Website And Ingredient Questions

Business By MerlotCook Updated 25 Jul 2009 , 12:20am by cheatize

MerlotCook Posted 21 Jul 2009 , 11:49pm
post #1 of 16

I am working on a website for my new cake decorating business, the problem is I only have about 5 pictures (the others were destroyed in a flood). Is this going to make me look inexperienced, or will it be fine?

Also, state laws require me to list the ingredients if an item is made with more than 2 ingredients. Does anybody have this requirement? I am wondering if I make a wedding cake and list the ingredients and the statement "This was made in a non inspected home kitchen" on the contract if that should meet this requirement.

Thanks for any ideas you can offer me on this!

15 replies
saffronica Posted 21 Jul 2009 , 11:58pm
post #2 of 16

In my state, you don't have to list the ingredients for custom orders, only for standard products. Hopefully it's the same where you live. Unless you are making identical cakes in bulk, all your orders would be considered custom. However, you still have to have the ingredient list available if someone asks.

Sorry, I don't have any great ideas for the photo problem. Good luck!

Mike1394 Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 1:16pm
post #3 of 16

Maybe I'm not reading this right. If your not baking out of an inspected kitchen why do you care about an ingredient list?

Mike

indydebi Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 1:48pm
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Maybe I'm not reading this right. If your not baking out of an inspected kitchen why do you care about an ingredient list?

Mike




Depends on state requirements. Indiana just passed HB1309, which permits certain items to be made in a home kitchen for sale in a Farmer's Market. Items must be labeled with ingredients and a statement they were made in an unlicensed (or uninspected) kitchen.

MerlotCook Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 2:40pm
post #5 of 16

Indydebi, that is exactly how ours is worded, but we can sell to any function, just not to establishments.

Mike1394 Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 5:01pm
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Maybe I'm not reading this right. If your not baking out of an inspected kitchen why do you care about an ingredient list?

Mike



Depends on state requirements. Indiana just passed HB1309, which permits certain items to be made in a home kitchen for sale in a Farmer's Market. Items must be labeled with ingredients and a statement they were made in an unlicensed (or uninspected) kitchen.




OK tks for clearing that up.

Mike

MichelleM77 Posted 22 Jul 2009 , 7:38pm
post #7 of 16

It really depends on your state requirements and whoever (health department, department of agriculture, etc.) is legally allowing you to bake out of your home kitchen.

I am required to list all ingredients (including sub-ingredients), a statement that says it was made in a home kitchen, my contact information, and the weight of the product.

What state are you in?

cheatize Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 2:47am
post #8 of 16

Michelle-that's for a cottage business and not a home baker, right? I'm in Ohio, too, and I'm trying to decipher the cottage laws. Do you know if they inspect your home for the cottage business?

I dislike listing my ingredients, btw. It really shows that I'm using box mixes (altered) and in this small town I just know having that info out there is going to affect me.

indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 2:54am
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

Michelle-that's for a cottage business and not a home baker, right? I'm in Ohio, too, and I'm trying to decipher the cottage laws. Do you know if they inspect your home for the cottage business?

I dislike listing my ingredients, btw. It really shows that I'm using box mixes (altered) and in this small town I just know having that info out there is going to affect me.




Wouldn't you copy the ingredient list from the cake mix plus whatever you're adding? I mean, you wouldnt' list "duncan hines chocolate cake mix, 3 eggs......." would you?

I'm not required to list ingredients so if it works different, educate me! icon_smile.gif

MerlotCook Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 2:56am
post #10 of 16

My state, Wyoming, puts cottage businesses and home bakers in the same category. It sounds a lot like Ohio. Our rules just became effective July 1 so I still have a bit of studying to do.

MichelleM77 Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 7:47pm
post #11 of 16

cheatize, yes I'm a cottage baker.

You have two options if you are having a problem listing ingredients:
1. Go scratch. icon_smile.gif
2. Get licensed. I don't believe you *have* to list ingredients then, but don't quote me.

No one will know you are using a box mix, but the enormous list of ingredients, some not available to a home baker or listed in their scientific name, might give it away.

cheatize Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 3:40am
post #12 of 16

Yes, that's what I'm thinking-the enormous list and the ingredients that don't just say, "flour, eggs, vanilla, etc..." are a dead give-away. Even the sub-ingredients have to be listed. For example, you can't just put "enriched flour" you have to put what goes into the flour to make it enriched.

According to the info I'm reading on government websites, legal cottage businesses have to list their ingredients in descending order, there's a certain size type to use, and it has to say it's from a home business.

I did start an Excel spreadsheet for ingredients. For example, chocolate cake looks like this: Eggs, Soy Lecithin, Cultured Milk, Food Starch, Artificial Flavoring, Disodium Phosphate,
Natural Flavoring, Tetrasodium Phosphate, Sugar, Titanium Dioxide, Enriched bleached flour, Red #40, Partially Hydrogentated Soybean Oil, Yellow #5, Modified Corn Starch, Blue #1,
Cocoa, Vegetable Oil, Dextrose, Milk, Carob Powder, Cocoa Butter, Constarch, Chocolate Liquor, Salt, Locust Bean Gum, Mono-And-Diglycerides, Cream, Guar Gum, Sodium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Carrageenan, Cellulose Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Xanthan Gum, Corn Syrup, Vanillin
(in no particular order and before I knew I had to list sub-ingredients)

That doesn't include filling or frosting!        

At the moment, I'm selling at a farmers market, which I can do without a license- but I have to package everything and list the ingredients and such. Imagine what the label looks like for a little cake truffle. It's 3 times the size of the truffle.

I did pull out cookbooks tonight and tried to alter a scratch mix. Lorann flavors have several ingredients. The Margarita Mix? Half a dozen ingredients. Even the cake flour has something like 6 ingredients and the baking powder has 3 or 4. Around here, when you say homemade, people expect the ingredient list to be "flour, eggs, oil, etc...." The cake did not turn out with the extra ingredients so I'm not sure I can do scratch and go beyond the normal chocolate, vanilla, and yellow flavors. I'm still working on it, though.

So, all the labeling requirements are stumping me. If I were able to be a home baker, I wouldn't have labeling requirements- which sounds like the way to go, right? Nope, can't do that. I have pets in the home and carpet in the kitchen. I'm not seeing those stipulations for cottage bakeries, though. However, I can't see why they wouldn't be included for cottage if they are for home.

Please don't misunderstand- I completely understand the "why" of the restrictions and I thought I had a solution. I'm partnering with someone to start a business, but she seems to be dragging her feet on getting her kitchen licensed- yet she's throwing our biz name everywhere. It concerns me greatly-especially since a local paper has already featured me and one of my cakes. My head keeps screaming, "cart before the horse!"

As much as I'd be happy to be pet free, I can't right now. The cats belong to my children who are grown but aren't yet able to take them in. One is diabetic and 2 are FIV positive. All are elderly. I can't give them away and the kids can't take them. I could put my foot down about the carpet in the kitchen (Yes, I hate it. It was here when we moved in.) but I can't get around the pet issue as a home bakery. Without more info, I'm down to dreaming I can close off a room with an outdoor entrance and make a little kitchen; but with the pets, I'm not sure even that will be acceptable.

I'm trying to do this legally and I can't see me going much further than this without solving these issues.

I apologize for taking over the thread with this. I should have started a new topic. It just came pouring out because I've really started to stress over this the past 2 weeks.

indydebi Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 3:55am
post #13 of 16

I've seen food labels that sublist by using () ....

For example, "enriched flour (list the 6 ingredients in parenthesis after the flour), baking powder (list 3 sub ingredients here), dutch cocoa (list the ingredient in the cocoa here)" etc.

You still have the "flour, baking powder, cocoa" listed, but are still in compliance with requirements.

I would hope to think that anyone who reads a list like this would get the idea.

Unless you make it all yourself (grind your own flour) or buy all organic, I don't think anything is "pure" anymore.

Is that something that might work for you?

MichelleM77 Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 4:29pm
post #14 of 16

indydebi: that's exactly what I do. It still makes a long list even baking from scratch because of all the sub-ingredients, but that's what I am required to do, though I have seen a lot that don't. I also bold the ingredients only and leave the sub-ingredients in regular. The only thing that I think looks bad is the ingredient list for my fondant. Oh well.

Yes, my label is 4x3 on the back of a cookie bag, but there is no getting around it. I just package accordingly so the label isn't all everyone sees. In the case of truffles, package them 6 or so to a box and put the label on the bottom or back. There is no rule as to where the label has to be. The good thing with the labels is that you also have to put your contact information, so even if they don't take a card or flyer from your table at the market, they will have your contact info anyway. icon_smile.gif

Cheatize: I'm at a farmer's market too. Where in Ohio area you? It sounds like you have a good thing going with your friend, as long as that works out well for you. If nothing else, it's a step in the right direction to getting your name out there. You can then get yourself set up on your own when you are ready for that. I'm also just doing choc, yellow, swirl at the moment because I'm not a bakery and I'm trying to do a few things well rather than a bunch of things subpar. I'm just not to that point yet to venture out to a huge list of flavors yet and no one has complained.

MerlotCook Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 4:37pm
post #15 of 16

Cheatize, I'm glad you asked what you did! I am just so excited to bake cakes (there are no bakeries other than grocery stores within 120 miles of where I live) that I'm not thinking straight. I just want to start!

People here have such great ideas!.

cheatize Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 12:20am
post #16 of 16

I'm just east of Columbus in a small town. The problem with packing them 6 to a package is selling them. So far, about the only thing that's selling is cupcakes for a buck and I'm losing money. I'm not looking at a farmers market as the place to sell custom cakes, but as a place to start getting my name known to those who don't yet know me and as a way to let the people who know me know that I'm starting a custom cake business. The table only costs 5 bucks a week with a discount if you do the whole season. So far, I've learned that 4 dozen cupcakes are plenty and to only make one cake to take along. Mostly, the cake will sell (at my cost) near the end of the market day. I have my portfolio on the table for people to browse so they see what I can do. I'm thinking of getting dummies to decorate there so people can see the time, effort, and talent it takes to do a custom cake and therefore (hopefully) give them a better understanding of why custom is not the same price as the grocery store. This particular farmers market is new so there's not a big following yet, but the person in charge is very friendly and we're both okay with this being a learning process. The health dept. is going to visit the market soon, so I really want to make sure that all the requirements are met. I definitely don't want our first meeting to go badly.

I have an Associates in Business Management and I'm working on a Bachelors, so I'm fairly confident that I know how to start a business. It's the particulars that are stumping me here and there. Lord knows, I don't want to call to talk to a real person about my questions until I'm at the "have to" stage, LOL. Think hubby will go for a huge loan to build a small separate kitchen? Nawwww. Even if he would, it doesn't seem too smart to me to start off with debt like that. I'll just keep researching, making my business plan, and looking for a "real" job and see where it goes. In the meantime- anyone want a slice of practice cake?

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