Cake Decorating For Friends And Family

Business By aprilcreativecakes Updated 27 Jan 2009 , 6:55pm by aprilcreativecakes

aprilcreativecakes Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 5:23pm
post #1 of 11

I know I have seen some post on here that have very neg. towards unlicensed cake decorators. I really don't want this post to turn into that. But I would like some construtive advice. I have a home daycare that is legit by the state. But I really really love the creativity that cake decorating gives me. I have been making cakes mosty for my children's birthdays for the past 4 1/2 years but i am wanting to stream out alittle. I am getting tired of the same spiderman and deigo cakes. lol I have been making cakes for friends and family and charging them mainly just supplies (I know whats the point) but I love to do it. I was reading all the post and seeing that maybe I could get in trouble. I don't want to get in trouble for making cake for friends or friends friends. I am not really making a profit. I have sold 3 cakes ever and i think made after supplies maybe $50.00 not even enough to worry with taxes. I am approved through USDA and my home daycare in inspected through them every 2 months. I am looking at wanting 2 to 3 cakes a month. I am just wondering if I would be ok with this. Does anyone know. Also, I am in Florida. Again I really don't want nasty feedback because I know what those people think. I am just wondering if what I am doing is illegal. I am not looking to take business away from the legal one! Just do something I love. on the side.
Thank you in advance for your help.

10 replies
-K8memphis Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 5:56pm
post #2 of 11

Being approved by the usda for day care is good but it is still a different set of hoops to jump through for baking.

Y'know I think it's a decision you make after you check out the way it is in your neighborhood. I know my neighbors were not ony fine with me baking they were disappointed that it didn't happen due to zoning.

But I'd say check it out in your area and see what gives.

Because we have the internet now, all our information can get out and in some cases we are becoming more and more homogenized. But not everybody gets online and gets in the mix kwim. So as they say, the only law is the law of public opinion. See what gives in your area.

You can always donate cakes too. Find a childrens' home, a nursing home, the police or fire department, charity events.

Good luck.

Deb_ Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 6:34pm
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by aprilcreativecakes

I have been making cakes for friends and family and charging them mainly just supplies (I know whats the point) but I love to do it. I am not really making a profit. I have sold 3 cakes ever and i think made after supplies maybe $50.00 not even enough to worry with taxes. I am just wondering if what I am doing is illegal.
Thank you in advance for your help.




Unfortunately april, anytime money is exchanged for a service, even if it's to only cover the supplies of your cake, it's considered breaking the law. I believe FL is one of the states that doesn't allow licensing of home kitchens. (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong)

As k8 said you can always donate them to your friends and family. Just be careful about friends of friends of friends. You never know, someone may make a call to report you. There are steep fines, and I'd hate to see something you do as a hobby, cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the end. Not to mention putting your home daycare business on the line, even though that is a legal business.

Sometimes it's just not worth it in the end. I'd continue making family and close friend's cakes, but don't advertise or "sell" them.

tonia3604 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 6:51pm
post #4 of 11

aprilcreativecakes,

I am in TN not Florida, but I called my Dept of health/agriculture and in TN there are lots of regulations to having a licenced home kitchen, like having to have a completely separate kitchen than your family use kitchen, but there is also a provision for "occassional bakers". If you make cakes occasionally, even if you are selling them for profit it is legal. There is no specific definition as to what occasionally means, but I told this man specifically that I wanted to make 2 or 3 cakes a month and he said that was fine. The provision even covers setting up at one day events to sell baked goods, that is legal. You may want to give your health department a call, Florida may have a similar provision.

-K8memphis Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 6:59pm
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonia3604

aprilcreativecakes,

I am in TN not Florida, but I called my Dept of health/agriculture and in TN there are lots of regulations to having a licenced home kitchen, like having to have a completely separate kitchen than your family use kitchen, but there is also a provision for "occassional bakers". If you make cakes occasionally, even if you are selling them for profit it is legal. There is no specific definition as to what occasionally means, but I told this man specifically that I wanted to make 2 or 3 cakes a month and he said that was fine. The provision even covers setting up at one day events to sell baked goods, that is legal. You may want to give your health department a call, Florida may have a similar provision.




Shelby County TN does not allow home baking and holds the reigns on it with zoning.

Deb_ Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 7:12pm
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonia3604

aprilcreativecakes,

I am in TN not Florida, but I called my Dept of health/agriculture and in TN there are lots of regulations to having a licenced home kitchen, like having to have a completely separate kitchen than your family use kitchen, but there is also a provision for "occassional bakers". If you make cakes occasionally, even if you are selling them for profit it is legal. There is no specific definition as to what occasionally means, but I told this man specifically that I wanted to make 2 or 3 cakes a month and he said that was fine. The provision even covers setting up at one day events to sell baked goods, that is legal. You may want to give your health department a call, Florida may have a similar provision.




Tonia, did you get this "provision" in writing? If not, you may want to request something in writing just to cover yourself. The fact that this provision doesn't clearly define "occasional bakers" makes me a little nervous about the information this person provided you with. It leaves room for a lot of misinterpretation.

-K8memphis Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 10:33pm
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly27

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonia3604

aprilcreativecakes,

I am in TN not Florida, but I called my Dept of health/agriculture and in TN there are lots of regulations to having a licenced home kitchen, like having to have a completely separate kitchen than your family use kitchen, but there is also a provision for "occassional bakers". If you make cakes occasionally, even if you are selling them for profit it is legal. There is no specific definition as to what occasionally means, but I told this man specifically that I wanted to make 2 or 3 cakes a month and he said that was fine. The provision even covers setting up at one day events to sell baked goods, that is legal. You may want to give your health department a call, Florida may have a similar provision.



Tonia, did you get this "provision" in writing? If not, you may want to request something in writing just to cover yourself. The fact that this provision doesn't clearly define "occasional bakers" makes me a little nervous about the information this person provided you with. It leaves room for a lot of misinterpretation.




It's good to be cautious and have your ducks in a row. My state senator had the information sent to me because I had been pushing for it. They (the agriculture guys I think it was) even asked me for my opinion on it which was pretty cool.

And it is exactly as AprilCakes states. It is designed to facilitate Farmer's Market type baking. It does not supercede local jurisdictions. It simply sets state guidelines.

Here's the deal in my county. When those girls turned in fellow cakers last year the Health department was actually as pissed as everyone else. They don't have time for that stuff. But when someone drops it in their lap they have to face it. To me if someone bakes an occassional cake so what.

My friends received cease and desist letters. There were no fines here because they all did regroup, retire or move away. Every locale in every state would handle it different. Some people do get fined first, I think that's pretty rare or you have to be persistently ignoring the warnings.

I mean some places have laws that are not enforced. Jes' all depends.

mgdqueen Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 10:48pm
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonia3604

aprilcreativecakes,

I am in TN not Florida, but I called my Dept of health/agriculture and in TN there are lots of regulations to having a licenced home kitchen, like having to have a completely separate kitchen than your family use kitchen, but there is also a provision for "occassional bakers". If you make cakes occasionally, even if you are selling them for profit it is legal. There is no specific definition as to what occasionally means, but I told this man specifically that I wanted to make 2 or 3 cakes a month and he said that was fine. The provision even covers setting up at one day events to sell baked goods, that is legal. You may want to give your health department a call, Florida may have a similar provision.




This definitely is a gray area in TN. To "occasionally bake" and sell you are still supposed to go through the state offered food safety course, have your kitchen inspected, AND pay taxes. If you do not do that, you are a home baker squeaking by on the radar...I'm not against those who do so and seriously couldn't give a rat's butt if you do, but there are plenty of people that do care. CYA is what I say. Don't do a cake for anybody you don't know or for an event where somebody might be there who does care.

I know this type of thread always turns into a debate about "home vs business" and I certianly don't intend to do that. It's just in some counties in TN-like Shelby it's ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE and others it is...they just make you pay every licensure known to mankind to do it.

Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

Deb_ Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 10:50pm
post #9 of 11

[quote="k8memphis"I mean some places have laws that are not enforced. Jes' all depends.[/quote]


Yea, this seems to be common in my neck of the woods too.

Although I live in MA, my Hair Salon is in RI. When I opened in 95, I was so careful to have everything in place that was required by the RI Board of Health. Well, the big inspection day arrived and with sweaty palms I let the inspector in. He asked for my Hairdresser's License which I presented to him. He looked at it and said........"Oh, my last name is Kelly also, I never met a Kelly I didn't like, sign here and make a lot of money." icon_eek.gif He didn't open one drawer and check that I had the required number of combs, brushes, etc. Never looked for sanitizers or anything. I was PISSED at this guy. All he cared about was collecting the fee for the license and that was all. It was a complete joke.

The Board of Health is SUPPOSED to inspect salons once a year, I've had 3 inspections since I opened 14 yrs ago! The last was 10 yrs. ago. I've heard through the proverbial grapevine that the state of RI doesn't even have a Hairdressing Inspector right now and they haven't for a while. I'm not sure this is even legal. How are all the new salon's opening without inspections? Very dangerous.

Now in MA where I have a licensed kitchen in my basement I've had an inspector "stop by" every year since I opened it......and he/she looks around and earns their license fee. Go figure!

tcakes65 Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 6:48am
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by aprilcreativecakes

I know I have seen some post on here that have very neg. towards unlicensed cake decorators. I really don't want this post to turn into that. But I would like some construtive advice. I have a home daycare that is legit by the state. But I really really love the creativity that cake decorating gives me. I have been making cakes mosty for my children's birthdays for the past 4 1/2 years but i am wanting to stream out alittle. I am getting tired of the same spiderman and deigo cakes. lol I have been making cakes for friends and family and charging them mainly just supplies (I know whats the point) but I love to do it. I was reading all the post and seeing that maybe I could get in trouble. I don't want to get in trouble for making cake for friends or friends friends. I am not really making a profit. I have sold 3 cakes ever and i think made after supplies maybe $50.00 not even enough to worry with taxes. I am approved through USDA and my home daycare in inspected through them every 2 months. I am looking at wanting 2 to 3 cakes a month. I am just wondering if I would be ok with this. Does anyone know. Also, I am in Florida. Again I really don't want nasty feedback because I know what those people think. I am just wondering if what I am doing is illegal. I am not looking to take business away from the legal one! Just do something I love. on the side.
Thank you in advance for your help.




In Florida you can have a home kitchen. However, it has to be separate from your living space and be inspected/licensed through the Department of Agriculture. You'll still have the same requirements as a commercial kitchen such as a 3-compartment sink, mop sink, hand sink, etc. Being approved by the USDA won't have any relevance. I'm not sure how strict the Department of Ag is with selling a few cakes to friends and family. I do know they were extremely strict when I was setting up my commercial kitchen as was code enforcement in my city. Maybe you could call the Dept of Ag and inquire about their position on selling 2 or 3 cakes to family and friends. They are your best source of information and should give you a definitive answer.

aprilcreativecakes Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 6:55pm
post #11 of 11

thank you very much for all of your helpful information.
I did call the HD and they said i am ok for friends or family! But nothing else. thank you all. It is good to know!

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