Commercial Kitchen Construction

Business By rooneygirl Updated 20 Apr 2015 , 3:41pm by -K8memphis

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rooneygirl Posted 17 Apr 2015 , 9:48pm
post #1 of 8

Hi, So I am currently operating from home under CA's cottage law but am quickly growing out of my space and have started exploring industrial parks to try to move my business out of the house.  They are basically big empty boxes with a front office and a bathroom and I can do with it what I wish.  Problem is I have no idea where to begin so I'm wondering if anyone out there has any experience with constructing a commercial kitchen (not for retail shop, but just for a decorating/consultation area and fully functioning cake kitchen).

1. How much will it cost for renovation - plumbing, electrical, air conditioning (must have A/C!), etc...

2. How much space do you have (I'm guessing 750-1000 sf might be enough or is that too much/too little)? 

3. How long did it take? Were permits a problem? How about getting plans approved by your health dept? etc... 

4. Any words of advise or things you'd do differently after having gone through it all? 

Thanks so much! 


7 replies
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Webake2gether Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 12:50am
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A lot of your questions vary state by state and even county to county. I'm in the process of putting in a commercial grade kitchen in my home.  Where I am located for plumbing and electrical work we will need to have permits also here the health department and city need a sketch of our area to be approved before construction starts.  So far the process of getting to the point we're at has been long and hard but I'm hopeful that once we get the ball roiling with construction the rest will be a cake walk :)  also the lady we are working with at our health department said we could submit our plans and most likely start that same week.  Sounds like the area you will be located will already be zoned properly but I'd check to make sure with the city on that's as well. We are currently dealing with rezoning as well. Good luck and hope you have great success!!!

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-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 2:27pm
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webake2gether -- i hope once you get the ball rolling it will be a cake walk too but that is not usually the case 110% of the time -- watch those guys like a hawk even if they are family/friends -- more's the pity if they are because you need to be able to play hard ball all the way through this if need be -- it continues to be a long hard process --

i have a friend whose house burned and i told her that when ours burned it was heck to pay that all through out the process even though the contractors were reputable recommended by the insurance co -- you still have to watch every step of the way -- be ready to throw some serious punches not to mention duck & defend -- she kept her head in the clouds except to whine and she never got her house restored properly

see you have deadlines and a vested interest in them getting done -- they will take detours behind your back that will screw your deadlines hard -- so be prepared to sacrifice your timetable for getting it done right -- they are counting on you being more vested in your timetable than you are in what they are doing & how they are doing it  --

check and double check that orders for materials are placed with the right companies and that it is for the correct materials -- and that you have the correct arrival dates -- yes go behind their backs seriously -- don't sign anything or pay them till it's done right --

i hope you do not need this advice but there it is -- someone needs to be a good general foreman for you if you can't do it -- best to you 

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-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 4:02pm
post #4 of 8

i mean *general contractor

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Webake2gether Posted 19 Apr 2015 , 12:11pm
post #5 of 8

We are going to do a lot of it ourselves we've done a lot of work on our house ourselves so all but electrical and plumbing we will do. Trust me my husband gets what he wants done done right and won't take anything less :)

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-K8memphis Posted 19 Apr 2015 , 12:35pm
post #6 of 8

oh good -- you mean you get to take the cake walk and just follow his lead -- let him take the reigns on this part of it -- whew -- and whew again 

awesome --

what part of the country are you in? just curious

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Webake2gether Posted 19 Apr 2015 , 3:30pm
post #7 of 8

We're in central illinois.  

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-K8memphis Posted 20 Apr 2015 , 3:41pm
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rg -- sorry i kind of hijacked your thread here --

this is about counting the cost -- are you sure you will be better off branching out -- could you do just as good by raising your prices and working smarter where you are -- it costs thousands to build out a place which gives you either big bucks out the window or a hefty loan (bare minimum of $20k) to pay off every month  plus your other overhead -- rent like clockwork, insurance, utilities, security, phone,  internet, upkeep, travel time --

so just because you have a lot of business is not the right reason to upgrade in this market at this time -- figure it out the other way too -- decide if you can actually improve your lot by increa$ing your overhead by multiple multiple$ --

the cottage laws enable every neighbor to open up and they will likely be short lived but everyone can do this so everyone is your reasonable competition --

and i'm not trying to talk you out of it -- i'm saying count all the costs every which way before you proceed -- i'm your biggest fan but make sure it means more income and success for you but of course there's always risk but do your homework -- it's like keeping spinning plates spinning on the top of a breezy hill --

one easy thing to do is determine your breakeven point for example:

  • rent $1500
  • utilities $300
  • business internet $70
  • security $75
  • pest control $50
  • insurance $50

so that's about $2000 cash out the window every month before you pay the build out loan or buy ingredients or anything -- that's a lotta cakes to make in order to start making any that will pay you something and of course you have to invest in enough ingredients so at least $3000 - $4000 in orders a month to break even -- give or take -- just off the top of my head -- plus this shoots a major hole in your ability to be creative -- seriously -- you gotta $3000/mo. monkey on your back -- you're a business woman first and second a caker third or fourth --

then if you get an employee -- that's a huge responsibility...writing payroll checks sucks heheheheheh

it's huger than huge seriously -- it's like having a baby... every day -- this is just the reality of it -- so that's why you need to look at re-inventing yourself where you are so you can still enjoy and easily handle this business -- working for someone else is always an option it is most freeing -- has it's own set of problems but it has the potential to be all the joy and none of the headache --

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