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Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Home for Sugar and Meringue?

I've talked before about my need to find a kitchen space that I can license so that I can sell and market my cookies and cupcakes legally. This has been a huge obstacle. Kitchens aren't easy to find and they don't come cheap. However, without a kitchen, I can't really market my baked goods and I feel like some opportunities could pass me by, 'cause I'm just not set-up like I need to be.

My Options:

1. Rent something- However, kitchen space for rent is almost non-existant in my area.The few places I do know of that might be available would cost an arm and a leg. Even if I quit my job and baked all day every day, I probably couldn't get enough cookies made to pay the rent let alone make a living. I may be able to split the rent with another baker but I'm not too crazy about sharing.

2. Build something- My husband knows how to build things. He's an HVAC guy so he knows how to do the heat, air, electrical and plumbing too. We might even be able to get some lumber from his folks (they tore down an old barn). I've found some adorable plans for some tiny cottages online. Problems… finding the time to build something and finding a place to build something. Finding an inexpensive lot with no covenents might be difficult.

3. Buy something- There's a sweet little house on the market and it's affordably priced. It would cost the same or less than building something and the payments would be significantly less than rent. I know the people who are selling it. They're trustworthy. I could try the cookie thing for a couple of years, if it doesn't work, sell the place and probably recoup most of the cost or rent it out. Problems… This place is affordable because it's 10 miles out in the country in the middle of a run-down neighborhood. Lots of ramshackle houses and run down mobile homes. Financing… do I try to get a small business loan, refinance our house and add this one on, find a grant? I can't tell you how much time I've spent searching for a grant to apply for. My dad has written and recieved many grants for his job so he's been looking too and we're just not finding anything. By the time I figure out a way to pay for this house, it will probalby be gone.

What to do?

Anyway… my favorite junk shop had all their books 1/2 off this weekend and I got a whole bunch of great vintage cookbooks for my etsy shop plus a few other fun things. Aren't those little girl candles sweet? I also got a really cool old metal cabinet for $25. For that price, I couldn't let it go, but honestly, I have no where to put it. (I need to buy another house!)

We were expecting a blizzard this weekend so I prepared by baking cookies… of course. I pulled out my 1963 copy of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book and made cream cookies. They're shown in the mosaic above.


momof2gr8kidz! said...

I love the look of your blog!!! i need to figure out how to do it too.. ITS beautiful! you could get your own kitchen aproved? can't you??? I thought you could? or you could do what my grandmother did.. build a kitchen in the garage!

SoCal Helene said...

Hi Emily, I love your blog it is so pretty and the cookies you are making looks delicious!!
Have you checked with the churches in your area? We did a Mommy & Me Mothers Dag Tea last year at a church, their kitchen was licensed and you could actually rent it during the weeks, can’t remember how much it was but it might be something to look in to…..
I’m having a giveaway on my blog, take a look if you like. Have a great week and good luck in your search!

Hazel said...

Hi Emily,
Can you not licence your own kitchen? Are there certain regulations, perhaps you could alter it in some way I wonder. A friend of mine used to do all her baking at home (she did buy a new double oven I think) and rented a small shop space nearby along with another person combining the baking and crafts but all the cooking was done early morning late afternoons at home. Good luck with your search :)

Emily said...

Hi! Thanks for all the ideas!
I think the laws vary from state to state/country to country. In Nebraska you cannot license your own kitchen. You have to have a kitchen that is used only for your business.

Lori said...

Emily, LOVE the pictures! I can never ever tire of vintage cookbooks! I adore the booklets as well!!! They can always cheer me up on the pooh poohest days!!! have a wonderful Easter,Lori

the wreath witch said...

I love the candles - maybe you can find a closed burger joint and redo the kitchen. your work is beautiful.

Kat at Muddy's Bake Shop said...

I know TN is the same as Nebraska, but not sure where you are. I know Mississippi is pretty lenient.
I second the church idea. A lot of bakers in my area who want to bake, but don't really want a full on storefront (I own a bakery and I can tell you yes, there's a LOT of hassle in doing the storefront thing... but still a joy!) choose to rent kitchen space from churches, schools, and non-profits that have commercial kitchens and are licensed. You might end up having to go with some weird hours for your baking, but most places will rent for super-cheap.
Best of luck- love the blog!