Hello! I'm a newbie from PA and looking to start a baking business that will sell cookies, cupcakes, cakes and jams.
We have a new puppy - so my options in PA (from what I have researched on the internet) is to rent out a commercial kitchen and operate from there. I also read about having a kitchen that is separate from the main kitchen but not sure if that is really an option, what it involves or if I even read it right!
So my questions are:
1) Could I build out a kitchen (in my garage) that has an outside entrance and no door into my main home, while still having a pet in the house, and operate under the cottage law?
2) If I can do this - does this new kitchen need to be commercially coded or can I just create an additional regular home kitchen to my liking and needs?
Thanks so much for reading!
Your best bet is to contact your local regional Dept of Ag office. Having seen a few of these threads of the years one thing becomes clear: regional offices do not always give the same answer. That said, given your description it sounds like the garage is detached from the house. If so a kitchen in such a garage would not seem to be part of the "home."
However if it is attached things might get more complicated. How will your regional office interpret the regulation that no animals are allowed insider the home at any time. Does your regional office consider a kitchen built in the garage even with no door to the rest of the home as part of the home? On face it seems this kind of setup would meet the spirit of the regulation. Does it meet the letter? The regulation is so general that an inspector could easily say: the kitchen is in the garage which is part of the home, the regulation does not specify access to the cooking area, there is a pet, no certification. Probably not likely but threads on here have proven time and again inspectors don't look at the regulations the same way.
As to the second question. Your secondary kitchen would still be a "home kitchen." I do not see why it would have to meet commercial requirements. The regulations cover "home kitchens," they do not distinguish between the purpose of the kitchens. Indeed a secondary kitchen would seem consistent with the home kitchen regulations as they are oriented to ensuring that when a single kitchen is used for both personal and commercial baking, those uses must be completely divorced from one another. A secondary home kitchen simply ensures your personal and commercial usage of the kitchen never overlap. But again it is best to contact your regional DoA.
Pa Department of Agriculture, Regional Offices
Region 1 (Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Venango and Warren)
13410 DUNHAM RD, MEADVILLE PA 16335 814-332-6890 Fax: 814-333-1431
Region 2 (Cameron, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Northumberland, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Tioga and Union)
542 COUNTY FARM RD, SUITE #102, MONTOURSVILLE PA 17754 570-433-2640 Fax: 570-433-4770
Region 3 (Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming)
RT 92 SOUTH, PO BOX C, TUNKHANNOCK PA 18657 570-836-9824 Fax: 570-836-6266
Region 4 (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland)
#6 MCINTYRE RD, GIBSONIA PA 15044 724-443-1585 Fax: 724-443-8150
Region 5 (Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Somerset)
ST, CRICKET FIELD PLZ, ALTOONA PA 16601-4701 814-946-7315 Fax: 814-946-7354
Region 6 (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Perry and York)
ROOM 100, 2301 NORTH CAMERON STREET, HARRISBURG PA 17110 717-346-3223 Fax: 717-346-3229
Region 7 (Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, Philadelphia)
1015 BRIDGE RD, COLLEGEVILLE PA 19426 610-489-1003 Fax: 610-489-6119
Wow - thank you so much for all of this information!! I'm going to call the regional office and then update what I find out!
Thanks again :)
I spoke with someone from my Region and I can build out a kitchen in my garage! It has to have an outside entrance and it will have another entrance into the rest of my garage that will not be used for the kitchen.
Because one of the items I am planning on selling are cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (which need refrigeration) - this will require that I build it to commercial standards. He said as long as I included a 3 sink washing station, another separate sink for hand washing and a refrigerator that can be at 41 degrees (I think) I would be registered as a commercial kitchen. Everything in the room must be nonporous and able to be cleaned. Drywall with paint is fine and I can do a tile or linoleum floor.
Now I just have to talk to the township to see if I can run a business out of my house!
Thanks again for the response. I'll keep you posted as to the developments :)