What Constitutes Advertizing?

Business By alexj9988 Updated 5 Sep 2009 , 10:11pm by blessedist

alexj9988 Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 6:25pm
post #1 of 12

Hello fellow cake peopleicon_smile.gif I am currently making cakes out of my home, but my state does not do home licensing. I have been told that I can do cakes for friends, or friends of friends, etc. My question is If I tell someone (say a wedding planner) that I do cakes and show her my portfolio, is that the kind of advertizing that would get me in trouble? If I stay away from print, radio, tv, am I ok? I really want to get the word out as I am just starting out. I have only sold two so far, and I need more business!!!

11 replies
danar217 Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 6:39pm
post #2 of 12

I would be very careful. My heatlh dept. doesn't allow it either. THey told me that as long as I wasn't advertising it was fine too. She said not to put up ads, do ads in a phone book, wedding shows, etc. But then later I learned that if you are charging people, it's still illegal and can result in a fine.

I'd keep it to advertising by word of mouth. When I started, I gave a lot away until my name was out there. People are always happy to get free baked goods and if they are yummy, word will spread quickly! Good luck!

-Tubbs Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 6:58pm
post #3 of 12

It's not the advertising itself that's illegal, it's the actual selling of cakes.

I don't know why these health dept people tell cakers they can do illegal cakes as long as they don't advertise it. All you need is a change of staff at the health dept office and a lot of people will be in a lot of trouble.

this-mama-rocks Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 7:01pm
post #4 of 12

I understand where you are coming from, but your state will view what you are doing as illegal. Eventually, your health department will probably catch up with you and bust you. The fines can be enormous. It has happened to other CC members. It's not pretty.

If you approached a wedding planner, you will be putting her/him in a very awkward position. You may have the most gorgeous portfolio ever, but I'm willing to bet any established planner will not recommend you simply because of the legal issue.

I know times are tough for many, many people, and I laud your efforts to earn money for your talent. I would hate for you to get in trouble for it. See what's required to legal, check out renting space, and sleep well at night without worrying if trouble is lurking around the corner.

alexj9988 Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 7:11pm
post #5 of 12

Hhhhmmm. I wonder what the penalty is? Do they just tell you to stop? Or are there more stiff penalties....I know you guys can't answer that for my state, just thinking out loud. So it looks like the no advertising thing is just so you do not draw attention to your illegal activites. Well then, I would probably be ok doing that, as South Louisiana is famous for turning a blind eye to questionable activities as long as you don't rub their noses in it, or tick off someone with connections. I have been pretty careful to not leave any kind of paper trail, I only take cash, or for my friend who needed to use her credit card, I had her buy a Sam's Club gift card (I spend a stupid amount of money there each week). Hard to prove I charged for them, unless they set up some kind of cake sting...LOL. I feel like I should be standing on a gloomy street corner asking people if they need to score some cake.....

Texas_Rose Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 7:26pm
post #6 of 12

It really does vary by area.

In San Antonio, selling food from an unlicensed kitchen is a class C misdemeanor. A traffic ticket is a Class C misdemeanor too. You can't go to jail for it and the fine can't exceed $500. I know people who've done it for years and never had any problems. Not that I'm recommending it.

From what I've heard, most of the home bakers who get turned in get turned in by other bakers in their area who don't want the competetion.

playingwithsugar Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 7:50pm
post #7 of 12

I would be surprised to hear that a wedding planner would consider your products without proper licensing and insurance.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

mrscromer Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 8:18pm
post #8 of 12

I've heard that you can rent a commercial kitchen, bake your cakes there, and decorate it at home. Would that be legal or illegal?

this-mama-rocks Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 9:22pm
post #9 of 12

[quote="alexj9988"]Hhhhmmm. I wonder what the penalty is? Do they just tell you to stop? Or are there more stiff penalties....

Research leah_s forum posts here on CC. I'm not positive, but I think the first-time offense in her state was a few THOUSAND dollars.

kakeladi Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 9:37pm
post #10 of 12

Each state......indeed each county is different.
you say:....... If I stay away from print, radio, tv, am I ok?.........

When I was 1st starting out this is what *the health dept told me* icon_smile.gif But let me remind you again, each county is different.

Sweetriley Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 10:01pm
post #11 of 12

If you bake from a shared kitchen and that's where you received your license then you have to do the whole cake there with no decorating, storage or anything else done in your home. I would also be surprised if a wedding planner would do business with you without your license or insurance (most venues require it) Aside from those issues, there are the tax issues. I sell cookies to my former company and they required a tax I.D from me before they'd do business with me. So much darn red tape!

blessedist Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 10:11pm
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by mrscromer

I've heard that you can rent a commercial kitchen, bake your cakes there, and decorate it at home. Would that be legal or illegal?

I as well have been looking in to this. I would like to be legal, I was thinking that I would do some baking there (rented kitchen) and decorate at home (even though that is illegal to do) I'm trying to follow the rules somewhat because the easiest way to get your talent out there is to have a portfolio and of course you need the net for easy access to others icon_redface.gif My thing is about the whole rented kitchen, how would the HD know what you are actually doing there anyway? shhh.gif It's not like they pop up out of the blue. If I were to go that route, I'd bake at night anyway, so I know they wouldn't come there 10-2AM looking for a baked cake! icon_biggrin.gif

Just my thoughts on it all icon_rolleyes.gif

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