Now You Got Your Shop How Long Did It Take You To Open

Business By kakethings Updated 10 Oct 2009 , 12:39am by indydebi

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kakethings Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 1:48pm
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I found a shop that the owner gave me 2 months free rent while i get all the stuff that i need to make it a bakery. non food establishment into food establishment, how long you think it will take to get in there. i wanted to open in a month. i will go in and paint the walls and the floor. i have a plumber will put in my sinks. do you think i will need a grease trap i want to be like ace of cakes creative cakes only. which I'm thinking of not being open to the public by appointment only. i have a lot of clients my name is out there, i have a myspace page that i have 3500 city friends that knows my work so i will open with alot of orders. give me some feedback trying to make everything legal, i know i need to hire a couple of people is the paper work on hiring difficult?

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indydebi Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 3:31pm
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First, check with your city regulations to see if you need a grease trap.

Let's see .... where do I begin.

After signing the lease, my son, his girlfriend and I painted the front two rooms. I was pretty much on one phone, telling the contractor to "go!" when the other phone rang .... the landlord who wanted to move me to another space in the strip mall to accommodate a larger retailer who needed my space. They gave some good incentives and I agreed.

The kitchen designer submitted the floor plans to an architect, who has to sign off on them before the state will approve the building permits. This was a 6 week process. Why it takes 6 weeks to look over blueprints and initial the bottom is beyond me, but that's what it took. (and he charged me $500 to do it, too.)

Now we're in November. My contractor tells me "Once we get the permits, it's a 10-12 day job." Unfortunately, it was election time and everyone at the local govt offices were busy cleaing out their desks! It took 10 days JUST to get a freakin' permit!

Then Thanksgiving .... then bad snow days. I was in the shop one day meeting a sub-contractor, and one of the guys doing the work asked, "When are you wanting to open?" I said, "Look, this 10-12 day job is already in it's 8th week, so I'm not holding my breath!"

Bottom line? The reason they call them TARGET dates is because the target keeps moving! Expect the unexpected!

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itsacake Posted 9 Oct 2009 , 3:42pm
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Are you int he US? At least where I am, in order to open any kind of food establishment, one has to submit architectural plans to the health department for approval. The floors, paint on the walls, sinks, ovens, mixer, EVERYTHING has to be commercially graded and approved and you have to have a final inspection before you can open.

At the same time as that approval process, one also has to have plans approved by the city and any construction (installing sinks and drains for example) involves building permits and inspections. The fire department may have to approve ovens and stoves and in some areas the Water department has to approve a grease trap.

The approval process before construction begins can take a month or more. It sounds like you already have a business, but have you talked to your insurance person about whether you need different coverage? Do you need to change your business license? Do you have your food handler's certificate?

There is an organization called SCORE which helps people starting businesses by having retired business people mentor them through the process. This is free. They also have classes on how to write a business plan, do marketing, etc. These are for a fee, but not really expensive. You can look them up at

We closed escrow on our space mid-September. If we can open in January I'll be ecstatic!

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kakethings Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 12:17am
post #4 of 7

thanks you guys

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snarkybaker Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 12:23am
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You are getting a little short changed. It is pretty standard to get 90 days for "upfit" before you have to pay rent. We restored a historic building and we got 6 months free rent.

Before you sign your lease, you should have a conversation with your health department to see what you will need and then call your town hall and ask what the typical turn around time is on building permits.

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littlecake Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 12:27am
post #6 of 7

it took us 6 weeks, i was too dumb to ask for free rent...) cake central in those days for me.

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indydebi Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 12:39am
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And one guy told me to ask for the free rent period to start after the building permits are obtained. I spent about 8 weeks doing preliminary work BEFORE I could even get the building permits!

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