Ok....this may turn out long and I appologise up front. I have had my LEGAL home cake shop going for 5 years.....been doing cakes for a total of 30 years. I worked hard, took out a loan and did everything to the T according to the health dept. rules. This last inspection...I was told that the state of Missouri had a new regulation added for small home businesse's...where they can opt to not be regulated by the Health Dept., with their county....IF, AND THERE IS ALWAYS AN IF with them....I will make my menu list of all ingredients....send to the Health Dept....and they will then decide if I have non-hazardous ingredients....give me the OK...and they will then take my off their list from being inspected. THE OTHER IF...I do this...then I have to list a label with all ingredients (which I already do and an alergy notice) but I will also have to post a sign in my shop entry....and on each cake box....that this establishment is NO LONGER INSPECTED by the county health dept. OK....sounds good to not have to be inspected, etc.....but now....I am worried if I do this with them...what about those customer's who know they can order from me and take my products to the local schools.....knowing I was APPROVED AND INSPECTED BY THE HEALTH DEPT. The health dept. supervisor explanied to me that my shop is very low on the list of being inspected....so he thinks it would be to my benefit to not have to be inspected. So....I said to him..."I went to all the legal loop holes and took out a small loan to build this special kitchen....and now you are saying I won't have to be inspected? What about advertising? Will I still be legal?" His said yes....that anyone can still call to the health dept., to check on me and they will tell them I am a LEGAL BUSINESS....just not inspected by them. I mean they only come like to inspect about once in a couple years.....so my question to you all....WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN THIS SITUATION??? I'm still leaning of saying....JUST KEEP ME ON THE LIST TO BE INSPECTED??? So feedback would be appreciated as at this time I have run this over and over in my head and would like other decorator's ideas, etc.
Thanks and sorry for so long! Diane's Cakery
You may not know now when the inspection may be important for something in the future. You went to all that trouble, I would keep it as is. If you decide you want insurance, that inspection will be critical.
Forgot to list.....also I have to only sell to the "end consumer", which I do and I cannot sell wholesale....meaning a resturant, or other eating place contact me to contract cakes from me to then resale. Which I don't do that either.
This is a new regulation with the State of Missouir....2005
A revision to the 1999 MO.Food Code book....known as 19 CSR 20-1.025 Sanitation of Food Establishments in 2005. It is now possible for food establishments offering a non-potentially hazardous foods to the end consumer to operate with regulation by the health department provided they meet these certain conditions....which I listed most of them.
I think if you went to all the trouble to get where you are, I'd just leave it as well.
I don't think it would look good to clients to post something on each cake you sent out that said you were not inspected by the Health Dept. I would think that a lot of people would question you about it and it might cause more hassle than help.
I would continue to be inspected. Just me though. I wouldn't want to have a disclaimer that I am no longer inspected by the HD, just doesn't sound right to me. You probably have a lot of regulars who wouldn't care but it would raise my eyebrows as a new customer. Plus the issue with the schools and such. My inspections are not a big deal, they may give you more stress in your area. I would just keep it as is. Best wishes whatever you decide!
I say stay with the inspections. You went through all of the trouble to establish your kitchen the way it is. It is better to be safe than sorry, because who knows, in a few years the regulations may change again that may not work in your best interest if you stop the inspections.
Keep doing what you're doing...if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Thanks.....this is exactly what I was thinking anyways. I have a really good relationship with the Health Dept., anyways.....they said they just wanted to let me know that the rules had changed and be upfront with me in case I wanted to go that route. They don't come that often anyways and I am never worried about it not passing an inspection anyways....and I did do the whole thing the legal way.....and have worked hard at paying back my loan, etc.....and know of a few others who do this on the side and are unlegal....and it's nice to be able to list that I am STATE APPROVED. It's nice to talk to CAKE PEOPLE and get feedback...those who know where we are coming from. DH said for me to do whatever I wanted.....and you know how our guys can be on cake issues....so good to have a sounding board!
I am in Columbia and I am a licensed home-based bakery..I was told when I opened this year that in 2005 the law changed and they will not do inspections unless you are making over $10,000 a year then they are requiring you to be inspected and have a commercial kitchen and yes the product has to go to the end customer.
Amy....I am making over that a year.....so I think I am just planning to keep it the way it's set up.....like someone else posted....when it's good thing....why change. I know it would be nice to not have to worry about an inspection, etc....but it's not a big deal to me anyways.
Someone else asked me.....but my shop is at home....but it's a seperate kitchen. I have to go outside and enter into it....so it's closed off from my home. It's a legal set up.....forgot to mention that.
Not so sound rude or snobby but honestly, I never have nor will I ever purchase goods from a company that is not inspected by the Health Department.
After going through what I have to get legal I stand behind that statement all the more.
I want to know there are no cats walking on counters, I want to know there are no dogs shedding at the feet of the person preparing my food. I want to know they have no rats in the kids bedrooms as a pet. I want to know their kitchen has been inspected and passed for roaches, ants, and other bugs not being present in their kitchen.
Don't get me wrong, I love pets. We thought long and hard over going legal. We know our kids will want a pet and that it won't be an option ever as long as I bake out of the kitchen professionally/commercially.
I can't begin to tell you stories over the last 15 years that I've heard from customers have told me their last cake from "Sally Sue Billy Jean the unlicensed home baker" smell of smoke from cigarettes because the decorator was a smoker or cat hair in frosting or a lump of dog hair in their cake or admitted to being on a beer buzz while decorating etc.
Just when I think I've heard them all...
I totally agree.....I just know for myself with having a good reputation for the last 20 or so years now and that folks know I have been approved by the health dept., etc.....and for all the hard work in doing the whole seperate kitchen and the tiny nit pick rules that I had to go through.....I was like....WHAT??? When he told me that I wouldn't have to be regulated....but then I thought....at what cost to me??? Rules change too and who's to say that in a year from now they would come back and tell me I had to be regulated. The more folks have posted....it just backs up my first thoughts of STAYING THE WAY I AM AND BEING LEGAL....and have the inspections.
I would continue with the inspections... mainly for legal reasons.
If someone were to sue you, at least you have proof (by your prior inspections) that you do things by the book. I would also have to wonder if foregoing inspections might affect your liability insurance.
That went through my head as well. Like I said....I have toyed over this a hundred times....all kinds of if's and what if's.....but with everyone sharing some thoughts....it just hits the nail on the head that much more and I so appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks so much! I plan to call the Health Dept., supervisor up tomorrow and let them know for now I am keeping it just the way it is.....I worked too hard to get legal and I know he was just being nice and letting me know that was available to me.
I would continue with the inspections. I too, have a legal home bakery and when she does come to inspect, which is NEVER, all she does is make sure i have bleach and test strips and says see you next year. I think it's worth the piece of mind for your customers. besides, you never know when you may hook up with a company to resell your stuff. i sell about 1/3 of my wedding cakes to a catering company and they resell them to the customer. This has truely been a blessing to my business!
By the way, I used to work in a Target bakery for a guy that was from Farmington. He moved back there to run the bakery in your town. I forget the name of the store.
I'm thinking it has to be either the Wal-Mart bakery or Country Mart Bakery??? There is only one other small bakery in town and that has been run by a gal for about 20 years now? That is wild....small world!
........admitted to being on a beer buzz while decorating etc.
Just when I think I've heard them all...
Hey!! Wait just a minute!! I do my BEST work while on a beer buzz...........