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The shop that never was.... - Page 3

post #31 of 44
You do know that in Massachusetts we can legally bake from home right?

Do you have a licensed/inspected home business that you are trying to grow?

That's what I'm doing......once I have an established clientele that could support a storefront someday then I'll think about taking that next step and opening a shop.

If you don't have any kind of home business in place now, why not get inspected and bake from home to raise money?
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

You do know that in Massachusetts we can legally bake from home right?

Do you have a licensed/inspected home business that you are trying to grow?

That's what I'm doing......once I have an established clientele that could support a storefront someday then I'll think about taking that next step and opening a shop.

If you don't have any kind of home business in place now, why not get inspected and bake from home to raise money?



Thats what i'm talking bout!.....if you work hard the money can add up quick!
post #33 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much ladies.

Yes I have been working out of my home for 7 years now, since my daughter became diabetic. That is what drove me to do all this, bake, culinary school and now the shop. And I do get busy in the summer and around the holidays. But with the shop I had neglected the home business a little and have taken cakes only once in a while so I could put the time into the shop.

Now, Yes I had HELP from, we didn't hire, a contractor, that was my fathers choice. My dad was an architect but has since retired from that and knew what needed to be done, but as we found out as we went along things changed 6 years ago. Actually until 6 years ago you didn't need a grease trap unless you were using a frialator.....the same thing with the hood only if you were frying....that sort of thing.

Oh I believe the half million on putting up a shop. We didn't build the place and we spent ALOT, not far!!!!

So our lawyer is trying to figure how some of the things can get fixed and he is now dealing with some of the city offices because of all the crap. The not having a straight answer sort of thing....he is dealing with alot of the contracts and things. I guess there is a couple that have been trying to open a restaurant for 4 years and the city is doing the same thing to them. And there is another bakery that is trying to open on the other side of town that is also having the same issues as us. Now there is a Spanish restaurant that began after I did and they are already open....they are in one of the "urban" areas that were thrown money to them. They are up and running..... So something is up. They want to build up certain areas in the city and if that is not the areas you are willing to build in than people are getting the run around. The ladies that it took two years to open, yup they are in a different part of town tooo, hummmm.. But I'm not going to blame anyone. I should have quadrupled my research and not just gone once and believed that one person from that dept....right, ya think????? Guess not.

Well according to the lawyer, things are on hold now. There is a little digging being done. 3 examples that I know of imagine when there is more digging????? But as of right now there is no "closing date" because we now have to wait on him. Oh well, the saga continues I guess. I don't know why...because we still dont have the money for the plumber???? So I am not sure why are we waiting???? But I guess we wait and see.

I want to thank everyone for all their input and advice and shoulders. This whole experience has been an amazing one, I have learned so much.

Your very first thing to have is a business plan, once you have that don't think that you are ready to go. Get someone to look at it and give you pointers, is it realistic, is it a clear vision, so on and so on. I went to score and IDK about that, so then I went to Center for Women and Enterprise and they were amazing. They have tons of workshops that guide you into building the best business plan and give you realistic goals, and advertising and you guidance. Worth every penny and hour at their workshop. And great networking too.

after that here is where things went wrong. At least now I know and maybe just maybe they can help someone else.

First..... don't believe the first person you talk to actually don't even believe the second and third.
Second....Get everything in writing. Which thank God I did because that is helping us right now.
Third....Keep a journal of who, when date and time,and what dept. That is something I also did, again helping in this journey.
Fourth....Big things first. DO all the big work the high ticket items first. I know sounds dumb but the little stuff can wait...didn't always think that way in the process. But coulda' shoulda' isn't going to change anything now.
Fifth....Try to find a place that is meant for this, just because the price sounds good doesn't mean it really is. It can cost more in the long run. Look for a closed pizza shop, maybe even a close bakery. You are half way there so it makes the permits, work a little easier.
six.....stay away form bigger cities...go around the out skirts...the money is still there. The bigger the city the more depts the more people and opinions and depts you have to deal with.

I am sure there are a hundred more I can think of but these are things that just come to mind right now. I am sure there are others here that can add more to this list. There is so much knowledge here in CC there is so much advice you can find from these talented people its insane.

I will keep you all updated. As of now we are waiting on the lawyer but like I mentioned IDK why because the money still isn't there. but whatever???? Again thanks for letting me vent on yet another day.

Love Vic
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post #34 of 44
Is there any way you could put your entire experience on paper (everything) and make an appointment with your city council, for your city town meeting and get on the agenda to inform the entire council of your predicament? Maybe they have no idea what red tape they have caused and how instead of encouraging new businesses they are discouraging them. In our economy isn't government suppose to give all the help possible?

The next thing you can do is take all this information and go to the newspapers with your facts and ask them to print the article you write up and to investigate your case.

You could also go to the television stations and ask them for help. I am saying this because in my town this is the way to get past the red tape. Sounds like somebody wants you to grease their palms to get past red tape.
Believe in yourself so that you can be the best.
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Believe in yourself so that you can be the best.
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post #35 of 44
In NJ, in order to open up my commercial kitchen, we had to, in this order:
-Have a business plan (not for the officials, it's just good practice)

- Inform the health department of our intentions.

-In our case, we needed to get zoning approval. That meant going before the board of adjustments, sending certified letters to surrounding property owners, etc.

-After we had THOSE approvals, we applied for the Uniform Construction Code permits. The state required us to get blueprints drawn up by an architect. Once the plans were approved, the permits were issued.

-Construction could begin.

We ended up suing our first hood guy. Took him to small claims court. Won but he was out of state. Judge said, "Good luck collecting." I said, "Thanks, judge." and did a little research and attached his BANK ACCOUNT!! (see the honest, little guy does come out on top, sometimes.)

There was only the tiniest construction snafu when the electrical inspector had one perspective and the 'senior-citizen' electrician had another. Took a bit of time, but not a biggie.

And incidentally, the most interesting thing I learned was that the health department doesn't really care if the state UCC office has completely approved me. They only cared that I had the right cove molding and a 3-bay and handwashing sink. Since my kitchen is not a storefront, the C.O. might not be such a big deal...Many insurances do require the C.O., though. (And I do have, one...just fascinating to me).

The checks and balances are tough.
post #36 of 44
Have you thought about taking your plight to the news media? Is there a watchdog newscaster that might do a "How the city is keeping the little guy down" story? This might be a big story. They can spin it like it isn't just the economy making it hard to start/keep businesses. Maybe you could get some sympathy donations.

Keep us updated.
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Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket.

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http://indycakes.blogspot.com/
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post #37 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelsq

In NJ, in order to open up my commercial kitchen, we had to, in this order:
-Have a business plan (not for the officials, it's just good practice)

- Inform the health department of our intentions.

-In our case, we needed to get zoning approval. That meant going before the board of adjustments, sending certified letters to surrounding property owners, etc.

-After we had THOSE approvals, we applied for the Uniform Construction Code permits. The state required us to get blueprints drawn up by an architect. Once the plans were approved, the permits were issued.

-Construction could begin.

We ended up suing our first hood guy. Took him to small claims court. Won but he was out of state. Judge said, "Good luck collecting." I said, "Thanks, judge." and did a little research and attached his BANK ACCOUNT!! (see the honest, little guy does come out on top, sometimes.)

The checks and balances are tough.



Yup we had pretty much the same order. But for some reason people started popping in out of the word works.

We had the business plan all done at the beginning of last year, so when we got into it in July we were ready. Than we had all our money, loans and everything financial all set too (or so we thought). Then we went to then we went to the city offices and set up all the appointments that we thought we needed. I say thought because when we went to get the information they (code enforcement) gave us a list with all the depts. that we needed to talk to and have inspections and things. Done, great!!!! right, not so fast. Health inspector came and all was great, actually he is the only one that I have not had issues with. He has actually been very helpful.

When we first went to the zoning dept the lady we talked to says no you are all set. Since you are not having anyone sitting down and being served you are all set. Fine. then about a month later one of the inspectors came by and said oh you have tables, I said yes, this is the area for brides/tastings. Then he went back to zoning and things changed, we had to stop the work that I had been approved to do until the meetings were all done and they decided that yes I was all set on zoning.

See I don't want anyone to think that I/we didn't do our homework. We did. We did all these things before we even signed the lease. We have a great landlord. He also helped alot when we things went haywire. He had tons of information. Anyway. It wasn't being ill prepared, we were prepared. I went online to the city website, got all the information that they have themselves for opening business and followed this guide step by step. We asked for help from people that have much more knowledge than us in this sort of thing, contractors, chef with restaurants, bakery owners, business services agencies, It's just one of those things you just can't put your finger on. It's just one of those things that have no explanation, sorta' have to be in it to see it.

We had the information it was just the lack of communication with one dept and the next, the inconsistencies from one dept and the next, actually even the inconsistencies from one inspector and the next....things like that. I guess if I were the only one I could say, oh I really messed things up. But like I mentioned before the city is giving others the same run around. Yes did we make mistakes? But nothing to make it this get this out of control. and then what I keep thinking it's not happening only to me there are others in the same boat. So it makes you think this many people can't be all making the same mistakes as me???? Makes you wonder??? I don't want to be a victim, I want something to come out of this. Maybe not the shop but at this point I don't want the city to do this type of things to others. The economy isn't great we know that but in this situation it's not the only thing to blame.

I was at a school fundraiser last night and without mentioning anything about the shop I was talking to a dad that is trying to open a dance studio and is having a hard time with zoning and things. I am sure we are not all doing the same things wrong. Why is zoning giving everyone a hard time. IDK.

Again thank you for all the advice. It has made me go back and look at all the steps and see if I crossed all my t's and dotted all my I's and more and more I realize that we did take the steps in the right order. So then why, why this out of control. Did we sweat some of the small stuff before we should have yeah we did. But again nothing that should have spiraled this out of control. It has made me look back to the depts and seeing which are the depts that myself and others are having the issues with. are they the same, are they the same people others are having issues with. I guess I'm being my own investigative reporter, icon_lol.gif

I have thought about contacting the media, but like I mentioned in a previous post the lawyer is looking into some things. We have an appointment with him next week/Thursday to see what happening. So I am anxious to see what has been going on. Again I will keep you all posted and again thanks for all the support.

Vic
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post #38 of 44
Keep the faith, GOD will provide, don't give up just yet, sometimes he puts us through these test's to make us stronger. and I think you will have a glorius ending, after all that hard work. Beautiful shop by the way.
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post #39 of 44
Wow just finished reading this entire thread....talk about getting hosed....not good at all.

I do have an idea that worked for me in the past and was the catalyst enabling myself and 3 other community members to raise awareness and start a charity (2006) that is still running strong today!

In our community we have a local paper that is delivered free to everyone, you may have the same thing (a penny saver etc..).

We contacted the local paper and asked them if they would like to come out and do a small story on our community and it's fight against drugs and prostitution. (We are the bad side of town LOL but getting better everyday).

At first they weren't to interested, but decided to send someone out to speak with us to see if it would be a good story.

Well a small mention turned into a 4 part serial that went on over 2 months, and the larger newspapers in the city picked it up and everything went wild from there.

To this day the charity is still running and growing bigger each and every day. We have government funding and the community is very supportive.

We managed to raise over 5 thousand dollars at a yard sale with items that were donated from the community that we then used to rent (and now own) a space that gives women suffering from addiction a safe place to go to get clean with out wait or delay!

Sorry (stepping down from my soap box now) I get very passionate when I talk about this.

If you really want this and I know you do but it sounds like your wavering a lil bit because of all the obstacles your facing...FIGHT for it!

If you dont believe it's gonna happen then no one else will either.

Call you local paper, news station, heck call anyone who will listen to your story. Start a facebook page or group... document everything and tell the world! Shout it from the roof tops!

Someone will hear or read about your situation and make an offer of help to get this project back on track!

You have done a excellent story letting us all know what your going through on CC (and we are here for you) now you need to share that story with the rest of the world!

This is your dream right? your baby?! Would you fight any less for a family member or child?! Didn't think so!!!

I know we all need to feel sorry for ourselves sometimes...but the pity party is now over and its time to finish this once and for all!

Contact everyone you know, spread the word! Newspapers, Media, radio stations call you local MPP (sorry thats Canadian not sure what it would be for USA) and tell them everything, promise them your vote but only for action!

You can do this....and when you open, yes that day is coming and closer than you think, you will look back at this struggle and know that you are much stronger than you had thought and nothing will slow you down again!
Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away ...
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Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away ...
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post #40 of 44
PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR DREAM! You have worked way too hard to quit now. You are SO CLOSE to the finish line. Think positive, look into different options, the ones people mentioned above. It will work out, you gotta keep trying. THIS IS YOUR DREAM!!
post #41 of 44
Please don't give up! You have way too much invested to just walk away now. I guess if you have learned anything from the other lady in town who opened a bakery after working for 2 years to get it done.... Your patience will pay off eventually.
post #42 of 44
Seems like with the economy in the state it is in and the Government wanting small businesses to strive I would put a call in to the local Government and if that didn't work I would work my way up the scale. This really is something that should be able to have a set of rules to go by and everyone should be operating on the same set of rules. Start making calls and writing down who said what and when. Good luck and start making those calls.
It's not how hard you fall, It's how soft you land.
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It's not how hard you fall, It's how soft you land.
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post #43 of 44
What I am about to say is not going to be a very positive and uplifting story, but its reality (and sadly my reality) so I hope it can help you in some way.

I, too was somewhat in your same situation with regards to getting my shop open (I believe I wrote a little about my problems around here). In total, it took me 7 months from the day I signed my lease to get open, and I opened in the dead of winter. Not good. But I believed that as long as I hung in there and kept at it, and got open, things would work itself out.

Well, 1 year later (I just hit my one year anniversary, for what it is worth), I'm drowning in debt, have to work a full time job just to make payroll and inventory. I cannot pay rent, any other taxes, and insurance. Not a pretty sight. I spent every penny I had and then some to try to get the doors open and it cost me big time. I also just got hit with a court date to get a lien against me for back taxes. I can't afford to keep the shop open, and I can't afford to close it. I ask myself every day how did I get into this mess and cry myself to sleep every night.

Now, for me there is a very slim ray of light at the end of the tunnel. Summers are very good for me ~ VERY good. The problem is that I had rob Peter to pay Paul until I started to make enough money for the shop to support itself. That didn't happen until a few months ago, and then the winter hit and put me back behind the 8 ball. I should be able to catch up after profits this summer, but its going to be a long road (with me working full time by the way) to get there. With the massive amounts of snow around these parts, sales are really, really, really low.

So, think long and hard about opening your shop with no money. It's not something I would wish on anyone, and if I could do it all again, I'd stop and cut my losses before they get any worse. Because take it from me, it can.
post #44 of 44
Cake Mooma, I am wondering whats going on with the shop, there has not been an update, have you made any progress?

I have to say, not a business, but 2 years ago my parents were putting a large mother-daughter addition on my house for my grandma and two great aunts, well, same story as you, they go to an architect pay big bucks, use proper contractors for everything, its one problem after another. One person in the zoning department says one thing, the supervisor says another. They eventually get everything situated, structure is built, ladies move in, go to go...NOT...fast forward to a week ago, our hot water heater broke, its 2 years old!!! Plumber comes, company for the water heater too...guess what, the plumbing line that runs to the hot water heater is too small, needs to be 4in pipe, WHAT THE $%^*, my parents are spitting nails at this point. How did the town drive them nuts for months with this and that and now, 2 years later, its the wrong pipe and should not have been approved by the town?

I have no clue what to say to make you feel better, but unfortunately the powers that be drag us the through the mud, and I know you, like my parents, feel stuck and do not know where to turn. I wish you all the luck and strength you need for this project.
sweet treats and love, erica
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