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Opening a shop in our lean-to barn
Sat 17-Jul-10
6:33 pm
Danny
Upper Armley, Leeds, England
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There was a very interesting article in Country Living this month about a lady who started up a little flower business, just like F is doing. This lady opened a little shop in a small converted outhouse across the road from her home. That sparked the idea in Fiona's mind of doing the same in what we call "the barn", that's the lean-to at the left of the house in the photo on the site header.

I believe a lot of ideas originated in the US about this sort of mini enterprise. One idea is to mix a small number of lines along with flowers, or whatever your main line is. For example, the lady in the magazine also sells collectables and semi-antique items. I think that is a good combination.

F loves collectables (don't all hoarders? whistle ) so that appeals. Also delicate things like flower water and home made scents. I thought home made soap would be a good match too.

I guess one of the biggest stumbling blocks is planning permission to convert portion of a residential property to a shop. I have done some reading on local government sites but in our neck of the woods it is the parish council who have the first say in planning applications. We are in a conservation area and a Grade II listed building, on a bad bend. Should be a pushover, then!

Never knowingly underfed
Sat 17-Jul-10
6:38 pm
Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Good luck with the planning permission Danny and Fiona, I hope it's not going to be a tortuous route for you.

I'll try that again!
Sat 17-Jul-10
7:00 pm
brightspark
Wilts

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Danny said:

I guess one of the biggest stumbling blocks is planning permission to convert portion of a residential property to a shop. I have done some reading on local government sites but in our neck of the woods it is the parish council who have the first say in planning applications. We are in a conservation area and a Grade II listed building, on a bad bend. Should be a pushover, then!


It's all part of the challenge  big_laugh   ok  - great idea though.

Of course, there's all the home-made conserves to sell, too.

Handmade cards (I remember Fiona makes those too).

Another possibility is cooking to order (as Fiona is such a good inventive cook).

When we lived in Hertfordshire, we had a house party to celebrate adding a real fire and chimney to an all-electric house (roll_eyes ), and I called in to a tiny little shop – a deli – and asked if she would cater for my party. It was great – lovely cold fresh foods laid out on silver serving dishes – beautifully presented.

I'm sure the ideas will come thick and fast – all you need is a lot of persuasive letters to your local parish council. Not too much, then ……

Life doesn't require that we be the best

Only that we try our best

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sat 17-Jul-10
7:06 pm
Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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And we would all sign any petition that might need to be started…wink

I'll try that again!
Sat 17-Jul-10
7:50 pm
Danny
Upper Armley, Leeds, England
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What great buddies you are! Thank you both very much.

Really good ideas, BS. Although we would never get Health and Safety approval for selling any form of cooked meat or dairy products as the house currently is laid out. Dogs in the kitchen for one thing.

Then again, we had considered converting the barn into a compliant commercial kitchen. Maybe we could perform both conversions at once. Seems like a long shot, though.

Never knowingly underfed
Sat 17-Jul-10
8:04 pm
Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Just don't bite off more than you can chew, start small and then expand if necessary.  Don't want you shelling out for a compliant kitchen unless you know that you can put in the effort each and every day to make it worthwhile. big_hug

I'll try that again!
Sat 17-Jul-10
8:20 pm
JoannaS
Latvia

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Isn't it possible though TA to put in planning permission for both but not to carry them both out? Can save time and effort.

Access is a biggie though Danny. I remember a friend of mine had to sell his dairy herd and so he needed another income and he had a dickens of a job because of the access was on a single track road, I think he only wanted to run a small B&B, not a hotel!

Sat 17-Jul-10
10:23 pm
brightspark
Wilts

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Danny said:

What great buddies you are! Thank you both very much.

Really good ideas, BS. Although we would never get Health and Safety approval for selling any form of cooked meat or dairy products as the house currently is laid out. Dogs in the kitchen for one thing.

Then again, we had considered converting the barn into a compliant commercial kitchen. Maybe we could perform both conversions at once. Seems like a long shot, though.


 

Danny, what is involved in a 'compliant kitchen' – does it have to be all stainless steel malarkey, or would you be able to do an IKEA kitchen, say (much more reasonable cost ok )?

How big is the barn – big enough to be a working kitchen together with an area for the goods?

I wonder if the rule that "No more than 5 events in one year, no licence is required" would apply to a business that only occasionally provides that type of service (i.e. max of 5) or whether the fact that the 'shop' would be open all year, the rule would not and could not apply in the same way.

Life doesn't require that we be the best

Only that we try our best

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sun 18-Jul-10
12:08 pm
KateUK
uk

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You would also need to check out any changes to your insurance and  any covenants on your property, there may be one forbidding commercial use somewhere way back in the deeds.

Working kitchen, smelling of fresh baking, bunches of flowers, preserves…who could resist? I fyou are doing a compliant kitchen plan what you would use it for- perhaps daily baking, soups,preserves and eventually, perhaps also catering? Where is your nearest 'proper' baker?

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/
Sun 18-Jul-10
12:16 pm
brightspark
Wilts

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Danny – as Kate has said – there will have to be a whole lot of work behind the scenes before it could become a reality.

This forum is great for getting many heads thinking for you !!

welldone   champagne

Life doesn't require that we be the best

Only that we try our best

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sun 18-Jul-10
2:31 pm
Danny
Upper Armley, Leeds, England
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Indeed it is, BS, and I really appreciate it. I do not know how much or how little the regulations stipulate the kitchen fittings and environment. I expect that easy-to-clean is a priority and no doubt some items like chopping boards will be specified tightly.

Kate, if I said we were toying with the idea of a compliant kitchen, that would be overstating it. It is something we take down, dust off and play with now and again. Primarily for catering, both for parties and pre-cooked individual meals and also to enable Fiona to perhaps sell preserves etc. both online and locally if she chose to.

Regarding the shop idea, I am beginning to think it may be a non-runner and that an online outlet here on the site could be far more effective. Maybe we should push ahead with both options and see how far the bricks and mortar one gets to.

Never knowingly underfed
Sun 18-Jul-10
2:44 pm
brightspark
Wilts

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Danny said:

Regarding the shop idea, I am beginning to think it may be a non-runner and that an online outlet here on the site could be far more effective. Maybe we should push ahead with both options and see how far the bricks and mortar one gets to.


 What about that feeling of 'sense of achievement';

pride, seeing your own little shop blossoming;

and meeting new people as they wander into the shop -

all that is missing with an online outlet.

Funny thing, while out on a walk, near Wallingford, and in the middle of countryside, we happened upon a converted barn, with all the things that you're talking about. Such a lovely ten minutes (or how long, can't remember) wandering around the shop, looking at cross-stitch cushion covers, local artist framed pictures, soaps, wooden carvings and other locally-made goods, but also pretty little china ornaments. In essence, my kind of shop. Love it.

ok

Life doesn't require that we be the best

Only that we try our best

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sun 18-Jul-10
3:03 pm
Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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Your house is beautiful, Danny. Do you know if it's listed or protected in any way?

Sun 18-Jul-10
3:21 pm
Danny
Upper Armley, Leeds, England
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I think that converted barn shop is probably a far bigger establishment than Fiona has in mind, BS, but does sound like a lovely find. To my mind, there is a very thin line between what I call a "tat shop" and really interesting and fascinating store. Mainly I think it is down to good taste on the part of the proprietor.

Shereen, it is Fiona's house and is Grade II listed, which is fairly restricting. It is on a ley line and has a lovely, calm, atmosphere. The St. Michael/Mary ley line is pretty powerful, apparently. On the map in that article you may see the village of Kirtling about 10 named locations down from the north east end in Norfolk. We are three miles from Kirtling.

Never knowingly underfed
Sun 18-Jul-10
3:36 pm
brightspark
Wilts

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That's interesting, Danny – if you look to the west on that map, you will see Cherhill (where there is a White Horse in the hillside) – 3 miles from us; and The Sanctuary, & The Ridgeway, near the ancient mound of Silbury Hill is about 6 miles from us. Suggestion is, then, that we must be on the same line ……

Life doesn't require that we be the best

Only that we try our best

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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