A Little Reassurance From Legal Virginia Home Bakers Please!

Business By MJoycake Updated 26 Oct 2009 , 3:43pm by IsaSW

MJoycake Posted 24 Oct 2009 , 12:27am
post #1 of 11

Hi All,

I'm in the process of doing all of the paperwork to get legal in VA as an at home baker. The process and paperwork seem to be more in the realm of larger bakeries/catering facilities far above and beyond a few custom cakes!

Can anyone who's been through the process recently give me some reassurance that it will all go smoothly, given everything is in order? I'm just feeling overwhelmed at the moment and would love a "yes, it was a PITA, but once the paperwork was done, the rest was easy peasy!" answer - lol!

Indulge me, someone??!!

10 replies
Butterfly0813 Posted 24 Oct 2009 , 1:16am
post #2 of 11

Hello, I am also new to the process. I notice your post is dated 2008 and I am wondering how it all went? I also live in Virginia.
Thanks .

costumeczar Posted 24 Oct 2009 , 1:11pm
post #3 of 11

The beginning is the most work, but after all the paperwork is turned in it's easy. The DOH has helpful inspectors, they really do try to answer your questions and give you advice, so just push past the paperwork part of it and it will be a lot easier.

IsaSW Posted 24 Oct 2009 , 9:53pm
post #4 of 11

Just take it easy, one step at a time.
I am in Virginia, got my kitchen inspected in july. It went smooth, they are more concern on the process, how will you be cooking, do you have separate containers for your sugar and flower for example?.
Yes, you are right a lot of paper work, but at the end its so worth it!

When the inspector said to me, ok, you can start baking! I got so excited I jump in the computer and told all my cake buddies.

Good luck!

Butterfly0813 Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 4:37pm
post #5 of 11

I am familiar with filing paperwork for a home based business in my county. What I am not familiar with is the Health department rules on the kitchen. I read through the rules on the website and then it states that they do not apply to bed and breakfast serving 18 or fewer... nothing specifically for a home bakery. For example, can I use my home kitchen or does it have to be seperate from my living quarters? I have a textured ceiling, will I have to make it smooth? I own a dog, can it be in the house as long as I have gates to the kitchen??? Where do I go to find the answers?

costumeczar Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 9:25pm
post #6 of 11

Call the department of health directly and ask to speak to an inspector or someone who knows the rules. Just tell them that you have some random questions about home baking businesses...They really do try to be helpful, but some of the guidelines are different for home baking, and they don't fall under the B&B guidelines or the other food production guidelines, so they're kind of hard to find in the paperwork and on the websites.

You can use your home kitchen as long as you're not catering. As soon as you start doing catering, not just cakes, you need a separate commercial kitchen.

I don't know about the textured ceiling, but the floors have to be sound and waterproof so that they can be mopped. (No carpet)

As far as the dog goes, I always understood that you have to keep the animals out of your food production areas altogether, but other people have said that it's only when you're working. I do know that when they inspect my kitchen they definitely ask about animals, and I've never had anyone take samples of my baked good to check for hair, etc. However, people who do have dogs have said that they did take samples, so I think that they look at you a little closer if you have dogs. Just my impression, I could be wrong...

Butterfly0813 Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 9:54pm
post #7 of 11

Wow, thank you for all of the information. I will contact the health department and see if someone has time to answer a few questions.

this-mama-rocks Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 10:09pm
post #8 of 11

Actually, it's the VA Department of Agriculture who will have the info you need.

Butterfly0813 Posted 26 Oct 2009 , 1:16am
post #9 of 11

I will look there for answers as well. I live in the Woodbridge area. Any suggestions for where I should buy supplies?

costumeczar Posted 26 Oct 2009 , 1:19am
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by this-mama-rocks

Actually, it's the VA Department of Agriculture who will have the info you need.

Yeah, oops, my mistake. Sorry about that.

IsaSW Posted 26 Oct 2009 , 3:43pm
post #11 of 11


You can buy supplies at:

Fran's Cake & Candy Supplies
10927 Main St, Fairfax, VA
(703) 352-1471 ‎

or online.

Quote by @%username% on %date%