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Hi everyone

I am evaluating options for setting up a  local retail location where I can resell various lines of chocolates as well as produce my own.  I am estimating a total of 1,000 square feet, with only about 200 of that for kitchen facilities.

I would love to hear any feedback about space requirements for production and storefront in a retail (street front) location.



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Hi, Dione,

How exciting it is to start a business. I am starting a candy shop too. I knew some chocolate stores that only have 300 - 500 sqft retail space, but nicely decorated and organized, so they look good and spacious. My retail store is about 450sqft (including a private restroom and resting area). But all I mentioned above do not have kitchen facilities.

And, of cause, if money is not a concern, bigger retail space is better.

Good luck for your new venture.



your kitchen size will greatly depend on the equipment you plan to use and if your kitchen is governed by health vs. agriculture department. a triple sink with drain boards on either end will take up an enormous amount of space in your kitchen and if you are governed by health dept (i don't know where you're located), you'll likely need such a sink. if it's ag, you can get away with smaller sink. then you need to consider whether you will hand dip or use a mechanical enrober. how will you make your ganaches? will you make other confectionery products? where will you do your packaging - in kitchen or front-of-house? many things to consider, so there's no real one-size-fits-all kitchen formula.


i suggest you make a list of every step in your production and packaging processes and identify what equipment you use at each step. then quantify how much space that will require. also account for ingredient storage, small wares, cleanup, etc. i work in a very efficient (read: small) kitchen because we pay exorbitant retail rents and don't want my production space to cost very much. but don't make the kitchen too small that you can't grow into larger production capacities and thus bigger equipment, should your business take you there. also, think vertical! store seldom used items way high and use low-boy refrigeration equipment so you have more worktop space. you always need more than you thought you would....


one piece of advice i got was to invest (in space, equipment, etc) for where you WANT to be, not where you are. it's harder up front, but if you don't position yourself to meet a goal-oriented demand, you won't be able to pursue a big opportunity when it presents itself and you won't feel positioned to secure bigger accounts if you don't have the capacity to back it up.

good luck!


Beautifully said, Casey.

Awesome advice thank you so much!  I have rented a commercial kitchen for a production run (that has a triple sink which is a requirement here) and will measure and get to evaluate what kind of space I need for storage, production, packing and CLEANING! 

I am using small, portable equipment right now and thinking ahead to bigger production space is something I am definitely going to do!

Thanks again! :)




I have a 400 sf retail store with high ceilings and it feels huge. We have a 6;ft showcase, a smaller 4' showcase and an 8 flavor gelato case. There is plenty of tables and shelving to accommodate bars and gift items. I pay a very high cost per sq foot for prime location so we do not have "extra" space and our kitchen is elsewhere (600sf). I also have about 100 sf of storage space for boxes and packaging.I find this an ideal size to manage

Thank you for the info!  Do you have your own kitchen or rent space for production as well?




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