I am in major need for some help from any pa home bakers. I want to start a home bakery and i don't really know where to begin. I want to be completely legal. I got the packet from the dept. of ag. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. thanks
Any pa bakers????? help help
well you need to get a permt from the dept of agriculture.... here is a helpful site..
What kind of Help do you need?
The inspection process is not that bad for having your home kitchen legalized, I think mine lasted about and hour and most of that was just talking about what you can and cannot do out of your home kitchen, labeling, etc. I will give you the heads up though....for the home kitchen, you can get away with a double bowl sink instead of the triple bowl that they require for commercial. You won't be required to have commercial equipment, you will however have to keep your ingredients separate from your personal. The other biggie is no pets (not even a fish). They were very specific on that with me. You will also want to get in contact with an insurance company to get some general liability insurance. Some venues will not let you in without it and even if they did it would be foolish not to have it to cya. Website, business cards, etc. Vistaprint has alot of cool stuff and it's pretty cheap. I think that's a good start for you.
I am looking into having an in-home bakery as well. I just found this information yesterday on the state's website about in-home bakeries:
Also, I found a great way to start a business is contacting your local SCORE (it's an organization of retired business executives and they hold classes and offer free counseling on how to start a business) score.org
btw.. chrstmaskd.. I see you are in Northampton. I am located in Bethlehem, but am planning on having our bakery in my mom's home in Schnecksville. Who do I need contact locally for things such as health inspections? Also, did you have a tough time becoming legal??
Thanks for any help you can lend!
I was just licensed on March 1st. I had to get a letter from my local township, stating I was allowed to have a home bakery. Once I got that, I went to the PA Dept of Agriculture web site and printed off a copy of their "Application for Plan Review", completed it (about 3 pages) and sent to to the Dept of Agriculture.
Within a week they set up an inspection. My inspection lasted about 20 minutes, and the inspector was very, very nice. As mentioned, she basically just explained good health guidelines, and checked to make sure I had a separate area to store my cake ingredients, etc.
Regarding pets, that wasn't an issue for me. My bakery is a second kitchen, which my dog has absolutely no access to, but I do know other home bakers in the area who do have pets, and were still granted a license, as long as the pets have no access to the kitchen where the baking is being done. I think it depends on the person doing your inspection.
I'm just getting ready for an inspection on the 23rd. So far things seem pretty easy. I called last Wednesday just to ask some questions. The person I needed to speak to wasn't in and they said they'd have them call me back. I got a call the next day and the guy set up my inspection right away. Said to print off the plan review from the Dept. of Ag. website, fill out what I could and we'd fill out the rest when he came. I didn't even have to submit an application yet. I found that strange and am really hoping there's no problem that I'm not anticipating. So far, so good though!
Good luck to you!
Thank you, Ladies! I also live in PA and want to become a legal business. A lot of valuable info in this post
Congrats LisaR64 on your licensure
Good Luck, Hillywu!
I gotta tell you... wait.... what part of PA?.. Philly.... almost impossible....
I'm in western PA, by the way. Just a tiny little town, but still big enough that people will hopefully be wanting cakes! )
Flyershockey10you shouldnt have any problems up in Schnecksville. Everything that you do however will need to be done in Schnecksville. No baking there and bringing to your home in Bethlehem to decorate or the like. If Schnecksville is in Lehigh County, then the contact on the information that you found for Region 7, 610-489-1003 is who you want to contact from the Dept of Agriculture to setup your inspection. They closed the original office that I worked with a couple months ago, but they will direct you to the right office if need be. As LisaR64 said, you will need a letter from the township that states that you are permitted to have a home business and your inspector will need a copy of it when he comes for inspection. You can fill out the application/plan review, I think you can find it online or they can mail you one. Since it is geared for commercial use, most of it will not apply to you, so fill out what you can. My inspector told me to keep it until he came instead of mailing it in. Surprisingly he told me that re-inspections would be anywhere from 1 to 3 years since we home bakers are on the bottom part of the list compared to commercial bakeries/restaurants. The general liability insurance was easy, just a call to the insurance company. I use Block Insurance in Allentown, really nice people. Other than that you should be good to go. Stock up on supplies, rest up, and get ready to roll J
Thanks so much for the invaluable information!! I really appreciate it!! Good luck with your business!!! )