I've been cake decorating for less then a year, I am self taught and still learning. All the sudden I am having lots of calls... The cake decorator at the local grocery store (friend of a friend) said she doesn't have time to do wedding cakes and is giving everyone my phone number!!! Today an event planner for a local wedding venue (friend of a friend of a friend) asked if she could give my # out to bride's she is working with. I am kind of panicking! I work 3 days a week as a graphic designer... and would love to *someday* give it up and do cakes alone.. but will I have to push that schedule up if all these people are giving me references?! My husband worries that with all this "business" that the Health inspector is going to find out about me and come get me! haha. I feel like I am still learning and am not ready to do this as a full blown business.
At what point would you think it is necessary to get "legal"?
YOu're already at risk with a website that shows pricing. Now, many folks go for-almost-ever with this kind of website and do ok. I've known folks who flew under the radar for years ... and they even advertised in local papers!!
But I've recently shared the story of a caterer friend who had her website up for only 4 weeks .... when the HD knocked on her door. HD's boss had told the staff to scan the internet, looking for home caterers and "...shut 'em down".
It's strictly a gamble.....
I don't have an actual website...just a myspace page... maybe I will remove any reference to prices until I figure out how to become legal. If i had a flyer with pricing & flavors would that be the same risk? What are the consequences if the Health Dept. finds out?
I can't seem to find the necessary info on how to become legal here... I find it a bit overwhelming.
At what point is it necessary to get legal? That's an easy question to answer.
From Day 1.
Getting caught without proper licenses isn't pretty. Trust me on that one.
Yes.. a flyer would put you at risk. Anything that could be construed as advertising is potential to get you in trouble. I think the most important thing you can do is to make yourself legal. Then you don't have to worry about getting busted and fined.
First step is to find out if you can legally bake from home in your state/county and then go from there. Many people take the risk of flying under the radar, but to me it just wasn't worth it.
Even handing out business cards could be considered advertising.
thanks everyone, I have decided to start the process of becoming legal. I have had just too many word of mouth oppurtunities to pass up and I don't want to risk anything. I am still looking for all the necassary steps in Washington state, Pierce county if anyone knows.
I don't think it's legal in Washington to sell from your home kitchen so you are looking at renting kitchen space from a commercial kitchen.
i would take out the pricing list. you can have a website, but with a pricing list you are showing that you are in business.
It isn't legal where I am in CA either. Does anyone know how to go about finding kitchen space to rent? Where do you start looking? What kind of places do this? Does it mean you have to do all your baking after the kitchen closes? Any idea how much it costs? Is there a website that offers this info, so I can stop pounding you all with questions?
The day you even think about taking pay for cake you need to go legal.
Check with the Health Department in your City/County to see what you need to do to be legal. They can lead you in the right direction. Some churches and small businesses rent out their kitchens. As far as I know pounding the pavement is the only way to find them.
So many questions to answer... my sister was in Southern California and found a bagel shop that she could "rent" for $25 per hour AFTER 2:00 p.m. Also, she could not leave her things there. She was only renting the use of the kitchen. The main items that she found besides the HD was she needed a business license and a certificate of insurance. Then, she could have gotten into the reception centers there. Hope that helps.
Ya this is something I need to look into also!