Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

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asked April 21st 2021

Do I need a second oven for home business?

Hi, working to set-up a home cake business but kitchen space is limited and not sure how I can fit in a second oven. Currently have a standard 66 litre domestic fan oven. Wondered if others have managed to launch a home business with the one oven or is it normal practice to have two? Would be good to hear how others started out...

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Hi yasminhome

It isn't always necessary to have two ovens but there are specific rules and regulations that have to be followed. Depending on which country you are based in, in the first instance, you should contact your local Environmental Health Officer at your local council to advise you on what is required.

In the UK, the EHO will come and make a home inspection and guide you through the regulations. Other countries have their own regulations which should be observed accordingly.

Meanwhile, however, please take a peek at the UK government Food Standards Agency guidelines here:

https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/starting-a-food-business-from-home

I also strongly recommend signing up for Cakeflix Pro membership, tutored by David Brice for home baking business and more.

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Hi, thanks for your response. Absolutely understand local authority/FSA rules in the UK and am a Pro member which is great. I think I was just looking for reassurances specifically about ovens, perhaps for someone to say they managed with one oven for first one/two years in business. Completely understand that it depends on how many cakes you’re baking so it would also be good to hear how many cakes people with home domestic ovens churn out weekly for their business and if, at any point, it became a problem...

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Hi Yasminhome

When we first started out, I was baking from home using domestic ovens.
The more oven space you have the more efficient you can be with your time.

However, the oven space you need will depend on the volume of cakes you anticipate making.

When we used domestic ovens we would always bake a batch that would fill the oven space and freeze the cakes that were not needed immediately.

If space continues to become a problem, as it did for us, then you could look to outsource your baking. If you have reached optimum volume using your current oven, then it suggests that you are generating a reasonable number of cakes per week. The hourly rate of a baker tends to be a lot less than that of a designer cake artists. If you outsource the baking, it allows you the time to focus on appointments and decorating which are better for your profit margin.

If you would like more details it may be worth raising during next week's Pro members Live Q&A to get other responses (29th April on the Facebook Pro Group) or happy to continue the thread here.

Kind regards
David

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Hi David, thank you so much for being so generous with your knowledge and experience. You have identified by train of thought without me even articulating it particularly well.

I was just thinking that if I was commissioned to produce more than one/possibly two (at a stretch) wedding cakes per week, then in my mind (although I might be wrong) it would become a challenge with one domestic oven.

As you’ve said, I did think about outsourcing the baking part but was told that was frowned upon in the caking industry! I mean, I wouldn’t be cheating, as I can bake pretty well, but in terms of starting out and maximising your capacity potential, it makes sense to me to outsource the baking of larger cakes. On another note on that, I haven’t been able to identify a company who does this besides the usual online cake suppliers who sell sponges among other things. So that’s another thing...

Will absolutely try to join Pro Members Live if work permits.

So much to think about to get started, it feels so overwhelming some days :-C But this is a fabulous, fabulous resource that you’ve created, I love it.

Yasmin