Question For The Legal Home Bakers

Business By mlharvell Updated 8 Oct 2008 , 12:45am by Kpow

mlharvell Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:28pm
post #1 of 29

I am working on becoming legal in my home (I'm in GA). I've been told by the Department of Agriculture that I don't need a grease trap, but Environmental Health is telling me I do. Are there any legal home bakers out there that can shed some light on this situation? I'd like to know what others have.

Thanks so much!!

28 replies
kjt Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:36pm
post #2 of 29

Can't wait to see the responses you get...where in GA are you? I'm in north GA.

mlharvell Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:40pm
post #3 of 29

Hall County. Where in N GA are you?

Cakery Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 8:00pm
post #4 of 29

I'm not in GA....but Missouri. My health dept. here MADE me put a grease trap in. And get this....if my business had been inside the city limit and hooked up to the city sewer....then I didn't have to put one in....but since I have my own septic tank....then they made me put one in for my own costs and problems down the road. It depends where you live, etc...and who has the final say. If the Environmental Health is saying you do....then you are probably going to have to add it on. Here in MO...they have the last say. My Health inspector has had to call a couple things in for me....to get it ok'd with the Environmental Health supervisor as a last ok. Good luck! Mine ran me about $200 for the small one that goes under the sink.

kjt Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 8:19pm
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlharvell

Hall County. Where in N GA are you?




Why, girl, we're neighbors...I'm in Dawson icon_razz.gif .

kilikina_24 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 8:34pm
post #6 of 29

I'm interested in this too--although I'm a long way from making my new hobby into a business. I'm also in North GA--Dawson County.

mlharvell Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:27am
post #7 of 29

Let me just say that this grease trap business is a load of crap! If it's not required for a regular home kitchen, why should it be required for a home based cake decorating business? Boooooo!!!

Cakery, thanks for the response. I guess I'll just have to suck it up and have one installed.

kjt and kilikina - Howdy neighbors! icon_smile.gif Do either of you happen to know if there is a cake club around our area? We should totally start one if there's not.

l80bug79 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:39am
post #8 of 29

i'm looking into becoming legal in GA as well. (first of the year probably) i've been debating on ordering the cake business book advertised on this site. author's from GA. figure there's a lot of good info in there.

I'm looking for a cake group for South metro if there's any out there you know about.

thanks!
aimee

mlharvell Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:49am
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by l80bug79

i'm looking into becoming legal in GA as well. (first of the year probably) i've been debating on ordering the cake business book advertised on this site. author's from GA. figure there's a lot of good info in there.

I'm looking for a cake group for South metro if there's any out there you know about.

thanks!
aimee




If you do decide to order the book, let me know what you think. I considered ordering it, but I wasn't sure if it was worth the money.

leah_s Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 2:02am
post #10 of 29

I'm in KY, and I got a grease trap exemption. However, I'm thinking about installing a small one. It is needed.

mlharvell Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 11:02am
post #11 of 29

Thanks, Leah. You're always so helpful!

loriemoms Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 12:37pm
post #12 of 29

We dont need a grease trap here in NC, but I hear that it maybe required soon. (they tried to get garbage disposals banned here, beleive it or not, but that failed. Its under that same thinking of a grease trap)

I personally don't throw anything down my drains like buttercream and such. (I scoop as much as i can out into the trash) I don't think all that grease and butter is good for the pipes! I don't even put my carrot peelings and such down the garbarge disposal...

kilikina_24 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:00pm
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlharvell

Let me just say that this grease trap business is a load of crap! If it's not required for a regular home kitchen, why should it be required for a home based cake decorating business? Boooooo!!!

Cakery, thanks for the response. I guess I'll just have to suck it up and have one installed.

kjt and kilikina - Howdy neighbors! icon_smile.gif Do either of you happen to know if there is a cake club around our area? We should totally start one if there's not.





Small world! I don't know anything about a cake club around here--but I'm very new to this! I just started this as a hobby. I'm in Wilton course 3 right now. But I'm loving it!!! I'd definently be interested in a cake club for our area!!

dmhart Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:15pm
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlharvell

I am working on becoming legal in my home (I'm in GA). I've been told by the Department of Agriculture that I don't need a grease trap, but Environmental Health is telling me I do. Are there any legal home bakers out there that can shed some light on this situation? I'd like to know what others have.

Thanks so much!!




mlharvell, when you say "becoming legal in my home" does that mean you can have a legal baking business from you home kitchen?

I am trying to get info on being legal in GA.

dmhart Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 1:15pm
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlharvell

I am working on becoming legal in my home (I'm in GA). I've been told by the Department of Agriculture that I don't need a grease trap, but Environmental Health is telling me I do. Are there any legal home bakers out there that can shed some light on this situation? I'd like to know what others have.

Thanks so much!!




mlharvell, when you say "becoming legal in my home" does that mean you can have a legal baking business from you home kitchen?

I am trying to get info on being legal in GA.

Kpow Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 6:17pm
post #16 of 29

I live in Marietta, GA and am also looking into starting a home business, but have not even been able to figure out where to start. Would those of you who seem to be a few steps ahead in this process be willing to share information about it, either here or by private email? I have several main questions, but don't want to bore everyone with them if everyone else is already beyond my knowledge. Thanks for any help anyone can give!

l80bug79 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:01pm
post #17 of 29

so i had the hubby check on what it would take for me to get a business license to bake from the home (he was at the courthouse anyway) because of the county i live in, i would have to submit an application pay a $300 application fee wait 90-120 days for the county commissioners to vote on whether i could opperate my business from my home. and then proceed with obtaining the business license, getting the space to spec out for their standards, blah blah blah blah.....


i'll just wait until i open a storefront thank you. icon_biggrin.gif

Kpow Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:14pm
post #18 of 29

Wow, l80bug79, that's daunting. What county do you live in? I'm in Cobb. Does anyone know if all Georgia counties do things similarly? And when you're talking about a home baking business, I assume you mean one with a kitchen separate from your personal kitchen, correct? Or does Georgia allow commercial baking in a personal kitchen?

l80bug79 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:29pm
post #19 of 29

i'm in spalding county. i'm 100% sure what the guidelines are for the commercial vs. home bakery thing is. according to another post here, ga doesn't license home bakeries. so i'm thinking that the county would classify it as seperate entrance, seperate kitchen, etc. which i am not doing. i have a lot more investigating to do on the subject.

my DH did ask if the fine was less than the application fee and was told yes. lol that's my DH for you. do now and ask for forgiveness later. lol....

mlharvell Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 9:22pm
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmhart

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlharvell

I am working on becoming legal in my home (I'm in GA). I've been told by the Department of Agriculture that I don't need a grease trap, but Environmental Health is telling me I do. Are there any legal home bakers out there that can shed some light on this situation? I'd like to know what others have.

Thanks so much!!



mlharvell, when you say "becoming legal in my home" does that mean you can have a legal baking business from you home kitchen?

I am trying to get info on being legal in GA.




Yes, you can have a legal business in your home, but you have to have a completely separate kitchen from your every day family kitchen.

mlharvell Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 9:50pm
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpow

I live in Marietta, GA and am also looking into starting a home business, but have not even been able to figure out where to start. Would those of you who seem to be a few steps ahead in this process be willing to share information about it, either here or by private email? I have several main questions, but don't want to bore everyone with them if everyone else is already beyond my knowledge. Thanks for any help anyone can give!




After jumping through a lot of hoops and being given the run around, this is what I've learned. Below, I've listed the steps I'm having to take in my county. Keep in mind that this is through Hall County, so requirements and pricing may be different in your county (as it is different for each county).

1. Start with the covenant for your neighborhood to see if you can even have a business out of your home. (free)

2. Contact Planning and Zoning to make sure your house is zoned for Home Occupation. (free)

3. Get a Home Occupation Affidavit from Planning and Zoning (free)

4. Submit drawings of proposed kitchen to Building Inspections in Planning and Zoning Department ($50)

5. After drawings are approved, apply for Building Permit (approx. $50). You are required to have a grease trap (40 lb minimum) and a vent/hood. ($$$)

6. Schedule an inspector to come out to make sure you meet all the requirements.

7. If you have a septic system, you have to have had it pumped within the last 5 years. It's roughly $300 to have the septic system pumped.

8. Apply for re-inspection of septic system through Environmental Health ($100).

9. Apply for a Certificate of Occupancy ($5)

10. Contact local Department of Agriculture for inspection and approval.

11. Apply for business license (Price depends on number of employees. For 1 employee in Hall County it's $116)

12. Have a LARGE frosty, adult beverage to celebrate being a legal business in GA and to forget about all the BS the government has just put you through.

Now, with all that said, disregard half of it. You will get a different story about what's required with each person/department you talk to. I've been contacting vendors to check pricing on all of these ridiculous requirements and they are telling me that whoever I talked to at the county is crazy because the Cottage Laws are more lenient than those for commercial kitchens. Try to find out as much about the requirements as you can before you begin. I thought I had been diligent in doing that and now that I've started this "little" project, I'm finding that there is FAR MORE red tape involved that I had originally anticipated.

I hope that helps. If anyone has anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me. I'll try to help as best I can.

dmhart Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 9:52pm
post #22 of 29

From what I have been told your kitchen has to be separate from your family kitchen and it has to be unattached from your home. I thought I understood that it has to be in a building that was not attached to your home. As long as it is bakery items only that was covered by the dept of agriculture.

I am licensed by the Dept. of Agriculture, and I do have to have a separate kitchen unattached from my home, according to my agent that has licensed me.

mlharvell Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 9:58pm
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmhart

From what I have been told your kitchen has to be separate from your family kitchen and it has to be unattached from your home. I thought I understood that it has to be in a building that was not attached to your home. As long as it is bakery items only that was covered by the dept of agriculture.

I am licensed by the Dept. of Agriculture, and I do have to have a separate kitchen unattached from my home, according to my agent that has licensed me.




It doesn't have to be completely separate. It just has to have an outside entrance or an entrance that does not go through any living space.

You are right. It should only involve the Dept of Ag, but f you have a septic tank, Environmental Health has to get involved, and that's when it starts getting hairy. Grrrr!!!!

Can you tell I've had a rough day dealing with all the government red tape? thumbsdown.gif

Melissa0567 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 10:16pm
post #24 of 29

I've been reading the posts in this forum and now I not sure what to do. I too, live in Georgia, Rome. I recently really got into caking decorating again and would love to be really serious about it. I've been told the make up some business cards to pass out as some people have seen some of my cakes and are telling their friends about me. So, my question is, if I make business cards and bake from my home I guess I need to go thru all this legal mumbo jumbo also? I really just wanted to do this on the side in my spare time but I do not want to start passing our business cards and have them end up in the wrong hands and be fined or worse jailed because I do not have a license to bake from my home. What to do? Anyone?

Thanks,
Melissa

dmhart Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 10:30pm
post #25 of 29

I was lucky. My dad has a business in the town I live in. He bought a new place in town for his business a couple of years ago. The building on that property he is using for his business, but it has a full kitchen in it. Not only that the people that owned it before him ran a "Built a bear type business" in it. Which they also had an indoor playground where they did children's parties. Their kitchen had to be inspected by the Health Dept and Dept of AG. So long story short My dad's kitchen in his business that he didn't use is already up to inspection standards. I know lucky me!! Thanks Dad!! icon_wink.gificon_razz.gif All I had to do was get the Dept of Ag. to reinspected it, licenses me and get my business license, sales tax license.

I was very blessed for this to come together like it has. I know the Lord worked this all out for me!! icon_smile.gif

mlharvell Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 10:37pm
post #26 of 29

Melissa - that's a personal choice. A lot of people have told me to fly under the radar and avoid going through the proper channels to become legal. I'm choosing to go the legal route so I'm not constantly worried about getting caught. I've heard horror stories about what happens to those that get caught. Knowing my luck, I'd get caught the minute I'd sold my first cake. If it were me, I wouldn't pass out business cards. I would just let word of mouth get around. That way, you can honestly say you are not advertising. It's a tough call. I'm choosing to go the legal route, but I know tons of others that are just "flying under the radar."

Note: I'm not trying to discourage anyone. Just trying to get some info out there to help others avoid having to go through the hassle I've gone through.

Happy caking! icon_smile.gif

Melissa0567 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 11:10pm
post #27 of 29

Thanks mlharvell for the info. My luck is like yours, the first call I got for a cake order would be from the cake police, LOL.
Thanks, Melissa

l80bug79 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 11:32pm
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa0567

Thanks mlharvell for the info. My luck is like yours, the first call I got for a cake order would be from the cake police, LOL.
Thanks, Melissa




my very first "paid for" order was for the police cheif's bday. I really think that it's all in who is going to "patrol" you.

in my situation, i'm out in the boonies. right now it's for friends and family if i get bigger, then i'll do a store front for more "passer-by" business. plus I"m not big on having people know where I live. just that security thing and where i am. if i were in more of a subdivision, that would be different.

Thanks for all the info girls. and Best of luck with your business venture. thumbs_up.gif

Kpow Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 12:45am
post #29 of 29

Thanks so much for the information everyone, especially mlharvell! It sounds like this is definitely going to be a challenge. I'm now wondering if I shouldn't postpone the "building a kitchen in my basement" idea I'd had (particularly considering the economy these days!) and think about renting time in a shared commercial kitchen. Particularly since I'm just starting out. It sounds like it would definitely let me start a legal business more quickly. Does anyone have any personal experience doing it that way?

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