Can I Just Vent/complain About Something For A Second...

Decorating By confectionsofahousewife Updated 6 Mar 2010 , 2:42am by jackmo

confectionsofahousewife Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 11:15pm
post #1 of 86

I just need to get this off of my chest. No one else in the real world seems to get it so I thought perhaps you guys would!

I just came across a facebook post from an acquaintance advertising her cake making skills (she was in my Wilton classes last summer). She has her own website with photos, pricing information, and everything. She first posted this several months back and I congratulated her on her "business" and asked how she went about getting licensed and inspected. Never got a reply. She is still advertising herself as a business but is NOT licensed and inspected. In addition to that her cakes are UGLY! Seriously, the icing is NOT smooth her color combos clash... they are just not very attractive cakes.

Last night I was reading one of our local children's magazines. I saw an advertisement for a girl that does celebration cakes. She also has website with a photo gallery. Her site does not indicate whether she is licensed or not so I have no way of knowing that. But, in looking at her cakes, they are all (every last one of them) iced using the star tip! I find that odd.

So here's me being a b*tch. I am by no means a professional, nor do I market myself as such, but my cakes are WAY better than either of these two ladies. I give my cakes away free because I am not a licensed baker. We all live in the same county so I am fully aware of the licensing requirements by the health department. It just really irritates me that they are advertising and selling their cakes and I can't. I would love to have a website (other than facebook) with all of my photos and flavor information. And frankly, I would like to be able to sell them too! I like doing it enough to keep doing it for free and we do have another baby on the way so right now is not the time to actually start a business but I would like to be able to sell a few cakes here and there legally.

Thanks for letting me vent!

85 replies
jammjenks Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 11:30pm
post #2 of 86

As much as I like to say, "Live and let live," that would get to me too.

What would it take to become legal for you?

saberger Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 11:34pm
post #3 of 86

I can understand how you feel. It is very frustrating to say the least. I don't know what state you are in, but maybe you can find a way to start and you can choose your hours - say you're booked if you can't do a cake.

I feel for you! Congrats on the baby!

confectionsofahousewife Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 11:42pm
post #4 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammjenks

As much as I like to say, "Live and let live," that would get to me too.

What would it take to become legal for you?




I knew you guys would understand! I know its stupid to let it bug me and there isn't much I can do about it right now but still...

I live in Missouri and in my county you have to have a separate kitchen that you use for your home-based food establishment. The requirements aren't really bad, you have to have a three compartment sink and a few other minor details but not terrible (at least I can have a home bakery).

The problem is that I don't have space for a second kitchen. We don't have a basement and I don't think our neighborhood covenants will let me convert the garage into a kitchen (not to mention we need the storage).

We just put our house on the market yesterday in the hopes to sell it and get something bigger but I'm not convinced we'll be able to sell it for enough to buy what we need. This is our fourth child so we are running out of room!

Kibosh Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 11:58pm
post #5 of 86

the only way to "get around the system", is by word of mouth. Let friends know you can make them a cake, then tell them to tell their friends etc. If someone wants to know what flavours and sizes, tell your firned to give them your e-mail address. keep it personal. As long as you say it's just a hobby, nobody can stop you from doing what you loveicon_smile.gif STOP giving them away for free! You charge people and put that money in a savings account for your new kitchen supplies!

Spuddysmom Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:08am
post #6 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kikodobosh

the only way to "get around the system", is by word of mouth. Let friends know you can make them a cake, then tell them to tell their friends etc. If someone wants to know what flavours and sizes, tell your firned to give them your e-mail address. keep it personal. As long as you say it's just a hobby, nobody can stop you from doing what you loveicon_smile.gif STOP giving them away for free! You charge people and put that money in a savings account for your new kitchen supplies!




Uh-oh, is this going to turn into another one of "those" threads? Just saying "it's a hobby" doesn't make it so. If you accept money for your "hobby" it is now a business, albeit not a legal one if you don't follow the rules.

kakeladi Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:11am
post #7 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kikodobosh

Let friends know you can make them a cake, then tell them to tell their friends etc. ,,,As long as you say it's just a hobby, nobody can stop you from doing what you loveicon_smile.gif..




Not a good idea. Eventually Nancy's friend's husband's cousin's girlfriend could be a lawyer for Disney or whoever and now we are in BIG trouble. Whenever ANY $$ changes hands it is *selling*.

karenm0712 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:20am
post #8 of 86

I am right there with you! I know times are tough and people are trying to make a couple extra bucks these days, but it really irks me to no end when people think its so easy to start a cake business! They think all you need to do is take a couple of Wilton classes and then poof you can sell! RIGHT.....

It irks me that I have been working slowly and I do mean slowly over the past 2 years to get my customer base up and I have people all around me taking wilton classes and asking me for tips...umm, sorry, don't think so! That may be mean, but I will not give my secrets away to "Sally Sue" (who KNOWS I am working to get my customer base up) even if they are not really secrets I am not giving more info than necessary!

I know this is REALLY mean, but I keep cakecentral to myself! I stumbled upon it one day and if it is meant to be they will too. icon_wink.gif

Okay, sorry, that was really b!tchy, but I needed to vent too!

Elcee Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:26am
post #9 of 86

I feel your pain, confectionsofahousewife, I'm in the same boat. I refuse to break the law. I don't even do the "just pay for ingredients" thing. My cakes are flat out gifts or for fun and family. And it is hard knowing there are people all over selling cakes illegally. B*tchy remark alert: like you, my cakes are nicer than many of them icon_smile.gif. How about a serious thread for law abiding cakers? icon_wink.gif

jammjenks Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:39am
post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by karenm0712

I am right there with you! I know times are tough and people are trying to make a couple extra bucks these days, but it really irks me to no end when people think its so easy to start a cake business! They think all you need to do is take a couple of Wilton classes and then poof you can sell! RIGHT..... It irks me that I have been working slowly and I do mean slowly over the past 2 years to get my customer base up and I have people all around me taking wilton classes and asking me for tips...umm, sorry, don't think so! That may be mean, but I will not give my secrets away to "Sally Sue" (who KNOWS I am working to get my customer base up) even if they are not really secrets I am not giving more info than necessary! I know this is REALLY mean, but I keep cakecentral to myself! I stumbled upon it one day and if it is meant to be they will too. icon_wink.gif

Okay, sorry, that was really b!tchy, but I needed to vent too!




Me too, girl.

rvercher23 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:58am
post #11 of 86

Boy, do I know what you mean. I have finally become legal and now I am trying to compete with people who do cakes illegally from their home and charge prices that I cannot afford to charge. It sux, but unless you rat them out, you can't do anything about it. (I would never turn anyone in thought, but thats just me.) Just keep doing your cakes and people who don't want a deal, and want quality will come to you.

Musings9 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:59am
post #12 of 86

Eventually, that acquaintance will get caught. It may be two weeks or two years but, her "business" will be exposed as the fraud it is. Chin up.

AKS Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 1:11am
post #13 of 86

Just another "law abiding caker" here. It seems so difficult to get a business set up the right way, that it makes it nearly impossible w/o huge startup costs. I refuse to break the law, but at the same time, people are always telling me, you should charge for your cakes.

So here's the thing, if you want to be law-abiding, and only make them for friends and family (to avoid the husband's brother's girlfriend's father's sister being the Disney lawyer) how are you going to charge anyone? It's so frustrating. I have a name, a logo, and the drive, but no start-up cash and am now in an area where Wal-Mart cakes are the norm. UUUGGGHHH! icon_cry.gif

kiwigal81 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 1:21am
post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by karenm0712

I know this is REALLY mean, but I keep cakecentral to myself! I stumbled upon it one day and if it is meant to be they will too. icon_wink.gif

Okay, sorry, that was really b!tchy, but I needed to vent too!




Haha, just had to say, I know someone who is doing cakes without health department ok, and I thought about telling her about CC...and kept my mouth shut.

Others are right: she will get caught, she will get pinged, she will stuff up at some stage, and hopefully you will have a great client base and be ready to fill the gap.

karenm0712 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 1:26am
post #15 of 86

So glad to know that I am not the only one who keeps CC a secret!!! icon_smile.gif

confectionsofahousewife Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 1:55am
post #16 of 86

Alright well at least I am not crazy for my feelings! I keep CC a secret too. Not that anyone has asked but I certainly don't volunteer it (hope neither of those girls is on here!).

AKS: I have a name and plan for a website too (I need to think of a logo) but no space to start up.

KawaiiCakeCook: I seriously want to post the website belonging to the girl from my class...but as you said, moderation!

This girls cakes are seriously heinous (think brown feathers + plastic turkey atop white basketweave). And she only charges $1.50 per serving!

still_learning Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 2:38am
post #17 of 86

Confections - I'm right there with you too! We're planning another baby soon so it's just not the right time to devote so much to a business but it's hard to be on hold.

Everyone says to start selling my cakes, that my cakes are cuter/yummier than 'so and so' not understanding the legalities of it all. I just make cakes as gifts because I don't want to mess with it.

Besides, my husband says why start selling cakes now when you can't really charge much (because of not being licensed and still being new at decorating) and then someday have people balk when you are a real business and they get sticker shock at the 'real' prices.

I try to remember that all these free cakes are learning experiences and I try to do something new with each cake. All in preparation for someday...

rikkijo314 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:11am
post #18 of 86

I totally understand your pain, even though I am kind of on the other side of it. I live in a very small town where NO ONE makes cakes besides the grocery store.

I made a cake for my brother-in-laws wedding just for fun and found that I loved to do it! Then, people started calling. I can't afford to give them away because I have to order most of my supplies and I just can't do it.

I really didn't want to get in trouble so I turned away a lot of orders if they weren't really really good friends or family. I called the health inspector for our county and was told to get licensed I would need a seperate kitchen as well, but as long as no one complained or got sick then the health department had bigger fish to fry.

I definitely don't advertise and I don't undercut or undercharge anyone for cakes.

madaboutcakes2 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:17am
post #19 of 86

You may want to remember, after all this is CC, half the people on this site, if not more, charge and aren't licensed. Not to sure if slammin' those that do is such a good idea. Just a thought. icon_smile.gif

CarrieBear Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:31am
post #20 of 86

I see Craigslist postings all the time for cakers... I dont think alot of them are licensed either... but there arent ever going to be enough cake police out there to stop every one. And I feel your pain, and I totally agree with you but when I see things like that now, I just kind of have to think that it will catch up with them some how or another...

adventuregal Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:31am
post #21 of 86

it sucks to see people succeed wrongly and know they lay down to bed every night feeling like they're on top. Seems like the people that do stuff like this are the people that never give a second thought to what is right/wrong-unless its someone else doing it TO THEM.

This reminds me of something from my town-there is a woman in my company who just up and decided to start a photography business with no prior experience OR equipment. Well she rented a space, bought equipment, and tried to get me and others to recommend her (she didn't even have a portfolio!). So no suprise her business just went under...sad for her, but if she had done things more responsibly her business might have succeeded.

When I first got good at cakes I though oh I should sell them! Without thinking of the legalities-and then I got on here and learned its way more intense than just 'selling cakes'.

Just breathe and try not to let people get to you-there are alot of them out there!

Ruth0209 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:35am
post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonia-D

You may want to remember, after all this is CC, half the people on this site, if not more, charge and aren't licensed. Not to sure if slammin' those that do is such a good idea. Just a thought. icon_smile.gif




Hum. I've never seen statistics on how many CC people are licensed and how many aren't. I assume that's idle speculation.

The subject of licensing vs. operating illegally have been beaten to death on this site. Regardless of your position on that, it's NEVER a good idea to recommend to anyone that they break the law. The only sound advice is, learn what the laws are and then make an informed decision about the kind of risk you're willing to take with your personal assets.

CarrieBear Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:54am
post #23 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209


The subject of licensing vs. operating illegally have been beaten to death on this site. Regardless of your position on that, it's NEVER a good idea to recommend to anyone that they break the law. .




agreed Ruth


warning to posters: RE posts justifying illegal baking on the forums, is almost like throwing your self into a tiger cage.
..actually I think youde have a better chance in a real tiger cage... icon_lol.gif

Im just saying that becuase Ive seen how ugly some of those posts have gotten.. icon_razz.gif

noahsmummy Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 4:21am
post #24 of 86

quick-ish question.

So i love making cakes too. im not NEARLY at the level of some of you lovely people; but everytime i make a cake for something i get at least 3 "orders" for cakes.

Ive even had the offer of free advertising. anyway, i turn them all down as im not licensed, and its basically impossble for me to become licensed.. (i rent for one, which isnt allowed, and also my council requires me to have a kitchen that is fully unattached from the main building).

But anyway, i love making cakes, and really want to build up my skills.. so that someday... when im rolling in cash (LOL) i can create my dream at home business.

So, I was wondering, seeing as you guys seem to know that basics of the "caking laws" pretty well, do you think that if i charge only for the ingredients i have used, or even give them a list of the ingredients i require and ask them to bring them to me... is that bad? is that illegal? its just i cant afford to make cakes and just give them away for free... it just not possible on my budget.. like i say.. one day.. when im rolling in cash.. i may be able to.. but atm, its not possible.

And i dont often get the chance to make cakes and really want to buol;d up my skills and try new things.. sooo, thats what i thought of doing? havnt done it as yet.. wanted to get advice first. like i say, i dont have many skills, and would feel EMBARRASSED to take money from anyone for my work. haha.. in my eyes.. its just not up to scratch.

sorry turned out to be a novel...=/.. my bad...

kathik Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 4:39am
post #25 of 86

Hi noahsmummy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by noahsmummy

I was wondering, seeing as you guys seem to know that basics of the "caking laws" pretty well, do you think that if i charge only for the ingredients i have used, or even give them a list of the ingredients i require and ask them to bring them to me... is that bad? is that illegal?




Although I do not quite see the difference I have been told that you can not charge for ingredients, however you can do a favor for a friend if they bring you the ingredients you need. For some reason charging for the ingredients translates into charging, which makes you a business.

I hope this helps.

Kathi

Larkin121 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 5:59am
post #26 of 86

Just want to say I totally feel your vent. I see the craigslist ads, too, all ugly cakes and yet here I sit following the stupid laws. My state is even worse than yours - I can only operate out of a fully commercial kitchen (I am allowed to build one in my garage....like that would ever happen), as if somehow having a commercial oven makes a safer cake than a traditional oven?!?!

So like you, I'm biding my time... got a 1 yr old and a 4 yr old and I can't make enough profit renting a commercial kitchen until I have more time to devote weekly when both kids are in school.

I hate following the law. icon_cry.gif

Larkin121 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 6:05am
post #27 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathik

Hi noahsmummy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by noahsmummy

I was wondering, seeing as you guys seem to know that basics of the "caking laws" pretty well, do you think that if i charge only for the ingredients i have used, or even give them a list of the ingredients i require and ask them to bring them to me... is that bad? is that illegal?



Although I do not quite see the difference I have been told that you can not charge for ingredients, however you can do a favor for a friend if they bring you the ingredients you need. For some reason charging for the ingredients translates into charging, which makes you a business.

I hope this helps.

Kathi




This one always boggles my mind the most.... having someone pay for the ingredients but no more does not allow profit. If there is NO INTENT for profit and no profit is being made, exactly how can anyone claim it is a business? I'd argue that the very definition of a business is an entity that intends a profit.

I take the exact cost of ingredients from family and friends and that's it. Without asking to profit, planning to profit, etc, and simply not going into a loss, I don't see how that can possibly be declared a business transaction, a sale, etc. Just my take on it.

Otherwise, I'd assume many a person is illegally making pumpkin pie for their family if their mom paid for the ingredients... or that dinner party I had a few weeks ago where everyone chipped in for the cost... that's illegal, too. icon_rolleyes.gif

icon_biggrin.gif

mrsc808 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 7:08am
post #28 of 86

A friend of mine gets around the licensing part by claiming her dad's bar as the place where she bakes although she really bakes at home. It bothers me since her stuff is messy and she sells it! She even recommended that I do the same thing! But what can you do? I've finally stopped showing her pics of what I try to do and change the subject whenever she brings baking up. (Had to do this because she was taking my pics of fun stuff I would try out, recommend them to her customers, beg me for help and keep all the money.)

kathik Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:46pm
post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larkin121

This one always boggles my mind the most.... having someone pay for the ingredients but no more does not allow profit. If there is NO INTENT for profit and no profit is being made, exactly how can anyone claim it is a business? I'd argue that the very definition of a business is an entity that intends a profit.




I totally agree with you! I thought it was absolutely crazy, too, when I heard this. However, I was told this by a state official (in NC) when I was in process of setting up my business. She was warning me not to take ANY money until I was inspected, had my business licence, and was insured. The government is ridiculous!!

Kathi

binkie87 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:58pm
post #30 of 86

I don't understand why you think this is bad to do. I've been baking cakes from my home for over three yrs now. My son is now in a private school, and we took our first vacation last yr. It's so easy to make money.

B

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