Paperwork, Permits and Patience
Fund raising for our recent micro-loan campaign on Kiva Zip was nerve-racking and exciting at the same time.
In comparison to the work we now have ahead of us, the fund raising now seems the easy part.
In order to have enough “dough” to start paying back our Kiva Zip loan, we “knead” (sorry!) our bread oven up and running by end of May, beginning of June the latest.
Now begins the long process of paperwork and permits.
Winter however, is the perfect time for this!
Perhaps if the weather does stay warm, we could start to prepare the slab foundation.
In either case there are several town and state requirements to be met beforehand.
Ya’ll know I love lists!
So here’s what I plan on getting filed and (hopefully) approved this Winter:
- File a DBA for our farm business
- Get a permit from the town to build an accessory structure to house the bread oven
- With NYS Ag & Markets, I need to fill out the application for compliance with Article 20-C, which is a Food Processing license
I expect the majority of our bread to be sold wholesale to restaurants and at farmers markets.
But I’ll also need to get a Food Retail / Store License for those who want to pick up fresh bread from the future farm store.
The “doing business as” form or “Certificate of Assumed Name” is important in order to do business as Triple Green Jade Farm.
I have the form and need to pay the fee in order to submit it to my County office in Elizabethtown.
This certificate also helps us open a business bank account, request a NYS taxpayer ID and other business start-up services.
As we grow, I will probably apply for a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), but for now, I think a sole proprietorship is adequate for my start-up needs.
I haven’t had any issue so far in securing permits for fixing up our barn and the demolition of one of our silos.
There is a strong desire in our town especially to bring more agriculture to the land and help new businesses get started.
We’ve received a bunch of encouragement from our town officials and neighbors when we first moved here and it made us feel extremely welcome.
This will be an accessory structure, as I’ve read it described in our town zoning bylaws.
I think of it as an insulated pole barn built on a slab foundation.
It will have electric and a grey-water system for the 3-bay sink.
I know that building a commercial kitchen from scratch can be very expensive, so I’m keen to develop the minimum required so we can legally sell bread and baked goods.
I will make an appointment with our Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) to let him know what my plans are and he can help me proceed form there.
Once we have the structure up and oven built, I need to make sure it will be up to code and in shape for sanitary and hygienic standards when it comes to processing food according NYS Ag & Markets regulations and inspection.
With some help from folks in the “trowel trades” across Lake Champlain in Vermont, I’ve been able to get a firm list of suppliers for many of the masonry materials needed to build the oven.
I’ll do a future post very soon for those bread oven geeks among you that will include all of those juicy details with a full list of suppliers.
It will help me get my act together as well!
Of course this venture into bread and our first potential product on the farm is beyond exciting!
We have many friends and neighbors eager to bite into a warm crusty bread baked fresh from a wood-fired oven.
But like any operation, building the bread oven will be a process and it’s important to be patient as the work progresses.
But for me, it’s crucial to be even more patient when it comes to our budget and timeline.
It could all easily go off the rails if we make any buys on impulse or towards frivolous items – things not a necessity.
I need to create a working bakery – not the perfect, top-of-the-line bakery you would see on say on a Food Network cable show.
My wife may disagree but I love this quote:
The perfect is the enemy of the good.
We just need to make sure we don’t get too caught up in the excitement and loose track of what is essential.
OK. Off my soapbox now.
Thanks for letting me share that mental note with you!
I sincerely appreciate it and will see you next time… in the journey.