I am looking into possibly starting a small business making and selling cookie bouquets and decorated cookies for baby showers, weddings, bridal showers, birthdays, and for others to sell at their own stores, delis, etc...
For those of you currently doing this as a business, I would love to find out your timelines for completing the cookies so that they can be their freshest when you send them out to stores for selling or to clients.
My thoughts is that you could make the cookies ahead of time (for example for a Friday afternoon delivery, on a Monday), take the cookies out to defrost at room temperature wrapped on a Wednesday evening, make royal icing on a Thursday morning, decorate on Thursday and let dry overnight. And then package on Friday morning and deliver on Friday afternoon. For a Friday afternoon goal of delivery time, as an example. What do you think?
My concern is that I would always want the cookies to be their freshest when I drop them off.
Thank you ahead of time for all advice and information. I am still very new at this and just pondering...
I just delivered two dozen cookies today that I started on Monday. I baked on Monday, outlined and flooded on Tuesday, piped the extra decorations on the dry icing last night, and wrapped them this morning. Of course, this was working on them when I got home from my day job so I always have to plan around that. You could bake, outline, and flood all on the same day if you had the time. I try to minimize the time between baking and delivery as best as I can, and luckily, thickly cut sugar cookies covered in glace icing keep very well. I wouldn't worry too much about the schedule you have mapped out...it seems fine to me!
Cookies for re-sale must be prepared in a licensed kitchen, and require ingredient labels and "pull dates". The freshness limits may be defined by your licensing agency. the other place to check date requriements would be your county extension office.
It depends on your recipe, but most decorated sugar cookies stay fresher longer, if they are kept cold- because of the butter.
Joann makes a good point about the licensing issue. I also vend at a local farmer's market, and everything I sell has to be individually wrapped and labelled with it's ingredients. I also have a food safety handling certificate and a license from my state in order to operate. Check with your state's department of agriculture and your local health department before you do anything!
Thank you everyone for your advice and responses. My husband and I have a food handler's license and have looked into the State requirements for food packaging, freshness, labelling, and a domestic kitchen license, but right now am just thinking about possibly starting a small business next year sometime. I agree with your thoughts and input. Thank you!
I appreciate your help and any other advice and timelines that you think would work out well. Good luck with your endeavors and happy holidays to you all!