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Illegal to rent time from a licensed kitchen (CA)??

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I'm just dumbfounded.

I've been calling around to local caterers in hopes of being able to rent some time in one of their kitchens so that I can sell my cakes. I found a very friendly lady who owned her own catering company who was willing to rent time to me at a very reasonable cost, but she told me that the Health Department has recently changed their rules about sharing time in a kitchen, and that it's no longer allowed.

I told her that I got off the phone with the Environmental Health Dept yesterday and they suggested I rent with a restaurant or catering company, and she told me that restaurants and caterers fall under a deparment of the HD known as 'food and milk'. She gave me the contact phone number to try and call them and get more information.

I just got off the phone and he told me they don't allow any shared time in restaurant/caterer kitchens. That if I wanted to sell my cakes, the only option available to me was to open up my own business. tapedshut.gif

I'm in disbelief. Here I was trying to get things moving in the right direction only to be met with MORE red tape!!!!

My heart is sinking.
post #2 of 33
That is so... true. For years now I had been renting space from another bakery, until the hd told both of us the new rules and my insurance company threatened to cancel my policy.

I had to scramble to find another place and it takes a while to get things approved from all the agencies, mostly hd.

I found a location in an industrial complex and converted it to a commercial kitchen. Not all areas allow this, depends what the surrounding businesses are, zoning, expected foot traffic, parking, etc.

Good luck
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
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Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response.

I just can't believe this is happening. icon_sad.gif

Can you give me an idea of what the cost was to convert space into a commercial kitchen? If you're not comfortable sharing here, would you please PM me instead??

Thank you.
post #4 of 33
Is this for California only...or other states too?! Why are some things so difficult!?
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
You might need to call your own state HD. I don't know what other states are doing. All I know is my state is a pile of tapedshut.gif for making it SO difficult for anyone to pursue their dreams in the food industry.

It's a sad day for me today. icon_sad.gif
post #6 of 33
I could be wrong about this, but there is a very famous decorator who lives in NYC and she doesn't bake the cakes, but she decorates them in her home. I'm pretty sure it's illegal to have a home bakery in NYC. I think I saw a show on Food Network about her.

Definitely something to check into, though.
post #7 of 33
What's the difference if she bakes or does not bake. Food handling is still food handling to me. icon_confused.gif
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
post #8 of 33
I could see having a food handlers permit, etc for decorating since you're handling the food, but if you are using already prepared icing and fondant for decorating and those items were made in a licensed facility, then it's decorating.... period. She isn't handling raw ingredients. I'm not trying to argue, but it would be something to look into. Paying $25 an hour to bake and decorate.... what's the point? You'd end up paying more than you'd be making especially if you had a very detailed cake and you have to do everything from baking to decorating in a rented facility. It's not cost effective.
post #9 of 33
it is very hard here in CA...and it cracks me up still to hear people say "omg you should open your own business"....i just laugh it off and say thank you for the compliment...then you have the persistant ones who don't stop and then i have to break it down...just exactly how hard it is to do...i am so sorry for you!!! i wish you lots of luck!!!!
post #10 of 33
Ok, I understand that. Since states vary and our food handlers permit is one that everyone must get if you work in an industry where you handle food. i.e., restaurant, bakery, kitchen, etc.
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
post #11 of 33
I'm lucky to live in NC where it is easy to get legal to sell from home, but I don't know that I actually want to deal with all that is involved to start a business. I'm just not good at that sort of thing. Plus I have an indoor therapy dog for my son, so it's out of the question anyway.

I do cakes for friends and family. Some months I have more to do but then I can go several months without doing a cake, doesn't seem worth it to go to the trouble.

I know what you mean though... People just throw out "you should open a bakery" like it's the easiest thing to do. LOL If they only knew!
post #12 of 33
Is this true? Has anyone been able to prove this or get some website verifying? Because if this is true, it puts a whooooole lot of vendors out of business. Do you know how many CC people rent space from commercial kitchens in order to be legal?

I just recently lost mine and was going to go out in the next day or two to approach businesses about renting but if this is true, I am buying a bottle and calling it a day.
post #13 of 33
Wow, that sucks. What a stupid regulation. I can get behind strict regulations that I don't like if I can understand the logic behind them, but I don't get the point of this one. One more reason why I love where I live.
It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

Winston Churchill
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It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

Winston Churchill
Reply
post #14 of 33
I'm sharing space with another baking business and the health department just sent me my renewal, so this does not seem to be the rule in the California county I'm working in. I'm about to build a kitchen in another county and I've got someone who wants to share space with me as soon as it is done. She has talked to the health department and so far no one has told her this is not possible. The law is the law statewide, but different counties seem to interpret differently. I've been surprised by the differences in fees as well--but that is another story...
post #15 of 33
Found out here recently that Harris County, Tx changed their rules about this as well, and no longer allows shared kitchen space. That is the only county I know of in TX that forbids it, but it could be more ever since the "Baker's Bill" came to light. The HD's are hopping mad, and it seems they are trying to make it even harder for cakers to become legit, and squeeze more money out of everyone.

I am hoping that other counties won't follow suit, there are many of us who are purposely building or have built incubator kitchens (shared kitchens) specifically to help other food businesses get off the ground. If my county ever changes this or the State of Texas decides across the board to change this, we are going to loose our businesses.
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