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Local Regulations for opening a Chocolate Shop. Kitchen- Yes or No?

My wife and I are looking at leasing real estate to open our chocolate shop. The question is this: Are we bringing in a "kitchen." We will be producing our products onsight with bulk chocolate. Our equipment will include tempering machines, enrober, reach-in fridge and freezers, microwave, 3 sink cleaning station, work tables, etc. We are looking at an approx. 1000 sq ft space with 150 sq ft of showroom and the remainder for production. If this is classified as a kitchen then the regulations will be that of a restaurant and more costly.

I would like to hear if anyone has gone through this process and your thoughts. We understand that each city has different regs but general info might help as we get set to meet with the officals.

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Isn't that crazy? With all that you'd think theres some affiliate racket for them to put these in places. The grease trap manufacturers are recession proof. ;)
Hello there! I am not sure of the codes and regulations in your state but I have dealt with this before. It is a kitchen...but it's a manufacturing kitchen. Chocolate shops are looked at differently than typical restaurant kitchens. We are not inspected by the Department of Health, but we are inspected by the Department of Agriculture. I got the best information when I was trying to figure all of this out when I called the Department of Agriculture and spoke to them directly. We did have to seal the walls with high gloss paint and seal the concrete floor. We did have to purchase and install a grease trap, 3 compartment sink, hand sinks (in the kitchen and the retail shop), mop sink, and install a K Fire Extinguisher...which is for grease fires...but the Fire Marshall made us get it even though we don't cook with any grease! I had a difficult time with this as well...but atleast you have had SO many great responses from other Chocolatiers! Wish I had been a part of this when we were opening our shop!

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