Get Out of My Kitchen! Time to Build a Proper Bakery!

Hello Everyone!

I'm reaching out to everyone for some advice. It is officially time for this home-based cookie business of mine to move to another space. We are in the process of collecting all the ideas and needs for a small bakery we will be building on our property. This is where I desperately need your help! If you have a moment and would recommend any advice on what should be in my bakery. Anything along the lines of ....

- What brand of equipment do you use? ( Especially oven and mixer)

- Things you did or wish you would have done in your bakery to function better

- Things you couldn't live without in your bakery

- Any sources you used to help you inspire or layout your own bakery.

Also, I have been toying with the idea of blogging my process once I get it underway. If that would be of help to anyone, let me know. I would love to share and be of help to the cookie community , because it has been a HUGE help to me  

Thank you so much for any input you have!

XO, 

Tara 

Original Post

Great question and best of luck, Tara! This is a huge question, so I'll keep it brief. First thing I'd do is contact my local department of health, as they will likely dictate certain things you NEED to have for health and fire code reasons, such as: a hood and fire suppression system over any gas burners, a three-basin sanitizing sink, and seamless flooring that typically wraps up the side of the wall. As for other useful stuff, I worked with a hodge podge of equipment inherited from the previous owner of my shop, so I am less brand-sensitive. (I generally think one can adapt to any oven, for instance, just by getting familiar with its nuances.)  What you will need also depends a lot on the type of your operation, i.e., if you are going to supplement cookies with cakes or other sweets, etc. However, speed racks are key for cooling and storage of some items. I also think large Hobart mixers are key for large batch mixing. I needed large double door, low humidity fridges as well for cake storage and some of my large-scale chocolate work.

As for blogging about your startup, I could be interested in having you do that on Cookie Connection (I typically review a sample post or two first). So if you're interested, please contact me directly at sweetlife@juliausher.com to discuss more.

Again, best of luck on your adventure.

I also started a small bake shop on my property. My budget was tiny so I found a reputable used equipment company. There are quite a few near me. I have been told that in the restaurant biz the turnover is high. Anyhoo, for the pieces they didn't immediately have they contacted me when something of interest came in. Have used a Duke oven for 6 years, no problems. Have a used Berkel mixer 6 years, no problems. I agree with Julia for the most part about the brands. 

The piece of equipment I would not want to do without is my dough sheeter. I bought it new, a somerset. It was pricey but I truly appreciate it. Wish I could have had it when I started. But as I stated, a tiny start-up budget.

I would be very interested in reading your blog. Great luck on your endeavor!!

 

Thanks Karen and Julia! Don't be surprised if I message you I was wondering about getting a sheeter but I don't know many cookiers who have them, so I figured I wouldn't get any response. It has  been something that was on my wish list and I think I just needed someone to say " I would not do without it". Cha-Ching. 

KarenKO posted:

Happy to share any info I have about my dough sheeter. I don't want to detract from the original topic. So, feel free to message me.

Oh, feel free to mention your sheeter info here (that is, if you're comfortable publicly sharing what you paid). It's certainly relevant to the topic of this thread, so don't worry about that.

I have the somerset cdr 300f fondant/dough sheeter. I paid $3200, that total includes tax, delivery and set up(taking it out of the box). I think you can purchase for less now online. But at the time I was overwhelmed and needed the delivery.

I had researched sheeters on and off for years. I found some info but not necessarily focused to my cookie needs. I contacted somerset company directly. They were informative and connected me with a bakery that used a sheeter for their cookie dough...extremely helpful.

The sheeter is expensive and will take time to pay for itself monetarily. That said, it has already paid for itself with saving me from the physical toll of rolling dough. I was starting to have carpal tunnel issues, wearing a brace from time to time. The sheeter saves time and rapidly produces consistent evenly rolled dough with no aggravation.

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