Making A Commercial Kitchen Space Work.

Business By fsinger84 Updated 9 Sep 2011 , 10:37am by MimiFix

fsinger84 Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 11:09pm
post #1 of 4

So I finally found space. After doing the farmers market for two years I will finally have a kitchen space! The space is a commercial kitchen in back and in front will be breads, coffee beans, a few dry bulk items, deli to go, sodas, and misc items. I can also sell what I want out the front of the store daily (the store takes cash, debit/credit, and EBT).

-The per hour rate will start at 16.00 per hour and go down from there.
-I can sell what I make out of the front of shop with a 20% charge (cupcakes, brownies, cake pops whatever).
-I can have special orders ready for pick up at no charge! (still making sure of this I advised I would not pay 20% for this, I would just charge delivery instead).
-We are working out a lower percentage/hourly rate based on if I come in and run the front of house a few hours a week, it would save her time and that would be less she would have to pay someone else to do it.

So my big question is how do I make this all work? I am writing up the business plan and right now I am trying to figure out if I can bake everything in advance once or twice a week for the whole week. I am thinking of doing muffins, cupcakes, brownies, cake pops and maybe whoopie pies for the retail space and freezing a bunch and then just taking out some every day for the store area. I have no idea how to plan on how much will sell each day either.

I will also have everything available for special order pick up for orders by the dozen. I have a small bbq chain with 4 locations that wants to discuss carrying my cupcakes as their dessert, and a spa that wants to carry my cake pops. I will also be able to start shipping my cake pops which I wasnt able to do before. I am also thinking of sending every coffee shop in town info on how to carry my cakepops.

So basically any advice/tips would help?!?!? I am upping my prices to help offset the profit margins and I do know how much everything costs to make but I do everything out of my home right now for the market and I do a bit at a time so I am not sure how to figure out the cost of the kitchen time into everything. Or even how much time I would need to work into my expenses.

If it helps in your advice I make cupcakes 2.50ea, cake pops 1.75ea, muffins 2.00ea, brownies 2.25 ea. I keep the costs low by using mixes for the pops, and doctored sams icing for everything.

3 replies
fsinger84 Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 4:57am
post #2 of 4

I know my question was long and I was rambling a bit, but does anyone have any advice at all?

Evoir Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 5:34am
post #3 of 4

I guess its a pretty unique, complex arrangement you have there, so maybe some peeps are just a bit shy to offer advice!

I like the idea of you baking 2-3 days a week and freezing what you can. Although I do think that things like muffins and cuppies are best on the day they are made (sorry!)

If you want some ideas on good sturdy, freezable cakes I would suggest things like brownies and mud cakes, plus mini cheesecake portions.

I think if there was any business advice it would be to institute a trial period with the store owner, of maybe 3 months, get it in writing. After that point you can all renogotiate on another term. I would think after three months you'd have a fair idea of how to run it to its best advantage (not accounting for any seasonal variations). Plus it may not work for either one of you and you can thus part ways amicably if it all goes pear-shaped. Just CYA.

I hope this helps a bit!

MimiFix Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 10:37am
post #4 of 4

You have an interesting arrangement with good possibilities for success. For retail sales it's always a guess as to how much product you'll sell. You'll have to judge based on how busy this location is, shelf life of your products, and how often you can stop by and restock.

Are other businesses sharing this space? That may impact how you'll grow. And I would make sure to have locked storage, or transport all your ingredients/products back to home base.

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