I'm doing research into selling cakes. I'm in Illinois, and from what I understand, home baking is illegal, unless you have a separate kitchen (which I don't). I thought about renting my church kitchen (which is legal / authorized / etc) in the event I actually get a sale, but continuing to use my home kitchen for any family / friend cakes that aren't paid for.
My question - how do I prove that I bake sold cakes in the rented church kitchen? Would I need to draw up a contract with them? I wouldn't be able to keep my supplies there, as it's 40 minutes away from my home. How else would I be able to prove that it is where I would do any sold cakes?
This is all theory as of now. I'm just trying to figure out how I can start out and do it legally.
You would actually need to set up yourself up as a separate business. Which means separate license/inspection, your own liability insurance, etc. As much as it would be nice to be able to just use their commercial kitchen there are issues with liability and the fact that you would be a for profit while they are not.
I'm working on this same thing in IN.
I'm no expert, but here's where I am so far.
you need to file as a business (likely a LLC) on LegalZoom it's $150 plus state fees ($90 for IN)
you need to take a SafeServ type class
you need to get a license from your Health Dept. ($25 for me)
they will inspect the kitchen that you are using to see that it has all the necessary elements, then they will return and inspect you while you are working, to see that you are working sanitarily.
you will then be licesnsed to work in that kitchen - separate from the church's exemption as a non-profit. (you will be licensed at that location, with your home address as you mailing address.)
you will also need insurance... I'm waiting on my quote. I've seen people post here anywhere from $300-1000/year.
there is a lot of info on CC about this stuff.
and the NUMBER ONE recomendation is to get a business plan.
what do you think that you can sell? is that going to cover the cost of the kitchen, and the fees, and the insurance, and your ingredients, and your boxes etc. not sure it's going to work for me yet.... I'm still hoping.
check your state's secretary of state website for info about legalizing a business. I downloaded a form from my state's SOS website, filled it out and mailed it in with about a $50 fee to form a LLC.
Ditto the above about your own Serv Safe (or other food handling certification) certificate and your own licenses and certification from the Health Dept., city, county, state, etc.
I have investigated the same options, also being in IL. My first thought was my church kitchen, but could not get approval from the church board because of tax exempt issues. I am not sure if i was getting the run around or the truth, but i was told that their tax exempt status would be jeopardized if anything for profit was made on the premises. regardless of who the profit was going too.
while waiting to hear from the church, i also spoke with the health department, which will vary by county. they will come out and inspect the kitchen and issue a license to me. there were temp. licenses, quarterly and yearly i think. they have the option to drop by at any time unannounced and will also set up periodic visits when they know you will be there.
i guess there is no way to prove that a particular cake was made there though.
i am now looking for a house with two kitchens. also looking into renting a kitchen at a non-church location.
best of luck to you!
So, I would have to pay an annual fee for the license?
Bah, humbug. I was just looking to do this as a (way off on the) side business - maybe 4 or 5 cakes a year to begin with. There isn't much market around and I'm not much of a marketer. I just wanted to be able to legally sell a cake or two now and then for my husband's coworkers, etc. It doesn't seem like it would be worth it even to try.
I know I'm going to need a flame retardant suit for this but....
for that few cakes, sell them under the radar.
I would be upfront about your situation with your friends.
cakes can get expensive to give away, but the ordeal of getting legal isn't worth it for a handful a year.
I just got my insurance quote: $380/year
I was excited that it was so low, hubby was like 'yikes, can you keep doing it illegally?' no!
so there's that, plus the lisencing fee, plus the food saftey cert cost, plus the kitchen cost...
I need to make a lot of stuff to break even
this is why I so respect those that have a real business, and I have thought long and hard about how to do it.
after several encouraging discussions with my church, I got a 'no'
I didn't get the 'legal issues' reason, I just got the 'it's not church policy'
bah, humbug is right.