The Caterers Corner
Any exceptions for legally catering from home? Caterers Corner: Any exceptions for legally catering from home?
By Dangyebbie (Dangyebbie) on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 03:10 pm: Edit

Hi, everyone. Please don't lambaste me for asking; I realize that questions along this vein have been asked ad nauseum. Just bear with me. I'd like to start a small catering business in Virginia, but of course, doing so from my home is prohibited in the Commonwealth as it is in most states. Does anyone know of states or specific locales in the country that do permit catering from one's domicile? I realize there are degrees of latitude, e.g., Michigan allows it on the condition that all areas used for food preparation are separate from the private areas of the home. Even informing me of states that have more laxity like Michigan would be appreciated. From what I've read in your threads, yes, I realize that it would be very expensive to remodel, but I would nevertheless just like some perspective from you seasoned folk. Be gentle, please. Also, does anyone know of a commercial kitchen I can sublease in the Northern Virginia/DC area? It would be occasional, at least at first. Thank you in advance.

By Jonesg (Jonesg) on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 06:01 pm: Edit

We started in business from my partners apt, we kept our mouths shut and did ok for over a yr until we had enough business to take a commercial space.

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 07:01 pm: Edit

everyone kept telling me *I* should do the same thing, but I'd be so anxious if anything happened... I have business insurance, and i'd be very upset to be paying all that money, have something happen, and then find out that it wasn't covered because the activity was illegal.

Catering from home is wrought with pitfalls and opens you up to a lot of liability.

If I got sued, I'd lose everything. Because I'm doing everything on the up-and-up, my agreements specify that if I get sued, I'm only liable for the money a client paid for the event... and they'd have to pay my legal fees, too.

By Jonesg (Jonesg) on Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 10:36 pm: Edit

Its gonna take either a lot of confidence or money.

If you don't have enough of either , perhaps a change of plan such as work for someone else.?
Or work out of a church kitchen, many rent them out.

I would do it again from home in a heartbeat.

By Chefdean (Chefdean) on Saturday, April 15, 2006 - 01:44 am: Edit

Just do it! Once you get a few jobs under your belt your on your way, try findding some one who has a diner that's only open for breakfast & lunch maybe you can give him say 50-110 bucks per job depending size!(head count)Beats having to hear your wife complain about messy kitchens!!!
Good Luck

By Cookingfresh (Cookingfresh) on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 08:56 am: Edit

I've talked to a couple of retirement centers and in lieu of a big paycheck to feed their staff and members they offered a small paycheck and use of their kitchen to start my own catering business, might try that.

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