Omg! All Us Texas Bakers Have Been Misinformed!.....

Business By cakesdivine Updated 9 Feb 2009 , 4:07am by cakesdivine

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 1:31am
post #1 of 45

Okay whenever I post an ad on CL I put a little blip at the bottom warning potential clients that they need to make sure they are using a legal, licensed baker and that it is illegal for a baker to bake and sell cakes from their homes to the public.

I just received this email ...

"You have posted an add on CL stating that it is Illegal in the State of TX to produce and sell cakes from a home kitchen and sell to the public! That is not true! Or else....every non profit organization would be fined in the process....for bake sales and more! Further more....I was a wedding coordinator for many years and never has a venue turned away or asked for proof of your licensing. Most business owners don't carry a copy of their license on them! If you are trying to pick up might be wise for you to get your facts straight and actually show a real cake or two on your advertisement! Bad mouthing other businesses for being successful is probably not showing the highest of standards about yourself! Small Business Administration has all laws posted on their site....and it is perfectly legal and encouraged by them for small business owners to work straight from their homes! Craigslist will continue to flag you as spam until you change your best wishes in your future endeavors!"

Okay, for my $99 cake promotion I did 4 virtual designs. All my other CL ads in the past had my actual cake photos on them, but for this promotion, none of my designs were basic enough for me to let out the door at $99 so as to not spend any money on a promotion that would yield little profit I did virtual designs until someone ordered one and then I would replace with actual photo. Never did I bad mouth anyone's biz, just educating the public on what is and isn't legal.

So guys the Small Business Administration says we CAN bake from our homes... icon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gif
Edited to add none of my ads are flagged. They are all intact.

44 replies
indydebi Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 1:54am
post #2 of 45

Well who pi$$ed on HER Post Toasties? icon_confused.gif

Did you email her the info from the Texas Health Dept that says you can't bake from your home? Maybe she doesn't understand the difference between a "small business owner" in general and someone who deals in food for the public, for gosh sakes!!

And oh my gosh, is she just THE biggest wedding planner in Texas or something? I mean goodness gracious great balls of fire if SHE never heard of a cake being turned away, then it just must not be possible! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

This is so funny!

CakeForte Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 1:58am
post #3 of 45

Ok so I knew about the whole venue thing. Many of the preferred cake people are home bakers. Venue's don't care either way, illegal or legal. All they care about is getting their money from the client.

I think the person that emailed you was out of line...she needs to get HER facts straight LOL. She made herself sound really ignorant.

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:02am
post #4 of 45

I discovered that she is selling cakes from her home, doesn't post ANY photos of her cakes at all, and we aren't even in direct comp with each other...I service far southwest Austin and she is far Northeast...That is way farther than I want to transport a cake, so where if she had been nice I would have sent possible cakes her way that might have contacted me and they were too far for me. But get this, today two ladies that ARE in direct comp with her called me to get info on how to become legal and what they need to do to start a cake biz. I gave them all the info I had, told them about this site and told them to call me anytime for assistance. Would have done the same for Ms. Mary too but not now!

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:05am
post #5 of 45

Oh and yes I did inform her that SHE was the misinformed party and gave her the info to here and to the State of TX Health Dept. as well. Also told her that I was active in trying to get the law changed eventhough I already have a legal licensed kitchen, I am all for making it legal for home bakers in my state!

m1m Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:06am
post #6 of 45


I post a lot of things on Craigs List (not cakes) and at times you get some real freakazoids!

I think her email to you was very rude; don't let it bother you!

all4cake Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:14am
post #7 of 45

It has been almost 12 years since we lived in Texas. At that time, a person could operate a home-based bakery and become COMPLETELY legal in doing so. It just had to be separate from the rest of the house and it could pass the inspections.

There was someone on CC who stated they knew of a particular instance where a venue did refuse acceptance of a delivery because it was made by a friend/family member OSLT.

FromScratch Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:15am
post #8 of 45

icon_rolleyes.gif If she e-mails you back be sure to let us know the ongoing saga. icon_wink.gif

I just had to laugh... hard. SBA... HA! As if they have any say over the food protection laws.

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:26am
post #10 of 45

If it is separate from your house it is not in your house, therefore it is NOT a home based cake business. We are talking about being a home based baker that uses their home kitchen NOT a separate building. Two totally different things. I have lived in Texas my whole life and it has ALWAYS been illegal to run a home based cake biz.

I also found out that I can't even store any of my cake pans or equipment here at my house, that it all has to be at the kitchen that I rent or in a separate storage building from my house, and it must be on racks that sit at least 6 inches off the floor. I buy my ingredients the day I am baking and take them to the kitchen right from the store, since there really isn't the ability to store food at the church for too long as someone will always get into it.

all4cake Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:36am
post #11 of 45

I didn't mean a separate building....I meant separated/designated/only used for/only accessed for use in conducting food for sale related stuffs...still home-based(has the same address as the family home and in the same square footage as the original home space)...can be legalized.

I do understand the point you are making...that the customer should be aware of certain issues that may arise while selecting the person to make their cake.

maryjsgirl Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:51am
post #12 of 45

Anyone else giggle at her email and the fact she is selling cakes???

all4cake Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:54am
post #13 of 45

maryjsgirl, did you snag Ms. Franklin's hat????

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:09am
post #14 of 45

Nope it now has to be (and to my knowledge) totally separated for the main house, a wall and a door must separate the food establishment kitchen from the main house. Being on the same property is not the same as preparing foods in your home kitchen for the public and using your home fridge, home sinks, home dishwasher, home freezer that your family can go in & out of anytime they want. You still have to go through the expense of having it all separate, sure it can have the same addy but, if this woman didn't even know that she needs the health dept. to regulate her practices then she is doing this illegally. And I do know of a few TX bakers that on here that I totally love, and eventhough I don't agree with what they do, I understand that, and further why I too want to have the law changed as soon as possible!

Even in my case, I use my church kitchen which is licensed in my biz name, but all it would take is some busy body who doesn't like me to cause a problem and I could loose my use of the kitchen. I would love to use my own home kitchen, but I don't. I don't want to risk getting in trouble with the HD! So I paid my money and did what needed to be done to be legal. And this was all after paying a ton of money when my mom & I had our restaurant. My license wasn't even up yet and I had to get a different kitchen licensed and pay again just as if I were a brand new establishment. Sucks! But necessary.

Ya know it is really sad, this mary lady is a really good decorator, and I don't wish her any ill at all, nor to look at her site would you even think she was a home baker flying under the radar (which she is totally ignorant about). It just shocked me as in my ad I really was more wanting the customer to know the facts, not to disclose the identity of any unlicensed bakers.

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:19am
post #15 of 45

Thanks Kelleym, I am going to send her that link.

maryjsgirl Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:25am
post #16 of 45
Originally Posted by all4cake

maryjsgirl, did you snag Ms. Franklin's hat????

No she let me borrow it, we are real close like that. icon_wink.gif

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:29am
post #17 of 45

Totally hijacking the thread with the awesome hat...that's cool! icon_smile.gif

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 4:56am
post #18 of 45

UPDATE - she emailed me back apologizing, but swears she is legal and that the SBA guided her through it and her home kitchen is legal. Well I reiterated to her that the SBA is not the agency she needs to deal with to become legal and that unless she built a separate kitchen in a separate room like a garage or add-on then she isn't legal, and having a dba, tax id, or corporate structure designation is not the same as being a legal baker and that the health department is the only agency that can say if one's kitchen is legal. I truly hope that she is legal in all aspects.

melysa Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 5:29am
post #19 of 45
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

unless she built a separate kitchen in a separate room like a garage or add-on then she isn't legal.

it also must be in a business zoned area, not residential. so a garage, add on or other structure on residentially zoned property isnt legal.

marmalade1687 Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 12:51pm
post #20 of 45
Originally Posted by maryjsgirl

Anyone else giggle at her email and the fact she is selling cakes???

Yes! I am also wondering how many brides are now asking her if she is legal - that's why she's a little ticked! icon_wink.gif

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:05pm
post #21 of 45

Further Update...She did inform me that she renovated her detached garage for her kitchen, so she is legal, so I don't know why she sent me the email in the first place. At anyrate we made nice, and all is good.

Melysa out here in the hill country part of Texas, unless you are directly inside Austin or San Antonio proper the rural areas are not zoned and you can do whatever you want with your property.

springlakecake Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 4:00pm
post #22 of 45

Honestly I don't think she is legal. I think she is giving you a dog and pony show now that she knows her info was incorrect. Maybe she does have some sort of separate kitchen,but if she actually has gone through all of the process of being licensed with the state she would have known the regulations.

FromScratch Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 4:15pm
post #23 of 45

I'm with Merissa. If she was legal, she would never have sent you that e-mail to begin with because she would have the same mind-set you know?

cakesdivine Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 4:59pm
post #24 of 45

You know you may be right, and she may be telling me this thinking I would turn her in, but I wouldn't, if she is running an illegal bakery then she plays at her own risk. CL is notorius for HD trapping illegal bakeries and home caterers with fake event & creative gig ads. All HD has to do is run their biz name through their database of legit food businesses to know if someone is illegal. I'm not worried, she apologized for her hostile email.

margaretb Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 1:43am
post #25 of 45

Maybe the lady just didn't differentiate between a home as in your regular domestic kitchen and a home as in separate but located on your property kitchen. Sort of like in the is-it-legal-to-bake-at-home-threads some people get upset about home bakers meaning unlicensed bakers which upsets the home bakers with the legal kitchens.

summernoelle Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 2:05am
post #26 of 45

Funny thread. I love that she is one of those people in a pyramid scheme who sells diet supplements. Ha ha.

Melvira Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 2:06am
post #27 of 45
Originally Posted by margaretb

...some people get upset about home bakers meaning unlicensed bakers which upsets the home bakers with the legal kitchens.

Amen, whenever those threads come up and the 'home baker bashing' starts, I have to remind myself that they are NOT talking about me. I am legal to do what I do, and I have the information to back it up. So, I just have to remember that they are talking about people in states where it is not allowed! thumbs_up.gif I can TOTALLY understand why someone who paid thousands or more to get legal and has people illegaly undercutting them would be upset. I am not knocking them ONE bit!

Deb_ Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 1:11pm
post #28 of 45

I bet this woman is a member here.........she's probably following this very thread icon_rolleyes.gif

I find it hard to believe that NO venue has or ever will ask her for proof of license. That happens a lot more here in MA and RI, in fact I know a girl that found out the day before she was to deliver, that they required a "licensed baker" to bring in the Wedding cake. She had called the venue to go over the delivery instructions and the person in charge told her "don't forget your business license". Needless to say she was screwed and so was the couple!

Sounds like she saw your warning on CL as a threat to her. People were probably following your advice and asking her if she were legal.

Can you guys have a separate licensed kitchen in your basement?

kelleym Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 3:05pm
post #29 of 45
Originally Posted by dkelly27

Can you guys have a separate licensed kitchen in your basement?

It's up to the county, but in my county the kitchen must be separated from the home by a solid wall (no door) and must have an outside entrance.

eldag0615 Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 3:47pm
post #30 of 45

cakesdivine wrote:
unless she built a separate kitchen in a separate room like a garage or add-on then she isn't legal.

Melisa wrote:
it also must be in a business zoned area, not residential. so a garage, add on or other structure on residentially zoned property isnt legal.

I am confused. I understand both statements, but if the second one is true, which is the one that applies here in my area, how come some people are saying they are legal by separating the bus. kitchen from the home kitchen by a wall and a door? Isn't the law supposed to be the same in ALL Texas?
I am in the process of getting legal myself, and there is this approved kitchen that I might be able to use, I just need to make sure that kitchen is up to date on permits, etc. BEFORE the city and fire dept. goes and inspect it. That is what they told me at the HD in my county and city.

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