Help! People Are Asking For My Cakes!!

Business By kc6313 Updated 1 Sep 2009 , 9:08pm by cathyscakes

kc6313 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 1:56pm
post #1 of 14

I know that's a good problem to have, but I'm petrified!

I started making cakes 3.5 years ago when I was sick with Crohn's. It was a stress reliever for me. I did cakes for good family and friends, and several of my friend's kids as a way to help them (husband's lost jobs and such). Well, through all of that, my name has been spread...and spread.. and people are calling asking for cakes!

I live in Indiana where they changed the law.. I realize I can't deliver, which is fine.. there are no wedding cakes, just mainly birthdays and other celebrations...

Any advice? Where do I start? I never even expected this! I know I could just say NO, but I have had 6 cake requests for the next 6 weeks in the past week!

For what it's worth, I have been on CC for a while now.. just never post on the boards.. I haven't uploaded my cake photos either.. I use the photos for inspiration, but that's about it. I don't consider myself that great, but I know we are our worst critics! Plus, I know the more practice, the better I get!

13 replies
ccr03 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 2:02pm
post #2 of 14

Well, find out what you need to do to legal/licensed and get legal.

YOu can also do it illegal/unlicensed - but that's up to you.

I'm not starting that debate, but those are the two options.

kc6313 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 2:05pm
post #3 of 14

Thanks, I prefer to be legal. My parents own a small business, so I understand the repercussions of it all..

That said, I don't know where I go to get licensed? I'm assuming I need a Fed ID #, a business name, etc...but do I have to have any kinds of inspections for a home based business?

Texas_Rose Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 2:06pm
post #4 of 14

ccr03 is right, but there's one other option, which is just to say no. I usually do that...just say, "I'm sorry, but TX doesn't license home bakeries so I can't." at least for people who I don't know. For the ones I do know, if I want to make the cake I do, but if it's not an idea that appeals to me, I say I'm too busy.

Anyhow, make sure you charge enough to compensate yourself for not only your supplies, but your time as well.

Lcubed82 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 2:31pm
post #5 of 14

I have been having fun with cakes, and people keep saying, "You should do that as a business!" I would in no way qualify for an in-home bakery, even if my state allowed, so legal is out. I also have looked at myself- through the years, many of my hobbies I have turned into business ventures because of my and others' excitement over my creations. Now, I don't enjoy many of them nearly as much. I always start thinking in dollars and cents instead of enjoyment.

So, I think this one is going to be my hobby! I love doing cookies, and am working on cakes. My husbands office loves cookie days! I am working towards a 25th ann. cake for dear friends. Her daughter wants something elegant, but simple, as her parents never had a reception, and she can't afford much. Needless to say, I am planning to have fun with this one!

Good luck with your decision. Do the whole Pro/Con list, and search your heart!

kc6313 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 4:40pm
post #6 of 14

Thank you all for the advice.

Linda - I agree about the whole hobby thing. What I'm wondering (but it doesn't sound legal to me?) is that if I did this for friends and such and allowed them to compensate me in say a gift card or cash? If I'm doing it for friends and family and maybe friends of friends, could I legitimately do it that way? This way I'm still doing it for fun, but also getting reasons to do a variety of cakes? I don't mind coworkers either. One gal I'm doing a cake for in a few weeks wants to swap. I said that was fine.. she does children's clothing and accessories and I'm swapping a cake for an outfit.

This is so tough! I already have a jewelry business and in about 10 years.. I'm going to be possibly starting to be a co-owner of my parents business...

tigerhawk83 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 4:45pm
post #7 of 14

I too am starting to get requests. First I did gingerbread houses and cookies at Christmas for gifts. Then I took a Wilton Class for fun and starting bringing cakes to my office - and my staff loves them.

Thankfully I live in Iowa where home baking IS legal-as long as you stick to baking and shelf stable products. So I am starting to put together a portfolio and a price list and some cake recipe selections. Am starting slowly, and discounting some as these are only going to people I know right now, but hope that as word spreads, I can do more and charge more. Limiting myself to relatively small straightforward birthdays and parties (no weddings) and limiting to one order a week - I have a regular job too. Am trying to be realistic, but hope that when I retire, I can continue with the cakes as additional income.

Kitagrl Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 4:47pm
post #8 of 14

I didn't get a tax ID or official business name. I just file self employed, and jointly with my hub. Works just fine.

Only thing I did is get licensed (which is pretty easy in PA) and then got insurance.

leah_s Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 5:02pm
post #9 of 14

And just for the record, accepting a donation or whatever = selling.

kc6313 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 8:26pm
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

And just for the record, accepting a donation or whatever = selling.




That's what I've been wondering, but how do you consider if you make a cake for your friend's daughter and they turn around a few weeks later and say give you a pair of shoes for your daughter as a token of thank you? How is that then selling? You see what I mean? If I flat say I can't sell them, and then people turn around and give me things, cash, or gift cards just as a way of saying "Thanks for helping me out." what do you do then? I ask because many of the cakes I do.. I don't ask for anything, it's from me.. but a few weeks afterwards..they will turn around and maybe buy my daughter an outfit, or shoes, or get me a candle, or just a small token of appreciation. How do you decipher between the two?

icer101 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 8:36pm
post #11 of 14

there are many threads on this topic.. it usually runs into a nasty topic. so would some one lead her to it. i don,t know how.. she can then sit and read all these answers.. every one always has a different answer. and then it get heated..PLEASE!!!!!!!

newmansmom2004 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 8:37pm
post #12 of 14

I'd call the Secretary of State's office and talk to them about home-based businesses. Ask them how to get licensed, what's involved, if you decide you want to do that. Ask them what constitutes "payment" and if swapping products is legal. They'll know all the details and can point you in the right direction if you think you might wanna check into it further. You may find out that swapping products is completely legal where you live. Every state is different and some are very stringent where others are really lenient.

kc6313 Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 8:41pm
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmansmom2004

I'd call the Secretary of State's office and talk to them about home-based businesses. Ask them how to get licensed, what's involved, if you decide you want to do that. Ask them what constitutes "payment" and if swapping products is legal. They'll know all the details and can point you in the right direction if you think you might wanna check into it further. You may find out that swapping products is completely legal where you live. Every state is different and some are very stringent where others are really lenient.




Thank you! That helps a ton! I will certainly start there.

cathyscakes Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 9:08pm
post #14 of 14

I can't see any reason you could get into trouble making a cake as a gift and then in turn they give you a gift. You never asked for payment, you are not selling anything. Just my opinion, but can't see how they could fine you for that. People do it everyday. I think we get a little paranoid here, i'm sure they have more important things to do.

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