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What’s required for converting garage into roastery


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Hi everyone 

 

Me and my wife are currently putting our business plan etc in into place and at the moment we are struggling to find real information on what’s required legally to start roasting. We plan to covert part of our garage and we are wondering if anyone has successfully done this and what was required to do this if at all? 
 

- Do we require a health and hygiene inspection? If so what was needed to be done. I.e was hot water and sinks needed to be plumbed in?
 

- Did you need to register as a food business?

- what insurances were required? If so did they required any certification for proof etc.  We will only be selling online and deliver locally so we will not have people come to collect.

- Any thing else that was required legally that I’ve missed out.

 

Any help is really appreciated

 

Steve 

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We decided against using my garage. In a residential area we were just too on top of our neighbours for it to be fair to them. We would've ended up getting complaints, I'm sure.

Contact your local authority as a first step and get the guidance for them. After all, it's your local authority you'll fall foul of if you get it wrong. Everything that follows is what I understand from my research and my own local authority's views. Don't rely solely on this, and make sure you do your own research.

You will need to register as a food business, and you will end up a hygiene cert/rating just like your local takeaway.

We plumbed in a double hot water sink in our industrial unit so it was entirely separate from existing toilet hand-basin. I can't remember whether we established that hot water was not essential, but we decided quickly that it was so obviously best practice that that's what we went for.

Insurance: I don't believe that it's legally required. HOWEVER. 1. You will need to notify your home insurers, and you are likely to find that many refuse cover as a consequence. 2. You will absolutely want insurance. If your garage burns down and sets fire to a half dozen properties around it, you'll be glad you have insurance.

You need to know how to label your goods with a best before. 

The Black Country Coffee Roastery
www.coffeebythecasuals.com - Discount Code: CFUK21
Instagram: @casuals_coffee

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A few additional thoughts as I have done exactly this; converted my garage to a roastery. This is a stand-alone single garage, not connected to the house, and around 25 metres from the closest building. It has no windows and a single point of entry/exit through a tilting door which remains open at all times while working in there.

You will definitely need to register as a food business. Your local authority's EHO will need to come and inspect you; from my experience they are looking for two things 1)do you understand the health/hygiene risks in the production, storage, and packaging of your product? and and therefore do you have a plan to manage these risks? You will find online-guidance and templates to help you document your risk management plan.  2)are your premises of a sufficient standard for the storage, production, and packaging of food? 

To ensure a safe and hygienic environment I have done the following:

  • Lined and painted the interior walls (garage was previously un-lined)
  • Painted the bare concrete floor
  • Separate areas and equipment for green coffee and roasted to avoid cross-contamination
  • Storage of green coffee on pallets to keep it off the floor
  • adequate ventilation and ducting for the roaster
  • Stainless steel work-top for the roaster
  • Bait stations to deter rodents
  • Fire extinguisher on hand

 

I don't have a water supply in the garage; but I use a plastic bowl with warm water for hand-washing (this kept the inspector happy!)

You will also need trade-weighted scales, not necessary for the food license, but needed to meet trading standards requirements. Also look at the labelling requirements.

 

As coffee by the casuals mentioned, you need to work with your local authority, as each one may have a different take on what is required. For example, I still have some exposed wooden trusses in the garage roof which my inspector was comfortable with; yours might require a fully enclosed ceiling.

I have chosen not to take out insurance on the garage as I believe I am in a low-risk situation  - but you need to make the right decision with regards to your circumstances. However, I do have public and product liability insurance. 

 

Best of luck with the venture

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Thank you both for your advice here. It was really important to get people’s experience who have actually successfully done this. I plan on damp proofing the walls and then, stud wall/ insulation etc to walls and I will be boarding the ceiling too. 

 

my garage is a 1 and a half garage so I plan to convert the garage door side into the roasting room. Then I’d laminate the floor too so it can be cleaned etc. Luckily i am IOSH registered so I can do the risk assessment. 
 

thanks again 👍
 

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Think @Coffee by the Casualsand @RDC8 have covered the main points. Also make sure electrics are man enough to cope. All depends on the roaster you are wanting to use - do you require 3 phase power. If electrics to the garage are they on a separate circuit to the rest of the house and are they up to the latest standards. Last thing you want is accidentally tripping the circuits.

Insurance is required esp for home use. Yes to contacting the EHO - I'm still awaiting my initial visit from my local council, but with the pandemic all been delayed. They have recently contacted me, but I am deemed low risk.

Regards

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Thank you all for your advice, we are a brand new house so the electrics will be most certainly the latest. The garage is separate to the house thankfully so the home insurance shouldn’t be a issue…I’d hope.  Thanks again everyone for being very helpful 

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