My Bakery Abruptly Closed; Need Opinions About Re-Opening

Business By SweetArt Updated 11 Oct 2008 , 1:08am by mysonshines

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SweetArt Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 4:22pm
post #1 of 11

To make my business legal, I rent space form another bakery in the evenings. On Monday afternoon I got a call from a lady wanting a cake. I told her I was unavailable that weekend, and to try S.S. bakery (the one I rent from.) She informs me that she tried them, but that they will be closing at the end of the week, so they can't make her cake.

I'm shocked, I've not heard this, so I call the owner of S.S. bakery. Sure enough, they're are closing at the end of THIS week. I got a 4 day notice! It was kind of sudden for them too.

Side note, I have orders this week that I can fill, the next week I'm out of town, and the following two weeks I'll be in Chicago taking Colette classes. Starting in November is my off season, I spend it catching up on house stuff and homeschooling my kids. I wasn't planning on starting up again until May anyway since I'm having a baby in March.

So, the timing for this to happen is as good as it could be, but it still hurts. I now have to either find a new bakery to rent from, or build my own. (My state requires a full separate commercial kitchen.) Finding a bakery in the first place was very difficult. Most places don't want to take the chance, and some were just down right rude. We are narrowing down the list of potential places. Meaning, I'm quickly running out of options.

I want to build a kitchen in our garage, my husband doesn't want to be that attached to this house. He wants to open a store front. I don't! I don't want to have to live at the bakery to keep it running. (And what am I to do with our 4 kids then?) I'm already too busy and don't think I can handle any more. I also think he is not realizing how much time and money is needed to bring a commercial building up to food code and then keep it afloat.

I NEED this job. If we didn't need the income, I'd just call it quits and close up shop. This is the only job with flexible enough hours that I can be with my kids during the day, decline to work if my husband work schedule doesn't permit it, and it pays well enough to make it worth it. I can't work at a supper market bakery again, since daycare for 4 kids cost more than I would get paid.

Sorry this is so long I just need to vent, it has just been a very stressful month. My house had water damage that needed repair and the insurance company said they would cover it. So we front the money and pay the contractor ($13K) then the insurance company says never mind we wont cover, the contractor disappears after only doing half the job, so now my house is a disaster, my car broke down ($2.5K), my refrigerator dies ($500), and now my bakery is gone! icon_cry.gif

Okay, if you're still with me, please throw in any opinions or suggestions you have. I could really use another view point right now. Thanks!

10 replies
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chutzpah Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 4:38pm
post #2 of 11

Buy the bakery?

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SweetArt Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 4:50pm
post #3 of 11

My husband suggested that, but I don't want to own a whole bakery, that is more work than I can do. I don't think that there is anyway we could get a loan large enough to purchase it either.

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littlecake Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 5:13pm
post #4 of 11

wow, what a week! (((((hugz))))

i vote for adding a kitchen to your house...then you can save $$$ on daycare...

and be home with the kids the days you don't have much to do.

i had a non food biz at my home when the kids were growing worked out well for me.

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MaisieBake Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 6:41pm
post #5 of 11

Get documentation (pics, whatever, and try to get long-term contact info from the owners who are closing) now that the bakery setup was working for them in terms of having you there-- that you're a decent subletter with a real business.

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Shannie13 Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 6:54pm
post #6 of 11

I agree with Maisie, get some documentation. The least that will come out of it is a good rep from the previous subletters it will give you a solid reference as to your workmanship. People are picky now because of the economy and are less likely to take risks on people they don't know, a good reference could take you farther!
Best of luck

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mixinvixen Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 6:55pm
post #7 of 11

head to your phone and call the media for the contractor problem...i know around here, in nashville, all the tv stations have a similar thing where they feature something that is wrong on the news, and it usually has great results...of course, you have to have all documentation for proof. we have one here that's called "that's messed up", channel 5 news maybe, and it's so funny to watch it. if you have a contract with the person, you can also go to your local law enforcement to see how the contract can be held...small claims is always an option, and sometimes even the threat of that will produce results.

as for the fridge, do you have a home warranty? if so, that will cover it. if not, check out your local scratch and dent sales/warehouses, or even craigslist. if you purchased a new one, i highly recommend shopping around for a home warranty, which covers all the appliances in your home. we bought one with our new home a couple of months ago, owner swore the ice maker worked but that they never turned it on because they don't use ice...we move in, icemaker doesn't work, and neither does the hot tub. we contacted home warranty company, they came and replace the ice maker. definitely worth it!!!!

as for the don't have to have an open to the public type of business. i want to eventually have a space like duff, where it's by appt only. you can have a back area that is for the kids, sort of like a second home...i'm not sure what real estate is like in your home town, but what if you even bought a small inexpensive house, and brought it to codes? maybe one that has an upstairs or over the garage area that could be rented out, and give you some rental money back every month...the market is definitely in the shape for buying right now!!

i would caution you on building onto your home, because of resale...also, is it in your communities bylaws that you can't have a business out of your residence...if you live on a farm out in the country or something similar, then i think it would be better for resale to build a stand alone building behind your home, matching brick or siding, that could be your kitchen space...if you ever resell though, it makes it more appealing to potential buyers.

hope some of this me! i've had days and weeks exactly like this!!!!!!!

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whimsette Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 7:05pm
post #8 of 11

Are there other local bakeries or commercial kitchens you can approach to sublet space? With the current state of the economy, many restaurants are starting to feel the pinch and are looking for ways to bring in some extra cash flow.

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SweetArt Posted 10 Oct 2008 , 2:33pm
post #9 of 11

Thanks all for the input. I've gotten my husband to drop the talk about a commercial space. I'm still looking to rent or build but am personally still leaning to build since this is a job I want to do long term. The kitchen would be put into our garage, which is detached and behind our house. The previous owner had it set-up for a wood working shop, which we don't use. Plumbing is our biggest hurdle, though. Hopefully we'll reach a decision in the next week or two.

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littlecake Posted 10 Oct 2008 , 5:47pm
post #10 of 11

are you allowed to do the rough in yourselves?

that would save you some money.

my son and i did some plumbing last year and saved thousands...and just paid the plumber to hook up everything.

we didn't know what we were doing, we just looked on you tube, and talked to the guy at lowes.

there a new flexible pipe that is really easy to work can rent a ditch witch for about 100 bucks a day to dig the trench....if you are connecting it to your house

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mysonshines Posted 11 Oct 2008 , 1:08am
post #11 of 11

I'm so sorry, it does sound like an awful week! Hopefully, a great solution will come out of this and you won't be able to believe you did it the other way for so long. BTW, sounds like your dh has a lot of faith in you. That's great. thumbs_up.gif

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