The New Bakers Dozen
Start a bakery business from an appartment kitchen?

The The Bakers Dozen: Start a bakery business from an appartment kitchen?
By isabel on Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 02:22 pm: Edit

I would like to open my own bakery/caffe place. But, before that I would like to start doing my recepieces from an appartment kitchen and than sell them whole sale. Is that possible? What if the appartment is used just for that? And in order to transport your goods to other stores do you need a special type of vehicle? (I am talking about 5-10 desserts)
Thank you! :)

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 09:46 pm: Edit

Isabel I guess it depends upon what country you live in. Are you in the States?

It is illegal to sell food made in a location that is not certified by the health inspector in the county you live in, in the U.S.. So if you live here you'd be breaking the law in where you produce your food so it wouldn't matter how it was transported.

I will say that there are people who have done as you propose. You have to becareful not to attract attention to where your doing this, etc...

By isabel on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 03:10 am: Edit

I would like to re-phrase my first question: Does the health department, fire department etc... approve a baker to produce baking goods in their own kichen appartment? Or do I have to rent a commercial space for that?

By judymontreal on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 05:45 am: Edit

As soon as you ask the fire department or health department, you are going to get a big NO! Especially in an urban area. Home baking and catering is practised (we all know that) but it is without the sanction of the "Powers That Be". The health department wants business' to be legal and therefore registered so that they can do their spot-checks. The fire department doesn't like the added risk to residential areas when someone is operating ovens and stoves in a commercial way.
Many people have started from home, but the idea is to get "legal" as soon as you can afford it.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 08:59 am: Edit

The only way to be legal is to go thru all the inspections (mentioned below) in a zoned for comercial business area.

When the health inspector comes they require certain mandatory regulations be met. From town to town these rules vary alittle and so do the inspectors. Some of them can drive you crazy with (insane)regulations that don't even make sense.

I don't think a fire department would ever give you a permit under your conditions!!! Forget any hope of that.

You also need to have a food sanitation license. You can get that by taking a class at a local college and passing their test.

Then you need a general business license issued from your state, so they can get their taxes from you.

There are MANY "hoops" to jump thru to become legal. Meeting the health department laws can be the most expensive. Sometimes passing them requires remodeling, different plumbing, adding sinks and so on... This is not a simple process for food business!

By Daniel on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 10:43 am: Edit

Isabel I tried starting up as you are describing,I live in U.S.A. The thought of having to come up with 70,000+ to open was completely out of my grasp. So instead of trying to get cert. and jump through all the hoops I approached a friend in the rest. buisness and explained my problem of startup costs etc. What we worked out is not exactly legal but it did work.
We agreed that I would obtain a food handlers lic.,my kitchen would be clean and up to safe specs., and I would trade baked goods to the rest. to be able to bake under their name in my kitchen. It worked very well, but as your buiss. grows you will find you need to take the plunge sooner than you think into commercial space. I just thought I would share this option with you because it did help me get started.
Good luck,

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 11:07 am: Edit

I have a friend who runs a full-service catering business that is very busy during the wedding season and somewhat so during the company party season around the holidays. He can't justify leasing commercial space because he is too slow during the early months of the year. So, he rents commercial kitchen space on Fridays and sometimes Thursday to do his prepping, parcooking, etc. It seems to be working quite well for him.

Cheers, Mike

By Panini (Panini) on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 03:31 pm: Edit

This is bad advise! Jumping through hoops is what it is all about. You must have a good business plan. You must figure out how to be creative enough to raise 70.000 to open. If you can't raise than you rent commercial space. Product is approx. 30% of owning a business the rest is what makes you sucessful.
Isabel, exhaust all your avenues before taking bad advise. Try working at a bakery that will trade you product for labor, or some type of arrangement like this. Good luck to you.

By Daniel on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 - 05:08 pm: Edit

You are absouluteley correct panni. As the last option openned for me it worked, I am not advising to go down this road just sharing what I had to do after exhausting all other possibilities. I did go to commercial space quite quickly but in the intrim I needed to start and on very little capital, it was ok. The restuarant I was working with was not big enough to accomadate my operation. You do what you have to do. All in all I do agree with you.


By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, December 16, 1999 - 09:08 am: Edit

I know what you are saying.I didn't respond really to what you were saying only to warn Isabel any anyone else who might be thinking along these line that is is not easy.
As you know its mindblowing the hoops.Reg. and liability insurance,overhead,leases,loans, equipment upkeep,staff,del. vehicles,permits etc. The easy part of it all is the baking! I just try to educate people a little so they don't set themselves up for failure.
I'd like to hear about your business. I've saved myself alot of money and time just talking to other business owners. or

By isabel on Thursday, December 16, 1999 - 12:48 pm: Edit


By Aaa76 (Aaa76) on Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 03:35 pm: Edit

On this topic, any suggestions for find commercial kitchens for rent in manhattan?

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 02:50 pm: Edit

I know a few people that started baking in there homes, one was a guy that sold Biscotti he made them in his house until he got to big and made a deal with a begal shop in the neighbor hood to use there ovens in the afternoon when they where done baking.. he baked in his house for years in NYC and never had a problem.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 03:46 pm: Edit

You mean he never got caught.

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 03:55 pm: Edit


I have been working in pastry just about 4 years and i know a few people that started a baking business out of there home most are to big now to do it from home.. but they all started at home...

I do it sometimes to..
not much now since i have to much work.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 04:07 pm: Edit

I'm not arguing that people don't bake, cater, or anything else out of their home, I'm just saying it's not "legel" in most municipalities.

Sure many people have done it. I did it in earlier years, but it's a tough way to go, working in a home oven, a tiny kitchen sink ontop of the threat of being shut down an ever present danger.

Living with, I think it was four cats at the time, I was constantly afraid of cat hair getting in the cheese cakes.

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 04:24 pm: Edit

I can see how the cat hair thing would be a problem...

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 10:00 pm: Edit

besides getting carl in a tizzy.......
I did some baking here in LA years ago from my apt.
I put in a convection oven, ran the vent out the kitchen window and retooled the top of the stove to fit the big pots.
made one kind of cake, one fresh fruit flan, 12"
the oven was free, I made some good money.
did it on the side.

By Biscottiqueen (Biscottiqueen) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 08:13 pm: Edit

I was fascinated by the dialog about starting a bakery in a residential kitchen. Currently, the State of Massachusetts allows home-based food businesses within specific regulatory limitations. Items such as baked goods, confectioneries, jams and jellies can be produced in a residential kitchen which have been inspected and licensed by the local board of health. I am trying to get my residential kitchen (which is outfitted with commercial/resturant equipment) licensed. Unfortunately, the local health inspector feels that the Massachusetts State laws don't apply here in town, his words to me were "as long as I'm the health inspector there won't be any commerical/residential kitchens in private homes"! Information about residential kitchens can be found at the MSPH Website

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