Canadian Licensed Kitchen Help

Business By mekibakes Updated 25 Jan 2014 , 11:46pm by glow

mekibakes Posted 11 Jan 2014 , 8:57am
post #1 of 26

AHey everyone, wondering if any one here from alberta or anywhere in canada that has a licensed home kitchen? Im so confused about our laws here and would like to know a few things and get some ideas from you guys, hopefully make a cake friend too - im a cakecentral newbie so please feel free to drop me a line and wish me luck! Anyways here are my questions: ---Called the local health services and they said i need to have commercial equipment?! Is this for real? A commercial oven alone will cost more then $5g's doesnt it?? Well if this is the case i am so discouraged now :( ---where did you guys begin when you were planning your home based cake decorating biz? ---can you guys show me pictures of your licensed kitchen so i can get some ideas please? Pretty please?

Please help a confused chickie here! Hope to hear from you guys soon!! Thanks a bunch!

25 replies
scrumdiddlycakes Posted 11 Jan 2014 , 10:36am
post #2 of 26

AI used to in BC, I have since moved and don't know how much the rules have changed, or how they differ between provinces. I had to have a proper commercial kitchen, complete with commercial equipment, a separate entrance, really all the same standards that would apply to a restaurant kitchen. Breaking those rules, and working from home illegally was an automatic $10k fine, first time offence. I know a few people that got hit with it. like I said though, this was a few years back, rules change, your local health dept is the best resource you have! I'd probably look into renting an already equipped kitchen, if possible. I thought Alberta was a little more lenient than my area, the health dept should be able to supply you with a full list of rules and regulations though.

MsGF Posted 11 Jan 2014 , 4:47pm
post #3 of 26

I'm in Ontario with a Health Inspected kitchen in my home.  My Health guy said every Province is different.  So contact your local Health Department first.  You shouldn't really take advice from people in other provinces or areas.  People located 1/2 an hour from me have a different Health Unit and they have different rules.


Don't worry about what others say and do.  Just talk to your local Health Department and they will have the answers for your local area.


And I agree with scrumdiddlycakes   if you must use a commercial kitchen then rent space in one.  It will be cheaper.


Good Luck

mekibakes Posted 11 Jan 2014 , 7:03pm
post #4 of 26

AThanks ladies! I'll call the local health department again and re-confirm. Im not going to be making maaaive amounts of cakes tho, just a few here and there so i dont think hubby will be happy for us to spend lots ofoney on commercial equipment.. will look into renting too! Thanks again. More thoughts, ideas and opinions are always welcome!!

Kiddiekakes Posted 11 Jan 2014 , 11:04pm
post #5 of 26

I live in Calgary...There are 2 ways you can go to get licensed with AHS...


1.You can build your own separate home kitchen in your home.The plans have to be submitted to the city of Calgary and must include certain things like a double sink with hot running water...fridge must be certain temp..and some other things...You don't need commercial equipment to do this...a standard fridge and stove are acceptable..This is what I was told...You will have to go down there with drawings etc to show what you plan to do.


2.You can rent a AHS approved kitchen which is what I do.AHS has to come out and inspect the kitchen you intend to rent and then they will certify that it is acceptable and issue you a health food license.


You are also required to take a Food Handling course through AHS which runs monthly...It is a 2 day course or a 1 day 8 hour course and you have to pass with 70% or better.The cost is $125.00 to register.


The city of Calgary will issue you a business license once AHS has inspected the kitchen..They talk ofter so if you are thinking of skipping getting a business license like some have done...they will find out.fees start at $161.00 plus admin fees...I think it cost me $248.00...AHS license was $100.00....


It is a lot of red tape but worth it....HTH

mekibakes Posted 11 Jan 2014 , 11:53pm
post #6 of 26

AThanks so much kiddikakes for your input! How much roughly is it to rent a commercial space and how did you go about finding one?

mekibakes Posted 11 Jan 2014 , 11:54pm
post #7 of 26

AThanks so much kiddikakes for your input! How much roughly is it to rent a commercial space and how did you go about finding one?

Kiddiekakes Posted 12 Jan 2014 , 12:05am
post #8 of 26

I pay $35.00 and hour but some places are as much as $50.00 an hour...If I rented it more it is less depending on how long I am there..It is difficult to find a kitchen..I emailed lots of places....The city of Calgary told me to stay away from community centres and churches as they will not license you if you rent from there as most of those places are not licensed for renting their space out but catering on their own premises only...I finally found a kitchen advertised on Kijiji in my area.


Will you be doing this FT or PT .You have to decide it if will be worth it and you will be busy enough....It can be quite costly if not...


There are so many Ads on Kijiji offering cakes etc and you know they are not licensed..It just makes me mad because they are undercutting those of us who have paid to be legal and paid for the licenses...I have a cake friend who is also licensed who reports these adds al the time to AHS...




mekibakes Posted 12 Jan 2014 , 3:43am
post #9 of 26

AHmmm so much to think about hey?? Wonder if okotoks is more lenient.. Thanks kiddiekakes!

Kiddiekakes Posted 12 Jan 2014 , 2:31pm
post #10 of 26

Yes...It may be easier in Okotoks or even High River....There was a member here who opened up a shop in High River a few months before the floods...she lost everything and I don't know if she is going to rebuild or open.Calgary is very stringent and if this is only a PT thing for is not worth the cost.

glow Posted 14 Jan 2014 , 2:06am
post #11 of 26

I am in Ontario and looked into it.  I too was discouraged.


Funny thing though, when I moved from one city to another there was a whole new set of rules!


When you think you have it all down - check again.  It seems its cheaper to have a store front than it is to operate out of your own home!!!!!

MsGF Posted 14 Jan 2014 , 3:40pm
post #12 of 26

glow every Municipality has their own set of rules.  And your local Health Department follows those rules as well as the Provincial rules.


It is very frustrating that there is no  across the Province or Country rules.  My Health Inspector said for us to change that  we need to do it on a Provincial level.


Talk to our Provincial Health Department.  So for glow and I it would be Ontario Ministry of Health in Toronto.  I'm already legal but would be willing to help lobby the Ministry of Health Ontario on this matter.  But only if they were a lot of interest from others in Ontario. If not it's a waste of time.  We need a lot of interest for them to consider it.


I talked to my Health guy and told him about The Cottage Food Law in the United States, with the rules set out by each State.  He said we could do it to, but he can't.  He just enforces rules already in place.  He also agrees it would be good to have some rules to follow. For both us and him.


Something to consider.

Kiddiekakes Posted 14 Jan 2014 , 4:38pm
post #13 of 26

A store front is not cheaper here..There are almost no buildings now a days that you can buy unless you have deep pockets..Everything is leased in strip malls or downtown...I looked into a lease and it was $15.00 a sq if you had a 1000 sq ft space it would cost you thousands in lease per month before you paid to have the space built out and then pay for commercial appliances etc and finally any profit...if there was any......You would be broke before you started unless you had a hefty start up loan.And the banks want to see a GOOD business plan before they would even consider giving you a loan of that going home based in way start up fees were about $3000.00 by the time I paid for all the licensing,supplies etc..Plus I can claim on taxes my home as my office and numerous other things.

MsGF Posted 14 Jan 2014 , 5:01pm
post #14 of 26

I agree with kiddiekakes, it is not cheaper to have a store front here either.    My kitchen is at my home.  Way cheaper.

CakeCollective Posted 22 Jan 2014 , 11:04pm
post #15 of 26

When you rent the kitchen at $35/hr are you baking, decorating or both? I feel that $35/hr would erase most of my profit margin when doing a cake from start to finish. What part of the entire process are you doing there? Do you have more than one person on your team?



Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes 

I pay $35.00 and hour but some places are as much as $50.00 an hour...If I rented it more it is less depending on how long I am there..

MsGF Posted 23 Jan 2014 , 1:00pm
post #16 of 26

The entire cake needs to be completed at the Commercial Kitchen.  Baking and decorating.

Kiddiekakes Posted 23 Jan 2014 , 1:12pm
post #17 of 26

I have to bake,decorate and deliver the same day...I am not really very busy so it works out okay...

kvand Posted 24 Jan 2014 , 9:44am
post #18 of 26

AI am in Kelowna, BC. I have put a health inspected kitchen in my home. It was surprisingly easy to do once I got in contact with the right people. They were very helpful and willing to answer questions. I have a regular home stove. could have had a standard home fridge and freezer but I opted to go bigger. I had to have a three bay sink and a few other small things. It was more challenging dealing with permit offices and building inspectors than it was dealing with the health department. I love having my kitchen in my home. I cant imagine spending $35 + an hour on rent. yikes. I did not have to have a separate entrance.

HTH - good luck with your kitchen building!!

Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Jan 2014 , 12:59pm
post #19 of 26

I would have loved a home kitchen but my house just isn't big enough...Hubby built a home office in the basement when we first bought the house 13 years ago and to rip it out and replace it would have cost about $15,000.It really isn't bad at the kitchen I rent because she has 4 ovens so I can bake a lot of cakes at one time and be out of there in about 1-2 it works for me...and some of the rental kitchen are way more than $35.00 and hour...if I use it longer the rent is less per hour also...

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 2:23pm
post #20 of 26

Can someone please delete this spammer....helen4u.....WTH Weirdos

MsGF Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 2:42pm
post #21 of 26

I reported it.  You can too by clicking on the flag.

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 2:52pm
post #22 of 26

Thanks ms GF..I did after I figured out where ;-)

smashleec Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 6:44pm
post #23 of 26

AWhat about your tools and ingredients?? You take those home with you. Soo everytime you go to make sonething you need to buy ann new ingredients??

glow Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 7:11pm
post #24 of 26

you rent the kitchen - you bring everything you need to make a cake.


Picture this:   someone puts you in a room with a stove, fridge and sink.   What do you need to bring with you in this room to do your cake.

smashleec Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 11:22pm
post #25 of 26


Originally Posted by glow 

you rent the kitchen - you bring everything you need to make a cake.


Picture this:   someone puts you in a room with a stove, fridge and sink.   What do you need to bring with you in this room to do your cake.

yea i get that. But the point of renting the kitchen is so that cake never goes in to your home and is up to food saftey standards and everything. but then you go and take those tools and ingredients home and they have been in you home. so then are they considered "contaminated" or whatever word you would like to describe it.

glow Posted 25 Jan 2014 , 11:46pm
post #26 of 26

I guess looking at it that way even the stores we purchase our ingredients in could be `contaminated`  - lol!

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