Michie21 Posted 26 Jun 2006 , 8:12pm
post #1 of

Hi everyone,

I tried to find some info on this on line via my local government web sites but I had no luck. Does anyone out there currently run a home based cake business in New Jersey? If there are any of you out there can you give me a few pointers on what I might need to do to get started? I've done cakes for family and friends who have paid me for the ingredients but it's been pretty few and far between but the more I do it the more I love it and would love to start a small side business. Anyone have any ideas??

Thanks for the help!!

27 replies
CakesByEllen Posted 26 Jun 2006 , 9:03pm
post #2 of

I'm also in NJ and have tried to find out, but with no luck. The best (or worst) I got was from my township stating that there were no provisions for a domestic (i.e. out of your home) bakery. I am so busy with life, that I did not follow it up any further. Please let me know if you do find out something though.

Michie21 Posted 26 Jun 2006 , 10:13pm
post #3 of

I live in Mercer county and can't seem to find anything for my area related to the subject! They don't make it easy, do they? I will keep you posted! Please do the same for me if you should come across anything useful!

MichelleG Posted 26 Jun 2006 , 10:27pm
post #4 of

I have tried to find some info also, but have not gotten a clear answer. The few things that I have heard is that in New Jersey you can not have a cake business out of your home due to health code reasons. My only problem with that is that I read in the Couirer-Post a newspaper in South Jersey that a women had a catering business out of her home. What would be the difference? The one thing I was told was that I could bake my product in a church, a private club or such that was inspected by the health department, but who wants to lug all that stuff back and forth?
Pleas let me know if anyone finds something out.

MichelleG Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 1:27pm
post #5 of

Just got done talking with the Department of Health for New Jersey and they state you can NOT have a cake business from your home. You can bake from a church or private club, but that you would need a letter from the location stating they are registered with the department of health. icon_sad.gif

Michie21 Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 3:25pm
post #6 of

THANKS MICHELL! That's a bit discouraging but at least we know.

Now im getting technical.. I wonder what they consider a cake business? I mean what if you didn't advertise but by word of mouth friends and family were to pay you to make cakes? I'm just thinking out loud icon_smile.gif

CakesByEllen Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 4:03pm
post #7 of

Michie21 -

Honestly, that's what I do. I have heard if they catch you then you get a warning the first time. I was wondering if I could make my business a LLC without actually having a business. This way if someone (god forbid) got sick from something I made, at least they couldn't take my house.

Any thoughts?

MichelleG Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 9:16pm
post #8 of

From what I heard as long as you're not putting out more than 2 or 3 cakes a week and not advertising in the yellow pages or such they seem to over look it. I have also heard that the first time you are caught it is just a warning. My husband and I are thinking about become a LLC. that way I could bake from an outside facility. I would just be careful and sell to family and friends.

Michie21 Posted 27 Jun 2006 , 10:30pm
post #9 of

stupid question.......
what is an LLC?????

swingme83 Posted 6 Jul 2007 , 12:20pm

where did you hear that it is just a warning? This is my concern as im a worry wart and always think about gettign caught icon_sad.gif Anyone know what the fine is???

I hand out business cards that i made on my computer but thats my only form of "advertisment" and i only give them when asked.

*shrugs*

CakesByEllen Posted 6 Jul 2007 , 1:47pm

LLC is a limited liability company. basically an inexpensive way to legally protect your private assets should someone try to sue your company. They could take the company's assets, but your private assets couldn't be touched.

At least that's how I understand it.

luvtocreate Posted 29 Jul 2007 , 3:45am

HI,

Does anyone know if New Jersey allows you to run your business from your home basement like other states do?

thanks

lin

vww104 Posted 30 Jul 2007 , 2:20am

You can not sell foods from your home kitchen at all in NJ. Although you as an individual do not have to be licensed, you must work out of a licensed, inspected kitchen. There was an article in the Star Ledger last week about how the health inspector stopped the farmer's markets from selling pies because they were baked in their home kitchens and not in legal kitchens. I don't believe they were fined, however they are no longer allowed to sell home baked goods at farmer's markets.

Carolynlovescake Posted 30 Jul 2007 , 5:23am

Ladies I recently posted about someone going after me... and I'm not even baking for money yet (I am getting licensed first - I live in Oregon).

It doesn't take someone getting sick it only takes someone getting mad.

I wish you NJ gals the best of luck in your adventures with the regulations you have in place.

poey223 Posted 1 Apr 2013 , 11:59pm

Hi everyone...I have been following this for quite some time now. This might help you all also..http://cottagefoodlaws.com/state-regulations/new-jersey-cottage-food-law/

Please make sure to start writing Legislature about the Cottage Food Laws. http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/ Let's work together to get this passed!!

NJsugarmama Posted 2 Apr 2013 , 12:09am

A

Original message sent by poey223

Hi everyone...I have been following this for quite some time now. This might help you all also..[URL=http://cottagefoodlaws.com/state-regulations/new-jersey-cottage-food-law/]http://cottagefoodlaws.com/state-regulations/new-jersey-cottage-food-law/[/URL] Please make sure to start writing Legislature about the Cottage Food Laws. [URL=http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/]http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/[/URL] Let's work together to get this passed!!

Do you know what the limitations are? It seems like they just want to allow any baking at home. What about with kids, dogs, licensing, max gross profit, servesafe

keepcalmandbake Posted 2 Apr 2013 , 1:25am

I'm from NJ. I recently closed/discontinued/inactivated my business (before it even started) because unfortunately, NJ has no cottage law (just recently learned about this via a known baker on fb) It was a hard decision but it was the right thing to do. I did however contacted the my town and even HD. Here's what they told me.

 

1.  You can't sell cakes you baked from your kitchen. 

2. If you have a separate space,  separate from your house, you may have the chance of getting licensed provided you follow your town's HD provision. Like having your own sink, fridge, etc...he told me to look section (? Sorry I forgot the section number) BUT again, it had to be approved and commercialized. 

3. I also asked what if I bake from a commercial kitchen. He said that's totally okay. No need for inspection obviously. But again, you can't take the cake out from the kitchen and bring it home. Your client had to pick it up from the kitchen where you made it. 

NJsugarmama Posted 2 Apr 2013 , 11:08am

A

Original message sent by keepcalmandbake

I'm from NJ. I recently closed/discontinued/inactivated my business (before it even started) because unfortunately, NJ has no cottage law (just recently learned about this via a known baker on fb) It was a hard decision but it was the right thing to do. I did however contacted the my town and even HD. Here's what they told me.

1.  You can't sell cakes you baked from your kitchen.  2. If you have a separate space,  separate from your house, you may have the chance of getting licensed provided you follow your town's HD provision. Like having your own sink, fridge, etc...he told me to look section (? Sorry I forgot the section number) BUT again, it had to be approved and commercialized.  3. I also asked what if I bake from a commercial kitchen. He said that's totally okay. No need for inspection obviously. But again, you can't take the cake out from the kitchen and bring it home. Your client had to pick it up from the kitchen where you made it. 

I had a legitimate storefront dessert shop back in 2009. I really, really would have loved to go and open it again...but the timing wasn't right. It is a rediculous amount of work to have a shop. Being able to bake and sell from home would be AMAZING! I have 3 small babies at home and I still love making cakes, but to do it with a store front or at a commercial property is nearly impossible. We have a non-operating b&b, with licensing, insurance, llc...blah, blah, blah...but still can't use it as a commercial kitchen because my father-in-law lives upstairs.

I'm all for people being able to bake in their own homes and sell their products, but I'm just curious to know if there are limitations being presented or it's like some of the states that have no restrictions. Like having children and pets out of the area, being servsafe certified, home inspection?

Godot Posted 2 Apr 2013 , 12:38pm

ASeven.year.old.thread.

keepcalmandbake Posted 2 Apr 2013 , 2:17pm

A

Original message sent by Godot

Seven.year.old.thread.

Yes. Seven year old. Just joined last night. Unfortunately, 7 years later, law hasn't been passed yet. NJ home bakers are still dreaming, hoping so we can work from home while aiming for a brighter future.

SugarLillies Posted 3 Nov 2013 , 8:26pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by keepcalmandbake 
 

I'm from NJ. I recently closed/discontinued/inactivated my business (before it even started) because unfortunately, NJ has no cottage law (just recently learned about this via a known baker on fb) It was a hard decision but it was the right thing to do. I did however contacted the my town and even HD. Here's what they told me.

 

1.  You can't sell cakes you baked from your kitchen. 

2. If you have a separate space,  separate from your house, you may have the chance of getting licensed provided you follow your town's HD provision. Like having your own sink, fridge, etc...he told me to look section (? Sorry I forgot the section number) BUT again, it had to be approved and commercialized. 

3. I also asked what if I bake from a commercial kitchen. He said that's totally okay. No need for inspection obviously. But again, you can't take the cake out from the kitchen and bring it home. Your client had to pick it up from the kitchen where you made it. 

Thanks for the information. Hopefully something will change here.

lafoutloud05 Posted 15 Nov 2013 , 3:42am

Hello. I'm new here and came across this old thread when researching how to start an at home business in NJ. I mostly bake cupcakes for now, but am looking to eventually expand to cakes. Anyway, my plan was to just bake from home until I found out about this law which is disappointing. I work at a restaurant on the side, and am wondering if I get permission to bake there on off hours if that would work legally. Actually the restaurant I work with is offering my desserts to large parties which is awesome, but I don't want to get in trouble for baking from home. In all honesty, I was thinking of just saying I bake in the kitchen there (which is already inspected obviously) and just keep baking from home. Are they really going to check in when I'm not making that much money?  I was also looking to start selling at a weekly flee market they have in PA (since it's hard to find any in Jersey that allow food sales) so I don't know if this will cause a problem for that as well.

 

Lastly, I want to sell my cupcake toppers, which are made of fondant, on etsy. I'm thinking since this is made of marshmallow and not really anything anyone can get sick from...it should be okay to sell from home? 

 

Anyway any advice would be greatly appreciated. As I said right now I hardly have any orders since I just started, but selling at the restaurant is what makes me nervous. If I actually want to bake there it would have to be between the hours of 2am and 9am which is just crazy.

Carbivore Posted 15 Nov 2013 , 8:09pm

Ladies, please be careful!  First of all, a LLC is a business!  When you establish a LLC you have to register with your state, which means you're subject to tax and food safety laws.  It's easy to do and is a few hundred dollars to register, but you do need an articles of organization and operating agreement (who are the members and who is responsible and entitled for/to what).  You can find examples of this on legal zoom or doing a quick google search on how to set up a LLC.  The benefit of a LLC is that your liability is limited to your business and your personal property / income can not be touched if you get sued.  However, I would highly recommend looking into a general liability insurance plan too for further protection even if you're only selling to "friends".  It's about $300 a year.  Also, talk to your local coffee shops, cafes, caterers, etc.  I'm in IL (I grew up in NJ!), but was lucky to find a caterer that allows me to come into their commercial kitchen at night when they're not using it.  It was easy to pass the health inspection because their facility has already been inspected.

lafoutloud05 Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 5:44am

Ugh this is so frustrating! I want to be able to sell my cupcakes at farmer's markets etc. So yeah, I'll get an LLC and all that, but the worst part is trying to find a place to bake my products!! Commercial kitchen prices are crazy. On average in this area they are 20/hr, which my cupcakes that are more intricate take me around four hours, and I don't even charge $80 for them. So I would be losing money. Does anyone in this area (northern Jersey) know of any affordable kitchens?? I'm losing hope here. 

Godot Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 7:35am

A

Original message sent by lafoutloud05

In all honesty, I was thinking of just saying I bake in the kitchen there (which is already inspected obviously) and just keep baking from home. Are they really going to check in when I'm not making that much money?

Lastly, I want to sell my cupcake toppers, which are made of fondant, on etsy. I'm thinking since this is made of marshmallow and not really anything anyone can get sick from...it should be okay to sell from home? 

:shock: :-t :mad:

lafoutloud05 Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 9:03am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Godot 


icon_eek.gifthumbsdown.gificon_mad.gif

 

If you read my previous post I stated that I will be getting the LLC and licensing, and am trying to find an affordable place to bake from. So thanks for the input. Clearly you don't bake from home...so what type of place were you able to find to bake at?

poey223 Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 1:25pm

Sorry, but Marshmallow is still FOOD. If not prepared correctly, or in a sanitary environment, people can still get sick. That said, I am all for the Cottage Food Laws. If you live in NJ, please join the fight on FB. https://www.facebook.com/NJHomeBakersBill. This is the bill that will help us bake in our home kitchens. 
On another note..North Jersey has soooo many commercial kitchens. I live in south Jersey and we have nothing down here. Talk about frustrating. Perhaps you can partner with someone who shares your passion for your cupcakes, cookies or cakes. Maybe you could share the expense of the commercial kitchens? 

lafoutloud05 Posted 19 Nov 2013 , 7:31pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by poey223 
 

Sorry, but Marshmallow is still FOOD. If not prepared correctly, or in a sanitary environment, people can still get sick. That said, I am all for the Cottage Food Laws. If you live in NJ, please join the fight on FB. https://www.facebook.com/NJHomeBakersBill. This is the bill that will help us bake in our home kitchens. 
On another note..North Jersey has soooo many commercial kitchens. I live in south Jersey and we have nothing down here. Talk about frustrating. Perhaps you can partner with someone who shares your passion for your cupcakes, cookies or cakes. Maybe you could share the expense of the commercial kitchens? 

I will definitely join that page. Thank you.

 

I wasn't sure if the fondant toppers would count as per the law since nothing is actually baked, but I guess NJ doesn't allow any sort of food from the home. Good to know!

 

They do have commercial kitchens up here, but most that I researched are around $20/hr...or if I could rent them monthly where they're around $1,200 I might as well get a store front lol. I'm going to be talking to the owner's of the restaurant I work at to see if they'll let me bake in the early morning hours. I'm hoping it won't be a problem since they want me to make cupcakes for the parties there. I don't mind cooking at home for family members/friends but when I start getting orders for these parties of 50 plus people I don't need to get myself in trouble. 

 

I saw a few commercial kitchens when looking around for myself in south Jersey on this site if you want to take a look: http://www.culinaryincubator.com/maps.php?state=NJ

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