Building an in-home commercial kitchen

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by elcap1999, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. elcap1999

    elcap1999

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    I'm looking at some plans for houses, and one house I'm looking at has 1,575 sq.ft. of unused space, so I had an idea...

    In Florida, the requirement is for prepared foods, especially for companies making acidic foods (salsas, hot sauces, barbecue sauces, etc.) with sales over $15k a year, a commercial kitchen and/or bottler is required. Because of the extra space in the house, would there be any regulatory no-no's in using that space as a dedicated commercial kitchen. Of course, it would require all the necessary permits (food handler's permit, inspections, and purchasing of commercial equipment, etc.), but I was wondering if anyone was aware of any regulatory no-no's in constructing or adding a dedicated commercial kitchen into a residence...
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Check with your local zoning authority to see whether commercial businesses are allowed in your residential zone.

    Check with your local business license authority to see whether you are able to obtain a business license in a residential zone.

    Check with the fire department, they will have to approve the ventilation (hood) and fire suppression system.

    Check with your insurance agent to see if they will write insurance for a commercial portion of your home.

    My guess is that the health department will require physical barrier(s) between the residential and commercial parts of the house, as in separate outside entrances and exits as well as a separate bathroom. This is to prevent kids, pets, or anyone else besides those working in the kitchen to be there as a part of food safety.

    Personally, I'd hire someone with the knowledge to walk you through all of the roadblocks.
     
  3. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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  4. elcap1999

    elcap1999

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    Thank you both for the info! I'll definitely peruse it and see if it's feasible and cost effective for me.
     
  5. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Chef Pete covered it, it's all up to state city and county codes, expect to be working with building and health

    inspectors rather intimately especially at first.

    A plus is that so long as it's labeled NSF you can find some great buys on used or odd ball equipment that

    might be MORE suitable to your needs than say in a commercial kitchen.

    I might also add that if you do go ahead with the project, please be sure whomever you hire to do the work truly

    KNOWS what the hell they're doing--while a residential/commercial conversion/buildout isn't UNcommon, it's

    certainly not the norm either. And contractors who want the work can "talk" a good game, without ever having

    actually tackled this type of job.

    Which can cause you costly problems down the line.

    Get references!
     
    mikeswoods likes this.
  6. uptownkevin

    uptownkevin

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    In Florida, you cannot have a commercial kitchen in a residence.
     
  7. trooper

    trooper

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    The cost of converting a home kitchen is much greater than just renting one. People cheat a little by doing some prep at home. I have yet to see or hear of a facility checking inbound product for raw/scratch coming in the door. Best option is to find a house with detached garage or work shop. The costs are steep however.
     
  8. uptownkevin

    uptownkevin

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    But it's illegal.  So why would that be an option?  You can't do that in Florida.

    -Kevin
     
  9. trooper

    trooper

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    Not suggesting an unauthorized kitchen... I was suggesting that if one were to "commercialize" a home-based kitchen, it would be easier to do it in a garage or detached building. It would still be too expensive for most small-business budgets, but more likely to get certified than a doggie fence between your living room and kitchen.