Friday, August 24, 2012

Gimme Space

A couple years ago when I was working on getting my kitchen licensed, I had to do a couple things in order to meet the requirements for a domestic kitchen license, which is different than a commercial kitchen license. Oregon will license a home kitchen for baking and other small business ventures like salsa and jam making. This license does not require things like a triple sink. One thing it does require is that the business supplies be separate from the family supplies. In my kitchen with all the cabinets fully occupied with family food and dishes, this was going to be a challenge. In the end what we did was re-organize the pantry shelving space in my hall pantry closet. I bought a free-standing shop cabinet from a lumber store for my business inventory and clean, white Ikea shelving for our home inventory. I loved it and along with one separate spare refrigerator (kept out in the cold produce storage room in the barn) it mostly fit my needs.

But then my business started growing and so did my inventory. More cakes pans in more sizes and shapes, more cookie sheets and bigger bins of flour and sugar began to take over the space. After a big shopping spree in the city I'd bring home things like fifty pound bags of sugar and flour and eleven pound tubs of cocoa powder. I had a little trouble fitting everything into the cabinet. The other pain in the neck was that the refrigerator I used for everything in my business was, like I said, out in the barn, which required much dashing through the rain eight months of the year.

Then last year we started our little addition on the house. One of the new rooms going on was a "storage room" which I called my "new pantry" and it was finally finished in time for the wedding season to begin. This was significant because it meant that my spare refrigerator would be just steps away from the kitchen. No more carrying frosted tiers of wedding cake down the driveway! Also, with a bit (or more than a bit) of that wedding cake money I bought a brand new refrigerator for our family kitchen. My plan was to take the used refrigerator out of the kitchen and move it into the new pantry so that I would have two spare refrigerators, one for the business and one for the garden produce and overflow of family food. When we moved the old refrigerator out, it gave up the ghost in protest. Just like that, my vision of lots of refrigerator space during the new baking season disappeared.

The last time I posted an update about the building project, we were finishing the interior of the new pantry. I put down the tile floor and my husband finished trimming out the room and putting up a strong large shelf. After finishing the mudroom, we had the building inspector come in for a final look and he gave us the "Okay" to occupy our own house. Thank you, Mr. Bureaucrat!

So here is how it looks now-
On one side of the mudroom is the door to the pantry. I agonized, as usual, over the paint colors but in the end I like them just fine. I love the tile floor and the white trim. There is still a bit of trim to go on the wainscoting and I need to pick a color for the doors. They will not stay white in a house of boys. That is a decision for another time when my brain can function in such a capacity.

The wall of the new pantry has space for three appliances but we haven't decided if we want to bring a freezer in or not.

I did end up with another refrigerator just a week ago when son, Neal, moved his old one out of his house. It has made such a world of difference in my life. I now lack for nothing. The heavy duty, custom made shelf wraps around the room and has been perfect for all the odds and ends that I haven't been able to easily store anywhere else, like glass cake pedestals. Martha Stewart doesn't have anything on me. I feel like I have upgraded my little country cottage to Bedford levels.

Best of all, I am no longer tripping over these bags of flour and sugar that used to clutter my closet and my corners. Eventually I hope to have a full set of shelving on this wall for all my canning supplies and jars of canned goods. I haven't devoted much time yet to organizing the space but in the meantime it has made my life blissfully uncluttered.

Having this space and these refrigerators just steps away from my working space in the kitchen has made is possible for me to produce three, four and five wedding cakes a weekend. I'm more organized, more efficient and more professional. The hard work and support of my family made it all happen. I am blessed!


  1. It looks so great! So clean and neat... love it.

    I would be afraid to leave all those bags sitting there, though. I'd have mice in them in no time. You need a supply of tubs or bakery buckets...

    Also, you need to clean your camera lens. Looks like somebody got some fingers on it...

  2. Yes, when I saw these photos, I immediately cleaned the lens.

    I am expecting to not have a varmint issue this year because the new construction is so nice and tight. Also the cats have been working full time. I have never had a problem with mice in those bags even when I did have varmints. And I do have tubs and buckets, not as many as you though.

  3. It's a good thing that you have separated your kitchen appliances from your baking materials. It will give you more ground while working, thus, making you more productive. Hopefully, you would continue to be passionate about your business. Until then, I'll be waiting until it becomes a company. :) Tell me once that happens, okay?

  4. Those are the same colors of my office. Must be popular.

  5. Wonderful space! Love the colors as well. Now you have made me feel like a whimp though. I thought I had it bad because I have to go to the basement to get to the freezer. Tripping down the driveway in the rain with a frosted wedding cake, oh my!!!

    1. Thankfully, I didn't do that for too long.

  6. The shelves are "Not Heavy-Duty"!!!!!

    1. The big shelf is so heavy duty you could hang a swing off of it. The metal rack you put together, is, no, not heavy duty.


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