Getting Into A Retail Shop ~ Need Advice

Business By CoveredInCake Updated 20 Apr 2011 , 2:56pm by CoveredInCake

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CoveredInCake Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 3:44pm
post #1 of 8

Hey cakers!

I have an opportunity to move into a real shop and I'm excited but nervous. Any advice, tips or "been there - done that" you can give me will be greatly appreciated!

Here's the situation:
A cheesecake shop opened up, bought 3 ovens and 2 spaces (side by side with a door between). They ended up not using this second space really much at all or the extra ovens. The space has been inspected and is all setup but they really aren't using it. The owner offered to let us rent/sublet the second space from her and the ovens, table and mixer. We have been renting a church kitchen to work legally and delivering every single cake... this would be so much easier.

That all said, I'm scared. We have a meeting on Thursday to talk over details and I started a list of my concerns. How much are the bills? Surely I'll pay half. Do I ask to open my own electric account so there isn't bill splitting? What if they change their mind 4 months in and I have all my stuff and a customer base there?

Any tips, reminders or suggestions? I want to make sure I cover all the bases on Thurs.

7 replies
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Kiddiekakes Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 4:09pm
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Advice..Get a contract signed with all the stipulations and questions you asked here.Have a re-newable contract every year so she can't change her mind and tell yah Too bad get out.Have everything in writing and do it all legally through a lawyer.Find out Thursday all the options etc and go from there..Good Luck!!

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cakegrandma Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 4:10pm
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First, write down all your questions so you can clarify them if these are not discussed in your meeting. Write down all the items discussed during the meeting and what they have to say about how things are to be done. If all your questions are not discussed, them bring them up and get their opinions. If you can come to an agreement then great! Your next step would to be hiring an attorney that can draw up a contract so if anything happens you will be protected also.
I believe some of my questions would be
1) Is the landlord will to sublease?
2) The electric as you said, I would think that it should be on 2 meters to begin with, maybe not. If they are busier using their ovens, etc, then perhaps it should not be 50/50 on electricity.
3) If I am leasing the equipment you mentioned, exactly what is the dollar amount I am paying and when does it become paid in full and is mine. If you are paying too much then check into leasing the equipment yourself from another company. I would get prices before my meeting so I can see what level they are wanting me to pay.
4) You will probably need to have your side inspected again as it will no longer be part of their business but a new business. Check with Dept. of Agriculture or someone that can tell you what is needed for a business. i.e., a separate sink(s) for washing utensils, for water other than dish washing. Do you need dishwasher, separate restroom, separate hand washing sinks. There are many more things needed and may not be just your going in that side and Voila, you're open.
Know what you need in all aspects before you have a final meeting with them.
Good luck and congratulations on you actual business.!

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buttercuppie Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 4:25pm
post #4 of 8

As someone else said...write down all your questions prior to the meeting so that way you can make sure everything gets answered...and write down questions during the meeting as well...and then get those answered.

From my advertising days, I remember going into meetings with certain questions I wanted answered but the meeting would sometimes go in a different direction and I would forget my question until later.

Also, don't feel rushed into making a decision on the spot...take some time and make sure you're comfortable with everything before hand.

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homebasedbaking Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 3:59am
post #5 of 8

If you are sub-leasing...before you chalk over your hard earned cash consider the following:

1. The facility you use should be a licensed, insured facility in accordance to the state/county regulatory agency overseeing commercial kitchens.
2. The kitchen should provide a safe, clean environment for food preparation.
3. The kitchen should have equipment that provides the opportunity for you to bake, cook, grill, refrigerate and freeze food products.
4. The kitchen should have ample storage and lockers spaced
5. Some kitchen facilities may ask that you complete an application and may require you provide references and proof of liability insurance. You want to know who is responsible if there is a fire or accident and someone is hurt. Don't assume anything.

Upon using the kitchen you may be asked to supple the following:

* A business license
* Liability Insurance (that names the incubator facility as additionally insured along with product liability insurance
* Caterers License or Food Handlers License
* Food Handlers Certificate
* Security/Cleaning Deposit
* A Signed Contract (This secures the use of the facility for a specific time and for a specified amount of money) Do not work without a contract.

The Kitchen owner should provide you with the following information:

* The number of hours you can utilize the kitchen facility and other services/equipment
* The amount of refrigeration/freezer space available for your use
* The amount of dry storage space available for your use
* Where you are allowed to securely store your personal belongings while you work
* Additional services that the kitchen might offer i.e. access to wholesale vendors so you are not purchasing ingredients retail
* Delivery from your food purveyors
* Office Space (if applicable)
* Internet and Phone Use

Remember to ask for information in writing about all aspects of kitchen rental use/services, and fees before paying for the use of any kitchen facility and it would not hurt to have a legal professional look over your contract before signing.

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indydebi Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 8:57am
post #6 of 8

Denay, excellent post! thumbs_up.gif

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LindaF144a Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 12:29pm
post #7 of 8

I second indydebi's comment - excellent post!

I would just add that you should be able to at least see the other people's lease, more importantly you lawyer should be able to see the lease. Or they should sign an affidavit that says they can legally sublet the second part.

You need to look and see if they are prevented from subleasing in their lease. The lease I just signed states I cannot sublet without the landlord approving the new person. So you need to check for that kind of wording. You don't want to get kicked out because of one little technicality.

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CoveredInCake Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:56pm
post #8 of 8

Wow! THANK YOU!! I have printed this thread out and I'm using it as a guideline for my question and To Do list. Thank you so much!!

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