Open House

Business By cgarner Updated 16 Nov 2009 , 4:59pm by JenniferMI

cgarner Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 9:35pm
post #1 of 25

I am slowly starting my cake business and have recently discovered cake balls. No one around my area has ever heard of them or tried them. Every person I have introduced them to has been very interested. So I am thinking of having an open house type even in my home for people to come see my cakes and try some cake balls. So far my plan is to have several different flavors of cake ball samples available for people to taste, have samples of different style options out, and have a couple cakes out on display. I will have an album of all my cakes I have done for people to look at. And maybe also have half dozen boxes of cake balls made up for people to purchase and then they can also order too. What do you all think of this idea? What are some other ideas of things I might want/need to do? I have also thought of maybe having a raffle of the cakes I have on display.

24 replies
Ruth0209 Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 9:56pm
post #2 of 25

I'm also thinking of doing cake balls in gift boxes (special ordered) during the Christmas season when I'm not getting so many cake orders. I have an e-mail distribution that I'm going to use to send a "brochure" with pictures, prices, etc.

As far as an open house at your home, if I were a stranger I wouldn't attend. It seems a little strange to go to someone's house you don't know for that kind of thing. Is there any place you could rent to do it?

Alternatively, I'd take those cake balls to everything you do - church, Bunco, Bridge, bowling, whatever - with a brochure and advertise the heck out of them. A lot of towns have Christmas bazaars that are like big flea markets where maybe you could do a booth. Just some thoughts.

OfficerMorgan Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 10:01pm
post #3 of 25

Sounds like a fabulous way to let the health department know you are operating out of your home.

cgarner Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 10:06pm
post #4 of 25

I have checked with the health department and I am good there. I also would not be opening it up to strangers but just people I know. I figured that is where my business would begin anyway.

Ruth0209 Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 10:15pm
post #5 of 25

Don't you love how people are so certain you're an outlaw? Lots and lots and lots of us here operate legally from home.

If you're opening it only to people you know who you think would come (and bring a friend!), I think it's a great idea. And you're right that often your first business is from people you know. My business has grown wildly by word of mouth.

Maybe you could get a few of you together who have crafts and do a "mini" craft bazaar at your house where you could all share your wares. Could be a fun little holiday thing to do.

Good luck!

MaryAllison Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 10:15pm
post #6 of 25

CGarner,

I appreciate your enthusiasm, but please do not hold an Open House at your home. This is dangerous business on so many levels. Have you considered a stanger coming into your home under the pretense of "sampling" your products? Not to mention it will alert your local HD.
Please be careful and weigh your options.
Wishing you only the best!
Allison

MaryAllison Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 10:22pm
post #7 of 25

I apologize for assuming. It's just that so many states don't allow home bakery businesses. I posted before I read that you've already checked with your HD.
Congratulations!!! I hope your business takes off with flying colors!!! Please keep us posted on your success!
Allison
P.S. Cake balls are the best, aren't they...quick, easy and a crowd pleaser!

cgarner Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 10:31pm
post #8 of 25

Thanks, and no problem on the assuming. I understand and appreciate your concern.

Ruth0209 Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 10:53pm
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryAllison

I apologize for assuming. It's just that so many states don't allow home bakery businesses. I posted before I read that you've already checked with your HD.
Congratulations!!! I hope your business takes off with flying colors!!! Please keep us posted on your success!
Allison
P.S. Cake balls are the best, aren't they...quick, easy and a crowd pleaser!




I was actually commenting on a post before yours. No worries. I think yours was stated in a constructive, informational way.

MaryAllison Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 11:19pm
post #10 of 25

Thank you, Ruth0209. My intention wasn't to rain on anyone's parade, but now one can't be too careful.

Again, cgarner, I wish you only the best. In about five years, I hope to be in the same boat with you!!! My husband and I have to put our sons through college first...one down two to go!

Allison

lthiele Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 1:52am
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

Don't you love how people are so certain you're an outlaw?



icon_lol.gificon_confused.gificon_lol.gif

lthiele Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 2:00am
post #12 of 25

cgarner - I used to sell B o d y S h o p from home and some of the girls who were making BIG dollars used to do open houses a couple of times a year. Especially at Christmas shopping time. They invited all their party hosts from that year and asked them to bring a friend. So you could do that with your previous customers as well.

It's not like your putting a neon sign out the front saying "Free Cake for strangers!" Your house has a door right! If anyone random shows up, give em a flyer and let them know it's a private party! icon_biggrin.gif

OfficerMorgan Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 2:04am
post #13 of 25

Since she said she was just starting out and didn't know what cake balls were until recently and that she was wanting to have people over to her house to taste them, it's a reasonable assumption she doesn't know she needs to be licensed. Because 99% of people who don't know much about cakes or whatever who come on this site and ask questions like that aren't licensed or even know they need to be. Pardon me for trying to warn her.

What state are you in, by they way?

cgarner Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 4:59am
post #14 of 25

[Since she said she was just starting out and didn't know what cake balls were until recently and that she was wanting to have people over to her house to taste them, it's a reasonable assumption she doesn't know she needs to be licensed. Because 99% of people who don't know much about cakes or whatever who come on this site and ask questions like that aren't licensed or even know they need to be. Pardon me for trying to warn her.

What state are you in, by they way?]

First of all I am in Illinois, which I know many on here say is a "no home business" state. But apparently I am in the 1% that does their homework and I have talk to my health department and have IN WRITING what I can and cannot do.

My intention of posting this question was to ask for ideas and advice, and not to cause drama. Sorry it turned out that way. As a new member I hesitated about posting anything here at all. Guess my hesitation was correct.

MaryAllison Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 5:16am
post #15 of 25

I hope we can get back on track with your initial question...

I love your ideas! I think a raffle will be a lot of fun! Maybe you could host parties such as this maybe once a month or at least once a quarter. If all goes well, you'll be so busy there will be no time to hold an open house because word of mouth will spread like wildfire!

Praying that your cup will be filled to overflowing!

Allison icon_smile.gif

Mensch Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 6:14am
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgarner

My intention of posting this question was to ask for ideas and advice, and not to cause drama. Sorry it turned out that way. As a new member I hesitated about posting anything here at all. Guess my hesitation was correct.




Gah. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You posted this in the business forum and the attitude is different here. Not all rainbows and big-eyed puppy dogs like the rest of the site. Thankfully, the majority of the folks who post in the business forum aren't afraid of telling it like it is.

Good luck with your new business venture!

kim62808 Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 6:37am
post #17 of 25

thumbs_up.gif Keep posting what you feel like you need to share ! I like reading these and helping if I can . Most of us on here like to listen and discuss . Sounds fun , us ladies need something to keep us busy !

Mensch Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 6:39am
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim62808

....... us ladies need something to keep us busy !




Just curious as to what this statement means?

Have a great day!

kim62808 Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 6:57am
post #19 of 25

Basically means keep posting ! I am a stay at home Mom so I enjoy reading post, looking at cakes on here , sometimes helping , or recieving tips . Gives me something to do ... and I am sure some of the other ladies on here to .

For exp . I did a cake tonight I planned all week , if I did'nt have that to do I'd miss caking ya know !

letsgetcaking Posted 7 Nov 2009 , 12:52pm
post #20 of 25

That's great that you are able to legally work out of your home! I think the open house sounds fun. How will you designate between the wares you are sharing for the party and the ones you are selling? I'm interested in hearing how it goes. Have fun!

keystone Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 3:40pm
post #21 of 25

I had a holiday open house last November. I invited some of my friends that had crafts also. It went really well for everyone. Mostly, I had cakes, cake balls and candy to sample. I had some cakeballs and candy to sell. I got orders for holiday cakes. Did it by myself in Spring. Again went well. Tomorrow I am having another one with others. It is at my house (they all have been). Last year, just people I knew. This year word has gotten out and I am getting lots of emails and calls. I will have candy and mini cakes to sell. The rest is for sampling. Looking forward to it. Good luck with yours!

Linda

egensinnig Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 7:52pm
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

Don't you love how people are so certain you're an outlaw? Lots and lots and lots of us here operate legally from home.

If you're opening it only to people you know who you think would come (and bring a friend!), I think it's a great idea. And you're right that often your first business is from people you know. My business has grown wildly by word of mouth.

Maybe you could get a few of you together who have crafts and do a "mini" craft bazaar at your house where you could all share your wares. Could be a fun little holiday thing to do.

Good luck!




I think your idea sounds lovely and that you've already got great advice. Just wanted to share - I have teamed up with a few of my creative friends, and we are having a bazaar first weekend of december. I'm doing cake balls, truffles, jewellry and preserves. We also have painters, kids clothes, crochet-cakes and cupcakes, pottery, christmas decorations and so on. We made a Facebook event and the response has been great. We are using an old renovated barn that will be dressed up for christmas. I'm so looking forward to it!

I wish you the best of luck!

rosiecast Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 8:17pm
post #23 of 25

Best of luck to you!! This lady around my house sells jewelry and she holds open houses around the holidays. So this might be a great idea for you.

dawncr Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 2:28am
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgarner

First of all I am in Illinois, which I know many on here say is a "no home business" state. But apparently I am in the 1% that does their homework and I have talk to my health department and have IN WRITING what I can and cannot do.




Congratulations on beginning your business!

I'm in Illinois, too, and I'm wondering what your health department said that you could and could not do. I've not heard before that someone in Illinois could make cakes in a residential kitchen. (I'm not doubting you, just wondering how you were able to get approval.)

JenniferMI Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 4:59pm
post #25 of 25

Have fun...best wishes to you!

Jen icon_smile.gif

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