Cookie Bouquet Business

Baking By cmilligan Updated 22 Sep 2008 , 10:42pm by indydebi

cmilligan Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 10:33pm
post #1 of 14

Ok ladies, I am still fairly new at all of this. I have been decorating cakes off and on for friends and family for about a year now. (which reminds me I really need to update my pics) I would eventually like to get into more cake decorating such as wedding cakes and things.

I have had an overwhelming amount of calls here lately of people wanting me to make cookie bouquets for them. There is not a bakery or anything anywhere in town that does any cakes, cookes, pies, etc except walmart! Indiana does not license home bakeries unless you have a complete seperate kitchen, which I do not have! I recieved a phone call today from a friend today who runs a floriest. She said she is getting more and more calls for cookie bouquets and wants to know if I would be willing to make them for her. She said I could sell them outright and she would jsut give people my price sheet and my contact information. I guess I just need some opinions on this. I don't know waht to do. I don't want to get in trouble, but I dont' want to pass this opportunity up either! I didn't know what laws would apply to cookie bouquets. Any Advice?

13 replies
MaisieBake Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 11:18pm
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmilligan

I don't want to get in trouble




Then don't sell food to people you don't know personally until/unless you're legal.

MaisieBake Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 11:19pm
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmilligan

I don't want to get in trouble.




Then don't sell food to people you don't know personally until/unless you're legal.

yankeegal Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 11:21pm
post #4 of 14

Could you rent a licensed kitchen somewhere?

cmilligan Posted 21 Sep 2008 , 1:10am
post #5 of 14

I am calling tomorrow about possibly renting a church kitchen or something, but I can't commit because I don't have a steady income at all at this point. IF it takes off, I would be more than glad to rent something. At this point I guess I'm going to have to just to friends, family and cash? I dont understand why you can't sell to people if they understand you are not a licensed baker and that you just do it at home as a hobby!

indydebi Posted 21 Sep 2008 , 1:19am
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmilligan

I dont understand why you can't sell to people if they understand you are not a licensed baker and that you just do it at home as a hobby!




uh....maybe because it's illegal to sell food to people out of an unlicensed, non-health dept approved kitchen? icon_confused.gif

cmilligan Posted 21 Sep 2008 , 1:29am
post #7 of 14

ok, sorry! I just know there are other people in the area that do wedding cakes and such out of their home in the surrounding area!! Matter of fact, around here, that's the only way you are going to get a wedding cake!

Newatdecorating Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 12:34pm
post #8 of 14

It's the same way in my area. And this can be a touchy subject. You have people who are legal and make a living decorating cakes/cookies. They have done what they need to do, to get to this point. Then you have those that are not wanting to get into it full time, but don't want to give everything away.

It would be nice if the laws were the same everywhere. Doesn't seem fair that a person can operate legally from their home in one area, without having to do an single thing. And another has to build a separate kitchen.

If I were you, I would not put out a price sheet and I probably would not take her up on the offer, although it sounds mighty tempting. I'm not sure, but I would think the inspectors could check her to find out where she is getting them from. Then it could be traced back to you. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

And this is another thing to think about. If you are not legal, think twice about advertising on the internet. It's one thing to have pictures that people can look at. It's another when you put prices on there with the pictures. Inspectors, in my area, are not searching the internet to bust people. Not so hard to find them when they have their contact information on there and have it set up showing they are open for business.

indydebi Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 1:00pm
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newatdecorating

If you are not legal, think twice about advertising on the internet. .....Inspectors, in my area, are not searching the internet to bust people.



That's exactly how a caterer friend of mine was found. Her website had been up for 30 days. They knocked on her front door. Told her that their boss had directed them to scout the internet and to shut down the home bakers/caterers. Fortunately for her, she found a church kitchen right away and worked out a deal with them, so she was able to get legal asap.

costumeczar Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 1:10pm
post #10 of 14

The inspector here told me that she fields a ton of calls every week from people who are telling her about illegal baking operations. They don't need to look on the internet to find them, they get tips all the time. They do follow up on tips, too...If you're selling illegally then you're not paying sales tax to the state, and probably not paying income tax on what you're earning, and you can bet they want to stop you! Putting a website up with prices, or advertising in public places just makes it easier for the inspectors. I know of several people who were busted when they let newspapers do a story about their fantastic businesses, only to have the inspectors come by to check to see if they were legal...they weren't.

Rent a space or don't sell things, then you won't have to worry about it.

indydebi Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 1:22pm
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I know of several people who were busted when they let newspapers do a story about their fantastic businesses, only to have the inspectors come by to check to see if they were legal...they weren't.




One of the local TV stations and the Indy Star did a story on a little girl (10 years old maybe?) who was making decorated cakes. She actually did a pretty good job. But she had a price list. Health Dept shut her down because she was (obviously) working out of a home kitchen.

tx_cupcake Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 1:22pm
post #12 of 14

If you aren't planning on getting legal, then word of mouth business OR selling only to people you know are your only options.

I understand your frustration. I live in Texas where the food service laws are incredibly strict. I work full-time at a day job, and can not realistically rent a commercial kitchen for baking. I'm not necessarily standing up for anyone who bakes and sells illegally, but I can empathize.

Newatdecorating Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 7:39pm
post #13 of 14

Indydebi - Wondering if you knew more about renting a church kitchen? Just surprised they are inspected. Just curious.

indydebi Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 10:42pm
post #14 of 14

I was surprised to learn that a church kitchen doesn't have to be HD approved before you rent it (I thought it had to be). My friend said the church she contacted was not a HD approved kitchen ... it had "warming kitchen status" ..... but the HD came in and inspected it for HER use. She said as long as it had all the equipment she was going to need/use, then they would inspect it for HER ... no reflection or impact on the church.

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