Opening A Store/office For My Cottage Foods Business-Advice

Business By godsgood Updated 24 Oct 2011 , 9:59pm by cakegirl1973

godsgood Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 6:27pm
post #1 of 6

For the last 5 years I have used my church's kitchen, had a food establishment license, and did the health inspections. I didn't know up til a few months ago that Michigan had passed the CFL last year. When I started it was illegal. So since it was such a pain in the butt to do it at the kitchen, I decided to start doing it from home under the CFL. I have wanted a shop for 5 years, but never could afford it. However, last week one just kind of dropped into my lap for super cheap, and I am getting ready to lease a storefront right around the corner from my house to do consults and office work in, and still do baking from home, so I don't have to deal with the permits and inspections and whatnot. So I have a few random questions.

One, do you know if I do the baking at home, can I do the decorating at the shop? Or do I also have to do the decorating at home? My problem is I have stuff scattered all over the place, I have small children who like to touch, and not much space to lay things out. I would love to bake the cakes, wrap them, and take them straight over to the shop to finish. Would that be legal?

Also, I am required to have commercial property insurance, I know of the places that offer it, but since I am impatient, and no one is open til Monday, does anyone know apx. how much insurance would be? I know it varies with type of building, etc, but any ball park figures?

And, I guess, the most important questions for you guys especially (since no one else understands) would be what things do you think are the most important to have in the shop? What can I do without right now, and what are absolute musts? Assuming I am going to be doing the decorating there, what kind of tables, storage, etc. do you advise? What type of setup do you advise for consultations? I have been doing them in my church fellowship hall up til now, so I have to use what they have there, and now that I have the freedom to set it up how I want, I can't decide what I want. Same goes for kitchen space and counters, now I can set up my workspace however, and I'm a little at a loss as to how to maximize what I have.

It is a 500 sq. ft. space, I am planning on separating it into front consult/display space, and back work space. Just kind of wanted some suggestions on how to set it all up, or how you would do it if you had it.

Oh, and I am so super excited I could jump up and down and scream, but no one around me would get that, so I wanted someone else to be excited with me! So glad you all understand that!

Thanks for reading this forever long post, and any ideas are appreciated!

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5 replies
MimiFix Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:06pm
post #2 of 6

Congratulations on your new possibilities!

Do you know if your concept (home production then finishing production in a different retail space) is allowed under your CFL? I would speak with whichever agency is responsible for the CFL in your state to see if there are any restrictions. My state has a CFL but restricts production to the home kitchen only. If your idea is allowed, then I would get insurance ($400 and up? just a guess) and set up a small retail sales area in the front with visibility from the back production area.

godsgood Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:53pm
post #3 of 6

I know I can set it up just as an office space, for consults and such, but I am not sure about the decorating. I was wondering if anyone here knew. I will call them on Monday, but I thought someone here might be able to help me out without having to wait til then.

godsgood Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 5:10am
post #4 of 6

Anyone have any ideas on how to set up the place? 500 square feet, a little like a rectangle. Facing the building, door is on the left, window on the right. How do you set up your displays, etc.?

lovecakes52 Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 7:02am
post #5 of 6

CONGRATS TO YOU!!! I wish you success! Be sure and send us all pictures when you get it set up!

cakegirl1973 Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 9:59pm
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by godsgood

I know I can set it up just as an office space, for consults and such, but I am not sure about the decorating. I was wondering if anyone here knew. I will call them on Monday, but I thought someone here might be able to help me out without having to wait til then.




How I read and understand the MI cottage law, you would have to do all your baking and decorating at your home. If you were to do the decorating in a different location, then you would not be under the cottage law anymore. HTH and good luck!

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