I have been making cakes for all of my family members for a few years now. Recently I had a friend ask me to do her son's bday cake. Then another friend asked. Then another. Suddenly I have people asking my friends and family how to get ahold of me to order a cake.
I was asked today if I have a website or a business card. The answer is no. I have been doing this for family out of my own kitchen. I'm excited, because I LOVE cakes, but now I'm a bit worried and need some advice from you more experienced CCers.
I was thinking about starting a cake blog with my portfolio and contact info, but now by big question is licensing/insurance/etc. I have NONE of that...not even a food-handler's permit. I'm not sure if I'm ready to take those steps yet either....so what do I do?
Is it okay to continue making cakes for people who contact me through word-of-mouth? Do I need to have some kind of disclaimer about not being a professional? Am I worrying about this too much? Any and all help will be sincerely appreciated.
If you keep taking orders - you are a business no matter which why you slice the cake.
Will you be an illegal business? Yes
Can you be a legal business from home? You have to check into your state and local laws.
If you're not sure you're ready to take those steps - then don't. You have to be fully committed. 100%.
And because YOU want to, not because other people force you into it. When I started it was very much because I need the extra cash. As I grew, I become much more serious about it. Before then, it was no. I don't make cakes for sale.
It is a risk to operate an illegal business? You betcha. This debate goes on for thousands of threads, and threads, and threads and even more threads. ONLY YOU can weigh out if you want to take that risk and to what extend.
I would suggest contacting the department of agriculture for Washington and asking what steps you need to take to get licensed. I was in your spot just a couple of months ago and I made the call, the inspector came out the next day, I paid a $150 fee for the license, and now I dont have to worry! good luck to you!
Do you want to do cakes for everyone?
There is a big difference in doing cakes when you feel like it or when you have time for it, vs doing cakes every weekend.
If the answer is no, you would just like to continue as you are, then don't make any changes. Don't go into a business because others want you to.
If you choice to go into the cake business. Call your local Health Department or Deptment of Ag, and ask them what you are required to have to run a cake business. That is the best place to start.
..moving to Cake Decorating forum.