My husband has started converting a portion of our detached garage into a baking kitchen for me. I have been a licensed/legal baker - out of my home kitchen - for over 5+ years. My business has grown so much that working out of my home kitchen just isn't working anymore. Our kids are now teenagers and it's becoming harder and harder to work around my baking mess and still get dinner on the table each evening (around everyone's sports/work schedules - ugh!!). We needed to find a way for me to continue to bake and grow my business without cramping our family-function even more and we decided that building me a separate baking space was the solution. I am so excited to FINALLY be doing this! Walls are up, plumbing is run, bathroom with a mop sink is framed out, electrical is in, heat has been run through the floors - we are ready to start the layout (of course, we have a 'general' plan already, so we knew where to place the plumbing and electrics :-))
I was researching some old baking/commercial kitchen organization threads on here, but none are exactly what I need. I was hoping some people wouldn't mind sharing some hints with me on how they set up their work stations/space. For those of you who have dedicated baking space in your home or have built a separate baking kitchen, can you tell me what you love about your space? How about what you wish you would have done differently? Do you mind sharing any tips or tricks with organizing all this baking gear - pastry tips, pastry bags, cookie cutters, fondant tools, boxes, boards, cake pans, stands, a nice 'photo' location, etc. All suggestions/ideas welcome!!
Thanks in advance!
i couldn't function without a speed rack -- and a bin on wheels where you can stash big bags of sugar and flour is nearly essential -- will slide under a table -- you want your utensils/tools at your fingertips not multiple tackle boxes but in a set of drawers -- pull out drawers are nice too that you can just set on the table and pick out what you want -- i have two sets of seven clear (see through) drawers --
my work tables are low -- i'm a little above average height but still i like my work top surfaces low because i can lean into any (previous) fondant work, rolling out cookie dough, gum paste -- even for my machinery it's a low table because those mixer bowls, food processors, blenders, induction cooktops are so much easier to deal with looking down on, leaning into -- if you work on a regular stove and use a double boiler/bain marie to cook merigue i encourage you to get a step to stand on so your arm doesn't fall off -- also the step is nice to have so you can lean over sheet cakes (if you make full sheets) to write on --
my point here is watch your ergonomics -- makes a huge difference -- try to get everything as user friendly as possible your back/wrists/arms and over all health will love you for it --
get a tv and music out there
and congratulations hope you do great best to you!
Thanks @BakerBlackCat I think it's pretty nifty too!! Congrats @sweetooth94 how exciting for you!! You will definitely love having the Commercial kitchen it really is a game changer. I'm much more efficient in my comm. kitchen and it's much easier to keep it clean and tidy bc it's separate from our main living areas.
We had a very small area available to convert so it pretty much laid itself out as far as plumbing goes but i measured and taped off all the areas where our equipment and tables would go to get an idea of how we would be able to move around and what the space would look like. I'll insert a link to another thread that has our kitchen progress in it as I can't post pictures on here. We actually had to borrow a little more space from the other side of the downstairs to accommodate the fridge and shelving bc it all wouldn't fit on one side my gracious and loving husband sacrificed some of his music space for it. That's one thing is the equipment is large I love it but everything is big lol.
We did very minimal equipment I mean the bare necessities for two reasons space and budget lol. I figured if we had an oven, fridge, Mixer, large storage rack and tables we could get started and then add later the things we had room for or needed. One thing I wished I had invested in from the start was a rolling ingredients bin 50 lb bags of flour and powdered sugar are only meant to be opened and poured once lol. Or maybe it's just me but I make a mess every time I fill my containers. I plan on buying a rolling pan rack as well. I organize everything and keep it that way and it works really well even though it's not a huge space. I'm honestly very content and happy with the size of our comm. kitchen and how things are laid out the ingredients bin was the major thing I wished I had and maybe a dishwasher.....I can dream right haha :)
i don't have room for a photo area in the comm. kitchen which stinks but I've not had time to create one either so maybe at some point I will. I have clear plastic bins with labels for all the odds and ends (cookie cutters, sprinkles, food coloring gel etc) also I have a multi drawer cart that came with my mixer and I keep all my utensils and stuff in that. I have a dedicated closet for extra boxes and unopened ingredients (I store it all in plastic totes as well). Our janitors closet formally known as our second bathroom stores all of our cleaning supplies and extra maintenance supplies and materials. I tend to keep all the things I need for the actual baking near the mixer sink and work table then I keep all of our finishing stuff (turn tables, fondant tools etc) by the second table which we call the finishing table once cakes are iced they go to that table to be decorated and boxed. I hope the pictures gives you an idea of what I'm describing. I can take more detailed pictures for you if you need me to :)
and you can get half size speed racks and covers for both sizes too -- so picture your speed rack loaded with enough cake layers for 5 or 6 wedding cakes and etc. after a big baking day -- now you gotta stop and wrap all that stuff up -- think of stretching out all the plastic wrap and the physical exertion using up all those tired back muscles after a full day --OR-- just stretch the cover over the whole shebang zip it up and lights out nighty night --
and if you go this route -- to help facilitate ease of operation -- keep a few trays upside down on the rungs so you can slide hot pans on & off easily (for all the times you're not baking on full sheets of course)
stray thoughts for you
First off - I was lucky enough to snag some "goodies" from a cupcake shop that closed about 20 minutes from my house. One of my customers PM'd me on FB and told me it was closing and they were selling all their stuff.... and I mean ALL THEIR STUFF! I contacted the owners and went to look at what they had. Since I was already in business for years, a lot of the stuff they were selling I really didn't need or have the space to store in my home kitchen BUT I was able to buy their double wall ovens, range with two ovens, triple sink, stackable washer/dryer unit, rolling bakery rack and two refrigerators (size of a standard refrigerator, but no freezer section). Great price, great shape and only 2-years old :-)
@-K8memphis - We just built a covered patio off the doors of the kitchen this summer and my husband added outdoor speakers under the porch roof (for summer entertainment) and he wired the kitchen at the same time. I have a switch inside bakery if I want the speakers to play inside, outside or both... so I am set for music! My teenage son also spent some of his Christmas money on a larger TV for his room, so I claimed his current 19" TV to put out in my bakery. I have a tiny TV in my kitchen now and KNOW that I could NOT do without music or TV to get me through my day. The new kitchen is going to be wide enough to run an island down the center of the room. I'm reading your response and thinking I won't have room for a rolling cart unless I can create a place where it will slide under a counter somewhere. I also like your suggestion of a lower work space. I may drop a section of the island counter down lower to roll out fondant and cookie dough. I didn't consider that. Thank you!
@Webake2gether - I saw this post from before. Thank you so much for the pictures! I'm also putting my mop sink in my bathroom space - just because that is where it's going to fit best! My washer/dryer (so happy I won't have to run my kitchen towels back and forth from the house) and hand sink are going on the other side of the wall from the mop sink so we can have plumbing all in one wall. I don't have my dishwasher bought yet, but it will be a standard one (like you use in a home, not commercial). Rolling ingredient bins - didn't consider that at all. I'm used to working from my home kitchen and I use 10# Rubbermaid containers to store that now. I'm looking at my rough draft of our floorplan and don't think I can make it fit. I'm wondering if I can build the bins into a cabinet or shelf somewhere instead of them on a rolling cart.... hmmm! Thoughts on that?
These are all great ideas. Thanks, keep them coming.
@-K8memphis - I realize your "speed rack" is the same thing as my baking rack I got from the cupcake shop that closed except mine has a glass door on the front (like at Subway restaurants, almost...). I won't have to build it under a counter because I already earmarked space for this in my layout right beside my double wall ovens!
Unfortunately here we cannot have any residential equipment in our comm. kitchen so I would have to have a commercial sized dishwasher and that will never happen here lol. Once all the big stuff is in you'll be able to see where all the other smaller stuff will go. It's totally different from a home kitchen regarding space and storage. You don't have any of your home use items to think about when your putting things in their spots and that was something I found was a nice surprise. I didn't think we'd have any room whatsoever for anything else but now we do have room for the rolling bins and a rack. It will all be great!! Hope you post pictures I like seeing that kind of stuff :)
just so you know -- you can get commercial dishwashers the same size as home dishwashers and not much different in price on ebay -- they operate in a fraction of the time and use the blazing hot water temps but you need to buy the commercial products too -- your health department would love you for this but just a passing thought for you --
i may sound like a broken record (but i have arthritis) and we are almost all of us headed that direction some faster than others -- this work is so physical anyway -- to reduce this constant consistent exertion as much as possible is a big plus -- because using bins means a ton of heave ho that you would do good to eliminate with a rolling bin -- they are kind of pricey but so worth it -- mine is 13 inches wide (so skinny!) and about 28" x 28" otherwise -- i know i could get over 100 #'s of stuff in there -- how about two of them built into the bottom of the cabinet :) just a thought
oh good for the great cabinet you bought -- sounds like a proof box -- yay!
oh, and my speed rack is on rollers too -- i guess i love me some wheels hahahaha