Tennesse Regulations For Licensing Your Domestic Kitchen

Business By sandygirl Updated 11 Aug 2009 , 5:10pm by littlecake

sandygirl Posted 1 Aug 2007 , 1:39am
post #1 of 52

After reading alot here about licensing your kitchen, I decided it would be best to do everything the legal way. (I also approached my boss at my full-time job at a physcial therapy clinic about taking cakes with the company logo on them to the area doctors, instead of the generic muffin trays they currently do. She loved the idea, so now I practically have to do it the legal way anyway.)

So I called the Dept of Ag, who is the ruler of domestic kitchens in TN. They are sending me information, but from the regulations I printed off the website, all I will need to do is get a seperate refrigerator, take the food safety/sanitiation course, and have my kitchen inspected.

Anyway, I will let you know, just in case there is anyone else from TN that may be interested in the details, when I get the information.

Thanks for all of the help. This is a great place to come for help and/or encouragement.

51 replies
mixinvixen Posted 1 Aug 2007 , 2:10am
post #2 of 52

i'm in tennessee also, and i was under the understanding that you could not have a home based baking business unless you had a seperate kitchen that you do not cook your family's meal out of...if it's different than that, like you have stated, than i'm gonna be down on my knees, praising jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm definitely gonna be watching this thread!!

sandygirl Posted 1 Aug 2007 , 11:25am
post #3 of 52

At the state.tn.us/agriculture website. Right in the middle of the page is the link to the regulations about domestic kitchens.

I hope this works out as eaily as I have in my mind. I read the regs three times and don't see anything about a seperate kitchen. I guess I will find out when the information comes in the mail. The Ag guy did tell me that the first step is taking a class.

We'll see what information the mailman brings.

AmandaPanda Posted 1 Aug 2007 , 6:17pm
post #4 of 52

Hey if you want to get liscenced CALL NOW and get signed up for the class they only have 50 spots and I am nto sure how many are already signed up! I am taking the food safety course required to be a legal home baker and it is August 28th is crossville ... I wouldn't wait because they do not have any other dates set up right now and don't know when or where they will have the next one. It is $100. I am with you I don't do a LOT of cakes but I have offers from a couple businesses to do their monthy employee birthday cakes and a magazine company annual party cake and I really want to have that health inspection and liscence to cover me.

And yes you can have a home kitchen I spoke to the guy in charge and he says they are really laid back on the issue, it says you need a separate fridge for your baking stuff and it can be in the garage if you need it to be, and also your kitchen IF it has a door must be shut while baking/decorating but if there is no door or it is open to the rest of the house (like my kitchen) they don't care or make you close it off ... LOVE it ... to me the cost of being legal is so minimal in Tennessee it doesn't make sence NOT to do it if you are going to be selling even 2 cakes a month.

sandygirl Posted 1 Aug 2007 , 10:13pm
post #5 of 52

Thanks for the info AmandaPanda. I will call them tomorrow, only because it is too late today to do it. Like you said it seems too easy here not to go ahead and get the license. Hopefully I wll be able to get into the class.

Katie-Bug Posted 1 Aug 2007 , 10:27pm
post #6 of 52

The Dept. of Arigulculture process is only for those who want to make and package their products and then sell. Just doing cakes as requested, you don't have to go through them. I thought I did, and then called back and talked with them. He said they, the Dept. Ag, is not concerned with taking orders, that I needed to speak to the Health Dept. I then called the Health Dept. and asked them. The health inspector then asked if I was advertising. He said that as long as I do word of mouth, no advertising, and have no employees, and don't have a gross profit of Xamount, I don't remember how much, then I'm fine.
This what I was told. I called the Dept. of Ag three times and the health inspector twice. Good Luck with your adventures! Happy Baking!

AmandaPanda Posted 1 Aug 2007 , 10:30pm
post #7 of 52

I do word of mouth too however I am looking to start to suppliment my income and even without doing that many I still would like to put up a webpage and business cards so I can be more easily found and contacted than relying on people relaying my info to and from people. If you have a business name/website and such I am assuming you would need to have your home inspected correct? even if you aren't making a lot of money off it.

Katie-Bug Posted 1 Aug 2007 , 10:39pm
post #8 of 52

Yes, if you have a website that's considered advertising. You then would need to be licensed by the health dept. The Agriculture license is for those wanting to sell in farmer markets. At least this was what the man told me when I really started asking questions.

aundron Posted 2 Aug 2007 , 7:16pm
post #9 of 52

Hey fellow Tennesseans!! I've taken the Food Safety course; and from my understanding, if you want to advertise and sell cakes out of your kitchen, you do have to become legal. I think it's listed under "Domestic Kitchen" or something like that on the www.tn.gov website.

When I took the class, they made it seem like it was pretty easy, you do need a separate refrigerator from everything else and different types of cleaning supplies (they are couple of more things, I forget), but it's really not hard at all!! You take the class, then you call the inspectors office to get an inspection; that's it!!

aundron Posted 2 Aug 2007 , 7:34pm
post #10 of 52

Hey fellow Tennesseans!! I've taken the Food Safety course; and from my understanding, if you want to advertise and sell cakes out of your kitchen, you do have to become legal. I think it's listed under "Domestic Kitchen" or something like that on the www.tn.gov website.

When I took the class, they made it seem like it was pretty easy, you do need a separate refrigerator from everything else and different types of cleaning supplies (they are couple of more things, I forget), but it's really not hard at all!! You take the class, then you call the inspectors office to get an inspection; that's it!!

sandygirl Posted 2 Aug 2007 , 11:12pm
post #11 of 52

I have a question for you aundron, During the class you took that was put on by the ag dept, did they say anything about being restricted to farmer's markets and not other sales?

In order to take this class I am going to have to take a day off of my full-time job and drive 3 and a half hours (one way). I would hate to make that drive and waste that vacation day if it is the class that I don't need to take.

BTW, this confusion within the state as far as who does what and who regulates what is not only limited to this. I am in healthcare and it is a battle that we face on a daily basis.

Thanks for all of the info everyone.

CakesByLJ Posted 2 Aug 2007 , 11:24pm
post #12 of 52

Hi fellow Tennessee bakers... I am enrolled in the class in August also.. CulinaryCreations I think you were given bad advice. The State has a new law that went into effect on Jan 27, 2007, and is very specific about it. Check the website and call to make sure. I have been on a waiting list to take this class and very excited.. looks like I will get to meet some of you there... woo hoooo

AmandaPanda Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 12:12am
post #13 of 52

awsome! at least I will "know" some people in the class, I hate doing these things and walking in not knowing anyone at all.

Staceface81 Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 12:29am
post #14 of 52

Hello! Please let us know what you find out in your class....I am from TN also and would love to know what the actual laws are.

Sweetwise Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 12:43am
post #15 of 52

I have been trying to get in touch with Mr. Sanders from Dept. of Agr. about hosting a class in Nashville this Fall at my store. We've been missing eachother. I'll assume I can't publish that info myself, so once I have the date set, I'll lean towards other Cake Central folks that shop with me to pass on the info. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

jackie64 Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 12:55am
post #16 of 52

I too am very interested in this issue also. And another thing I have been told is that you can have business cards just no telephone book and newspaper advertising is that the case ?

AmandaPanda Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 1:00am
post #17 of 52

Hey there! that is great! I wish I could wait to do the one in fall but I kinda want to get liscenced now ... i am in Murfreesboro so you are a lot closer than crossville!

speaking of I have been meaning to stop by and check out your store! Every time I am up that way it is after your place closes, maybe I will plan a trip this coming week when I head up to opry mills!

mixinvixen Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 1:45am
post #18 of 52

welcom kathi...i am the chick that made that last minute purchase as you were closing the shop and your daughter had locked herself out! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif ...i need to stop by and see you again! great to see you on here!

CakesByLJ Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 2:22am
post #19 of 52

Hi SweetWise <aka Kathy>.....
The person in charge of scheduling that class is Nancy Austin, at UT in Knoxville.. You can reach her at 865-974-7717, or [email protected]
Welcome to CC........ laura

Sweetwise Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 2:38am
post #20 of 52

Mr. Sanders scheduled several of the classes on this side of the state. If I don't get ahold of him tomorrow, I'll try your contact Ms. Austin. I know this is something alot of people want to do, so if I can help that happen, I'll be happy to do what I can to host it.

AmandaPanda Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 2:59am
post #21 of 52

hmmm as of like 2 weeks ago it was only onthe 28th iscrossville ... please let me know if there are any closer to nashville coming up around the same time I would much rather stick closer to home for this.

PTLA Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 3:06am
post #22 of 52

Is anyone from the Memphis area going to this class?I am signed up but cant go in My van And would love to share expences with someone and ride?

CakesByLJ Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 1:51pm
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaPanda

hmmm as of like 2 weeks ago it was only onthe 28th iscrossville ... please let me know if there are any closer to nashville coming up around the same time I would much rather stick closer to home for this.




You are correct.. they are no other classes scheduled at this time, except the one in Crossville. Kathy was referring to previously held classes; one was in Nashville, I believe last Spring. I found out about that one too late.

aundron Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 3:06pm
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandygirl

I have a question for you aundron, During the class you took that was put on by the ag dept, did they say anything about being restricted to farmer's markets and not other sales?

In order to take this class I am going to have to take a day off of my full-time job and drive 3 and a half hours (one way). I would hate to make that drive and waste that vacation day if it is the class that I don't need to take.

BTW, this confusion within the state as far as who does what and who regulates what is not only limited to this. I am in healthcare and it is a battle that we face on a daily basis.

Thanks for all of the info everyone.





No, this class was for those who sell at farmer's markets as well as the person who wants to sell out of their kitchen. If you go to the website, you find the "domestic Kitchen" part; and in order to sell out of your home you're supposed to take this class in order to become legal. One way I found out more about the class was that I actually called the office of Ron Murphy; he gave me a lot of information. (you can find his number on the website) HTH

There were all types of sellers in our class; people who sold at the farmer's market, candy makers, pie makers, etc. What was funny, there were only about 5 people who were there for cakes!!

aundron Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 3:07pm
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetwise

I have been trying to get in touch with Mr. Sanders from Dept. of Agr. about hosting a class in Nashville this Fall at my store. We've been missing eachother. I'll assume I can't publish that info myself, so once I have the date set, I'll lean towards other Cake Central folks that shop with me to pass on the info. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif






Hey Sweetwise!! Glad to see you hear at CC!! icon_biggrin.gif I'll be at your store on Saturday!!

sandygirl Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 10:28pm
post #26 of 52

Thanks so much for the replys and discussion everyone. Looks like quite a few of us will get to meet on the 28th.

patticake1951 Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 11:21pm
post #27 of 52

I will be there too, I signed up last week. See ya'll there!!

kimkait Posted 3 Aug 2007 , 11:49pm
post #28 of 52

Is this course the same as the Serv-it-Safe course that the health dept does for school food service and restaurants?

Sweetwise Posted 4 Aug 2007 , 12:20pm
post #29 of 52

It will likely cover alot of the same material generally, but the focus is to make food service out of your home safe for the general public, so that is more of the direction. It will certify you to do specifically that, so if you took the Serv Safe class it won't substitute. Basically after you take the class, you can then just get the Health Dept. to check you out, then you're good to go with a license.

sandygirl Posted 4 Aug 2007 , 10:13pm
post #30 of 52

The mailman finally brought me the packet of information from the Dept of Ag. Here is the information that is requested on the questionnaire that was in the package.

-Copy of certificate of completion of the TN Food Safety course
-List of all products to be produced and how many units will be sold per week
-Labeling for products produced and packaged
-Copy of nutritional fact exemption form
-the kind of water you have (well, spring, city) and date of analysis
-type of sewage (city or septic), if septic documentation of approval
-business license

Included in the package are the
-Regulations for establishments utilizing domestic kitchen facilities
-Manufacturing/Warehousing guidelines
-TN Food, Drug, and cosmetic act food labeling requirements
-Standards for Good Manufacturing Practices

Looks like I will have plenty of reading to do.

Thanks again everyone for the help and information

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