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Posts by roman

I'm in agreement with @foodpump, you need someone local who can fix things and has parts in stock. No matter how good a companies reputation is, things still break and if you're down because your equipment is broken, any savings you had up front disappear very, very quickly if you can't make product to sell. Regarding a mixer, I'm not sure what the local codes are in your area, but you might be required to have a guard. If you purchase one without one, you may end up...
Stay far, far away from US Range. We bought a double stack new, 2 years ago and it's been absolutely no end of grief - very, very uneven cooking, even when lightly loaded, sensors giving up, motors having to be re-build (just out of warranty too - how convenient), the list goes on. Local service from the factory authorized rep has been terrible. They were in on almost a weekly basis at one point - never fixed the problem. Escalating to Garland head office resulted in...
Like everything else, depends - if you get an architect that does everything from prisons to factories, then you're right - you can't (and shouldn't) expect them to know food service. If you get one who's does mostly food service then they do know the ins and outs. If they're not sure about something, then they know who to call to find out. Some of the work does get subbed out (for example - hood design), but a lot is done in house. He charges by the hour to start -...
Hire an architect - one who has experience with commercial bakeries and restaurants in the area where you want to set up. He'll know what's required and what standards need to be met. Walk through the building with him - he should be able to give you a good idea if things will work out and a rough estimate of costs. He'll also have access to all of the trades (electrician, plumber, gas fitter, etc) you're going to need and will be able to call on them (in many cases...
It's a very hard sell. We have the same problem. Our products are hand made using local ingredients where possible. We typically wholesale our stuff at 20-25% off of our retail, we can't make a profit if we charge less then that. A lot of the cafes around here have gotten used to purchasing mass produced, mostly flavour-less products from the local equivalent of Sysco, where they can mark up prices by 100+%. That's gotten to be what they think is normal. So, for...
There is a lot to be said about starting in a small space - if done right, the initial capital outlay is minimal - we were up and running with an investment of less then $5K - mind you, the space already had a kitchen and we only had to add an oven and some additional fridges / freezers. Overhead was also minimal - rent was only $500 / month. It was a great way to prove that a concept was viable with minimal risk. We were actually the 4th outfit in the space - 2...
It might be possible, but just barely. When we started, we did a pie shop in 276 sq. feet (roughly 30' x 9'). We had: - bathroom - triple sink - hand sink - electric stove - Bakers Pride convection oven - big monster and you need space in front of it to get the trays in and out safely. - 9 feet of counter + cupboards above / below for storage - 2 fridges - 1 freezer - work table - bakers rack - shelving unit - retail counter w/ Cash Register - retail area (could fit...
We do a lot of cookies in our convection ovens. Given that they're only in for 10 minutes or so, we usually don't turn the sheets. There are a few hot spots in the ovens (typically around the edges), so we tend to avoid putting product there. As for manufacturers, stay well away from US Range (Garland) - we bought 2 of them brand new 2 years ago and have had a lot of grief. Everything from thermostats going insane, to cooking extremely un-evenly. Garland Canada...
You have to do what's right for you and look after yourself - no one else will.  From what you've described, I think you made the right decision, especially if you're only making $5.71 / hr.   Only thing I can I suggest is that you follow foodnfoto's advise above - he's dead on.  Don't trash talk your old employer during the interview. Odds are that they're already aware of the situation at your former employer, it truly is a small world.   best of luck
After the absolute worst service possible, being followed into the cloak room an being asked "Where's my tip??"Roman
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