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We're Movin' On Up - 3

Posted to: General News by Lorin Laxton on Oct 21, 2012
By the length of time between my last posting and this one, you might begin to imagine how all encompassing the design phase of the new space has been.  While we have added new equipment, extended the lease space and continued to make improvements to Tryon Hill over the past 2 decades, I never imagined how daunting a task it would be to start with a blank canvas.  Luckily, some of the existing office layout seemed as if it was almost made for us.  The foyer and entryway lend themselves perfectly to the Sales and Admin offices, and the interior existing offices at Laurelbrook are almost an identical match to our needs for the production team.  The larger warehouse area, however, posed many challenges with respect to Kitchen, Warehouse Storage and Floral Production, namely because it is just so much space. 

One of our most exciting features, the overhead roll up doors, dictates the approach to deliveries to and from the Kitchen.  We decided to orient the walk-in refrigeration and hot food check out areas in as close a proximity to these loading bays.  One issue we addressed immediately was the loading bay dock heights - made for 18 wheelers and not vans, so we worked with the Architects to engineer the correct slope for the vans to ramp up to the proper height, and plan to fill the area with new concrete.  I found this process fascinating.  Two other overhead doors are at our existing box truck height, and those will be kept in tact.

Over the past 23 years of Catering Works existence, health and building codes have changed significantly.  Moving into the new space requires a whole new set of rules, and this will drastically change our existing kitchen equipment.  The initial layout process for the new kitchen began with our friends at All State Equipment.  Adam and Anne helped us to select the right equipment to meet our needs and expand our capabilities.  All of the prep departments in our kitchen - deli, pastry, salads, hot food and personal chef, will be enjoying some new equipment.  The most significant additions are going to the hot food line.  In addition to increased cooking and baking capacity, we'll also be adding a smoker to our line.  We are very excited about the updates our menu will achieve as a result of the smoker.

We're also creating a separate climate controlled cake decorating room (this is in one of the existing interior offices - like I said, almost like it was already made for us). 

The kitchen plan was like a jigsaw puzzle, and one which has been put together and pulled apart, reassembled and pulled apart again no less than a hundred times (literally, remember I said it certainly has been a while since I got back to the blog!).  Much thought was devoted to ensuring each department has equivalent access to the dishroom, the refrigeration and the general flow of the check out area.  I am certain I annoyed everyone during this process, asking for just one more final drawing to review, and then making everyone realize that I don't understand the definition of the word final.

Next I will start discussing some of the exterior design steps we have taken.