Leasing Bakery Space: 7 Tips for Finding the Perfect Location

EM Bakery Equipment- May 2024- 10 minutes read time

Find THE perfect new space for your bakery

After 43 years in the baking industry, we have seen a lot of bakery layouts, to say the least. Time and time again, we are asked about

configuration, space and utility requirements. We are experts at support and consulting when it comes to space efficiency, equipment planning and workflow.

Contact us to share in our wealth of experience and ensure a smooth transition to your next bakery setup. The real estate world can be terrifying, and finding THE right spot can be complicated. That's why we put together this guide, to help you navigate through some of the benefits to look for in a finding the right production space.


Big doors give you more possibilities

For the ideal setup, look for spaces with loading docks that are easily accessible from the street or alley. The next best option would be spaces with roll-up grade-level doors, followed by double doors, single doors, or, as we know it, a standard door, which is the least favourable option.

Loading docks are the best option with no additional cost. It's easy for trucks to back in and is great for moving ingredients and day-to-day operations.

Roll-up doors still allow large openings into the space, but you will need to use a truck with a tailgate, for deliveries.

Double doors are also a great feature, at least allowing for larger pieces of equipment to enter into the facility.

Finally, while single doors can still work, they come with certain limitations and can make the moving process more costly. Equipment pieces must be dismantled to a minimum, and having ingredients delivered is more cumbersome.

It's also important to consider what equipment you will need. In most cases, ovens- decks or racks -link- come assembled and cannot fit through a single standard door size. You may have the option to order a pre-assembled oven, which will significantly increase the price of installation and setup time. As the unit needs to be built from minimum.

Modular ovens –link- can be moved deck by deck, as shown in the photos. These can be a good solution for limited spaces. They are practical for retail locations and allow themselves easier access to single standard door formats.


Get a bakery space with 3-phase power

Can a bakery operate on 208/220/240v 1-phase power? Yes. Do we recommend it? NO. And here's why:

Bakery equipment requires a vital energy source, and 3-phase power between 208-220V is essential. For a startup bakery, 100 Amps may be fine, but for future growth, it is recommended not to settle for anything less than 200 Amps. Especially if an electric oven is involved.

Note that wiring in old city districts may be unreliable, and it is recommended to get a second opinion from a specialist about the reliability and quality of the power supply.

Be also aware of open delta transformers as they may need help to keep up with the energy necessary for the equipment, making them unreliable, and only some pieces can work with it.

However, if power is a limiting factor and there is no other option, there ARE SOME 1-phase equipment options available. These are great for starting Microbakeries -link- or for home bakers.

Also, phase converters that produce an artificial three-phase from a single-phase supply can also work. The proper electrical infrastructure is key to keeping the equipment running smoothly and safely.


Significance of Ceiling Height: 10 feet plus ideal

The minimum height for bakery machinery is a must. Aim for a minimum ceiling height of 10 feet for functionality. Depending on the equipment.

Rack ovens, along with some other bakery equipment, like the Bongard retarder proofer Hera-link-, have motors located on top of them. High ceilings provide the necessary room for these ovens to operate efficiently and remain cool.

If you opt for a gas deck oven, take into account the ventilation requirements. The ceiling should be tall enough to accommodate a ventilation system to remove combustion gases effectively.

Having a high ceiling in your bakery is important as it allows ovens to have enough space to work properly and stay cool. This is particularly crucial if you are considering purchasing a gas deck oven.

Moreover, ceiling height is essential for maintenance purposes as well. With motors located on top, rack ovens require sufficient space for technicians to service and maintain them, something that a low ceiling would make it challenging.

Smaller retail bakeries may make do with an 8-foot ceiling; however, this height could be limiting. For those aiming for large-scale production, an 8-foot ceiling is too low.


Flooring Matters

When it comes to the right floor, keep in mind three factors: sanitation, heat and utilities, and the surrounding spaces.

Firstly, think about how quickly and easily washing the floor will be. Also, you will need to meet local health regulations for food production.

If you need drains, keep in mind that installing them on a concrete floor can be pricey and challenging. Wooden floors may be a betteroption in this case, but they have different limitations.

Conversation with our team can clarify floor matters and what's required. Consider the heat and utilities in your bakery. The type of oven you choose is important.

Rack ovens don't have buffers and transfer the heat straight to the floor. This makes them unsafe for wooden beam floors as a potential fire hazard. Concrete floors are necessary for this. Also, support for the weight of equipment. Some ovens can be very heavy and require suitable support.

On the other hand, modular and some smaller deck ovens have floor insulation or are on castors or feet. Theoretically suitable for wood beam floors, as they allow air movement and keep the underneath cool. However, deck ovens are heavier than rack ovens, and the wood beams can't carry them.

It's also important to consider the heat transformation and its impact on surrounding spaces. The heat can affect water heating pipes or in ground wiring in the floor.

Review the blueprints and ensure properinsulation and protection for surrounding areas to avoid these issues.

Considering these factors, you can choose a floor that meets sanitation requirements, works well with your chosen oven, and maintains the integrity of your bakery's utilities and surrounding spaces.


Utilities- Water and Gas 

In a bakery, water is needed for almost every task, so consider the amount and temperature you will need. Pay attention to the temperature, as yeast is sensitive to it.

Does the building have a sufficient supply of hot and cold water? Is a water meter or water chiller required? The environment can also affect the temperature. Ensure you will have enough hot and cold water available in both summer and winter.

Normally, we do not see a problem with the water supply. However, we do install a significant number of water chillers in areas with warmer climates or indoor spaces with increased warm temperatures. If you are in a hot climate, we recommend checking out the water chiller -link- offer always to have access to cold water. To save even more time, consider using water meters –link-, which pair great with water chillers

From mixing to steam in the oven or humidity in proofers, a significant amount of water is needed, so make sure the building can handle this demand. Normally, we do not see a problem with the water supply. 

If you opt for a gas oven, ensure that the building has access to natural gas or propane, especially in the quantity required. We have experienced installations where many equipment pieces consumed most of the gas allowance, and an upgrade to the system was necessary.


Minimize Stairs and Unnecessary Doorways

When searching for a bakery space, finding one with minimal stairs, landings, and corners is super convenient. 

Clear paths and short walks are the ideal solution for production spaces, as they save both time and money.

Imagine the challenges of maneuvering racks of finished products or pallets loaded with ingredients through a maze-like layout when moving in or out of the space.


Venting and Make-up Air

When selecting a bakery space, it is crucial to prioritize proper ventilation or a make-up air system. Ventilation and balanced airflow are necessary for every bakery.

Ovens, gas burners, and hood systems all take air out of the building, which can pose a scenario of negative pressure inside. This negative pressure creates a vacuum, and outside air will move through the venting system back into the building to balance the air pressure from indoors and out. It is important in preventing this vacuum effect and also helps combat coming smoke, combustion fumes and odours.

Bakery venting

Make-up air systems are important when using gas. These HVAC solutions are designed to "make up" the air in your space. In short, they pull fresh air from the outside and replace the indoor air that is being exhausted by the equipment and hoods.

It is also important to think about the impact on neighbouring units or bakeries with apartments or offices above. Poor venting configurations can lead to complications and additional costs in retrofitting to accommodate neighbours.


Keep in mind that every extra labour will be an extra cost for your pocket, extra time, and specialized experts can be hard to find and usually have a long wait time.

Let us repeat once again: the more, the better.


We hope our insight is informative and will help in the decision-making process of finding the ideal bakery location! Contact us for further support and location insight ideas.

Already settled on place and now looking for equipment?

EM Bakery Equipment

2209 Springer Ave

Burnaby, BC V5B 3N1

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EM Bakery Equipment USA Inc.

6731 Baymeadow Dr.

Glen Burnie, MD 

21061

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