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DragonflyDesserts

designing cake shop/bakery kitchen

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I have the wonderful oportunity to move out of our current location (which I do love and is our little coffee/house cake shop baby) in our 2000 pop. town into our nearby city of 250,000. I opened a coffee house, with the main purpose of having an outlet and kitchen for my cake business. Through some incredible circumstances, I get to move that business and put my input into the design of the coffee house bar and more importantly, the kitchen. I have a 15' x 46' space to work with. Not incredibly huge, but much bigger than we have now. The location is right next to our University so along with the specialty cakes and wedding cakes, I plan to incorporate fun stuff like cupcakes and some healthy alternatives. I have no professional training, so setting up a kitchen is a little overwhelming and since space is tight, I want to make sure it is used well. I guess, I'd really like to see pics of your work spaces. I've done internet searches and cannot find any.

Also, I've heard there is a convection oven that works better for cakes....can you help me with that?

Thanks for your great input!!!

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Congratulations and best wishes!

There is a nice little shop near my home that sells cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, brownies, etc., and is in about the same space as you will have. Seems to be plenty of space for her to bake, sell, and have some tables. She also serves soup, salad, and sandwiches at lunch.

I haven't been in the commercial end for a few years, so I don't know about the convection oven you're talking about, but you will need a large refrigerator, at least a 20-quart mixer, regulation sinks, stainless steel work table(s), one or two rolling racks, and ingredient storage space. A freezer is nice to have so you can bake several of the same flavor cake layers at one time for wedding cakes or special orders, or if there is a special price on butter from your supplier. All of this equipment is available second hand, in very good condition.

When I had my bakery I used a full rolling rack convection oven. If you aren't familiar with them, they come with special rolling racks that have heat-resistant wheels. You slide baking sheets onto the racks and roll the racks into the oven; the racks hook onto a device that turns the rack 360 degrees continuously as the baking occurs. Very nice to have if you are doing any kind of quantity. You can bake cakes this way, as well as cookies, brownies, cupcakes, or anything else you want to bake. But you would use this for large-quantity baking.

What kind of volume are you talking about? Will you be providing wholesale product to other businesses in the area? Try to anticipate what you will be doing so you buy equipment that will handle the volume.

Good luck!

Eileen

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A lot of folks use the Deluxe ovens, they are located in Florida.

Earlenescakes.com has photos of her shop.

But designing your shop is just as Eileen says. And it

will be unique to your floorplan. There's probably

only a few places where a sink can go, an oven can go. Then

plan around that. Do you have a contractor?

Oh ok, here's some random ideas. Your decorating area

will want the best light, natural light if possible. I mean there's

going to be the strategic best place for the floor drain and oven.

You would want to keep the oven as far away from the

decorating as possible--a separate room is best for decorating.

Oven and sink in the same room/area is good. Supplies would be

better in the decorating area where the heat & humidity are not

as bad like from the steam of cleaning dishes and hot oven. The

decorating room needs some air conditioning.

Nice clean open bright shelves are better than a pantry so you

can see at a glance what you have & what you need. Those

nice bins on wheels are so nice that you store under a stainless table

like for sugar and flour and stuff. Then you'll want mixers close to tables.

Umm, for me, I seem to prefer two tables placed front and back of me

rather than L-shape. You want one table to be nice and long for rolling

out fondant. Maybe even a nice big board of some kind to whip out

and lay on top of a table if you don't have enough room for a continuous

nice big one. Dummy storage. A marble top is a nice luxury. Plan for room

to maneuver cakes in & out of doorways. Make sure your walk-in/friges

don't leak. And that you can open walk-in/frige doors and still function.

Make sure your floor plan flows where you don't have to walk through

a maze to answer the phone or greet a customer. You need some plastic

or stainless shelving where you can store your equipment while it is

drying. Good lighting.

But I'm sure you knew all that anyway.

I'm very happy for you!


Edited by K8memphis (log)

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Thanks K8....that was the kind of info I was looking for, like the seperate, cooler decorating area....seems obvious, especially since I've been in a tight, small kitchen. Helps me visualize how to arrange the room a bit more. I've never been in a professional kitchen before (except the restaurants my mom has owned and I worked at) No bakeries or cake shops. Thanks for the oven info and the great hints! I have read earlenes info before, but I will check that out again. I like the handy custom made stuff she has incorporated.

As far as volume..... Yikes, it could be average and constant or huge! I'm thinking on the cake end, 30 - 40 a week. Not fancy, scuplted, but specialty cakes with the same designs. There will also be cupcakes, cookies, muffins, scones, etc. And I'm planning a seperate fridge and prep table for coffee house stuff. I just found out that we can also put a storage unit on the property... one of those insulated sealed containers. That can hold a lot of stuff I don't need on a regular basis.

Thanks!!!

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You can get graph paper and make little tables and equipment and sink and oven & all your stuff to scale and make a floor plan to scale and mess around with it that way too.

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Pam R   
You can get graph paper and make little tables and equipment and sink and oven & all your stuff to scale and make a floor plan to scale and mess around with it that way too.

That's the best advice there is. We've done this with each of our kitchens and it really is the best way to figure out what you have room for and where you should put things.

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This is just a random thought based on prior experience... if there is any electrical work being done, get more outlets installed than you think you need. Sometimes, where I am, the circuit blows (it's an old building) and I've had to move my mixer table from my space to the main kitchen prep area. The mixer table is on wheels - just about every table I have I put on locking casters which makes it SO much easier when washing the floors. I put them on my shelving units too but I think most shelving units now come with casters.

Good luck! What a great opportunity for you, congratulations!

PS... did you have the Thunderbird 10 qt mixer? I got $ off on the one I looked at and bought it. What I wish I could do is permanently disengage the guard. I found that if I put a pen cap or pair of tweezers into the male side of the guard, I can get it to run with the guard swung around to the left. But I would prefer to do something more permanent and wondered if you had jury-rigged something.....

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Jeanne,

just put a magnet where the guard meets (this will work if tghey use magnets not if its a locking piece

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Make sure you shelf out the place and make sure you have enough room to store everything. I'm so maxed out I have no where to put anything so we are going up and shelving out the entire production area (I turned a hair salon into a pastry shop, so i dont have much space to work with) If you can put storage outside, you should look into having the walkins outside. This will free up space inside for equipment, showcases, work tables, etc...

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Make sure you shelf out the place and make sure you have enough room to store everything. I'm so maxed out I have no where to put anything so we are going up and shelving out the entire production area (I turned a hair salon into a pastry shop, so i dont have much space to work with) If you can put storage outside, you should look into having the walkins outside. This will free up space inside for equipment, showcases, work tables, etc...

Putting walk in fridge & freezer outside is definately a good idea. I will be looking into that. THat would save a ton of space.

Yes JeanneCake, I am the one with the 10qt Thunderbird. I will have to try the magnet idea.....don't know if its magnetic. I've never tried to rig anything....just dealt with it the way it was.

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Hi Cheryl! I have no advice to offer. I just wanted to say congratulations on your newest adventure. I hadn't seen you post in awhile so it's good to read things are going so well.

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Pam R   

Cheryl - What's happening with your plans?

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Well I happen to be going through this right now. I've just completed the plans for my space, which is about 900sf, but I was able to squeeze in a kitchen/retail area, seating for 12, and a bathroom. Plus, I couldn't have the bathroom open up into the kitchen so I had to build a very obtrusive wall and long hallway which ate up tons of space.

The first step is to familiarize yourself with the laws/regulations with your health department. How many sinks, how big each of them has to be. Also, do you need an exhaust hood and if so, there might be limitations to where that needs to be. Then start thinking about the different functions you will have in the bakery; for example, prep (like near the mixer and the ingredients), baking/cooling, finishing, packaging. And then look at the pieces of equipment you'll want; for example how much freezer space will you need. Try at first to fit in more freezer/refrigeration space than you think you will need.

There are a few different techniques to laying out the space. You can cut out little shapes and arrange them physically, but be sure they are in scale...1/2" = 1' is a pretty good scale because you can easily convert your real life dimensions to your drawing. (You could also get an architectural scale which is just a fancy type of ruler). Another thing I was told was helpful is to make full size cardboard (or paper) cutouts of the footprint of your equipment and push THOSE around in the ACTUAL space. You'll be able to quickly see what works and what doesn't probably faster than the scale model. What I did was make up all the shapes in Adobe Illustrator, and use an easy to convert scale (for example 1 pixel=1inch) which was really quick to setup. When I was happy with my drawing, I just figured out the conversion and scaled it to a more appropriate dimension. Sketchup is a free program from Google, but I couldn't figure out how to work it. All in all, I was very thankful that I had a few interior design classes almost 20 years ago so I knew a little bit about what a site plan is supposed to look like (I have to go to the Dept of Planning and Development with a lot of red tape!)

When you're all done with your layout, you can add all the plumbing and electrical info to your drawing and hand it to your plumber and electrician for a bid. Be prepared to pay a lot of money for those two things! Get several bids. And don't put down a deposit until you are sure you are going to be with your contractors until the job is complete.

Phew! I'd be happy to send you a pdf of my finished layout, just PM me.

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chickie   
PS... did you have the Thunderbird 10 qt mixer?  I got $ off on the one I looked at and bought it.  What I wish I could do is permanently disengage the guard. I found that if I put a pen cap or pair of tweezers into the male side of the guard, I can get it to run with the guard swung around to the left.  But I would prefer to do something more permanent and wondered if you had jury-rigged something.....

I have a 20 qt., and one time I got someone from thunderbird on the phone and he told me how to cut a wire to disconnect the guard. Then I lost the paper I wrote it on, so I called back and got his co-worker instead - who was horrified that the other guy had told me how to do it in the first place :biggrin:

Unfortunatley he would not tell me.

I hate that guard - I am literally ready to toss the machine because of it. It always becomes unscrewed and the mixer won't work. Next time my mixer guy is in I am making him cut that wire, I am sure he know which one it is!

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