Good afternoon Cake Central users
I have a really quick (hopefully) question. This past January I was laid off from my job with no real answer of if or when I could be looking on going back. With that extra time off I started baking a lot more. There are quite a few people in my family, including me, who have a wheat or dairy intolerance. So I have been experimenting with baking cupcakes and cakes that are wheat free and dairy free. The city (southeast WI) I live in doesn't really offer choices like that so I decided to open up my own business selling wheat free and dairy free cupcakes and cakes!
After much research I find out that the state of Wisconsin doesn't allow you to bake and sell out of your home unless you have a SEPARATE commercial kitchen in your home. Well who can afford that??? So I have been looking for commercial kitchens that will rent out their kitchen. This hasn't been the easiest, which I knew it wouldn't be.
So I'm posting this question to all you wonderful individuals ... Where are you baking? Did you find a church that would work with you? And incubator kitchen that isn't too terribly expensive? A local, but small, restaurant? I'm trying to really think outside the box.
Thanks for your help, it is truly appreciated.
Which city are you located in?
Since you will be focusing on gluten-free products your options might be more limited. For example you probably won't be able to share kitchen space with a restaurant, since no airborne wheat products can be used in the kitchen within 24 hours to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
Your best bet (aside from your own shop or building a separate kitchen at your home) would be a shared commercial kitchen rental facility that has segregated kitchens and a landlord willing to work with you scheduling-wise to avoid airborne cross contamination. This is the setup we had for our allergy-friendly bakery in California.
You can also lobby the state legislature to pass a cottage food law in your area. Here is a relevant thread:
I live in Racine, just south of Milwaukee. There are two places that are located in Milwaukee, however, they charge a pretty decent price per hour that I just don't have starting out. That's why I'm trying to see if there are other options that could be cheaper.
And I do realize that if I were to claim them gluten free it would have to be in a gluten free certified kitchen. So until this gets big and I have enough money to open my own place I can only say wheat free. That is awesome that you have that option in CA ... maybe I should see if my husband would be willing to move lol
The rental we use is $10-20/month depending on how many hours you use, you just have to include that cost in your final price. You can often negotiate on price if the kitchen is not booked solid. Since WI does not have a CFL all your competitors will face similar costs, except for illegal bakers who can be shut down.
You don't necessarily need a completely gluten-free kitchen to cater to the gluten-free market. Our bakery even makes some items containing gluten, but we structure our baking schedule carefully and limit the number of orders so we can dedicate specific days to gluten-free baking only.
BTW a gluten-free retailer recently opened in Racine, you may want to consider partnering with them to see if they have a kitchen on their property or would be willing to work with you to add one.
Thats good to know about the gluten free kitchen, thanks
I have been to that company before and it's just a store ... no kitchen. But I never thought to ask if they would consider opening up one. I'll have to ask! Worse they can say is no.
Regarding the separate kitchen, I live in Ky and converted our garage. My husband made $13 an hour and we got $300 a month in child support at the time, do it can be done, it just takes time. I bought equipment for 2 years before we even bought a home. I shopped Craigslist, and EBay and local auctions. And I promised cakes to a guy who drywalled our garage for exchange. It took 3 years, but it is paid for, and we have no debt but the house.