Sailing fan 2012-02-16 21:12:17
A week ago we were looking into making items in the bakery department of
a country store… the deal has fallen apart, but not the dream.
I spoke with my pastor about using the church’s kitchen. They have a
Southbend gas range with 4 burners, a 12″ griddle and a huge oven. They
use it about once a month for church suppers. The pastor said they’d
like to have pizza parties for the youth and young adult members. He
knows I used to make pizza a long, long time ago.
I told him I had intentions of getting two ovens for two different jobs.
One a little Baker’s Pride DP-2 (electric) two chamber (pizza capable)
deck oven for some breads.
I told him I was considering a convection oven that could handle 4 pans
like the Moffat E32 (electric) or G32 (gas oven) for general baking.
Since this is a gas kitchen that brings perhaps a gas powered Bakers
Pride GP-51 deck oven that’s a lot bigger than the DP-2, and $1,000
more. In the price range of the 4 pan electric or electric Moffat I
could also get a 5 pan Southbend Bronze Series convection gas oven for
about the same price. The only downside to that oven seams to be no
steam. Originally I was only investigating 208 volt electric ovens as
this is what the store could support.
Anyhow, the pastor said I could use the kitchen for a nominal fee to
cover utilities. I’d certainly be welcome to donate a $2,300 convection
oven and a $2,200 (electric) or $3,100 (gas) deck oven. If I took a
$5,400 write off, this would certainly impact my income taxes and I’d be
helping my church.
The other downside of working in the church would be that while I could
create a bakery of considerable capacity for a relatively modest
investment, I’d lose the retail location to sell my goods.
I’m at an impass. What would you do? Thanks.
Blanche nonken 2012-02-16 21:12:20
Are there places locally that would resell your baked goods? Coffee
shops, luncheonettes, small restaurants or diners, bookstores?
Vox humana 2012-02-16 21:12:22
I would look elsewhere. Being a former church organist I can tell you that
church politics can turn in unpredictable directions at a moment’s notice.
There will be someone who doesn’t like you using the church for personal
gain. There will be others who see that kitchen as their domain and you as
an invader. Someone will bring up the idea of liability. Something will go
missing (or be misplaced) and you will be guilty until proven otherwise.
Who pays if the drain gets clogged the day after the church dinner? What
happens to your business when the church decides to have food service at
their two week long vacation bible school next year? You need to find
someplace that is going to be reliable. If you do use the church, you need
to get an attorney involved. There needs to be a lease and a written
understating about how the utility charges are to be determined and many
Fresh monniker 2012-02-16 21:12:25
Get a lease. Have a property lawyer look it over.
You don’t want to be kicked out after buying them a new oven.
Vox humana 2012-02-17 14:56:09
Make sure they don’t object to devil’s food cake.
Mombu 2012-02-17 14:56:11
Hire a salesperson to sell it to other stores in the area.;-)
“I have seen the worst that man can do.and I can still laugh loudly”
Edwin pawlowsk 2012-02-17 14:56:15
I’d do more homework. The pastor may let you use the kitchen, but the Board
of Health may not. When you sell prepared foods you come into a whole
different world and you are a commercial operation. There will be
requirements for storage of ingredients, sanitation, prep areas, packaging,
transportation of the cooked goods. You may need to take a course in safe
Don’t spend a penny until you know what the requirements are and if they can
Sailing fan 2012-02-17 14:56:17
I appreciate all the good advice. My pastor is a nice guy. We are about
the same age. I was going to community college all day and making pizza
4-5 nights a week some 20 years ago. He had just graduated from college.
He was a regular at the pizzaria I worked for. I used to call him pastor
then, but he technically wasn’t a pastor yet. I only vaguely knew him
when I was younger than that.
He’s from the area. He left for about 10 years but came back when he
could find a job locally. He’s a great person. If it were only on his
say so, things would be fine. There are some people of responsibility at
the church who don’t necessarily like me. I could potentially see a
conflict. This too might be a false start. Last weeek was operating the
baking department of a small grocer as an independent contractor. Within
a few days I decided he was less than up front about things and broke
off that deal. I though of church, but probably only because the pastor
and I are sort of friends. Very complex.
Louis cohen 2012-02-17 14:56:21
The church should consult its attorney – allowing you to use its facilities
for a profit making business might have implications for the church’s own
Living la vida loca at N37 43′ 7.9″ W122 8′ 42.8″
Mombu 2012-02-17 14:56:23
Business is business . if you don’t do it the right way there is no such
thing as friends in business. learn the lesson and survive
“I have seen the worst that man can do.and I can still laugh loudly”
Vox humana 2012-02-17 14:56:27
Your friendship is irrelevant as is everything you posted above. I’m not
trying to be mean, but just pointing out that you need to base your business
decision on rational, tangible facts and objective reasoning. Your
“friendship” with the pastor might be seen as something unsavory by people
looking for trouble which is a favorite pastime of some churchgoers.
Petey the wond 2012-02-18 08:45:42
Your pastor is kind-hearted, but does not know the law.
I’d say there is a great chance that what you want to do is completely
I own a bagel shop. Perhaps if I re-name it Church of the Living Bagel
(Yeah, I know, bagels are jewish…) I could get away without paying
If you catch my drift, you’ll understand why churches are not centers
for commerce. (Except Bingo, which makes them a center for legalized
John labella 2012-02-18 08:46:36
I am in a similar situation.
A local Catholic School has closed and they have left an empty certified
kitchen. I am trying to see if I can make a relationship work.
I can anticipate problems with certain individuals who “take over” the
world and have absolutely no concept on how a commercial kitchen is run
…. drying dishes out of the dish machine using tea towels keeping cakes
in the deep freeze for many many many years etc etc.
They also choose to ignore any of my expertise (certified Food Service
I also ran into an event happening on a Saturday evening and being yelled
at by an elderly woman saying I ruined her event happening the following
Thursday… (the premises had been booked by my clients months before
they were paying and had this happened – her event a coffee and cake for
10 seniors again the following Thursday!!).
All these things can crop up.
Establish a schedule. Post your times as early as possible. then see how
it goes …. DON’T Donate the stoves YOU Will regret it. You may find
that business is such that your kitchen is better or you may find that
projections aren’t what you expected…..