Ohio Licensed In-Home Bakers

Business By MeliaJ Updated 19 Jun 2009 , 5:09pm by CookieMakinMomma

MeliaJ Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 6:16pm
post #1 of 36

I have been doing the research on becoming licensed (in Ohio) to bake from my home. But I have a few questions for those who already licensed. Instead of flooding the board again probably with the repeat topics, would a fellow Ohioan care to PM me so I can ask?

Thanks!

35 replies
KHalstead Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 6:48pm
post #2 of 36

you don't HAVE to be "licensed" to operate from your home in Ohio..........basically, you can make any food not deemed "dangerous" to the public. No carpet or pets in the kitchen. If you'd like to get a "license" you can be inspected by the health dept. and I believe where I am (Ashtabula County) it's $10..it may vary from county to county, not sure. You can email the dept. of agriculture...they're very good about getting right back to you.

KHalstead Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 6:49pm
post #3 of 36

ooh, almost forgot...you're allowed to advertise but the food you sell has to be eaten in Ohio....so you couldn't ship cookies or anything out of state.

MeliaJ Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 7:09pm
post #4 of 36

Thanks. So, one of my dilema's that we have an inside dog, but he's baby gated out fo the kitchen when I do cakes and any other cooking. Is that enough??

smab109 Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 8:22pm
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeliaJ

Thanks. So, one of my dilema's that we have an inside dog, but he's baby gated out fo the kitchen when I do cakes and any other cooking. Is that enough??




No, that is not enough. You can have no animals in the home to pass an inspection.

KHalstead Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 11:38pm
post #6 of 36

but the point is you don't HAVE to be inspected, in which case your dog is fine. I have a dog too and if someone asks if I have animals I tell them yes.......I don't lie...I've never had dog hair or anything in my cakes, I'm very careful and clean when I make cakes....I'm not inspected by the health dept. or anything though...because I have pets, otherwise I'd probably do it just to be able to say that I am. None of my customers have ever cared though. I've had 2 people in the 2 yrs. I've been doing cakes ask me if I have any pets after I tell them I work out of my home and both of those people ordered cakes and one of them is one of my best customers actually.

MeliaJ Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 1:50pm
post #7 of 36

KHalstead- Do you advertise?

cakelady15 Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 1:52pm
post #8 of 36

I had the health inspector at my house in November so that I could get licensed. You aren't allowed to sell anything that has to be refrigerated in Ohio if you aren't licensed and I wanted to be able to make mousse fillings and things like that so I got licensed. You aren't allowed to have pets if you are licensed. The license fee is $10 anywhere in the state and mostly they are looking to make sure that your house is clean. You do have to have a thermometer in your refrigerator and make sure that it is under 38 degrees. I will warn you though that they weren't real thrilled about coming out to my house to do an inspection. They kind of tried to talk me out of it by explaining that I could still bake out of my home without being licensed because they have so many other businesses to inspect that they don't really want to mess with a home baker.

KHalstead Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 2:48pm
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeliaJ

KHalstead- Do you advertise?




Yes, but I don't pay for any of it. I advertise mostly online through different sites that allow you to post ads for free

yellow pages dot com

wed plan dot com

ilist classifides

etc.

there are tons of them.

I went on google alerts and put an alert on "Wedding cakes in Conneaut, OH" (where I live)

and birthday cakes and cookies as well and I get an email everyday showing all the times people have looked up the different things and when I check them out 9 out of 10 of them are on different wedding/birthday type sites and I just put my ad there...almost all are free or have a free ad type that you can list (usually pretty basic, but sometimes they're decent)

I also hang up my bus. cards in different stores here that allow it...or I'll tack up a rack card (like a brochure w/ lots of photos etc on it)

But my best advertisement is word of mouth. Oh and the local party store has me doing their cakes after I was in buying supplies and showed them some photos of cake (they'd always ask what I was working on and the more I described the cakes I was making, the more photos they wanted to see) and I do give them a percentage of my profit (because I want to, not because they asked) and they pay for advertisements in the phone book and local newspaper and when people call they give them my website and number so it's a win win situation!

KHalstead Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 2:50pm
post #10 of 36

oh and cupcake, just wanted to add...I really wanted to do the mousse fillings to but I know the law about the refrigeration so my way around it was to use the Rich's Bettercreme mixed with a pudding mix......that stuff is awesome and it's safe at room temp. for up to 5 days! The cheesecake pudding mixed in is my favorite.....although the chocolate is REALLY good and so is lemon! YUM!!

MeliaJ Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 3:49pm
post #11 of 36

Thanks KHalstead! Thats great! Mind sharing the bettercreme recipe you use for mouse filling?

One more question or two! icon_lol.gif

Do you have a business license?

Do claim it as business expesne, income?

Thanks so much!

Oh, what's your website? I'd love to take a look.

cakelady15 Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 4:13pm
post #12 of 36

That's a great idea. I do use Bettercream for some stuff. Do you just mix a dry box of pudding into it and that's it. That sounds delicious. I would love to try it.

MeliaJ Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 6:41pm
post #13 of 36

I've looked in the recipe section for bettercreme recipe. No luck. Can you give me a recipe or if you buy it premade, what type you use?

MichelleM77 Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 7:12pm
post #14 of 36

I'm looking into the shelf-stable ready-made products avaiable too (like flavored fillings) because I'm following the cottage food laws as well and can't sell refrigerated products. I really want to offer my customers more choices. I'm thinking of using pudding for certain things as well. Let me know what products you have found tasty. icon_smile.gif Right now I'm just mixing jams into my buttercream to make buttercream fillings, but that is very limited in flavor choice.

cakenista Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 4:48pm
post #15 of 36

This was very helpful to me but Im confused so if you use a little cream to add to a frosting does that mean I cant sell cake or cupcakes cuz i just want to be sure I am doing things right

msauer Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 6:38pm
post #16 of 36

I don't think that is what it means sweetcheeks1....when I applied for my license, they told me that primarily it was items that HAD to be refrigerated at all times once they were prepared...the example he gave me was cheesecake.

The inspector reminded me that I didn't HAVE to be inspected, but I wanted to because I knew I would be getting into more and more wedding cakes and some venues require you to be a licensed baker (not to mention my new $1M liability insurance). It's $10 to get licensed and it sounds good to customers.

MichelleM77 Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 7:10pm
post #17 of 36

A lot of buttercreams have milk in them, but there was a lot of discussion on here about the fact that there is so much sugar that it essentially preserves the milk in a way. Usually it's only a tablespoon or so, so you could really just sub water for the milk.

cakenista Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 7:12pm
post #18 of 36

thankyou that helps me I definitely need all the info I can get On starting my own business theres so much to think about like logos and copy right on logos I get so confused Im really quite new to this I had lost my job so Im trying to make ends meat for myself and so far Im not doing so good in my businessI love it so much though to make someone happy is awesome when you make them something I just dont know where to begin

amberlee416 Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 7:24pm
post #19 of 36

I am also in ohio and i am wanting to get liscensed, could someone, please tell me what they are looking at when they come into the house? I know the house has to be clean, and i've been told the light needs to have a cover, but what else do they look for? I dont have any pets (except my children icon_smile.gif ) and no carpet in the kitchen. But i do have a few spots of linoleum that have cracked and trying to curl up, would that need fixed? also my laundry room is directly beside the kitchen, would that need a door on it? I'm sorry if these questions are dumb, I just dont want to have them come for an inspection and not be ready for them. TIA

cakelady15 Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 7:59pm
post #20 of 36

I had the health inspector come in and inspect my kitchen and he was just looking for it to be clean, no carpet, and no pets. I don't have covers on my lights because of the way they are designed and he didn't say anything about that. The other thing you do have to have is a thermometer in your refrigerator. You can pick them up at almost any kitchen supply store. They will check the temp. on that to make sure it is correct. That's all they are looking for.

CookieMakinMomma Posted 18 Mar 2009 , 6:46pm
post #21 of 36

Does anyone know the specific laws on selling across state lines? I live in Ohio but my husband works in Pittsburgh and his coworkers are very interested in buying cookies from me. I know that as a cottage industry I can't, but what about if I was licensed? I'm guessing I could get around that by having them come pick up the stuff here and have the transaction technically take place in Ohio, but I don't see too many people wanting to do that. I've been to the OH dept of Ag. website but didn't see anything specific (although I might have missed it).

CookieMakinMomma Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 1:34pm
post #22 of 36

Anyone? What, no love for the newbie? Oh well, guess I'll have to email them myself... icon_smile.gif

cakelady15 Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 1:56pm
post #23 of 36

I'm not sure about the out of state thing if you are licensed. I'm pretty far from the border so I never even thought to ask that. I know for sure that if you aren't licensed you can't do it. I would wonder though about selling to another state even if you are licensed in your home if that state doesn't allow home bakeries. If you find out though we would love for you to share the info with us.

CookieMakinMomma Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 9:21pm
post #24 of 36

ok, I emailed them today so hopefully I'll get a response sometime next week.

while going through my inbox I realized I had emailed them a year ago about a similar question. It only took them 3 days to reply. In that email the guy did say that licensed home bakeries are allowed to sell out of state icon_biggrin.gif but didn't elaborate. My latest email asked about it in more detail so I'll have to see what they say.

Now all I have to do is get rid of my two evil step-cats and I can finally get this thing off the ground! Woohoo! icon_cool.gif

Edit: I just emailed the PA dept. of ag. too. Their site was really confusing... I'll let you all know what they say!

CookieMakinMomma Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 12:50pm
post #25 of 36

I heard back from the OH guy but he was not quite as helpful as I would have hoped. At least it only took him a day to get back to me. Here are our emails:

Hello!

I am looking into starting a cookie/small dessert business and wanted to confirm a few points. Everything I am wanting to make is non-hazardous so I could easily remain a cottage industry, however I am getting requests from across state lines (in Pittsburgh actually, and I am in Steubenville). I know that cottage industries cannot sell out of state, but I could not confirm if home bakeries were. If I got a home bakery license would I be able to sell out of state? Are there any other regulations that I would need to be aware of? Would I need to check with the other state's requirements as well? I tried finding the answers on your website but I was getting rather lost in the new format! Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to your response.

***
Dear Maria: A home Bakery License allows you to sell your products out of state since it comes from an inspected facility. You cannot have carpet in your kitchen and you are not permitted to have indoor pets. To schedule an inspection for a Home Bakery license call 614-728-6250 and request one.

Sincerely,
Chuck Kirchner

cakelady15 Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 1:06pm
post #26 of 36

Thank you for posting his reply. That was very helpfulicon_smile.gif

grannys3angels Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 1:54pm
post #27 of 36

You could also use non-dairy power creamer, in place of your milk.

EXP: you would take like 1/2 cup of powder creamer, 1/2 cup of hot water. Mix it up, (I use Sharon's (AKA Sugarshacks) BC recipe) so I add my mixture with my shortening and flavors...but, you could add a little some of the mixture at 1st. then after adding your PS, if you feel you need more to get the texture you want, just add alittle more of the mixture. Then you could add more of the creamer mixture. You could use the amount you use in your recipes, you are using now

I like her recipe because 1 it is non-dairy and you could sat it out for 2 weeks in a air tight container, and it would still be good. Hope this can help about doing a non-dairy icing.

God Bless,
Sharon

adonisthegreek1 Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 1:27am
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieMakinMomma

I heard back from the OH guy but he was not quite as helpful as I would have hoped. ...

***
Dear Maria: A home Bakery License allows you to sell your products out of state since it comes from an inspected facility. You cannot have carpet in your kitchen and you are not permitted to have indoor pets. To schedule an inspection for a Home Bakery license call 614-728-6250 and request one.

Sincerely,
Chuck Kirchner




Am I missing something? I don't understand why you say he was not quite as helpful as you hoped. He clearly said that YES you can sell to other states once you have a home bakery licensed. If you have it in writing from an inspector why are you worried about other regulations. Don't over-think it.

CookieMakinMomma Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 4:15am
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Quote:

If I got a home bakery license would I be able to sell out of state? Are there any other regulations that I would need to be aware of? Would I need to check with the other state's requirements as well?




He would have been more helpful if he had addressed more than one of the three questions I asked. In effect, this email doesn't make me much smarter than I was before I sent it. I'm not overthinking it, so much as looking for more than just a 'yes' or 'no' answer. Thank you for your input, though. icon_smile.gif

flamingobaker Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 11:31am
post #30 of 36

cookiemakinmomma -

The Dept. of Ag. seems to be pretty basic in their requirements, so I don't think they have anymore info to give you.
From their point of view: get your license = sell your cookies! icon_biggrin.gif I doubt that PA is going to be interested if Ohio licensed you.

Now, the tax man may be the one who cares about selling across state lines. I think maybe you are looking for answers that would come from the department of taxation http://tax.ohio.gov/ or something like that.

Good Luck thumbs_up.gif

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