Monday, June 29, 2015
Commercial Kitchen that I use for my Business
I decorated my first "real" sugar cookie Christmas 2011. I was so proud of these and had so much fun!
I was instantly hooked and had to make more. My second set of cookies......
And my third set.....
I couldn't stop! I read every tutorial online that I could find. I ran experiments to try to improve my decorating skills. (Obviously I needed it! Sugarbelle can only do so much.) I made cookies for every holiday and occasion. I asked my neighbor if I could make cookies for her daughter's bridal shower. I brought cookies to the accountant's office that prepared our taxes quickly. I brought cookies to the the optometrist's office that took such great care of my younger son for so long. I looked for any excuse to decorate cookies and share them!
Close to a year after my first cookies, I decided to start Sugar Dot Cookies.
In Maryland, we need to work out of a commercial kitchen to have a legal food business. That can be a huge problem! Many commercial kitchens will rent space - at $20 to $30 per hour. I wouldn't be making that much so how could I pay it? I couldn't.
I started calling around - every place I could think of. I hit gold when I found Gayla. She was getting ready to open up a bakery, Maggie's Bake Shop, just five minutes from my house. She was going to let me use the kitchen when the bakery was closed! I would pay her in cookies, not money! She would sell those cookies in the bakery. I could start my business. I couldn't have asked for a better set up!
Sugar Dot Cookies began in January of 2013. It was just part time then.
In June of 2014, Gayla decided to close the retail store. She planned to keep the space to continue with her custom orders (delicious cakes, donuts, kinklings, pies, streudals, everything!) and to prep food for her concessions business. She asked if I would like to share the space with her. Heck yeah! I started paying monthly rent and moved right in. I was going full-time.
Just after my sign went up.....
I was to use the store front part of the bakery to decorate my cookies (on the right side in the photo above). The kitchen area is on the left side in the photo. You can see photos of what the inside looked like in the beginning here.
Gayla got another renter at the same time. Meghan, from Sweet & Savory, moved in too. Meghan makes amazing buttercream wedding cakes!
The three of us were to share the space - each with our own separate business. We wouldn't have walk-in hours. It would be used for making our custom baked goods and for pick ups by appointment.
One year later and the three of us are going strong! I am so fortunate with the set up that I have! I love having Gayla and Meghan there to keep me company. We work really well together, helping one another when we can. Trying to keep out of each other's way. Lending each other supplies. Covering pick ups when we have a conflict.
I. Am. Blessed.
Here's my space today......
I'll be speaking at Cookie Con about creative ways to find a commercial kitchen. I've got lots of ideas after speaking to other cookiers about their kitchen situations. Will I see you there?
Please answer my poll on the left sidebar. I'm curious!
Question for you:
Do you use a commercial kitchen for your business? Are you looking for a commercial kitchen? Let me know in the comments.
Posts on "Cookiepreneur Interviews"
Posts on "Cookies as Business".
Posts on " Poking Around the Kitchen".
Posts on "Commercial Kitchen"