Commercial Kitchen 101

Business By vgcea Updated 8 Apr 2012 , 4:25am by vgcea

vgcea Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 5:16am
post #1 of 15

Hi everyone.

Lately there has been a number of threads with questions about commercial kitchens, where to find one, what the licensing, Insurance, and Health department requirements are e.t.c.

I think it would be nice to have a thread where this information is pooled.

So if you work out of a commercial kitchen please share your experience: What does your city/state require? Why did you choose that route? What did you have to do to get one? Do you rent by the hour or large blocks of time or do you barter? How do you fit baking in a commercial kitchen into your caking schedule (do you bake at night, for instance)? What tools do you bring with you, and what do they provide (storage, equipment)? Where/how do you store your products? What advice would you give a home-baker looking to expand beyond "cottage food?" What are costs/overhead involved (not necessarily a dollar amount)?

Of course you don't have to answer all these questions. Just whatever you feel like sharing.

Thank you!

14 replies
Bridgette1129 Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 6:23am
post #2 of 15

[quote="vgcea"]
What does your city/state require?
Business license: $10
Permit/Health inspection: Just under $1000

Do you rent by the hour or large blocks of time or do you barter?
Rent by month.

What tools do you bring with you, and what do they provide (storage, equipment)?
HD requires me to keep ALL supplies/ingredients at kitchen. I am provided with dry storage as well as room in the fridge.
They provide mixers, oven, stove and sheet pans.

All4Show Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 6:05pm
post #3 of 15

I also like to hear from people who have their own commercial kitchens on their property. What are the requirements in your state for that?

vgcea Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 10:18pm
post #4 of 15

[quote="Bridgette1129"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea


What does your city/state require?
Business license: $10
Permit/Health inspection: Just under $1000

Do you rent by the hour or large blocks of time or do you barter?
Rent by month.

What tools do you bring with you, and what do they provide (storage, equipment)?
HD requires me to keep ALL supplies/ingredients at kitchen. I am provided with dry storage as well as room in the fridge.
They provide mixers, oven, stove and sheet pans.




Thank you for sharing this information Bridgette1129 thumbs_up.gif

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 11:00pm
post #5 of 15

Thank you vccea for starting this post as it's something I'm interested in too.

To Bridgette: when you say you rent for the month, are you able to use the kitchen anytime you want for however long you want or do you need to work out times with others that are also using it? Thanks! icon_smile.gif

Cakery2012 Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 11:41pm
post #6 of 15

It would be helpful to others near you to put what state or even area you live . But I fully understand if someone doesnt want to.do that .

I may semi.retire early in the next one or two years . I would love to have a liscened kitchen in my home or on my property . I will be moving to a tri state area .So I will be moving to one of three states near family .
Right now I only make cakes for fun and Birthdays or showers as gifts. I work lots of overtime at my FTjob so I really dont even I have time for that.

Cakery2012 Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 11:45pm
post #7 of 15

It would be helpful to others near you to put what state or even area you live . But I fully understand if someone doesnt want to.do that .

I may semi.retire early in the next one or two years . I would love to have a liscened kitchen in my home or on my property . I will be moving to a tri state area .So I will be moving to one of three states near family .
Right now I only make cakes for fun and Birthdays or showers as gifts. I work lots of overtime at my FTjob so I really dont even I have time for that.

Bridgette1129 Posted 1 Apr 2012 , 12:22am
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Sugar_Fairy

To Bridgette: when you say you rent for the month, are you able to use the kitchen anytime you want for however long you want or do you need to work out times with others that are also using it? Thanks! icon_smile.gif




Hi Sugar Fairy - I pay $250 per month for 40 hours that I can use whenever I want. The kitchen is 24/7 and I have a key code to get in. There isn't too many people so coming and going as you please is not an issue except on the weekends when it's busier.

Cakery2012 Posted 1 Apr 2012 , 1:22am
post #9 of 15

I do.have a question about those using commercial kitchens . Do you then deliver the cake or do they pick it up ? Im assuming you arent allowed to take it home with you ?

vgcea Posted 4 Apr 2012 , 5:55am
post #10 of 15

bumping...

scp1127 Posted 4 Apr 2012 , 6:07am
post #11 of 15

I have a commercial kitchen on my property. In MD and my county in WV, there are no separate bakery provisions so I had to comply with the same code that a commercial restaurant would have. Both areas are very expensive to start. We already owned about 1400 sf finished space with compliant walls, floors, doors, restroom, and drains. We both have contractors' licenses and bypassed the costs of a contractor, we could pull our own permits, and hire subs. We had bids to do the work for $50,000. We opted to hire laborers and oversee it ourselves. It still cost us about $25,000. It is a dream of a place to work.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 4 Apr 2012 , 2:49pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakery2012

I do.have a question about those using commercial kitchens . Do you then deliver the cake or do they pick it up ? Im assuming you arent allowed to take it home with you ?




I was wondering about this part too.

Bridgette1129 Posted 8 Apr 2012 , 2:04am
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Sugar_Fairy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakery2012

I do.have a question about those using commercial kitchens . Do you then deliver the cake or do they pick it up ? Im assuming you arent allowed to take it home with you ?



I was wondering about this part too.




I'm 99% sure you can't take it home, but I don't do it. I have them pick it up or I deliver it. My kitchen has a lobby for the customers to meet me in.

Amylou Posted 8 Apr 2012 , 4:08am
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by All4Show

I also like to hear from people who have their own commercial kitchens on their property. What are the requirements in your state for that?




We are in the process of doing this. Basically, like the PP, I have to comply with the same regs of a restaurant kitchen, with very slight modifications.

I don't have to have a grease trap, since we are on septic. I can use residential refrigerator/freezer. I will have to do quarterly water testing since we are on a well...those in the city don't have to do this.

The gentleman that drew up my plans was the former Planner for the Zoning Dept. He fought hard for the HD to allow me to not have to put in a separate bathroom. You see, in order for me to get zoned for a rural home occupation, I cannot have any employees or customers come to the property, therefore it is JUST me. The planner felt that while there are regs to follow, there should be common sense applied also. The HD didn't agree. I do understand that codes are codes and they can't bend them for some and not others.

To give you an idea of costs (so far)...

$125 - HD kitchen plan review fee
$495 - Zoning application
$35 - fee to record a notarized statement that we are not using this space as a second residence
$650 - Buiding permit (which is waiting for me now...taxes and hubby having to purchase a truckload of diesel have put my writing the check for the permit on hold!!)

A contractor friend will be doing all the framing, etc. and electrical. Fortunately all we have to pay for are the supplies. The only thing we will have to hire out is the plumbing.

Oh...and I'm in CA icon_smile.gif

vgcea Posted 8 Apr 2012 , 4:25am
post #15 of 15

Thank you scp1127, Bridgette1129 (are y'all related? icon_biggrin.gif) and Amylou for contributing to this thread. I hope more people would chime in soon.

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