There's a lot about this post that feels a little self-indulgent largely because I'm writing it and it's all about my new baking business, Marge. I've been waiting for the right time to announce it here on Bay Area Bites, and now seems as good a time as any. Although really this post is more about launching a small business without a storefront in the confusing (and expensive!) world of health permits, legal documents, licenses and occasional slammed doors. So without further ado, meet Marge.
The idea for Marge began last spring. I decided I'd open a bakery. I've always loved baking, had signed up to study at San Francisco Baking Institute and mentor at Comforts in Marin. I was already baking for private clients at the time and knew that what I really wanted out of a career was to work for myself. It wasn't important to me to have enough expendable income to fly to Hawaii every Christmas, but being able to support myself selling pie sounded pretty darn good. So begins the fun part. Real estate! Vintage wallpaper! Pretty display cases with distressed wood! And that lasted all of three weeks. Three glorious weeks, but three weeks nonetheless. And then reality hit. Those of you who have built-out a kitchen from scratch (or know someone who has) know how expensive it is. And for those of you who have ever looked for a charming, affordable retail space with a lovely pre-existing kitchen all ready and waiting for you-- you know they're a rare (read: almost never) find. So I regrouped.
I decided I needed a business license. It seemed like a good logical step and you basically just fill out a form, write a check, and 'Bam' you've got yourself a business. Perfect. Or so I thought.
My visit to City Hall went something like this: