? For Those Of You In Ca

Business By CakesbyBecca Updated 24 Jun 2008 , 6:47am by miny

CakesbyBecca Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 4:53am
post #1 of 23

I've been wanting to decorate cakes for years, but put it on hold for various reasons, mostly to have babies icon_smile.gif . This year, I started the Wilton classes and just like I expected, I LOVE it! I'm definitely not ready to take money for cakes, but I'm learning quickly and I would like to head in the direction of becoming legal. I just moved to CA and I know that here, we have to use commercial kitchens, but what else do I need to do? I am HORRIBLE at research icon_sad.gif . I know I need to get some kind of food handlers license, but I don't even know how to do that. What steps do I need to go through to be legal?
Thanks!

Becca

22 replies
miny Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 5:09am
post #2 of 23

There is a sticky right here in the forums about states that let you have home bakeries I remember reading something about Ca. Look for it on search, but the little I remember is that IT'S A NIGHTMARE for californians to legalize a cake bussines icon_cry.gif

auntginn Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 5:26am
post #3 of 23

In CA its stiff but those of us who are determined to make it, you bear thru it.

First you need to find a location and one that will pass inspection. You will need to apply to the health deparment, they will tell you where the classes are for food handlers, how to get certified and do the inspection for the health dept. rating. (the letter you see in the window of any establishment that sells food) by the way, even the cake suppliers have to have this rating.

You will need to file a dba or doing business as thru the hall of records, you will need a resale permit and you get that from the dept. of equalization. Don't forget insurance, contact any insurance agent and they can help you with the types of insurance required for the business.

I would also retain a business attorney and at least a bookkeeper if you cannot afford a CPA for the time being. And you will also need city licenses or permits depending on the city you are doing business in.

Welcome, to the wonderful world of cake decorating, owning your own business can be very gratifying.

Good Luck!
HTH

CakesbyBecca Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 4:00pm
post #4 of 23

Thanks for the info. It's so frustrating sometimes because you need money to jump through all the legal hoops but you can't legally get paid until you jump through all these hoops. icon_mad.gif

Becca

fondantgrl Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 4:14pm
post #5 of 23

Legalizing in CA to sell food is a pain.. That is why I do not want to do it as a business..

CakesbyBecca Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 4:22pm
post #6 of 23

fondantgirl, your work is BEAUTIFUL! What a shame that all the red tape is getting in the way for you icon_sad.gif

Becca

CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 6:29pm
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by auntginn

In CA its stiff but those of us who are determined to make it, you bear thru it.

First you need to find a location and one that will pass inspection. You will need to apply to the health deparment, they will tell you where the classes are for food handlers, how to get certified and do the inspection for the health dept. rating. (the letter you see in the window of any establishment that sells food) by the way, even the cake suppliers have to have this rating.

You will need to file a dba or doing business as thru the hall of records, you will need a resale permit and you get that from the dept. of equalization. Don't forget insurance, contact any insurance agent and they can help you with the types of insurance required for the business.

I would also retain a business attorney and at least a bookkeeper if you cannot afford a CPA for the time being. And you will also need city licenses or permits depending on the city you are doing business in.

Welcome, to the wonderful world of cake decorating, owning your own business can be very gratifying.

Good Luck!
HTH




Just wanted to say thanks for all the detailed information! I thought I knew what steps were necessary but I was unaware of the food handlers requirement. icon_smile.gif

justsweet Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 6:45pm
post #8 of 23

I heard it is hard to in CA here is a link to help you out.

http://www.cakecentral.com/article57-US-Wanting-to-start-a-Cake-Decorating-Business-but-where-do-I-begin.html

I hope you do not mind it is off the subject but because a lot of you are from CA just wanted to mention I will be hosting a Jennifer Dontz gumpaste flower class in Hollister, CA. Class will be November 1 and 2, 2008 (Saturday and Sunday) If you are interested please PM your e-mail address and I will send you the information.

Good luck in starting a business.

alicegop Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 9:06pm
post #9 of 23

CakeByBecca I noticed your info said Central California, are you close to Fresno? At some point my friends and I are going to go together on a kitchen. Once I sell my 2nd house (ha ha in this market) I am going to buy a place to make cake in. Would love to meet a new cake friend though! I'd love to support you any way I can. I've done some research and things trying to get a kitchen rental going... but I think I won't do an actual kitchen rental as much as just go in with some friends... but we'll see what ends up happening.

Anyway, if you want to get together please email me [email protected] I love to share and meet new people icon_smile.gif I have some fun cake decorating items I don't mind lending out.

CakesbyBecca Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 9:18pm
post #10 of 23

That sounds GREAT! I live right outside Modesto, though, so it would be a bit of a drive to share a kitchen icon_wink.gif, but we definitely should meet sometime. Do you have a lot of "cake friends" locally?
Good luck selling your house. We're currently renting. We just moved from Oregon in January (managed to sell our house in 9 days! We couldn't believe it icon_surprised.gif ) and we decided to get our financial affairs in order before buying again. It's hard to see all these great deals on houses and let them go, but we want to wait until we can afford the house we want and not "settle" for something we can afford now. Dh is convinced it's going to be a buyer's market for quite awhile. I would LOVE to find something that has a separate kitchen that can be make into a commercial kitchen, but what are the odds of that?

Becca

alicegop Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 9:53pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Quote:

That sounds GREAT! I live right outside Modesto, though, so it would be a bit of a drive to share a kitchen Wink, but we definitely should meet sometime. Do you have a lot of "cake friends" locally?
Good luck selling your house. We're currently renting. We just moved from Oregon in January (managed to sell our house in 9 days! We couldn't believe it Surprised ) and we decided to get our financial affairs in order before buying again. It's hard to see all these great deals on houses and let them go, but we want to wait until we can afford the house we want and not "settle" for something we can afford now. Dh is convinced it's going to be a buyer's market for quite awhile. I would LOVE to find something that has a separate kitchen that can be make into a commercial kitchen, but what are the odds of that?




Yea, Modesto is a little far north. Lucky you being close to places that sell cake supplies. I had to start my own supply biz here since the pickings were slim.

I have several super nice local cake friends. I keep trying to get a cake club meeting going. Everyone wants to do it, but our schedules are always off and we haven't been able to pull it off yet. www.selfservebaker.com/fresnocakeclub Regardless, it would be fun to meet up! I'll pm you my phone number icon_smile.gif

I'm convinced it will be a buyers market for awhile too.... I am either going to lose my shirt on this 2nd property my brother stuck me with or have to hold onto it for a few more years in hopes of breaking closer to even. sigh.

The odds of you finding something with a separate kitchen honestly are very slim. Your separate kitchen has to be 10 feet from the house. 3 compartment sink, special paint on the walls, special flooring, grease trap, a hood for your oven (which runs $1000 a linear foot), handwash sink, own bathroom, blah blah blah blah..... I tried to remodel the back of my house for a separate kitchen.... turns out I couldn't do it since it wasn't 10 feet from the house. Can't be able to enter the kitchen from your primary living structure....

So my new plan is to sell the house I'm stuck with (HA) and buy the house next door and convert that over to a commercial kitchen and let my friends use it. We'll see how that goes.........

CakesbyBecca Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 10:03pm
post #12 of 23

[/quote]So my new plan is to sell the house I'm stuck with (HA) and buy the house next door and convert that over to a commercial kitchen and let my friends use it. We'll see how that goes.........[quote]

What a great idea! I hope that works out for you.

Becca

fondantgrl Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 10:07pm
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesbyBecca

fondantgirl, your work is BEAUTIFUL! What a shame that all the red tape is getting in the way for you icon_sad.gif

Becca




Thank you Becca... I like it better this way.. that way I can make them when I want to. icon_smile.gif I'm here in Elk Grove, CA (Sacramento)

CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 10:24pm
post #14 of 23

I didn't even know you could convert space on your property....the inspector here (also near Modesto) said that you could only use pre-zoned commercial property....not that I have anything 10 feet away from my house or property large enough icon_sad.gif

They DO make it tricky! My friend lives in Sanger and tried to make a go of it but ran into the same trouble....she pretty much gave it up now. Great idea about sharing a location - wish I had the kind of customer base to pay for that, lol. icon_smile.gif

alicegop Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 11:32pm
post #15 of 23

true about the zoning. YOu need a nice guy down in zoning at city hall. For the city of Fresno. You have to have a home business. There are very specific things that fall under a home business. For example I run the cake supply biz out of my house and that is okay since it is an internet biz. You can have a hair salon in your house and other things. They key is that you don't have employees. Technically a bakery doesn't fall under the list of home buisnesses, but you can actually fudge it to make it work under the home biz requirements if the guy down at city hall is nice. I was told that it depends who you talk to! One of the gentlemen was willing to sign off on it for me.

auntginn Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 2:11am
post #16 of 23

One of the things they look at in a "home business" is the amount of traffic coming in and out of your home. Also, For a supply store, almost all the merchandize can be pre-packaged. Which means it does not need to be handled by the "retail location"

Cascades Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 3:05am
post #17 of 23

Hi cakesbybecca,

I am actually located very close to you. I live in Newman. I have a legal kitchen located in a cottage next to my house. I lucked out. Many factors came into play when I wanted to build the kitchen. Even though I wasn't commercially zoned, my neighbor had a real estate office next to his house. The building has been there for many years, so it was a little harder for them to say no to me. Also, I was given a home occcupation liscense to do cakes. No-one can come and pick-up the cake, I had to agree to deliver.

When I went to city hall to talk to the planner, he made it very clear this was a "catering kitchen" not a bakery. Everytime I said I wanted to build a bakery---he said---you mean a "catering kitchen". So finally I said yeah a catering kitchen!

Anyway it took a year of back and forth, but I now have my kitchen. If you are ever out this way (about 20 miles from modesto) pm me and I would be happy to show it to you.

CakesbyBecca Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 4:52am
post #18 of 23

Thanks, Cascades! Maybe I'll luck out like you did I checked out your website and your cakes are beautiful. icon_biggrin.gif

Becca

miny Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 5:57am
post #19 of 23

Just sweets if you do the gumpaste flowers class let me know, I'm in Long Beach but with some notice I can manage to go all the way to Hollister thumbs_up.gif

alicegop Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 2:11pm
post #20 of 23

Cascades is super nice! She let me come see her awesome set up at her place. I am soooo jealous! She is very lucky!

justsweet Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 4:00pm
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by miny

Just sweets if you do the gumpaste flowers class let me know, I'm in Long Beach but with some notice I can manage to go all the way to Hollister thumbs_up.gif




I just PM you. Class is about 1/2 full as of yesterday but I did e-mail some students from last year to send in their deposit plus Jennifer is posting on ICES. Jennifer is great at teaching the flowers.

the flowers we will be making for two days are:

Flowers for class are:

Gerber Daisy
Moth Orchid
Cymbidium Orchid
Hypericum Berry Spray
Casablanca Lily
Bittersweet Berry Spray


Hope you can make it.

Cascades Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 9:12pm
post #22 of 23

Thanks Alice for the compliment. I think of you often. Good luck with your kitchen.

Cascades

miny Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 6:47am
post #23 of 23

Justsweet, I got your PM but my DH is not really on board with the idea of me going so far by myself icon_mad.gif , I'm working so hard to convince him, I'll keep you posted, thanks icon_rolleyes.gif

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