absijails Posted 28 Sep 2009 , 6:16pm
post #1 of

I heard a rumor that the state of Virginia has made it legal to sell cakes/baked goods out of home kitchens as long as they are labeled "Produced in a non-commercial kitchen."
I recently moved to Virginia and I think I'll only be here for a year or two. I've kind of looked into getting my kitchen licensed, but didn't really think it was worth the paperwork for such a short time. The option of selling things without licensing my kitchen sounds promising, but web searches have found nothing so far.
If you've heard anything about this, please let me know!
Thanks for any an all information!

31 replies
LaBellaFlor Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:32am
post #2 of

contact the dept. of agriculture. Yes, it is legal.

absijails Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 2:12pm
post #3 of

Thanks. I will. I really appreciate the info.
If I were going to be here longer, I'd definitely be getting it licensed.
Thanks again!

costumeczar Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 6:05pm
post #4 of

It's not that you label it "non-commercial" kitchen, you have to clearly label it that it came from a "Non-Inspected" kitchen.

costumeczar Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 6:33pm
post #5 of

You also might need to get a business license, which is a separate process from a health inspection. Check with your county's business licensing office to find out what the requirements are. You need to collect sales tax, so you'll still need a sales tax number, etc. That can all be taken care of by going down to the county offices and trudging around from place to place for a couple of hours.

Auryn Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 6:53pm
post #6 of

Oh wow,
congratulations you Virginians.
Wish Florida would smarten up but we are the state of stupidity.
Good Luck to all of you who get to sell from home now.

Don't forget to get that insurance to cover yourself

RebelChick Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 7:13pm
post #7 of

Wow, that would be great! One of the reasons I didn't sign up to participate at our local farmer's market was the $60.00 fee for the ag. dept. to inspect my home. That, along with the $40.00 fee for participating in the market! I'm all for the market, and I support our local vendors, but come on! I'd have to make at least $400 for the season just to really break even and our market is small. I'll have to do some research on that!

terrig007 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 7:14pm
post #8 of

OP, I live in Prince William County and they don't even want to talk to you about a business license for selling baked goods until you've been inspected. HTH

LaBellaFlor Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 7:16pm
post #9 of

Personally, even if they are going to allow us to sell without being inspected, I would rather be inspected. I think it will sound much better to a potential client to be able to say that.

absijails Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 11:25pm

I contacted the dept. of ag. today and they were very helpful.

Only candies, some jams and jellies, and baked goods that aren't time or temperature sensitive can be sold to individuals for personal consumption. It must be labeled "Not for resale- Processed and prepared without state inspection." The label must also state the product, it's net weight, who produced it and the address.

Thanks for the business info. Contacting the county is the next step.

After talking to the dept. of ag., I'm considering getting licensed. I know it will take me a long time to get all of the paperwork in order...

Insurance? Can someone point me to a good thread about getting it? Or fill me in on it?

Really, I'm a SAHM and am not looking to start a "business." I've had some people ask me to do cakes and I'd just rather go about it legally.

Thanks again for all responses!

AnnaJo Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 11:42pm

Thank you absijails for starting this. I'm thinking of maybe doing the same but just didn't know where to start or how to go about to all, nor how much will it all cost. I'm learning alot. I too am a SAHM and also a navy wife who wants to make so kind of income.

Melony Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 2:02am

I'm in Chesapeake, Va and I'm currently in the process of getting all the stuff needed to have my home inspection done. I recieved my "Home Operation Package" last week. There is a lot of stuff to do. They also emailed me the package as well. If anyone would like me to forward it on to you I would be happy to do that. Just let me know.

Melony

CIApastrychef Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 3:34am

I'm actually getting ready to move to VA in early October (Fairfax). I've been doing farmers markets all summer here in Ohio and I want to keep my business going.
I would really like the information on getting inspected, I'm moving into an apartment and just wondering if that makes a difference at all.

Thanks and good luck to you all! icon_smile.gif

Kristy

this-mama-rocks Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 4:14am

I found the inspection process to be fairly painless. I spent 2-3 evenings drawing out the kitchen and typing up my processes, recipes, and ingredients lists. I got inspected in July; still haven't gotten a bill for the $40 inspection fee.

The inspection took 60-90 minutes. She went through my kitchen (including the insides of cabinets) with a flashlight, gave me a couple of tips and pointers (mostly about printing labels), and took the cake sample with her.

State Farm can insure you for $250 a year; that's their minimum premium for a business policy.

hth!

Tammies_Cakes Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 6:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by this-mama-rocks

I found the inspection process to be fairly painless. I spent 2-3 evenings drawing out the kitchen and typing up my processes, recipes, and ingredients lists. I got inspected in July; still haven't gotten a bill for the $40 inspection fee.

The inspection took 60-90 minutes. She went through my kitchen (including the insides of cabinets) with a flashlight, gave me a couple of tips and pointers (mostly about printing labels), and took the cake sample with her.

State Farm can insure you for $250 a year; that's their minimum premium for a business policy.

hth!




I was told by the Va. Dept Agr. I don't have to register my business name since I will be baking/decorating from my home. Also the lady I talked to said alot that's in the packet doesn't pertain to homebased bakers. Also do I have to type out every recipe I use? I mostly use boxed cake mixes.
Thanks,
Tammie

costumeczar Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 10:38am

You have to type out every recipe and flow chart of the process, including cake mixes. My inspections don't even take that long, but I've been in business for a while, so they know me by now. They're very helpful if you have questions, though, it's not a scary process if you just do what they tell you needs to be done.

And once you get inspected you can advertise that you're licensed and inspected, which, in my opinion, is a good thing. I'd be reluctant to buy food from someone who has a label that it came from a non-inspected facility. And yes, I know that your kitchens are clean, but let's think about the thread recently where someone had pictures of her kitchen with the fondant sitting on the floor and the dog lying around in the kitchen. Yuck. And the health inspector told me many stories, like about having to do multiple inspections before the dog hair in the woman's candy was at an acceptable level!!!

terrig007 Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 10:41am

Even if you use box mixes you still have to type it out. You also have to type out the ingredient list in the cake mix too for the labels. When I called about it the lady told me to do that even though I told her I bake from scratch. She said if for some reason I may ever do a box though, to type it out "to be safe". Also, SassyCleo had told me the same thing when it came to doing up labels of your ingriedients.
The people at the Dept. of Ag though told me as well that if I planned on "naming" my business, I do need to register with the Commonwealth. That was $100 and you get the forms on line, get a tax id number and you do not need to use an attorney as the lady at that agency told me. I've gotten a name so when I do get things together to open my business, I have the name I wanted.

dnrlee Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 11:07am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auryn

Oh wow,
congratulations you Virginians.
Wish Florida would smarten up but we are the state of stupidity.
Good Luck to all of you who get to sell from home now.

Don't forget to get that insurance to cover yourself




Well then. This derails my plans. No fall bazaar for me icon_cry.gif

absijails Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 11:47am

The lady at dept. of ag. told me I didn't have to type up the recipes, just copy them - FYI. I still think I'd type them out...
I couldn't get a hold of anyone at the county yesterday, it was a little late in the day, so I'm trying again today. BUT do I register with the county or the Commonwealth? I wasn't really planning on doing this all-out when I started, but I don't want to get in trouble - inspection/taxes.
Thank you to everyone who is so knowledgeable! Being able to post here and get answers from people who know takes so much frustration out of this process.

costumeczar Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 4:53pm

I do everything at the county government office, they have offices there for business licenses and sales tax, and it's all sent to the state.

this-mama-rocks Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 6:02pm

Yes, a lot of the info in the packet doesn't pertain to a home-based baker. Yes, you have to give the Ag Department a copy of all your recipes, and your ingredients labels will include all the ingredients listed on the cake mix box.

According to the VA Kitchen Bill, you are not required to get licensed, but if you don't, you have to put a label on all products going out the door that it was processed in an uninspected facility. You will want to get insurance to protect yourself from nonpaying customers, bridezillas, and other crazies.

So, let's say someone wants to buy a wedding cake from a home-based baker. One baker has gotten inspected and has her licenses and insurance all in order. The other baker has a kitchen that's just as clean as the first one, but she doesn't have a license, and her cake box will have this lovely sticker saying " processed and prepared without state inspection". Oh, and the reception site requires a letter of insurance coverage from the baker.

Who would you choose?

costumeczar Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 6:07pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by this-mama-rocks

Yes, a lot of the info in the packet doesn't pertain to a home-based baker. Yes, you have to give the Ag Department a copy of all your recipes, and your ingredients labels will include all the ingredients listed on the cake mix box.

According to the VA Kitchen Bill, you are not required to get licensed, but if you don't, you have to put a label on all products going out the door that it was processed in an uninspected facility. You will want to get insurance to protect yourself from nonpaying customers, bridezillas, and other crazies.

So, let's say someone wants to buy a wedding cake from a home-based baker. One baker has gotten inspected and has her licenses and insurance all in order. The other baker has a kitchen that's just as clean as the first one, but she doesn't have a license, and her cake box will have this lovely sticker saying " processed and prepared without state inspection". Oh, and the reception site requires a letter of insurance coverage from the baker.

Who would you choose?




Not only that, but there are reception sites that require a copy of your business license and insurance to be kept on file with them before you can deliver there.

terrig007 Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 7:17pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by absijails

The lady at dept. of ag. told me I didn't have to type up the recipes, just copy them - FYI. I still think I'd type them out...
I couldn't get a hold of anyone at the county yesterday, it was a little late in the day, so I'm trying again today. BUT do I register with the county or the Commonwealth? I wasn't really planning on doing this all-out when I started, but I don't want to get in trouble - inspection/taxes.
Thank you to everyone who is so knowledgeable! Being able to post here and get answers from people who know takes so much frustration out of this process.




I guess it depends who you talk to because I asked about copying them too and they told me I had to type them out and then footnote where I got them from. Welcome to high school again I said and she laughed and said something about that coming in handy afterall.

OT but everytime I see that "I heard a Rumour", I think of that 80's Bannarama song of the same title.

CIApastrychef Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 7:29pm

Hmm, all of my recipes are my own, and I bake EVERYTHING from scratch...wonder what that means, footnoting where you got recipes?

costumeczar Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 8:26pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIApastrychef

Hmm, all of my recipes are my own, and I bake EVERYTHING from scratch...wonder what that means, footnoting where you got recipes?




If you got them from somewhere you just have to cite the source. If they're you own you don't have to write anything, or just write that you invented the recipe on it. Don't forget to write "Trade Secret" on all of your recipes, that way it's a part of your file that can't be shared with the public! Especially if you came up with your own recipes!

absijails Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 12:56pm

I'm looking into insurance at the moment - what is the typical coverage most people have?

Boy has this really snowballed for me. What started as wanting to be able to legally make some cakes for neighbors has turned into tax id numbers and business insurance.

LaBellaFlor Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 1:07pm

Look at it this way, better safe then sorry. Not to mention in the long run you'll feel better about taking care of everything!

costumeczar Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 5:37pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by absijails

I'm looking into insurance at the moment - what is the typical coverage most people have?

Boy has this really snowballed for me. What started as wanting to be able to legally make some cakes for neighbors has turned into tax id numbers and business insurance.




Wait until you have to start doing the bookkeeping for your business, ha ha! That's the part that I hate the most.

I got my business insurance through my homeowner's agent. I've seen lower rates than what I'm paying posted here on different threads. Maybe if you do a search for business insurance some other threads in the business forum will come up.

Redmama Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 5:09pm

I feel like im in the same boat as alot of you. Im starting my small time cake business from home. I am a SAHM and navy wife and will be moving within a year. This all seems like such a headache to be able to sell a few cakes a week. Where did you all start? Did you try and register your name first or get your license or your kitchen inspection? Also does anyone have/use the CakeBoss software? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

whatrachelbakes Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 11:58pm

Melony,
Could you email me that operations package information?!

whatrachelbakes@gmail.com

Thank you so much!
Also, any new news on what exactly I have to do to be able to sell baked goods that I make at home?

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