No More Making Cakes ... =(

Decorating By Mikel79 Updated 30 Jun 2009 , 3:23am by kandu001

Mikel79 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 6:58pm
post #1 of 24

Hi All!!

I have just found out that it is "Illegal" to sell cakes from my home. I was devastated to have found this out. I love making cakes. However, between time and ingredients, it is too expensive to do cakes for free. I believe that I have progressed enough to start charging for my cakes, but to find out that I can be fined or even JAILED for selling a cake from my kitchen is upsetting. Unfortunately, I cannot afford renting a kitchen, applying for a license etc. to do my passion. This is definitely a said dayfor me anyway.

Thank you all for all of your help in the past!!!

23 replies
msbutter Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 7:15pm
post #2 of 24

If you love doing this, don't give up so easily. First, how did you get "caught"? Were you advertising? Or did you just find out that it is illegal? I know many cake decorators who do cakes "word of mouth" out of their homes (non-licensed....under the radar, so to speak). Another avenue is to find a church kitchen to get your license through and still do most of your work at home. Just use the church once in a while to prove you use it. In Michigan, it is only $70 to get licensed out of a commercial kitchen. I don't know what your state charges but if it's not much more than that, it's worth the investment.

Good Luck!!!

umgrzfn Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 7:41pm
post #3 of 24

DO NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!! I agree, start with your local churches. You might even find that they will let you use it if you provide them their cakes for functions and such. It NEVER hurts to ask!!!!

isabow2 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 7:45pm
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by msbutter

If you love doing this, don't give up so easily. First, how did you get "caught"? Were you advertising? Or did you just find out that it is illegal? I know many cake decorators who do cakes "word of mouth" out of their homes (non-licensed....under the radar, so to speak). Another avenue is to find a church kitchen to get your license through and still do most of your work at home. Just use the church once in a while to prove you use it. In Michigan, it is only $70 to get licensed out of a commercial kitchen. I don't know what your state charges but if it's not much more than that, it's worth the investment.

Good Luck!!!




Ok I don't want to start anything here, but I would definitely NOT follow msbutter's advice. Sure the chances of getting caught might be slim, but why take the chance? Also there is liability to worry about, what if something went wrong for whatever reason & you were sued by a customer or friend of a customer. That could be DISASTROUS! If you think you can't afford renting a kitchen, then you REALLY aren't going to be able to afford the fines, fees & possible settlements that would go along w/being caught and/or sued.

If you aren't able to afford renting a kitchen at this time, then I would wait until you can. Maybe check out church kitchens to see if you can find something that is in your affordability range.

I'm sorry that this has happened to you, but I hope you can find a way to make it all work out in the end & continue on w/your passion! Good luck!! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 8:11pm
post #5 of 24

Another risk to operating under the radar is the risk of getting that bride who decides to not pay you (stop payment on the check; contest the credit card billing; etc) because she knows you won't want to go to court because you'll be found out that you're illegal which could be worse for you than not getting paid.

miny Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 8:42pm
post #6 of 24

[quote="msbutter". Another avenue is to find a church kitchen to get your license through and still do most of your work at home. Just use the church once in a while to prove you use it. In Michigan, it is only $70 to get licensed out of a commercial kitchen. I don't know what your state charges but if it's not much more than that, it's worth the investment.

Good Luck!!![/quote]

Where do you go to get a licence? Or where can I get some information of requirements for it? I've baking for friends for years and it would be nice to get paid! I think I may be able to get my church to rent me the kitchen (don't hurt to ask) but I need to get all the info I can to see if I can do it on my own. TIA

katta87_2005 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 8:52pm
post #7 of 24

I haven't quite made my way up to starting my own buisness yet. I still want at least another year of practice before then. In the mean time though, to help cover my costs I ask for a donation. So far I've just been making cakes for friends and family so I don't really worry about charging them anything but if they ask I tell them how much i'd sell it for and most of the time they give me that or more. I don't know if thats an option for you but getting "donations" will not catergorize you as "selling" your cakes so it isn't illegal. You do have to be prepared to eat the cost so to speak if someone doesn't want to pay you though.

pamela82 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 10:05pm
post #8 of 24

There are ways around it,

For example

i would get someone elce to buy the cake stuff for me so your not selling them more just making them for somone.

Although i dont live where you live and dont understand what the problem is making a cake from your hourse and selling it to somone.

good luck with it all

msbutter Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 10:22pm
post #9 of 24

I'm sorry if the advice I gave was considered bad advice. I assumed you weren't looking to become a bakery out of your home but just wanted to be able to decorate cakes and make a little extra money. The advice I gave was given to me by two separate ladies whom have been doing cakes out of their homes for more than 35 years. I too couldn't afford to open a commerical style business. I use my church kitchen but a lot of times it's not available when I need to do a cake, so I basically have to do it at home on those occassions anyway. Many of you know that decorations can take hours upon hours to do and it just isn't fesible to do all the work in a rented commercial kitchen.

Check with your local Health Department or your State's Department of Agriculture to see what the requirement are for your area and what the fees would be. In some state you can do it out of your home and you might be surprised to find the fees aren't that high. If you read any of the other forums, liablility insurance isn't ungodly expensive. If you are going to get legal, always do a contract with a client to make sure you are covered. Get a deposit also. I'm sure many have advice on how to go about all that stuff. Always cover your butt whether you are big or small.

My point is, don't give up on your passion. You may have to start small but if God wants you to do this, doors will open for you to be able to afford it. If I would have listen to everyone who told me I couldn't or shouldn't, I wouldn't be doing cakes either and there would be a big void in me because I LOVE doing it. Don't get discouraged. Stay strong and stay with it.

birthday.gif [/i]

Susans53 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 10:30pm
post #10 of 24

In my area I can have a legal home kitchen but because I am in a residential zone I cannot legally meet or have any one take a cake out of the house cause then it is considered retail/commercial.

CarrieBear Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 10:39pm
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamela82

There are ways around it,

For example

i would get someone elce to buy the cake stuff for me so your not selling them more just making them for somone.

Although i dont live where you live and dont understand what the problem is making a cake from your hourse and selling it to somone.good luck with it all





icon_eek.gif because ITS ILLEGAL, if youre not licensed you are not to be selling bakery products out of your home, you are not regulated by the state then, health risks, lawsuit risks...ect... not a good idea...

DreamCakesOnline Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 10:43pm
post #12 of 24

Something else you might want to consider is finding a few more people like yourself who live in your area and go together to open a shop. It's tough for one person to open a business and shoulder all the costs but if you had others in the same boat, you could split the costs and become business partners. I'm also considering this idea even though I have a legal home business. I think that a retail location would bring in more business but probably more than I could handle alone anyway and we could all bring our individual clients to the business and cover for each other. What you could also do is get in touch with another decorator who already has a shop and see if you might be able to "rent time" in her space, like a sublease... Don't give up, get creative!!

wendydou Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 10:45pm
post #13 of 24

When I first called the heath dept, the secretary told me in no uncertain terms they absolutely discourage people to bake at home.. I thought I was finished.. so then I looked online to the regulations on kitchens and being a home baker and found it was the opposite.. there are definite guidelines to follow, but if you call them and tell them you are doing this and want info instead of asking for permission, then they treat you very differently. Check the guidelines and do everything they want you to.. then they can't say no, they have to come and inspect and license you.. you also should look into liability insurance.. One of the stipulations in my town is that you can not have customers come to the house, the cakes have to be delivered.. so it's not a dead end yet.. keep researching and keep baking!

msbutter Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 11:03pm
post #14 of 24

I don't know what county in Atlanta you live in but here is a number to Fulton County.....hope it helps.
Fulton County Health Department
(707) 640-3053

You will also want to check with your city/township to see what their rules are for operating a business out of your home. I too cannot have clients come to my home, I cannot have employees, I am limited to 300 sq. ft., a small sign, and so on. I pray that you are presently surprised that it's not as difficult as you think.

PS. Remember, Paula Dean is from Georgia and started out of her homeicon_smile.gif

Mikel79 Posted 29 Jun 2009 , 9:01pm
post #15 of 24

Thanks everyone!!

I called the Better Business Bureau, Health Dept., and the Dept. of Argit. This is what they said......

I have to have a separate kitchen in my home. I CANNOT cook my "normal" meals in it. This kitchen can be located in the basement. It must have a exit door in it, so that the Health Dept. can come at any time and be able to walk in it without going through the "living" space in my home.

A business license cost 100.00 but all construction must be completed. I also must have a approved permit from the Food Administration as well.

Gees....all this to bake some cakes. What is funny though, is I can bake cakes for FREE in MY kitchen and give them to anyone in the state. But, once I put a price tag on them I have to jump through all these hoops.......

Now the question I'm dealing with is...can I really afford to make cakes for free????..... I do enjoy the process of cake making and decorating. I just have to weigh my options out..
=) =(

forthwife Posted 29 Jun 2009 , 9:12pm
post #16 of 24

Most states with no cottage food law will allow you to be reimbursed for ingredients. I know it's not getting paid..but at least you're not paying for the cake you give away.

miny Posted 29 Jun 2009 , 10:11pm
post #17 of 24

Well, I'm glad you have some doable options and it's not really that expensive to get the licence icon_smile.gif At least you can do it from your basement, I think I read on another thread that in California you have to rent a commercial kitchen far away from your home! icon_surprised.gificon_mad.gif

mpetty Posted 30 Jun 2009 , 1:58am
post #18 of 24

Someone jokingly told me to have the customer buy the ingredients, and then just "tip" me an amount to cover my time. That would be okay for hobby baking, but would never work for making a living. I'm looking into applying for a job at a local bakery. It wouldn't be as "fun" as doing it on my own because of the pressure of the production needed in a bakery, but it would still be a way to decorate cakes and get paid.

mpetty Posted 30 Jun 2009 , 1:59am
post #19 of 24

Someone jokingly told me to have the customer buy the ingredients, and then just "tip" me an amount to cover my time. That would be okay for hobby baking, but would never work for making a living. I'm looking into applying for a job at a local bakery. It wouldn't be as "fun" as doing it on my own because of the pressure of the production needed in a bakery, but it would still be a way to decorate cakes and get paid.

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2009 , 2:44am
post #20 of 24

mikel79, can you use standard equipment or does it have to be commercial grade? Even if you can use just some regular equipment, you have some good options in front of you. Take it slow and keep doing the research ... don't lose the dream! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2009 , 2:45am
post #21 of 24

mikel79, can you use standard equipment or does it have to be commercial grade? Even if you can use just some regular equipment, you have some good options in front of you. Take it slow and keep doing the research ... don't lose the dream! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2009 , 2:46am
post #22 of 24

mikel79, can you use standard equipment or does it have to be commercial grade? Even if you can use just some regular equipment, you have some good options in front of you. Take it slow and keep doing the research ... don't lose the dream! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2009 , 2:47am
post #23 of 24

mikel79, can you use standard equipment or does it have to be commercial grade? Even if you can use just some regular equipment, you have some good options in front of you. Take it slow and keep doing the research ... don't lose the dream! thumbs_up.gif

kandu001 Posted 30 Jun 2009 , 3:23am
post #24 of 24

I bake my cakes for free, but what I do is give it as the gift for what ever the occasion. For example, the two wedding cakes in my pics were for cousins and that was their wedding gift from hubby and me. That's how I do it for fun and don't feel bad for not getting paid because I would have had to buy a gift anyway.

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