liability insurance. I handle the accounting and tax returns myself, so if you will be outsourcing that you'll need to budget that cost as well (probably in the $200-300/year range).

If you need more local advice I would recommend contacting your local SCORE chapter, they provide free business counseling.

http://sacramento.score.org/

chrisviz Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 5:15pm
post #7 of 18

I am in your area... Thanks for the really good info! I hope to venture into this arena someday too icon_smile.gif

Lyla_03 Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 6:13pm
post #8 of 18

Thanks! Really helpful =) I'll look into SCORE today. I'm probably doing a sole prop to start out and maybe look into switching into LLC later when business picks up =)

Lyla_03 Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 6:21pm
post #9 of 18

Crisviz- Here's the website to the Sac County Dpt: http://www.emd.saccounty.net/EnvHealth/FoodProtect/SellingFood.html

jason_kraft Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 6:27pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyla_03

Crisviz- Here's the website to the Sac County Dpt: http://www.emd.saccounty.net/EnvHealth/FoodProtect/SellingFood.html



FYI it looks like you would probably be classified under fee code 1623 if you operated out of a rental facility (Food Prep Establishment without Hood <2,000 sq. ft.), Sacramento charges $998/year for that.

http://www.emd.saccounty.net/Documents/Fees/2011-12FeeSchedule-EH.htm#Food

itsacake Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 2:42am
post #11 of 18

Interesting. The Santa Clara Health department charged me as the kitchen owner $846.00 for the year and the three businesses that share my space were also charged $846.00 each. I wonder why it was more for us than for you, Jason.

Three years ago, when I was sharing space in San Mateo county, they only charged us $436.00, so different counties are obviously different, and somehow even within the county there must be differences.

Also, one of the ladies in my kitchen recently found out that we can sell to caterers and other businesses and to customers who order from us directly, but if we want to participate in a street fair or other event, there is a temporary event license that is another $188.00 just for the day of the event. Since she didn't know, the said she could either take all her product home or pay for the permit and a late fee because the permit wasn't obtained in advance. It ended up being $235.00 so she could participate in the event Everyone was very apologetic but unyielding about the extra day charge.

nikki4199 Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 2:58am
post #12 of 18

My aunt tried to rent the steele magnolia place like last month. The lady made an appt. then never showed. Then told her they might be closing. So now she is baking out of a kitchen in loomis.

Lyla_03 Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 3:53am
post #13 of 18

OOOh! Nikki thank you! That's good to know. I'll just have to search for another since I don't want to risk them closing down on me =/

jason_kraft Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 4:42am
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsacake

Interesting. The Santa Clara Health department charged me as the kitchen owner $846.00 for the year and the three businesses that share my space were also charged $846.00 each. I wonder why it was more for us than for you, Jason.



Based on the Santa Clara DEH fee schedule it looks like you were probably assigned program code 1651 (bakery 0-7 employees), which is an annual fee of $846.

We were classified under program code 1623 (restaurant 0-5 employees) by the health dept, which is $728/year. I'm guessing that since our shared commercial kitchen includes mostly caterers instead of bakers they just assign everyone at the address to the same classification, or it could just be that different inspectors assign businesses differently.

Lyla_03 Posted 7 Aug 2011 , 3:25am
post #15 of 18

FYI: Steel Magnolia isn't closing anymore. They were able to stay open =) YAY! Everyone wins...since now they have a sheeter! lol I'm super excited! Gail from steel magnolia is fantastic!

I also spoke with Erica from Mass Apeal and they too are wonderful! In case anyone was looking around for kitchens.

Both are awesome kitchens, but I ended up going with Steel Magnolia since they can do "as needed" hours.

fondantgrl Posted 7 Aug 2011 , 4:24am
post #16 of 18

Hello,

I live in Elk Grove, CA which is Sacramento County... in the past I was very interested in starting a cake business, but all the requirements to me are so discouraging that is why I just do it as a hobby now. when I make cakes I give them away.. at least that way I can still practice...

I'm happy to see someone here from my home town...

evelyn moore
elk grove, ca

Lyla_03 Posted 15 Sep 2011 , 3:13pm
post #17 of 18

Hi Evelynn! =)

I'm at the final stretch and I can't wait til it's official!

cakecraving Posted 9 Dec 2011 , 9:51pm
post #18 of 18

Thanks for all this info. I am in the Sacramento area and would love to open a cake bakery. Right now I am doing cakes for family and friends. I always have people asking for business cards and feel so silly when I tell them I am not a baker nor do I own a bakery. I wish I could open a bakery I know I am losing out on a ton of business. All info. that can be provided is great. I am not sure I can go into business by myself (a little scary) and no funds. But the dream is still there icon_smile.gif

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