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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am wondering if there is anyone willing to give me some advice on setting up a kitchen.
Here is the deal- I am an avid lover of cooking and all things food. I have an opportunity to be 'head baker/cook' for a relative who is in the process of renovating a turn of the century building in hopes of turning it into a bakery/coffee shop/bistro.
She is basically giving me free rein when it comes to the kitchen lay out and design.

I've never done something like this on a scale such as this. I cook and create all the time in my home kitchen but don't know how to convert that into the commercial world.

I need to know the "what I would do if it were me" answers from the professionals.

The main focus of this kitchen will be baking. Some light lunch type items-soups, sandwiches, salads.
My mind explodes with menu ideas but I am at a loss when it comes to the 'nuts and bolts' of a professional kitchen.

thanks to all who can help
I look forward to hearing responses
Shannon Marie

post #2 of 5
What a great opportunity you have. You have a lot of work ahead of you. You have the benefit of designing your menu first, then building your kitchen to accomodate it. There are a lot of on line resources that can help with the actual layout and design, equipment choices and small wares that you will need. Just know that there is no way you can over think or over plan this endeavor. You will need to develop projections for the type and amount of business that you will be doing. What kind of clientele. Mainly carry out, sit down lunches, catering, etc. This will be the starting point for your equipment choices. Also, what is you main niche product? Is it bread, pastries, donuts, cakes, all of the above. This will also determine what kind of ovens you buy. Will you need a dough sheeter, are you going to make your own dough and batters, or buy a product from a company like Dawn foods. This will determine the number and size of mixers you need. Will you be working with large danish rolls and such, in which case you will need a large butcher block bakers table.

The first thing to do is come up with a marketing plan and do your demographic research. Identify your target audience, and start researching from there. There are a lot of architects, contractors and kitchen design firms that specialize in this type of work. They are a goldmine of information, but they obviously charge for their services. Take advantage of their knowledge, and don't leave anything to chance. There is nothing worse than dropping a ton of cap/ex into a new venture without the proper planning in place and watching it all go out the window.

Good luck.
It's Good To Be The King!
It's Good To Be The King!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
thank you for the info and the links-

this is such a huge undertaking that I am a bit intimidated- I've got some place to start, thanks again.
post #4 of 5
Just a quick word of advice here. Many people have too much equipment and not enough counterspace.
post #5 of 5
Make sure you put in enough exhaust hood to accommodate any equipment you might add later on.That is the biggest mistake I see places make. For instance, you might start off with two ovens thinking you might add a third later. That time comes and you find out you don't have enough exhaust space for another oven. It's extremely expensive to add on later. Hood exhaust runs roughly $1,000 per foot, so it would cost 3-4 thousand for extra space now, but could cost up to ten thousand to add on later. Also, check with your local health and building codes departments before doing anything. Some places have codes that require certain pieces of equipment have to be a certain distance from each other. Think about the flow of traffic in and through the kitchen so you can lay it out without bottlenecks (everybody in the same area bumping into each other). Good luck!
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