Calling all FLORIDA home bakers - Lets get the law changed!

Business By janelwaters Updated 20 Nov 2013 , 3:43pm by LoveMeSomeCake615

eriksmom Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 2:11am
post #61 of 238

Just a little interesting tidbit i found out when i was looking to open my cake shop, and this would go for residential as well, if it ever passes.
If your location (either commercial or residential), is on a septic system, you would most likely be required to put in an entirely separate septic tank to accommodate your work facility. i tried renting a unit, and when i was told it was on septic, the dept. of ag told me i had to get my own tank. no thanks!
i was, however, able to get a waive on a grease trap. i had to fill out an affidavit to explain why it wasn't necessary. it worked! saved me $1500!
just a couple of things ive learned, thought i would share.

cata262 Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 2:12am
post #62 of 238

I'm here icon_smile.gif ready to make cakes "legally" from my home.... Lets think positive!!!! I think that we can do it. I dont understand much about the laws here- (i just know you cant sell from home, baked goods) but it will be nice that we could use the home kitchen, rather than a separated kitchen, it's quite difficult to do a separated one, so I guess the petittion has to be quite specific. Thanks for the effort!

bitofsnshn Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 2:37am
post #63 of 238

hey guys,

Just had a few thoughts. I think when talking to our representatives there are some points that i think are very important. The fact is there are currently hundreds if not thousands of at home bakers that the state receives no tax benefit from. If at home licensing goes into effect this new revenue stream of taxes would benefit our already budget cutting state. Also the entry into the bakery business is very high more then most businesses due to the kitchen and equipment, but as our at home bakers build there business I would probably guess that a good percentage would ultimately transition to a commercial business in which additional revenue and jobs would be made for our state.

I also think it might be worth looking into seeing if we could find someone considered a food safety expert and see if they could outline an at home risk assessment. If we could get an expert to show that baking is low risk in the grand scheme of food safety then i think this would go a long way in debunking their worries about food/public safety. I think as said earlier the fact that we are dealing with sugar and only 1 (eggs) ingredient that is the biggest risk of contamination. Safety is far more controllable then a typical restaurant with hundreds of ingredients being worked daily and dozens of those having cross contamination risks.

Just some thoughts i had.

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 2:53am
post #64 of 238

We were totally on the same page with the tax benefit and the eventual transfer into a big bakery operation. Can anyone say "Mrs. Fields" - "KFC" - there are a bunch of others - which i really think that we need to research as well to add to the information.

I saw on the public hearing from Texas that the food safety manager person (don't know her exact title) obtained information from the CDC concerning the total number of food born illness and the percentage that came from home bakers - it was only 25% - and that was all food prepared in a home kitchen not just baked goods. Now - I can't remember if that was a national number or a texas number - I can also do some research on the CDC to find out the numbers in florida or the national numbers or both.

funtasticake Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 3:08am
post #65 of 238

i think its sir...i have a friend that had work in tallahasee..and he always uses Sir....

delisa01 Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 3:21am
post #66 of 238

Count me in. Although I'm not interested in selling cakes now, I would love to see this law passed thumbs_up.gif You have my support.

Delia

sweetsbyJ Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 3:58am
post #67 of 238

Hi..Kayla was nice enough to send me the link to this thread. I am in Miami and I would also love to legally sell cakes from my home. Renting a commercial space is not a possibility for me right now and it would be great to able to do this from home without being "afraid".

I havent had time to read through all the posts but please know that you have my support and I think you are awesome for doing this!

Thanks!!!!

kayla1505 Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 4:14am
post #68 of 238

I just graduated from Le Cordon Bleu a few months ago.

Im gonna vistit the school 2morrow and talk to the sanitation teacher. he was a health inspector for a long time and now he teaches serv safe classes

maybe ask him whats really the risk for home bakers

Crissy_Cakes Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 9:28am
post #69 of 238

You can count me in - I'd love to be able to sell my cakes legally from home! If i can get the time at work today, I'll try doing some research on my lunch hour about representative names and so on.

I'm ready to do this! icon_biggrin.gif

linedancer Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 11:24am
post #70 of 238

janelwaters Here is the code concerning home based baking:

6-202.111 Private Homes and Living or Sleeping Quarters, Use Prohibition.
A private home, a room used as living or sleeping quarters, or an area directly opening into a room used as living or sleeping quarters may not be used for conducting FOOD ESTABLISHMENT operations.

It is on pg 154 of the code. It is the exact same wording as the Texas code. I think Indiana's bill is up for vote today. Here's luck to them.

GayeG Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 12:32pm
post #71 of 238

Linedancer! You rock girl!! Thanks for getting that for janel!

Come on everyone! PLEASE find out who all your rep's are! Addys too, so you can mail them one of the letters Janel will post!!! And dont forget CALL them also!!
We all have different ones so you must find who yours are!!

And like Linedancer said: Good Luck Indiana!!!

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 12:46pm
post #72 of 238

OK - here it is - PLEASE read and review this - I have read it so many times there may well be some gramatical errors etc. Please edit this letter to suit your "story".


April 27, 2009

Representative -----------
-------------
----------, Florida -------------

Dear Representative -------:

The enactment of a Cottage Foods Act to legalize the sale of home baked cakes and cookies is extremely important to me and my family. I am writing to ask you to sponsor a bill that would allow Floridians to sell non-hazardous baked goods prepared in residential kitchens.

In Florida it is illegal to sell a cake made in a home residential kitchen. Most people are not aware of this law. Florida Statute 500, 6-202.111 states Private Homes and Living or Sleeping Quarters, Use Prohibition. A private home, a room used as living or sleeping quarters, or an area directly opening into a room used as living or sleeping quarters may not be used for conducting FOOD ESTABLISHMENT operations.

This law is in place to protect the public from unsafe foods. However, cakes and other baked goods such as cookies, pies and brownies are considered low-risk for spoilage and contamination due to their high sugar content. There are at least 9 other states that have mechanisms in place for allowing bakers and cake decorators to sell non-hazardous foods made in residential kitchen, including:

Iowa
http://www.extension.iastate.e.....PM1294.pdf
Massachusetts
http://www.mass.gov/agr/market.....itchen.htm
North Carolina
http://www.agr.state.nc.us/fooddrug/homebiz.htm
Ohio
http://www.ohioagriculture.gov.....ensing.stm
Oregon
http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/FSD/docs/pdf/pub_dk.pdf
Pennsylvania
Department of Agriculture (717) 787-4737
Tennessee
http://www.state.tn.us/agricul.....rmit4.html
Utah (as of 200icon_cool.gif
http://ag.utah.gov/regsvcs/Cot.....Letter.pdf
Virginia
Department of Agriculture (804) 786-3520


In Maryland, Delegate Mary Ann Love and in Texas, Representative Dan Gattis are both currently bringing bills to committee to create a cottage foods act. Indiana is bringing their bill to a vote today as well. Would you consider doing the same? I would be glad to meet with you to discuss this further. I also have colleagues and contacts throughout the state of Florida who fervently hope the law will be changed, and they would also be glad to join our meeting.

I have invested time and money in learning my craft. However, for me that is all that it is right now, a craft. Because I do not want to be a lawbreaker I only bake for family and friends and I donate cakes and cookies to my church. I constantly have people want to buy baked goods from me and I have to turn them away. Most of those potential customers go to a "big box, chain store" to purchase their cakes or baked goods, thus not keeping the money in Florida. Most potential customers look at me weird when I say "I cannot bake a cake for you because it is illegal to bake from home". The word homemade conveys quality, not criminal. Everyone eats foods made in residential kitchens every day. There are bake sales at schools and churches, parents sending cupcakes to schools for their childs birthdays, people bake cookies and bring them into the office. There is nothing to fear from these items or non-profit bake sales would be illegal as well. This is not a health hazard.

A quick search for cake on Craigslist already shows many people advertising cake businesses run from their home's residential kitchen. With the economy faltering and people looking for ways to earn extra income, more will naturally turn to selling home-baked goods, unaware of the legal ramifications. Because this activity is illegal in Florida, these people cannot obtain business liability insurance to protect themselves financially. Should they be sued, they could potentially lose everything, including their homes. It would serve the public interest to regulate this already-existing industry, and de-criminalize the act of selling low risk food prepared in a residential kitchen.

I would like to request a change in the law. Inspect our homes and charge an annual inspection fee. There are many safety regulations that can be put in place to serve the public good while allowing hundreds or even thousands of home bakers to legally provide a service to the community while earning extra money for their families. There are many people out there who sell cakes and other food items from their homes already wouldnt it be safer to have a way to regulate this already-existing industry?

There is an additional benefit to the State of Florida in additional revenues from a home baking registration fee as well as an increase in the sale of business licenses. This could create an amazing amount of real jobs for those currently unemployed and provide a significant boost to Floridas economy.

America and indeed Florida were founded on the ideals of freedom and entrepreneurialism. Our founding fathers surely never envisioned a country where it would be illegal for a woman to sell a cake made in her own kitchen. I humbly ask for your help in this matter.

Thank you sincerely,



name and ALL contact information


Let's get them all out before the end of the week - I am sending one to my rep, my senator and my congressman - I will probably forward one on to the governor and lt. governor as well - I think you should too!!

Lets go peeps - get the word out!! storm the capital - and all that stuff!! hehe

Please take a moment to say a lil prayer for Indiana!!!

BakingJeannie Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 12:54pm
post #73 of 238

This is an excellent idea to try to have the law changed. I would like to garner some of the business coming my way so I'm in the process of renting a commercial kitchen and it's very expensive. I would be very happy to be a part of this drive.

Last year I tried to get my city (City of Miramar), start a community or incubator kitchen where small businesses, such as cake bakers and decorators would have a place to rent for a small fee for the hours they need. I have found a few in a number of states. Well, they were excited about the idea but said budget cuts made it impossible for them to consider. I even used the added tax revenue to the city (city, county and state). It ended there. My husband and I are still looking for a larger place we could use as a community kitchen which would help those with septic problems in their residential community.

I get regular email mails from some of our State Representatives (on their mailing list like most icon_rolleyes.gif ) and I will see to it that they get a copy of the letter once it's drafted.

I am so excited!

Cheers!

linedancer Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 12:55pm
post #74 of 238

Great work Janel, you combined the two letters, that was my thought too!
One problem with it is the links, none of them work, at least for me, and I have been trying to find new ones. If you get them to work, let me know,it would be better to just name the state and contact numbers than to send bad links. IMHO

Will continue to work on them later today, need to go do some yard work this morning icon_cry.gif

BakingJeannie Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 1:00pm
post #75 of 238

I just copied the letter, and will "do my thing".

Janelwaters, you are doing an excellent job thumbs_up.gif
Cheers!

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 1:01pm
post #76 of 238

I was concerned about the links too and I think it will be best to just remove them completely and just put the states where they are already approved.

Carole - thank you so much for the link to the NJ effort and their letters -I am going to post them now in their original form so that others can modify as they see fit as well!

I am so excited about this!!

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 1:02pm
post #77 of 238

From the NJ thread!

To the Honorable (insert name):

I hope you will consider sponsoring a bill that is very important to me as a cake decorator. This bill would legalize residential kitchens and allow for the fulfillment of supplier and consumer need, regulation of home bakers, additional revenue for the state and commercial parity with our neighboring states. Many people do not realize that New Jersey currently does not allow for legal sales of home-baked goods. Within Chapter 24: Sanitation in Retail Food Establishments and Food and Beverage Vending Machines (NJAC 8:24) there are allowances for preparing not potentially hazardous food for sale at a religious or charitable organization's bake sale, as well for foods being prepared and served if the home is a bed and breakfast guesthouse or homestay, or if the private home is a family child-care home, but it does not extend to selling such items to any other consumer. However, legalizing residential kitchens for non-potentially hazardous foods (i.e. foods that will not support the growth of pathogenic organisms and do not require temperature controls, such as bakery products - cakes, cookies, brownies, breads, rolls; jams and jellies; acidified foods; and candy or ready-to-eat foods) will be beneficial for the state of New Jersey in the following ways:

1. Fulfillment of supplier and consumer need:
For many bakers, opening a legal bakery is a catch-22 situation: they want to know if they will have a customer base before investing a great amount of money and spending resources to open a legal kitchen, but they must open a commercial kitchen to legally sell their products. In turn, many home bakers turn to illegally selling products from their residential kitchen. For these home bakers, the opportunity to prove to their clientele that they are legally recognized by the state would be a real boon to their business. They would be able to show their clients certificates from the Department of Health showing that they've passed inspection and could even print up business cards, register with the state and truly 'test the waters' as a small bakery business owner to see if their products are well-received and if this is what they truly want to do, without going into debt. Given that home bakers average a small quantity of goods each week (as they just don't have the equipment, space, or the staff), and many are already operating 'under the radar', the impact on commercial bakeries should be minimal.

Similarly, many consumers have a desire to purchase home-made baked goods from a local neighbor or friend. However, if they've never been to the baker's home before they might be leery about approaching someone that has no certification, permit or license. Being able to see these items would give the potential customer greater peace of mind, and in the unlikely event that a food-borne illness was to result (it is definitely not unheard of even in inspected, licensed commercial food establishments), the customer would have some recourse and the health inspector would have a much easier time being able to track down the cause/origin of the problem. This would alleviate the problem of trying to track down an illegal baker, and gives greater possibility of preventing this scenario in the first place.

2. Increased regulation:
Commercial kitchens undergo strict food regulations, permitting, and licensing by the state. In contrast, people who sell out of their home kitchens undergo no such regulations or restrictions. By legalizing residential kitchens, the bakers will have to take the same food handling courses to earn their certificates and be subject to many of the same rules and regulations for sanitary conditions and procedures within their residential kitchens that are prescribed for retail food establishments. Such regulations could also include a no pets in the home clause, common in many other states' rules for residential kitchen home food manufacturing, as well as requirements for labeling advising that the product was manufactured/baked in a licensed home kitchen, making it mandatory to keep products and ingredients used for saleable goods separate from home use items, etc.

3. Increased revenue with negligible cost
Legalized residential kitchens will allow bakers a legal income and would follow the current income tax laws regarding minimum and maximum revenue taxation, which would in turn bring more revenue to the state of New Jersey. Furthermore, the home baker would be responsible for paying the fees associated with opening a small food establishment business, which includes but is not limited to: application fee, permit fee, trade name fee, home inspection fee, etc. The revenue generated from these would help cover the costs to the state for the additional workload to its employees. Also, the home baker would most likely need to purchase supplies, equipment, and ingredients; all of which would help stimulate the economy (as would the sale of the baked goods, too) resulting in more revenue for New Jersey.

4. Parity with neighboring states
Some of New Jerseys neighboring states in the northeast (such as, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, just to name a few) allow for the sale of food from home kitchens. Sharing a similar law will enable New Jersey to remain commercially competitive with other states in this geographical area.

Some other states have cake decorators in the same situation as my peers and myself and they, too, are trying to have their states laws changed as well. One such state, Texas, recently had their bill, HB 3282, heard before Committee and is now pending. Many of their opponents mentioned the dangers which bringing this bill into law would cause, but the whole reason for wanting to become legal is to prevent dangerous situations and to protect both the baker and the consumer, as the baker would have the responsibility of taking food handling courses and being required to have that certificate in order to register and the consumer would benefit from the knowledge the baker obtained. Its far more dangerous now having so many illegal, unlicensed home bakers who might have taken safety or food handling courses and are unregistered should something actually occur.

Another concern came from larger commercial bakeries and restaurants that are already established. They questioned the unfair advantage that the home bakers would have regarding no overhead, lower pricing and possible unsanitary kitchen practices. These worries are actually baseless since the home baker would have restrictions that the commercial baker does not; such as only preparing potentially non-hazardous foods, and not having a staff to help or commercial equipment to increase productivity. The home baker, most likely would not reap the benefits of shopping for ingredients in bulk so their costs on that level would probably actually be a bit higher and would be reflected in their pricing. Also, the standards of cleanliness would have to be kept the same since both the home baker and commercial baker would have their kitchens inspected by the same agency and need to be certified by the same state recognized food handler courses (though chances are the home baker, not having any employees or staff, would probably set him/herself to a higher standard since its not just a job as its the bakers home and the customers would know where the baker lives). Furthermore, of course, both the home baker and commercial baker would be required to carry liability insurance, as well.

Please consider seriously what I have put before you here. This potential law really means a great deal to me and my cake decorating friends and, I believe, would benefit many, not only home bakers, but the whole state of New Jersey. Thank you.

Sincerely,


___________________
under name include:
Address
Phone No.
E-Mail Address
Web Site (if applicable)

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 1:03pm
post #78 of 238

Okay, for all the non-bakers who support our cause, here's a sample letter for them to follow:

To the Honorable ___________________________:

I have decided to write to you today to let you know I whole-heartedly want to support my _______________(insert relationship and/or name here) in her/his endeavor to open a small home-based bakery. I believe ____________ has what it takes to do well, except for the support from the state of New Jersey.

It wasnt until __________________ informed me that New Jersey made it illegal for a home-baker to sell his/her baked goods to the public that I knew about this law. I would love to see a new law instated to change this and allow home bakers the opportunity to sell their creations. Of course Im concerned about public safety issues and food-borne illnesses and such, but even restaurants that are inspected and licensed sometimes have their share of problems. You hear on the news and read in the papers stories about restaurants being closed for not keeping up with codes and sanitary standards, but I believe someone who is baking from their own home would not wind up in this type of a situation. Knowing that someone is judging you, your desserts and your kitchen, which reflects the heart of your home, will definitely keep one on their toes!

I can also see other advantages to this: more jobs in this current recessed economic climate, incubator kitchen situations for the home baker (if (s)he can start the business out of the home kitchen and expand it enough (while making a profit from it) then (s)he might actually open up a commercial bakery), stimulation of the states economy would also come from the baker purchasing supplies, equipment, insurance, taking food handling classes, and other business-related necessities. I remember mentioning the rental of a commercial kitchen to my ________________(insert relation cousin, friend, sibling, etc.) only to be told that to find one is a job in itself. When looking on Craigs List and some other sites, there are numerous requests from those looking for kitchens and rarely any ads to rent a kitchen. This situation is extremely frustrating and problematic for those bakers that want to be above-board and legal.

Finally, if you were to consider writing a bill for this, it would be a shame to have gone through all of this and still have some bakers not reap any reward due to zoning issues. Maybe that could be addressed as well a built-in variance or waiver since this type of a business would not create much traffic only occasional meetings before hand (tastings, deposits are sometimes done beforehand and usually only in the case of wedding cakes), and of course, delivery or pick-up of the baked goods.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read and consider this issue.

Sincerely,

_______________

GayeG Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 1:20pm
post #79 of 238

Those are awesome Janel!! And Im so happy you found one for non-bakers as well, as I know sooo many who would support this endeavor as well!!

Thank you for all your hard work!! {{{{{huggs}}}}}
Becoz you so deserve one!!


Ok! All my emails are sent .. including one for Govenor Crist AND Lt Govenor Jeff Kottkamp - now time to make some phone calls! =)

mousey Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 1:35pm
post #80 of 238

I want to help! I've been thinking on this for a while, too, but didn't know where to start, except praying about it. I wholeheartedly support making it legal to bake from home without a separate kitchen, and will do what I can to help pass the new law. icon_smile.gif

I'm gonna keep praying!
So excited!
Minnie, in North Central Florida

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 2:16pm
post #81 of 238

Linedancer is the one that found those letters and I was so happy that she found one for non-bakers - I was going to write one, and this just saves me the trouble!!!

copy and email that letter out to everyone you know that lives in florida - they have to be a Florida resident or registered to vote in Florida to count!!

GayeG Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 4:25pm
post #82 of 238

I have a thought or maybe its a question but ...
How are the vendors beside the road and at flea markets and such, any different than what we're doing??
I know for a fact they are "cooking" these foods (and some of them in their homes). My fav thing in the world is "roadside" boiled peanuts!!
hmmmmmmmm .. why is a vendors license any different?? Would I get one if I made my cakes then sold them in the yard???? hmmmmmmmm =) Not really a question, just food for thought I guess!

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 4:40pm
post #83 of 238

The place where the food is prepared has to be licensed as well - either the kitchen that they cook from or the mobile vending unit has to be licensed just like the kitchen - if they are baking from home and then selling on the street/carnival/fair/festival/farmers market/wherever - they are also illegal!

I have seen on craigslist where people are selling "licensed mobile kitchen" - I have even thought about getting one of those to be legal! sad, sad, sad.....

Plus the mobile vendors are licensed from a total differnt agency as well - CRAZY!!

GayeG Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 5:12pm
post #84 of 238

Thats exactly what I thought but I KNOW there is NO way on Gods Green Earth that little ole man (thats prob 90!) that sells THE BEST boiled peanuts around - is licensed! And I have seen MANY a police officer stop and buy his peanuts FOR YEARS - and he's still around today .. probably his ONLY income besides SSI .. I would certainly be sad if they hauled that little ole man away!!
Guess I just wondered just HOW they were any different ...
I kinda figured they were illegal selling after cooking from their home - but I SEE it ALL the time! And have bought many a thing from them all icon_wink.gif

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 5:53pm
post #85 of 238

I am hoping (on the suggestion of another CC member, thank you Parable!) that someone knows of a really good attorney or a lobbiest etc. that can help us through all the red tape.

I am also hoping that someone personally knows a legislator, senator, congressman, mayor, the Governer etc....

I think that would move things along pretty quickly for us.

ok people - get those letters out and email everyone you know in Florida and pm all the people that you know on CC in Florida.

BumbleBakeShop Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:10pm
post #86 of 238

I am on board!! It's about time!

DelectabilityCakes Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:33pm
post #87 of 238

Already copying the messages so that I can get them ready to go out. I'll get my family and friends to send out a few and hopefully this will go somewhere.

I live in an older home that I don't think would pass inspection since the molding around the bottom frame of the wall would probably fail me instantly icon_cry.gif everything else is spic and span but I know as soon as I move out and get a better place if the option is out there I'll take advantage of the opportunity.

Thanks for everyone finding the previous threads. It's greatly appreciated.

Let's do this!

Bossy Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 9:31pm
post #88 of 238

I'm so in! This is not my day job, but would like to do stuff fun cakes for work & friends and make enough to cover the cost. I'm not competeing with any bakeries!

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 9:40pm
post #89 of 238

Ok - I emailed my rep, my senator, my congressman, the governor and the lt governor!

Lets see what happens!!

janelwaters Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 9:41pm
post #90 of 238

Ok - I emailed my rep, my senator, my congressman, the governor and the lt governor!

Lets see what happens!!

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