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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 10-11-2010, 10:04 AM   #1
bull2571
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Default Proper Kitchens

I was wondering if there is anyone who knows if you have to have an establishied kitchen for your catereing in Suffolk County Long Island or can you just cook the food at home. We are doing a drop tray business to start before we move into the full catering service

Thanks for your input.
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Unread 10-11-2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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You must first have your kitchen approved by the Health Dept. Contact your local county health dept. and they will advised you and inspect your kitchen. Here where I live, you cannot use your home kitchen as a catering or commercial kitchen. If I build a separate kitchen in my basement that meets code then I can use it for commercial purposes. Hope this helps.
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Unread 10-12-2010, 08:43 AM   #3
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I'm up in Delaware County New York & a commercial kitchen approved by the DOH is required here. As River City said, you can build a separate commercial kitchen in your house - say converting your garage - but you'll need to meet both local building & fire codes plus the NYS DOH codes. There are some variances between counties in NY so your requirements may vary from mine. One thing is for sure - a residential kitchen will not cut it for commercial work - especially if you have any pets or children in the house.

I've found if you start early developing a solid above board relationship with the DOH & ask them A LOT of questions concerning codes, they will be your best asset in getting a Q biz rolling.

Good luck & keep us up to date on the progress.
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Unread 10-12-2010, 02:02 PM   #4
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Suffolk County HD does not allow you to cook food in your home kitchen. You must have a commercial kitchen to work from.

I suggest doing a lot of research before making any moves. It took me about year to get all of the proper permits and licenses. Alot of that time was spent designing and building my catering/ vending trailer, but it was a long slow process. If you are planning on doing it the right way, it will certainly not be easy.

1. Contact the HD, and explain what you are planning to do. They will send you a packet that includes all of the paperwork & reading material you will need.

2. Look into Commercial liability insurance. That is a pretty big expense, but you don't want to risk loosing your personal assets.

3. Speak with a lawyer to determine what is the right business structure for you.

4. Speak with an accountant.

Start here:
http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Home/...abusiness.aspx

Good Luck!
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Unread 10-12-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bull2571 View Post
I was wondering if there is anyone who knows if you have to have an establishied kitchen for your catereing in Suffolk County Long Island or can you just cook the food at home. We are doing a drop tray business to start before we move into the full catering service

Thanks for your input.
Around here there are four commercial kitchens that rent space in time blocks. These are used by food startups and caterers.
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Unread 10-12-2010, 11:04 PM   #6
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Default Commercial Kitchens

Do you happen to know the names of the place that rent kitchen spaces

Thanks again to everyone providing us with useful and helpful information.
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Unread 10-13-2010, 05:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bull2571 View Post
Do you happen to know the names of the place that rent kitchen spaces

Thanks again to everyone providing us with useful and helpful information.
I just did a google search for commercial kitchen for rent.
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Unread 10-13-2010, 07:27 PM   #8
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Just an FYI, it is actually the Uniform Building Code that defines what is or is not acceptable as a commercial kitchen, curiously, almost all of the U.S. adheres to this requirement and will not allow you to cater or cook 'ready to serve' out of a home kitchen.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 04:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bull2571 View Post
Do you happen to know the names of the place that rent kitchen spaces

Thanks again to everyone providing us with useful and helpful information.
I have not been able to find any in our area. It seems you have to know someone. I've been to halls and other places that have kitchens, but no one seemed interested in renting a kitchen out. Mostly because they wanted to stay off the HD's radar. Maybe you'll get lucky though.
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Unread 10-28-2010, 11:39 AM   #10
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So when renting a commercial kitchen do you smoke the meat there? I understand prepping or bottling sauce there but I would still be using my smoker. Plus I wouldn't want to pay to rent the kitchen while my smoker is outside their kitchen when I could do the same at home.
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Unread 10-28-2010, 12:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigParmsPitStop View Post
So when renting a commercial kitchen do you smoke the meat there? I understand prepping or bottling sauce there but I would still be using my smoker. Plus I wouldn't want to pay to rent the kitchen while my smoker is outside their kitchen when I could do the same at home.
It's not the cooking that's the problem. It's food prep and cleanup. Things like 3 bay dish sinks, handwash sink, food prep sink, mop sink that are all needed in a commercial facility. Then once it's cooked where do you serve from? Even if you have the kitchen most HD's still require commercial grade food holding and serving stations, including a roof overhead (can be EZUP usually). And the list goes on.
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