I am a home-baker and in wisconsin i cannot obtain a license for my home kitchen. We looked into renting commercial kitchen space, and after researching our options decided it was not the right idea for us.
My ideal situation would involve being able to sell my cookies by way of custom orders, as well as rent a table at a local Farmer's Market to sell them.
Hubby came up with the idea of taking a portfolio around to local small bakeries (as opposed to the bakery i work in- we do a lot of wholesale bread and rolls and our kitchen is ALWAYS occupied, there is no room for me there!) to possibly find a shop that would be interested in allowing me to use their kitchen to produce cookies. (i would obtain any additional insurance if that would be necessary.)
He made the points that the shop could sell my cookies in their store (so there would be some profit on their end) and that it would expand their business to be able to offer more options to their customers. As far as the financial aspect goes, i would be flexible in what I could offer, whether it would be a set rate for use of their kitchen, or a percentage of the profits for the cookie sales. (both my hubby's ideas, he is a barber and that is how he does it... he can either pay the shop owner a monthly 'rent' for his chair, or pay the owner a percentage of his sales)
So far, this is just a lot of vague ideas in my head that would obviously require more planning! But it's really got my gears going. I know there are a lot of Cupcake Bakeries in my area... that's the type of place i keep going back to in my head....
Anyway, i hope i kind of explained this properly. I'm just curious as to what any small bakery owners would think if someone came to them with this idea! (you'll never know if you don't ask, right?!)
As long as you aren't offering a product that they are already offering, it's a great idea!
I think that is why my first thought was a little cupcakery... those just seem to be popping up everywhere! and all the ones i've been in do nothing but cupcakes, period. I think having just a little something extra to offer could potentially be as benificial to someone as the situation would be to me!
If you can find a bakery willing to agree with this (and the numbers in your business plan work out) then you should definitely go for it. If you will be keeping your other job at the bakery you're at now you should clear it with them though.
You don't necessarily need to limit yourself to bakeries, restaurants and catering companies may have commercial space you can rent during off hours.