December 29, 2008
I'm new to this site although I've been dependant on your advice for several months now! Now I have a burning question of my own which I am sure someone on here will be able to help with. It is only relevant to the UK, and requires a bit of legal knowledge.
My question is this. I am not quite ready to open up a shop (esp at the moment in the UK, not really the right time), but I'm running out of space in my house, where I currently make the chocolate. So, I'm thinking of trying to find another location to make and store the chocolate. As you will know a commercial kitchen is a bit beyond my needs, as you don't need ovens, grills, etc for chocolate. But is there a land usage category (ie A1 = shop, A3 = restaurant/cafe) that will allow you to have a chocolate kitchen? Would this be the same as for example, an artists studio?
Does anyone have any experience of this, enough to give any advice/tips?
Many thanks in advance
June 23, 2007
You can make chocolates in any building which has B1 (business / light industrial ) usage. As chocolate making doesn't require any heavy extraction of cooking odours or excessive heat, you don't necessarily need A3, and you will find that premises with A3 usually carry a premium.Consider offices or other buildings which don't jump out as the perfect solution, as it's cheaper to spend a few hundred putting in a hard floor and walls than paying over the odds for a ready made kitchen. Whatever you do, haggle as if your life depends on it! You should expect to achieve a 30% reduction in the quoted rental under normal conditions, so I'd go in low at 50% and make sure the terms suit you as well!
March 3, 2008
go to your local enterprise agency, if you have one. they usually have small units to let at reasonable prices and you may be lucky enough to get one which has been previously used as a kitchen.
also, environmental health are extremely helpful (believe it or not) in letting you know what you will or will not require in the unit to produce your chocolate.
happy new year everyone x
December 29, 2008
March 26, 2008
Getting premises is a tricky one, it also depends on what part of the country you are. I also started from home and as we expanded we converted part of our house with the advice of my local authority who advised me on what I needed to include to make it comply with Health & Safety regulations, ie; extra handwashing sinks, separate sinks for washing utensils, etc, flooring, storage. We still handmake our chocolates and this has helped keep our overheads down. I know from personal experience that different local councils have different interpretations of regulations, for example, up in Cheshire in the Hale district they advised us differently to our premises in the East Midlands. What area are you looking to open in and do you have a website as this is a fantastic shop window for your products & services?