To Make Or Not To Make The Cake? (Long)

Decorating By xiswtsawluiix Updated 17 Nov 2009 , 10:33pm by pattycakesnj

xiswtsawluiix Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 12:34am
post #1 of 98

I received an offer and accepted to make a large sheet cake for the company year end party. I am honored to be asked to make the cake and I see it as a great opportunity to put my name out there. I have a problem or as least I think it will be a problem. I live in NYC and I am not a licensed baker. I am merely doing this as a hobby and hopes to one day have my own cake business. I am not there yet. I love making cakes and love the joy people get from seeing my work. I am careful and use fresh ingredients, but I feel like I can't take the risk of serving my cake to 200+ people. I don't need the liability or stigma of getting someone sick, even though it won't be from my food. The person who contacted me assured me it is okay and there won't be a problem. I am worried. With my luck, someone would get sick from other food they ate during the day and blame my cake for causing them to be sick.

I feel I should go back to this nice lady and decline her offer. I also don't want to miss out of this great opportunity.

Am I doing the right thing?

97 replies
aundrea Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 12:56am
post #2 of 98

i understand what you are saying. i too am a hobbyist and do not sell my cakes. although im asked all the time if i would make/sell a cake for occassions.
i think you are taking on a big risk serving a cake to 200 people not being licensed. so many things can happen. its definately not worth it.
sounds like you have time to decline the offer, as sad as it may be. explain to the woman that you are not a licensed baker at this time, and hope to be one day. but unfortunatley you can not make the cake.
good luck with your decsion. i know its tough. so many times when im offered to make a cake for somone and they want to pay me, ugh- i have to say no. ugh!!!
i peaked at your cakes and you do nice work (love the pacman!!) im sure you will be licensed one day and can have a great business.

xiswtsawluiix Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:03am
post #3 of 98

Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement Aundrea. It is so frustrating when other people offer you money for your cakes and you have to decline them. icon_cry.gif

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:18am
post #4 of 98

I disagree. I think you should do it. Lots of people that aren't licensed are making wedding cakes (and they are for lots of people too).

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:19am
post #5 of 98

Personally, I would decline. I don't see how you see this as an opportunity to get you name "out there" when even if you did get your name out there, you still wouldn't be able to sell your cakes. It's up to you of course, but I think your first train of thought is your right one.

Charb31 Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:26am
post #6 of 98

would you do a cake for 50 people? This is just a party 4x over! icon_razz.gif I honestly think I would do it. I mean really...at what point would you DO a cake? If it was for just 2 people, 10 people, 20? icon_confused.gif Quit overthinking and overworrying about it. I made 4 full sheet cakes a few years ago for my son's graduation class, and NOT ONCE did I think about making anyone sick. I was as careful then as I am now, but not once did that ever cross my mind about how many people would be eating them. btw...there wasn't one shred of cake left either, and I got alot of inquiries. Good luck wiht whatever decision you make, just don't beat yourself up over it either way. thumbs_up.gif

Cakeonista Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:37am
post #7 of 98

I would absolutely do it. Good Luck

grandmaruth Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:42am
post #8 of 98

do it icon_biggrin.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:42am
post #9 of 98

I can't believe so many people are telling you to go for it knowing your illegal. You must think it's wrong, cause your concerned about being illegal & getting people sick, but obviously want everyone to tell you to "Go For It", cause you want the exposure. I don't even know why you asked the question. icon_confused.gif And let me tell you, I'm not the legal person who says go tell on the illegal baker, I could careless, but if your sincere about being concerned about being illegal, this is a no brainer.

sweet-thing Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:58am
post #10 of 98

Are you going to be paid for this or are you giving it to them?

Jennifer1970 Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:59am
post #11 of 98

Do it. I got an order for my company holiday party, too. It's for a 150 piece dessert buffet tower. I'm doing it. I don't see this as any different than everyone in the office bringing in food and baked goods for an office party. The only people who will tell you not to do it are the licensed bakers on this site who take offense at any home based bakers making a few bucks instead of them (sour grapes). Chill out, make the cake, make a little bit of money, and maybe you'll get a few birthday cake orders from co-workers out of it.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:01am
post #12 of 98

What I found HEE-larry-us was "I received an offer and accepted"....so did they tell you what they were going to pay you, too?

Sorry, I know you said you're new to this, but this ain't a good start.icon_sad.gif

And I second Bella's observations....icon_biggrin.gif And I still love her even if she can't make a batch of MFF to save her life....bwahahahaha...icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:02am
post #13 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer1970

The only people who will tell you not to do it are the licensed bakers on this site who take offense at any home based bakers making a few bucks instead of them (sour grapes).




Well ain't that the go to hell statement of the day! icon_lol.gif

xiswtsawluiix Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:03am
post #14 of 98

I can see both sides of the story. I'm not trying to get people to agree with me. I feel since I am in this situation, it is hard for me to be unbiased about it. I posted my comment because I would like advice from those who are more experienced than me and who has done this many times before (hopefully in the NYC area) who could steer me in the right direction based on their experiences - not just say things they think I would like to hear.

I know the CC community is rather supportive, but most importantly honest. I am just seeking an honest opinion or advice from people who specializes in this industry. I can't do this based on intuition alone. Listening to other people's experience helps greatly.

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:04am
post #15 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer1970

Do it. I got an order for my company holiday party, too. It's for a 150 piece dessert buffet tower. I'm doing it. I don't see this as any different than everyone in the office bringing in food and baked goods for an office party. The only people who will tell you not to do it are the licensed bakers on this site who take offense at any home based bakers making a few bucks instead of them (sour grapes). Chill out, make the cake, make a little bit of money, and maybe you'll get a few birthday cake orders from co-workers out of it.




WOW! Sour grapes, huh? I can't say how many times people have came on here wanting to tell on the illegal baker for what ever stupid reason & I have defended the illegal baker & been attacked for it. I say do what you want, but if you have qualms about the legalities of it, then don't. But don't come on here to get encouragemnet to do the wrong thing. I don't like that anymore then the legal bakers coming on here saying they want to tell on an illegal baker cause they are sooo moral. They're not, they're jealous. And selling illegally is just as wrong.

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:11am
post #16 of 98

I say if you feel comforatable doing it, then do it. But you also want to do it for possibilities of future orders, and you can do those if you want as well, illegally. Or you can look into your state laws and see what's required as far as being able to do things the right way, like renting kitchen space. Insurance gives ALWAYS gives you piece of mind. The final decision is yours. I just felt like your gut was telling you to do it the right way. And THAT is my honest...and non-judgemental opinion. icon_biggrin.gif

sweet-thing Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:18am
post #17 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer1970

Do it. I got an order for my company holiday party, too. It's for a 150 piece dessert buffet tower. I'm doing it. I don't see this as any different than everyone in the office bringing in food and baked goods for an office party. The only people who will tell you not to do it are the licensed bakers on this site who take offense at any home based bakers making a few bucks instead of them (sour grapes). Chill out, make the cake, make a little bit of money, and maybe you'll get a few birthday cake orders from co-workers out of it.





Oh wait, things are gonna get interesting now! icon_rolleyes.gif

I am a home baker AND I'm legal and I couldn't care less what other bakers do. (In this context, of course) She asked a question, people answered her. People do get caught. OP do what you think you should do. Are you getting paid for this cake?

xiswtsawluiix Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:20am
post #18 of 98

Yes, the lady said the cake would be paid for. Will that make it an issue?

LaBellaFlor Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:22am
post #19 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by xiswtsawluiix

Yes, the lady said the cake would be paid for. Will that make it an issue?




Wellllll, it does make it a business transaction.

sweet-thing Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:32am
post #20 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by xiswtsawluiix

Yes, the lady said the cake would be paid for. Will that make it an issue?




Legally speaking, yes. If you take a cake in for an office party, like people do everyday, at no charge, how is that different than a potluck? If you sell it to them, you are now an illegal business. It is really up to you what you want to do. IMHO, if this is a one time thing, make the decision based on that but you kind of made it sound like it would get you more business. If that is the case it would be in your best interest to get legal if you can. I have no clue what the laws are in NY.

Some people do get pi$$y on here about this topic out of jealousy, others like LaBellaFlor are just trying to help. icon_wink.gif

Good luck!

xiswtsawluiix Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 2:38am
post #21 of 98

Thank you for everyone's honest and truthful opinions. It is greatly helpful. I think the best thing to do is decline this offer and look for some legal business advice. Then determine what I should do to make things right and move forward. There will be more opportunities (I hope).

Marronglace Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 3:02am
post #22 of 98

I also live in a state where home kitchens are not licensed, and it's illegal to sell cakes from home. It is extremely frustrating, but I know that one day I WILL open up a business. I do NOT want any illegalities following me, or skeletons in the closet from my past. When I open my business, I want my track record to be 100% clean.

You mentioned in your OP that you were also hoping to open a business someday too. I would keep your eye on the prize, and keep this in mind when deciding. Since they offered to give you money, it is now considered a business transaction which makes it illegal. IF you are giving the cake as a gift, then you can definitely do that.

Again, nobody here can tell you what to do. Only you can decide for yourself which road you want to take.

Good luck.

-K8memphis Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 3:20am
post #23 of 98

When I make a cake for someone and they pay me I do not feel like I am 'breaking the law' neither am I 'operating a cake business'. I'm not aware of a law that says I cannot bake a celebration cake and get paid for it.

Running a cake business from my home is not legal. So to me there's a difference between 'running a business' and making one random cake for something. That's how I view it and that's how my Health Department views it.

Making a few cakes a year is not a crime.

sweet-thing Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 3:46am
post #24 of 98

So, at what point does it become a business? icon_confused.gif

By the way, I LOVE reading the forums and I am in no way causing drama. I am not an expert. I only know what is legal where I live and honestly don't care what others do. I am just genuinely curious what makes it a business and what doesn't.

xiswtsawluiix Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 3:54am
post #25 of 98

Why does the government make this so difficult and confusing? I mean, at this point, it seems that getting a street vendor license in NYC is easier than legalizing your home kitchen for business.

CakeMommyTX Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 4:01am
post #26 of 98

Is this your company party or a random business that found you?

CakeMommyTX Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 4:05am
post #27 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by xiswtsawluiix

Why does the government make this so difficult and confusing? I mean, at this point, it seems that getting a street vendor license in NYC is easier than legalizing your home kitchen for business.




That's how it is here in TX, you can sell nasty tacos from a greasy van on the side of the road easier then you can sell cakes!

Jeff_Arnett Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 4:08am
post #28 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by xiswtsawluiix

I received an offer and accepted to make a large sheet cake for the company year end party. I am honored to be asked to make the cake and I see it as a great opportunity to put my name out there. I have a problem or as least I think it will be a problem. I live in NYC and I am not a licensed baker. I am merely doing this as a hobby and hopes to one day have my own cake business. I am not there yet. I love making cakes and love the joy people get from seeing my work. I am careful and use fresh ingredients, but I feel like I can't take the risk of serving my cake to 200+ people. I don't need the liability or stigma of getting someone sick, even though it won't be from my food. The person who contacted me assured me it is okay and there won't be a problem. I am worried. With my luck, someone would get sick from other food they ate during the day and blame my cake for causing them to be sick.

I feel I should go back to this nice lady and decline her offer. I also don't want to miss out of this great opportunity.

Am I doing the right thing?


You will be fine. People cook and take to pot luck and church dinners all the time without a license....and if someone did get sick, they'd have to prove it was your cake...they couldn't simple say it was the cake with no evidence to support the claim. I dare say almost everyone on this board started out as an unlicensed baker....and I'm sure many still are.

xiswtsawluiix Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 4:16am
post #29 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

Is this your company party or a random business that found you?




It is for the company party I work at. A colleague from the holiday party planning committee approached me to make a cake for the holiday party after she saw a cake I made for a friend. She said the company would pay for the cake.

aundrea Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 4:25am
post #30 of 98

it sounds like your company as well is unaware of the laws reguarding selling a cake that is not from a licensed business.
sounds innocent enough-but there may be severe consequences.
do you want to make this cake? if so can the cake be donated to the party? i can see why you are on the fence with this? especially at this time of year-extra money would be beneficial.

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