So How Much Trouble Will We Be In?

Business By SweetSweetCreations Updated 13 Apr 2009 , 4:07am by mommyle

SweetSweetCreations Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 3:31am
post #1 of 92

What will happen if us Texans are caught baking from home? I have taken several food service classes and have several cards and certs. I know that won't really help but will they throw us under the jail or just fines?

91 replies
niccicola Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 4:59pm
post #2 of 92

I'm not sure what Texas or your county would do, but I can't really see any Judge sentencing you to time in jail for baking cakes.

You will probably get a slap on the wrist the first time. A fine and a lot of ass chewing, but you'd be surprised at how many "illegal" bakers there are.

doughdough Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:03pm
post #3 of 92

*getting my popcorn ready* icon_wink.gif

notjustcake Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:06pm
post #4 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakerbear

*getting my popcorn ready* icon_wink.gif


icon_lol.gif

CelebrationCakery Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:07pm
post #5 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakerbear

*getting my popcorn ready* icon_wink.gif




I was thinking the same thing...I know this topic always has so much debate...I don't want to watch...

cakelady15 Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:08pm
post #6 of 92

You brought out the popcorn early on this one, but you will probably need it. icon_biggrin.gif I'm going to run to the store and stock up so I can pop some too and just wait.... icon_lol.gif

Maria_Campos Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:13pm
post #7 of 92

I ate too much cake scraps this week so I'll be sitting here with a salad for this one!

__Jamie__ Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:15pm
post #8 of 92

Yes exactly, they will throw you under the jail. Under the jail is where the illegal bakers go, because the hardened criminals, like jaywalkers and stop sign "pausers" are housed inside the jail. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

Just kidding...but get ready girl, cause someone is gonna come along and give you what for for asking a question like this! Good luck!

doughdough Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:20pm
post #9 of 92

Jodi, you may already know about this, but you may want to check this out:

http://texascottagefoodlaw.com/default.htm

paulstonia Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 5:25pm
post #10 of 92

Everything is so nice a polite so far, I know it won't stay that way, I should look away, but I can't!

pastrychef101 Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 6:33pm
post #11 of 92

I've only heart of people getting fined, and occasionally being prohibited from ever applying for a legal license. At least you put a priority on food safety with your certifications.

liapsim Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 6:47pm
post #12 of 92

I'm saying a prayer for you Jodi......such a hot topic!!!! LOL....good luck!

chefjulie Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 6:51pm
post #13 of 92

From what it sounded like at the hearing last week, you'll get a warning. They flat out SAID that it was a "Dont ask, dont tell" situation. You'll only be in trouble (ie- warning) if someone reports you.

Deb_ Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 6:55pm
post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Yes exactly, they will throw you under the jail. Under the jail is where the illegal bakers go, because the hardened criminals, like jaywalkers and stop sign "pausers" are housed inside the jail. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif




I thought I was the only one to notice that! icon_lol.gif ......under the jail! hehehe!

I kept watching this one and it was up to 500 views and 0 responses 12 hrs after it was first posted.

I just kept thinking "Everyone's staying away from that one for a change" icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

margaretb Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 6:56pm
post #15 of 92

Jail -- unlikely. Fines -- yes, but as I understand it, it's not just fines like a speeding ticket. I understand that the fines are in the thousands. There is a lot of under the table food selling in my area, and I had thought, what the heck, maybe I should do it too and if I get the odd fine, whatever, still less expensive than giving my cakes away, but that was when I thought the fine would be in the $200 range. If the fine is $5000, that is another kettle of fish.

chefjulie Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 7:03pm
post #16 of 92

What's funny, is that one of the committe members seemed to be hesitant to pass the cottage foods law BECAUSE it had limitations.
She basically said "well, people are already doing it, I'm a fan of less government, why should we pass a bill that puts limits on them?"
::Sigh:: Go figure, there are a few of us "crazy people" who dont WANT to break the law, lol. Even if we *probably* wont get in trouble.
I'd say the chances of getting more than a warning (if you're just doing the occasional cake) are slim. But you have to weigh the risk, you know?
For me, it's worth it to pay all the extra $$$ to hire a sitter and rent a kitchen. I dont want to have to explain to my kids that it's okay to break SOME laws but not others. Even though it's more than obvious that the current law banning cottage food industry is in place to suit political interests. THAT was made perfectly clear at the hearing. The dissenters were primarily in the food industry and health dept workers who were worried about having to do more work.

solascakes Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 7:15pm
post #17 of 92

Hoooookay no comment,I live in UK anyway so i don't know if its that bad.

__Jamie__ Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 7:16pm
post #18 of 92

Dayumn!!! 500 page views?? We got us a bunch of "cake voyeurs" in here! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

AuntEm Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 7:20pm
post #19 of 92

I believe all they can do to is fine you a lot and tell you never to do it again. I don't have a clue what they would do if you kept on doing it.

doughdough Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 7:25pm
post #20 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Dayumn!!! 500 page views?? We got us a bunch of "cake voyeurs" in here! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif





icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

SweetSweetCreations Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 8:06pm
post #21 of 92

Ok so I have seen some post where things got ugly and I am so glad that hasn't happened so far. I was not trying to ruffle any feathers I was just curious. There is so much information on this site and everyone has been so helpful.
I have a building picked out but it will be a few months before it becomes a reality. I am in a County that only has one bakery so I am not taking any of their business away. Thank you for the help.

Deb_ Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 8:17pm
post #22 of 92

Jodi, I think everyone was just fooling around and treading carefully trying to keep it light.

My advice would be to just play it safe and don't advertise until you get your shop going. Only bake for people you know and trust, no friends of friends of friends........KWIM?

I know it's tempting to "get out there" but from someone that gave away cakes for 20 yrs before I got licensed, believe me I'm not sorry I played it safe.

Hopefully the bill will pass in TX and all of you will be able to start your businesses legally once and for all.

Good luck!

marcy11 Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 8:36pm
post #23 of 92

I have always been curious how anyone can prove it if you are selling unlicensed from your home. If anyone called me or came knocking on my door, they couldn't prove anything...so my question is, how do people get busted?

fabulosity Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 8:36pm
post #24 of 92

I have to say that I am not in Tx...but had no idea that it was even illegal until, I found this website, to bake and sell cakes from home. I still dont really understand it...I guess that it is because there are some people that are not as cleanly as others? Maybe years down the line I may open a shop...but as for now I am going to stay really quite and hope for the best. thumbs_up.gif

starcitycakes Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 8:42pm
post #25 of 92

I live in Arkansas and have no idea what the law is here. I've only made cakes for friends but I'm making my first wedding cake and Grooms cake this weekend. But it's at a local church not a fancy venue or anything. Does anyone know the law in Arkansas or where I can find it? (other than roaming the internet and finding CRAP instead of truth.)

Wendl Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 9:05pm
post #26 of 92

Seems like it should be a matter of getting the potential client to sign-off on a state-approved waiver that they know you are a home baker/decorator, are okay if you have pets (and/or kids - goodness knows they can get places the animals can't and have stuff on their hands from school/playing outside/whatnot), and such.

Kind of a checklist like on an apartment lease - allowing for diff circumstances per property (y'know?)... And also allowing for a space that you may be baking out of a home kitchen but that you have taken the SaniSafe class and any other such certifications. And then and only then, if (gods forbid) a problem occurs, the Health Dept can shinny down from their Lazy Stool to come check the situation out...? And maybe a 12 month "trial" period w/a window for 'renewal'? (these are just ideas, folks - do not flame me, you won't like the blowback, mmmkay?)

From there those of us that can get a nice head o'financial steam from our customers could then move up to being the whole-shebang licensed operators w/a rental/owned professional away-from-the-home business, and those that do their best but get tired of it don't have to have the huge outlay of cash/credit to go full-on legit.

See, we would then get to do our 'thang' from our homes for a time, our clients would be able to yay or nay the situation (my friends all have pets and they know I do my utmost to prevent 'stray hairs' entering my foodstuffs even on a home-alone basis and love my cakes).

I work full time (40+) a week at my day job - now, if I could get my boss to allow me to use our professional convection oven while I'm working (I can set it and forget it until the bell dings) and decorate after hours - that would be cool (no, we're not baking/culinary, we are a furniture dealership, but he has a great prof kitchen setup for our 'lounge'!). I can't get as far as I want to with cake when I am zapped from the daily grind and trying to get some 'me' time in and be giving my cakes away. But for now, I'm having to give them away...I just tot' it up in the 'experience I didn't have to pay tuition for' column.
You folks with kids AND a full-time non-cake job are astounding - and I'm only me and the 2 catzes.

Just some thoughts,
Wendl

Deb_ Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 9:14pm
post #27 of 92

starcitycakes, check out this link there is a chart in the first post to download, it has all the info about which states are a "Yes" to bake from home.

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-586218.html

HTH
Deb

Mac Posted 30 Mar 2009 , 11:59pm
post #28 of 92

Thanks DebBTX for giving me the heads up on this topic.

Okay--ladies and/or gentlemen...take it from someone that was caught and fined. They do not give "a slap on the wrist and make you promise never to do it again." THEY WILL FINE YOU. Depending on your area, the fine can range from $350 to $2000 for the first offense. If you continue, the fine goes up on the second offense. If that doesn't get your attention and you are caught a third time, an even higher fine and jail time.

DO NOT MESS WITH THE HD! After I was fined, paid it (because I was guilty), and aftr that, they were extremely helpful in assisting with finding a place and tell you what all you need to do. They would prefer that you do all of that before being fined.

I was "caught" because my cookies were taken to a public event. They came and FOUND me while I was teaching a cooking class in a cooking school. They can call and pretend to be a customer, they can look at your website (yes, even if you don't have pricing on it) and contact you by phone number or email if you have it posted. They may even have someone else call and order a cake. Once you are caught, they WILL be watching you even more closely.

Just my 2 cents--let the flaming begin!!!

Deb_ Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:07am
post #29 of 92

Wow Mac, that's quite a story and I'm glad you shared it, why would the "flaming begin"? You may have just saved someone else from going through the same thing.

I'm sorry that happened to you, it stinks.

newmansmom2004 Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:13am
post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly


My advice would be to just play it safe and don't advertise until you get your shop going. Only bake for people you know and trust, no friends of friends of friends........KWIM?




OK, I'll admit it. I'm clueless. I've seen "KWIM" before - what exactly does that mean???

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