For Those That Are Legal

Decorating By CVB Updated 28 Feb 2010 , 1:08am by Kitagrl

CVB Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 4:35pm
post #1 of 21


For those that are legal, does anyway get frustrated with cakers you know that bake in their home kitchen - with pets and kids? Has anyone called the dept of health to complain?


20 replies
elliespartycake Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 4:42pm
post #2 of 21

My health dept. knows I have a dog and as long as I keep him out of the kitchen when I'm caking (I put up a baby gate) they are fine with that. Actually my grown kids are messier than my dog...if they only knew ! icon_lol.gif

sweetflowers Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 4:48pm
post #3 of 21

It's legal for me to bake from home, and I have a dog and kids (and 2 guinea pigs). But I don't sell or give away my cakes.

umgrzfn Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 4:51pm
post #4 of 21

It is ok depending on your location. Not everyone lets their dog/kids around what they are making. I have a 5 y/o and even tho she loves to help me...she is only allowed to help me with stuff I make for home. There's nothing wrong with it!

CVB Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 4:54pm
post #5 of 21

My point is more about spending the money to build my seperate kitchen and following the rules where as others don't. They don't incur the costs of the seperate kitchen or license nor are they certified (btw kids and pets are not allowed in a commercial kitchen where I live).

Is this just sour grapes?

ladybug76 Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 4:59pm
post #6 of 21

I can see, if your location requires a separate kitchen, where it can be frustrating to invest in licensing regulations inorder to be legal and know of others baking as 'legal' in your area and not following the rules. For myself, I am licensed and zoned with the township and Dept of Ag aware of my dog, which needs to be removed from the kitchen during baking.

Even though it put a pinch of your wallet, all of us that are truly legal are following the books and can take pride in that!!!
~ Jaime

umgrzfn Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 5:03pm
post #7 of 21

(btw kids and pets are not allowed in a commercial kitchen where I live).


There are the key words. Commercial Kitchen. To me a commercial kitchen is not a "home" bakery.

AverageMom Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 5:06pm
post #8 of 21

Trying to stir the pot?

sadsmile Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 5:11pm
post #9 of 21

It isn't fair but life is never fair and there always will be those that knowingly break the law and don't care. What you need to do is decide what you can live with... like what results from whatever actions you choose. And good for you for going about your business the right and legal way. thumbs_up.gif

tiggy2 Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 5:17pm
post #10 of 21
Originally Posted by j_prinz

My point is more about spending the money to build my seperate kitchen and following the rules where as others don't. They don't incur the costs of the seperate kitchen or license nor are they certified (btw kids and pets are not allowed in a commercial kitchen where I live).

Is this just sour grapes?

Do you know for a fact they are taking business away from you? I don't know your age but I'm sure by now you've figured out that a lot of things in life aren't fair and this is just another one of them. Unless you are "Squeeky Clean" and have never, ever, done anything that wasn't 100% by the book or law (not just in the baking world) I'd leave it alone. Personally I would feel terrible turning someone in and getting them fined and then find out they were trying to make a little extra money for food, medical, or whatever. JMO

LaBellaFlor Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 5:34pm
post #11 of 21

Sounds like sour grapes to me. Focus on your marketing and not illegals and you should do fine business wise.

And I am legal, for those who think I am defending illegals, I'm not. I also have kids and don't see what that has to do with illegal or legal. Maybe that is a factor in some states, but hey if they are illegal anyway, they definetly don't care about pets or kids.

cakesbycathy Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 6:11pm
post #12 of 21

Your status says you are newbie, so I will just say this...

this topic has come up repeatedly and always generates a very heated discussion, which usually gets locked. People have very strong opinions on this subject. You may want to consider asking a moderator to remove this thread.

KHalstead Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 6:25pm
post #13 of 21

If you're really concerned or even if you just have sour grapes, something you could do is just post something on your website that states something like:

I am a fully licensed and insured bakery, forms and verification can be provided upon request.

This way it lets people know you ARE licensed

You could go a step further and have a FAQ section w/ something about

"Should I go with a homebaker since sometimes they're cheaper?"

and you could answer "Sometimes they are cheaper, but depending on where you live they may also be operating illegally without proper inspections and licensing....

Something to that affect!

Really it's up to the illegal bakers if they choose to operate that way, and ultimately if customers choose to go to them they may/may not have a good experience! Not really much you can do about it unless you choose to turn them all in to the authorities (which could damage your business in the end too if people realized it was you)

Just focus on making your products stand out and offer for people to view your license.

Most areas where it is illegal to operate without a license have venues that require a license be shown, so I wouldn't worry too much about them taking business at least not the bigger wedding cake/huge bash cakes that you want to be getting anyhow since you can provide the necessary paperwork and they can't

surgery2 Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 6:44pm
post #14 of 21

This whole "legal" issue. Im "legal" in Indiana, with selling at 2 farmers markets, with a home kitchen. I have no pets or children, by choice. I spent money on my LLC, pay my cake business taxes, have a tax number, insurance, so forth.

Just because a person is legal doesn't necessarily mean that a bride's experience will be better with us. I have a couple lady friends in town who bake from their home, are they legal, nope, do i really care, nope.

And If you read on here all these posts about the inspector is coming, I've got to clean. It just appears to me that people associate license, inspected, with "clean" . I have worked in food service my whole life, 45 yrs worth, and have seen my share of commercial kitchens. There are some resturants in town here, I will never eat at because of cleanliness. And they are inspected.

There was a recent "legal" cake place in town here just shut down because of a "surprise" inspection. The lady does fabulous cakes and is always neat and clean, so this just goes to show that inspected doesnt mean clean, just that they were inspected and at that time they were sanitary.

I used to be a Sanitarian with the Indiana dept of health , and I well know what sanitary is. The only way to ensure all inspected or uninspected kitchens that can sell products stay sanitary is really to install cameras in them linked to the dept of health. Now do i think we should do this? Nope.

There has never been a surefire way to ensure the kitchens are sanitary 100% of the time.
Just my ten dollars worth.

ChefAngie Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 7:12pm
post #15 of 21

I was taught clean as you go.
Health dept. requirement-everything-smooth and washable surface.
3 bay sink-wash ,rinse, and sanitize.
Handwashing sink.

Mensch Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 7:22pm
post #16 of 21

I don't clean before the inspector comes, I clean every single day (our inspectors just show up!). We've never had anything but a PERFECT score on a very grueling and brutal inspection. Good routines (and organized routines) are important in running a successful business.

I have, however, turned in one illegal. Not out of spite and most certainly not out of jealousy.

Loucinda Posted 21 Feb 2010 , 2:40pm
post #17 of 21

I am with Mensch on this one too. In Ohio you can LEGALLY bake from your UN-licensed kitchen. (I chose to license mine for marketing reasons, see the post by KH above) I also have a cleaning routine, which is followed everyday. I clean as I go too - ever notice you get "extra points" for the clean/organized work area on the cake comp. shows?

As far as turning someone in - not something I would be comfortable doing.....but that is something each person has to decide for themselves.

tootie0809 Posted 21 Feb 2010 , 3:01pm
post #18 of 21

I agree that it's frustrating to know you are following the rules and put out the money to make sure you follow the rules.

I have spent over $15,000 in the past year to put in a completely separate bakery in my basement. I could have had my personal kitche licensed in my state, but I would have had to have given up my dogs. They are my babies and that was not an option. Plus, I found just doing cakes for friends and family that my own kitchen was too small and I was starting to feel suffocated by not having enough space.

Knowing I wanted to do this professionally, I made sure to clear with the health department that if I had a separate area where no pets were ever allowed, then I could still be licensed. So I took a year to have this done, spent thousands of dollars, got all the licensing and insurance and tax requirements met, and it's been a huge process.

So when I know that there are several, and I do mean several, bakers in my area that are operating without a license, it's frustrating, but I just concentrate on marketing myself. I wouldn't turn anyone in, but I also do specify on my website that I am licensed and legal and have a fully separate kitchen that is for my business only.

If someone wants to go to an unlicensed baker, that's fine. So far, my business is growing steadily, so I'm not too threatened by the others. But, at the same time, I agree it is a little frustrating to know you are following the rules and others are not. I've just never been one who likes to break the rules, even if I know I can get away with it.

bettinashoe Posted 21 Feb 2010 , 3:35pm
post #19 of 21

I don't really look at home bakers as a threat in any way. I believe the public knows whether they are dealing with a licensed baker or a home baker before (or when) they are making their purchase. Prior to opening my bakery, I baked out of my house; however, I would only do so for friends and charged only a minimal amount. Like tootie0809, I found my home kitchen was just not adequate in size or design. Also, I was getting referrals which I was turning away since I was not licensed. Personally, I feel much better knowing my bakery is legal. I love having the large working space and knowing that I am in compliance with the City, State and Health Dept! I don't feel the home baker is taking anything away from my business as we all have something to offer. My prices are higher than the home baker and I may be losing some clients due to this but I'm still doing what I love and enjoying it. It took time and a large amount of money to open my bakery but anyone who purchases from me knows I am legal and I can advertise which the illegal baker can't (or shouldn't) do.

JuneHawk Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 12:51am
post #20 of 21
Originally Posted by j_prinz

My point is more about spending the money to build my seperate kitchen and following the rules where as others don't. They don't incur the costs of the seperate kitchen or license nor are they certified (btw kids and pets are not allowed in a commercial kitchen where I live).

Is this just sour grapes?

Sour grapes.

Kitagrl Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 1:08am
post #21 of 21

You could always move to a state where its legal to home-bake if you don't want to incur costs of building a kitchen. thumbs_up.gif

(Legal to use home kitchen long as its licensed by Dept of Ag...which I am...)

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