The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

home bakery

bimfi's picture
bimfi

home bakery

I am trying to slightly modify my garage to do some home business baking. Currently I am baking desserts and cakes from my kitchen, but word-of-mouth business has picked up to the extent that I cannot keep up with just one oven. My idea is to install a convection oven in my garage. I initially looked at commercial convection ovens, but soon found out that my home owners insurance would not allow this.


Now I am looking at installing a double wall oven residential convection unit. I need to know which oven would suit my needs. I need one that is a true convection vice one with exposed elements and a blower fan. I've read about the Dacor ovens, but these are very costly. I'm looking in the $2800 to $3600 price ranges. I 've looked at Lowes and they have an Electrolux, and a Bosch unit. If anyone has any first hand knowledge or suggestions on residential convection ovens or how to convert my garage, I would greatly appreciate it.


Thanks


 


 

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

bimfi,


I grew up in up-state SC - a small twon named Lancaster just about 40 due south of Charlotte, NC.  I live in Raleigh, NC now.  I too thought of converting my garage into a small bakery area. 


In Raleigh, NC where I live in the city limits the zoning laws are such that I can convert up to 25% of my house to a home-run business such as a bakery - the hitch with using a "garage" even when attached to the house is that it is NOT considered to be part of my house.  The City of Raleigh define house to be "heated" (i.e. taxed) square footage. Bottom line, in Raleigh I would not be allowed to use my garage as a bakery area - it would not pass zoning laws and could not be licenced.


The zoning regulations may be different in SC, but you should check - hopefully you have - before proceeding to far.  Don't want to seem negative - sounds like you must be a great baker for your business to be growing like it is.  Wish you the best and will look forward to hearing how you progress. 


Ben

cookingwithdenay's picture
cookingwithdenay

If you live in North Carolina you are so lucky, consider contacting the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. They are a wonderful group of individuals who will assist you in making the transition and tellingn you what you will need for a commercial kitchen facility. Here is the link for Home Food Processors.


http://www.ncagr.gov/fooddrug/food/homebiz.htm


I don't know that this gentleman will assist but the owner of the BoxedTurtleBakery.com may have some pointers and you may want to email him, he build an open hearth. Visit his site at http://bit.ly/hW50Jr


If you run into a snag, please let me know, I am from Cary, NC and a former home-based baker who also taught a class on HBB, I will help any way I can. Good Luck!

CakeLove's picture
CakeLove

I am in the process of setting up my home bakery in Morrisville, NC and I would like to know if as a home baker are you allowed to bake and sale products infused with Alcohol?

cookingwithdenay's picture
cookingwithdenay

CakeLove,


Here is the contact information for Home Food Processing for the state of North Carolina, please tuck this info away and/or bookmark the link:


http://www.ncagr.gov/fooddrug/food/homebiz.htm


Food Program, Jim Melvin, Assistant Director of Regulatory Programs
Physical Address: 4000 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh NC 27607-6465
Phone: (919) 733-7366


Now to answer your question. You may put alcohol in the cake, i.e. in the cake batter, but you may not put any type of alcohol on the cake, drizzled or poured after the cake is baked. Once your cake has finished baking, don't put on a bourbon, rum or any alcoholic glaze, frosting etc. This is pretty much the rule. If you have additional questions by all means call the phone number provided above. Hope this helps! Happy Baking... ~ Denay

fotp's picture
fotp

Does your budget include any other equipment and modifications that you might need to make to your garage?  For example, ventilation, heating, storage units, refrigeration?

pneely's picture
pneely

I can't tell you about which oven to buy, but are you sure you won't trigger any fire safety laws by putting an oven in your garage? Some home bakers I know have had a lot of success (and saved themselves thousands of dollars) by finding a local, licensed kitchen and getting permission to use it for a few hours a week (typically Sundays or week nights). You kind of "rent by the hour". Any bakery/restaurant/pizz joint, etc that is tight on cash right now might welcome you in with open arms just to get some extra money coming in.