Massachusetts In Home Cake Business

Business By Katied75 Updated 10 Feb 2011 , 3:54pm by EpicureanMaiden

Katied75 Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 8:56pm
post #1 of 63

I've found that Massachusetts allows for the selling of cakes out of an in home kitchen. However, how can I find out if my particular city or town allows for this? I am not sure whether to contact the zoning department (I live in a residential zone which generally means no businesses) or the health department (which may better understand the state law)... I don't know!

Is there anybody from Massachusetts that understands this issue better? Thanks!

Katie

62 replies
spottydog Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 9:14pm
post #2 of 63

Even though it is a business you can sell cakes as long as it is residential kitchen. Contact your health dept, they will be the ones you will be dealing with. Or at least thats how it was for me,

Good luck ! icon_smile.gif

Moniquea Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 10:09pm
post #3 of 63

Funny, I'm asking the same thing here is the link to my question and below is what I wrote (I live in Central MA - Worcester)

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-584940.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moniquea

Hi!

I just started decorating for family and friends and am eager to do a little advertising (as I'm running out of people to make cakes for icon_lol.gif ) but when I called the board of health I was shut down immediately with 'It is ILLEGAL to sell any food made from you home in the state of MA. PERIOD.'

Still in the past two days I contacted two seperate bakers that do it from their home. I know MA allows 'farm' kitchens but I don't own a farm. Does it depend on the county?

I'm confused?! icon_confused.gif Can anyone enlighten me? I want to do this the right way.

Best wishes! -M


spottydog Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 10:43pm
post #4 of 63

Funny you bring up the farm thing. My taxes have that down as my business, lol.
Anyways I was 1st told no, then I looked into it more through the state then my town.
I just have to follow the guidlines that I cannot sell anything parishable.

I will try to find the link from when I needed the help. Hang tight. icon_smile.gif

Moniquea Posted 1 May 2008 , 1:16am
post #5 of 63

WILL DO!!! icon_biggrin.gif (Hang tight that is icon_wink.gif ) -M

crazy4sugar Posted 1 May 2008 , 1:27am
post #6 of 63

I have a "residential kitchen" license from the Board of Heath. I can bake and sell cakes, pies, and cookies from my home kitchen.

mellormom Posted 1 May 2008 , 1:31am
post #7 of 63

I'm from Saugus and I went to my town website and found the number for the health inspector for Saugus. Then I called her and she told me everything I need to know. She explained that in Saugus you can do it as long as all your cake stuff is separate from you home stuff and that you are not making anything perishable. (no custards ect. )
It's great to see other people from MA!
Jen...

crazy4sugar Posted 1 May 2008 , 1:40am
post #8 of 63

MA home bakers unite...YEAH!

Here's the state link as to what legal and not. Home kitchens are supervised through a city or town's Board of Heath:

http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dph/environmental/foodsafety/res_kit_brochure.pdf

Mike1394 Posted 1 May 2008 , 10:40am
post #9 of 63

Just a question. Isn't a cake perishable? It's not a hazardous food, but it is a perishable, isn't it? Not from MA, but have inlaws in the area, and it might be a future home.

Mike

mellormom Posted 1 May 2008 , 10:48am
post #10 of 63

By perishable I meant easily spoiled. Custard can make someone sick if get gets old but a cake would just taste stale. In my town you can also do fruit as long as it is not cut up and only used for the specific cake you are doing that day. (cut up fruit molds easier)
Hope this helps.
Jen...

vonnie99 Posted 1 May 2008 , 11:36am
post #11 of 63

I have my liciense but I haven't had my kitchen inspected yet. How intense is that? Like do they do a white glove inspection? They told me that the fact I have a dog in the house isn't a big deal, so I guess that is promising...

Mike1394 Posted 1 May 2008 , 11:55am
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mellormom

By perishable I meant easily spoiled. Custard can make someone sick if get gets old but a cake would just taste stale. In my town you can also do fruit as long as it is not cut up and only used for the specific cake you are doing that day. (cut up fruit molds easier)
Hope this helps.
Jen...




Cool thanks.

Mike

SweetResults Posted 1 May 2008 , 12:11pm
post #13 of 63

Would love to know how the inspection went as well!

SweetResults Posted 1 May 2008 , 12:12pm
post #14 of 63

Also - my kitchen is open to other parts of my house, in other words I cannot close doors and close off my kitchen - any idea if this is going to be a problem?

I am hoping to get to the Health Dept tomorrow, the inspector and I keep missing each other!

Moniquea Posted 1 May 2008 , 12:45pm
post #15 of 63

crazy4sugar Thanks!

I'm gonna call today icon_biggrin.gif -Go MA bakers!
-M

dennishaskins Posted 1 May 2008 , 1:22pm
post #16 of 63

i'm the same exact situation here in virginia! can anyone help me with that?

cupcakemkr Posted 1 May 2008 , 2:05pm
post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katied75

I've found that Massachusetts allows for the selling of cakes out of an in home kitchen. However, how can I find out if my particular city or town allows for this? I am not sure whether to contact the zoning department (I live in a residential zone which generally means no businesses) or the health department (which may better understand the state law)... I don't know!

Is there anybody from Massachusetts that understands this issue better? Thanks!

Katie




Katie - call your town health department. That's what I had to do, they will tell you what the requirements are. I was told that I could not do any cream cheese or real buttercream items as they are high risk for bacteria growth. Other than that you are allow to have the residential kitchen in MA but to sell to retail you need to have labels with ingredients on all packaging. What town are you in if you don't mind me asking?

Good luck!

mellormom Posted 1 May 2008 , 5:02pm
post #18 of 63

My inspection was not white glove at all! In fact he didn't even check to see if I had gloves. He just saw that everything was separated and made sure I knew to disinfect. Plus my house looked clean so no red flags came up.
Here in Saugus we have to take a sanitation class as well. It runs around $200 give or take. The class I'm going to take runs all day and then there is a test afterwards.
In MA you are allowed to have a pet as long as you have a gate separating the pet from the kitchen. But my advice if you have a dog or something is to have the dog somewhere else. Then you don't get as many questions. If my inspector would have asked me if I had a dog I wouldn't have lied by no means but My DH and I felt it would be better if the dog was out.
One last thing. The inspection in once a year starting in January. So If you start your business in Dec. for instance then you would have to pay the license fee again in January. So keep that in mind. In Saugus the fee is $100. There was no fee for him to come to my home other than that. A website told me there might be a $25 fee for him to come to my home but there wasn't in my town.
This was kind of long sorry! icon_smile.gif
Jen...

maggz Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:08pm
post #19 of 63

was glad to see so many people from mass... im a stay at home mom wanna be baker/cake decorator (lol), was kind of feeling alone there for a second until i found this post. just thought maybe for future thought maybe there should be a bakers club or meet up. great way to share idees and techniques. you know? like a moms club except its a bakers club. dorky?? huh? haha just thought id throw it out there.

icon_smile.gif

cupcakemkr Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:30pm
post #20 of 63

mellormom

Aside from getting licensed from the twon health dept. what else did you have to do to get started from home. Did you register with the State, get an tax id # (or are you using your own ssn), do you have to have a seperate kitchen or just one, did you have to have a grease trap in your kitchen and have a 3 well sink, hand washing sink, etc...

Thanks!!

cupcakemkr Posted 1 May 2008 , 6:30pm
post #21 of 63

mellormom

Aside from getting licensed from the town health dept. what else did you have to do to get started from home. Did you register with the State, get a tax id # (or are you using your own ssn), do you have to have a seperate kitchen or just one, did you have to have a grease trap in your kitchen and have a 3 well sink, hand washing sink, etc...

Sorry for so many questions.

Thanks!!

mellormom Posted 1 May 2008 , 8:06pm
post #22 of 63

side from getting licensed from the town health dept. what else did you have to do to get started from home. Did you register with the State, get a tax id # (or are you using your own ssn), do you have to have a seperate kitchen or just one, did you have to have a grease trap in your kitchen and have a 3 well sink, hand washing sink, etc...

No separate kitchen needed in Saugus. No grease trap or 3 well sink needed either. He basically just wanted to make sure that all my cake stuff in my one kitchen was separate and that I took the sanitation class. He didn't even really look that hard at my stuff. It was way easier that I thought.
As far as the tax stuff goes my MIL said I will need to file a 940 or 941 (can't remember exactly the number I could be way off) It's a return that you file quarterly based on your earnings. You file this because you are self employed. But I haven't sold any cakes yet and haven't officially started so I'm not sure whether to use Soc or tax id number. All that stuff is foreign to me. I planned on asking her this weekend actually. icon_smile.gif
Hope this helps! I don't mind answering any questions! It gives me something to do! icon_smile.gif (stay at home mom. icon_smile.gif )
Jen...

Katied75 Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:00am
post #23 of 63

Thanks, I'm in Attleboro btw. I need to get a lot better before I can actually have a business, but I thought it was worth start the search for information.

Btw, for those of you in MA... do any of you either offer cake decorating lessons or know of anyplace besides Wilton?

Katie

mellormom Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:22am
post #24 of 63

I know that Truly Jorge's bakery in Saugus offers them but it is $60 for one class and it is only one time. At least with Wilton you get to go for a month. And since you live in Attleborough.....

You would be surprised at how wowed people are at fondant even when you aren't very good yet. I have made some cakes that were very dry and ripped in a few places and people were floored that I could do it. So you are probably closer than you think. (assuming you want to do fondant)
Hope this helps. It's fun to talk to people from MA. If you are really into cake Icces has a chapter in MA. (Icces is a cake club that you can join) You meat around 4 times a year and they have a guest demonstrator each time. The cost is $60 a year plus a dinner fee each time you meet. The drawback is that because there is only one chapter in MA sometimes you have to go far for the meetings. I've been once and the demonstrator was very good and gave us lots of tips that we could use. Plus you meet other cakers. They are actually starting to get younger members now too. (lots of oldie but goodies in the group. icon_smile.gif ) Which for me is a plus because I'm in my 30's.
Jen...

mellormom Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:25am
post #25 of 63

Not that I have anything against the older ones! They offer lots of experience. Had to get that in there didn't want to offend anyone.
Jen...

Katied75 Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:26am
post #26 of 63

Thanks for that information Jen! How can I get information about the Massachusetts ICES group and meetings? I'd be interested in joining.

Katie

cupcakemkr Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:34am
post #27 of 63

Katie - a lot of technical high schools offer cake decorating classes. Also your close to Johnson & Wales, maybe they have a few? Shawsheen Tech in Billerica offers cake decorating.

I am in Wilmington.

vonnie99 Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:23am
post #28 of 63

I'm in Springfield - everything happens at the other end of the state!! Mellormom, have you taken the Truly Jorge class or been to the bakery - I'd love to go...just to try his stuff for myself.

crazy4sugar Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:26am
post #29 of 63

I'm in Gloucester...I'd be willing to travel for a "CC Mass" group meeting/lunch/whatever.

The BOH Inspector here just made sure that I had a dish pan in addition to my two part home sink and that I had a separate shelf for my "business" foods, e.g., butter, sour cream, etc. As Mellormom said: my house looked clean so no red flags came up.

I got a tax ID online from the feds...super easy to do...and I plan to file next year when I actually have income to report.

mellormom Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:27pm
post #30 of 63

Never been to one of Jorge's classes but I know someone who has been to his shop and seen him demonstrate as well. She said he is very good at teching. He has a website but I can't remember it now. (google it) The website tells prices of the classes too. I guess his partner makes most of the cakes and he does other things.
Here is the website for MA ices. I've only been to one meeting but I liked it so far. The next meeting is in the end of June. Once your a member to MA ices you can go to any ices meeting in the country as well. plus they have big conventions every year.
http://www.massices.com/Contacting_Us.html
Wendy from Beverly (she is a member here but I'm not sure her screen name) is trying to start a cake group for people on the Northshore. I have joined but right now we are not doing anything because we hardly have any members yet. but once we have members we will do things like meetings and have people demonstrate. If you are interested let me know and I'll get a hold of her.
Yet another long one. LOL
Jen...

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