I was watching News 8 Austin this morning and they aired the heroic story of a mom that saved their house by baking cakes out of her home to make extra money! Well...I began making cakes in March 2008 and by November 2008 I was being herassed by the health department and getting calls from them asking questions about me making a cake for them as if they were customers. Mainly to see if I were serving fresh fruit etc...! Well...I was not..but started researching laws and found out that I was indeed making cakes illegally because I did them out of my personal kitchen! I too was doing this to save my mortgage...but we lost our home in Feb.2009 because I obeyed the laws and shut my doors. Now they air this story about what a hero this lady is....and it made me cry...because I chose to do what was right and lost my home! I mean...I think it is awesome that she was able to save her home...but why couldn't I save mine? Just venting I guess! Anyway...I was a part of the petition that went to the floor and was dropped here in Austin....but am wondering if anything has changed since I shut my doors to business?
I've been wondering the same thing myself. My friend met a lady the other day who was bragging about making cakes out of her home and that she'd been inspected by the health department and everything. I know at one time, there was a group trying to get a Cottage Food Law here in Texas in order to make that legal, but I didn't think it had gone through.
Hopefully, some of you more knowledgeable cakers out there will have an answer to this question.
No, the laws haven't changed yet. Our bill died on the calendar in May 2009.
But the bill will be filed again for the 2011 session.
I knew that lady was nuts when she told my friend that the health department okayed (sp) a home bakery. She said she had permission from the HOA in her neighborhood and that's why it was okay.
I'm going to watch News 8 Austin for a while to see if I can see that story. (they run the same stuff over and over all day long)
I just saw it. That was a story from last year about a woman in New Jersey. Who did get shut down by the Health Department there, and was offered the use of a hotel's kitchen. You can google "mortgage apple cake" to find out more about it.
Kelley - Thanks for clarifying that point for us. Please keep us Texas cakers up to date on the Cottage Food Law outcome. I hope that it gets the floor time that it deserves in the upcoming legislative session. Also, what did you think about the comments from the Montgomery County health inspector that are posted on the website?
Thanks...I see that...They didn't mention anything about that on the news....did they????? It still makes me crazy that they would air that on our local news...considering all the junk that home bakers have been through!!! Uggh!!!! Anyway...I will sign the petition again.....because we have got to do something to get legislation off of their rears this session! Great work...and I am just a phone call away if you need anything from me!!! 512-559-5186
Texas is a hot mess. Literally across the street from me people are in the county and has more lax rules (like you can have an under counter grease trap), and my side of the street is the City, where you have to have an $8000 in ground grease trap. AND they claim ownership of it, even though I have to pay for it.
I don't know that this can be done or if it would benefit everyone, since I am certain everyone lives in different parts of the state(and it's a big state); however you can always contact the news station and have them put their money where their mouth is by asking for commercial licensed kitchens to come forward and help home-based bakers; since they did build a story around an illegal act.
You just can't tell me in all of Texas there is no one with a commercial kitchen facility to rent and although it may be expensive individually, it may be more affordable as a group.
I can tell you there is money coming down the pike for incubators but it is slow. A new incubator kitchen is opening in Orange Cty. NC this summer but it was like performing a root canal on an ant, no seriously.
The only incubators I am aware of in TX are listed below:
Look I know incubators are expensive and sometimes not worth the fees paid since you may not be baking consistently, but, and this is a big "BUT" if an incubator knows a committed group will use the facility during a specified period of time they can make some arrangements...it's like money in the bank, a win-win.
I hear the negative moans and groans; but nothing beats a failure, but a try!
Banquet Depot (Commercial Kitchen for Rent)
Contact: Gary Wise
Houston TX 77018
Phone Number: 281-691-4426
Elixir Kitchen Space
Contact: Sandie Nathan
Kitchen Incubator (Opening Fall 2009) Don't know if they opened yet!
Texas Bakers...this may sound mean, but grow up. If you want to be a part of the change in Texas quit asking others (who have called, emailed, visited with baked goods, their respective state reps)) to "keep you posted". Visit the website and do your part. It wouldn't be a bad idea to thank K. for all her hard work and continued effort for the good of the whole.
Actually Minicuppie... I have visited and donated and have offered up my time and PHONE number! And others have done their part as well....I mean...on the Grand scheme of things...REALLY....What have you done? And Kelley....you know we love ya and appreciate you
Minicuppie - I ask Kelley to keep me posted because I have a full time job and I'm a full time student. I do look at the website when I have a chance, but I can't always look at it when I want. I'm always ready to help if I can, and have sent the petition to many people asking them to sign it in support of the Bill. There's history with this bill so don't make assumptions about what someone has/hasn't done.
biesecker - id advise you to remove your phone number - send by pm if you must. never forget everyone on here is a stranger to you. not counting the millions of people who could access this post for the fun of it, or the bots scanning for personal info.
im pretty sure i could find your address from that info alone.
I am not "picking on" any one person. I am really happy you guys are involved. I am doing my part and hope to meet you and shake your hand when the bill is read in 2011. Or did we do that already when it was introduced in 2009?