Selling From Home

Business By shorty23903 Updated 12 May 2010 , 12:42pm by leily

shorty23903 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 3:55pm
post #1 of 55

Hi. I live in texas.. I made a cake for my lil boys birthday last year.. my friend dat came to his birthday party loved the cake and asked if i could make make her 1 for her husband. so i did for free. She made a party & the friends dat went to her party asked if i could make them 1 to..

i couldnt keep making free cakes for ever so i asked for them to pay for the supplies & a lil more to cover the time it took make them. I dont want to have a major buisness. I just want to make them every once in a while on my free time cuz i stil have small kids. most are for famil members & rea close friends.

I didnt make 1 for my sister inlaw cuz by the time she told me to do her 1 there wasnt enuf time... shes mad so she told me i kan get introuble for doing this.. she said she talked to people & i kan b introuble for bakin at home & makin profit.. never had any problems from any1. didnt expect them from her but i guess sometimes family is worse than friends.

I've never advertised. iTs just been word of mouth... my sister inlaw had told me to pass busines card but i told her its ilegal to advertise. she said yes it is.. i think shes tryna have proff to get me introuble..

what do i do? i love making cakes.. i have tons of tools & supplies. i'd hate to quit cuz of her.. my friend which is a cake maker told me i kan turn the garage into a kitchen & do it legal.. im not sure if i wana go tru all dat.. kan i get in serious trouble if i dont advertise & just baje for friends & family? ANyone with comments please give advise. what does it take to do things right?

54 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 4:01pm
post #2 of 55

Earlene Moore has an article on her website that talks about what she had to do to convert her garage to a licensed bakery. http://www.earlenescakes.com/business03.htm One other thing you'd have to look into is the homeowner's association rules. Sometimes they specifically prohibit any kind of home business, other times they prohibit any home business that will increase traffic through a neighborhood.

Maybe you could find a church kitchen to rent?

Kiddiekakes Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 4:02pm
post #3 of 55

I don't mean to be rude or abrupt but the texting lingo really kinda is annoying...it sounds and looks illiterate... icon_wink.gif

If you really want to make a legal go of the cake decorating home based business then you need to check into your local HD dept and city or town rules and regulations.Good place to start!

tiggy2 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 4:12pm
post #4 of 55

It took me so long to read the post I haven't a clue what the op is asking but I think they want to know if they can legally bake from home in Texas. If that's the question the answer is no. If you want to start a business you do need to contact your local health department.

CrazyCatLady Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 4:37pm
post #5 of 55

Since you are in Texas, you have two choices:
1. Find a way to become legal (rent a kitchen, etc.)
2. Or give the cakes away

Yes, it's an expensive hobby... but so are sports and gardening and scrapbooking and most other hobbies. Just look at it as an investment in your skills and just be glad that you are good at making cakes and get to do what you enjoy!

When I make a cake for a friend, they feel bad not reimbursing me for my time and money (which is often about $50 in supplies and 10 hours of my time). So I tell them that they can donate directly to a charity that I support since I can't accept the money.

My friends have given more than $400 to charity so far this year, and yes, I have spent at least that amount on cake supplies (not to mention the HOURS of labor). But I look at it as if "I" donated $400 to charity - AND I got to make awesome cakes that they loved and were thrilled to have.

And since they know that it is costing ME to make THEIR cake, they basically just give me their theme, and I can do whatever I want with it.

Try to do something like that, and then you won't feel like you are losing anything.

shorty23903 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 4:53pm
post #6 of 55

I mainly do cakes for family members which i do as gifts & my friends just pay for the supplies... every once in a while persons who see the cakes at the partys come to talk to me to see if i can make them one.. im thinking mayb once a month ill do one and actually get a lil more than what i spent to make it.. I really dont want to do them all the time since i got my family to care of first. I thought it was okay to sell to friends and family as long as u let them know the ingredients. my friend the cake maker told me u can by word of mouth as long as u dont advertise. I dont want a big business. I just want to do some every once in awhile but they r costly & i would like to get a lil imbursement for spending sometimes up to 3days making a cake. Is there anyway I can do this with out gettin into legal problems?

CrazyCatLady Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 4:57pm
post #7 of 55

No.

If you are receiving money for a cake, you are in business.

If you have not followed the procedures to become legal, you are illegal.

If you are operating a business illegally, you can get into legal trouble.

shorty23903 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 5:05pm
post #8 of 55

so I guess my best option is to go talk to the HD and start from there. Is it costly to start a small business? Does any1 know if its possible since we had a carport & we closed it in to make a kitchen there. I have my own kitchen aside.. That way i can stil work at home but have my seperate kitchen for cakes? Can i have an inspector to come look at it & talk to me? Do they charge to just come & inspect & tel me what i need to do?

shorty23903 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 5:09pm
post #9 of 55

oh would i have any legal problems if i keep making cakes for family for free.. & what if i just have my friends pay for the supplies and not charge them for makin it? can i do dat meanwhile I figure out how to start a legal business? or should i stop making them completely until i get a business set up.

CrazyCatLady Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 5:11pm
post #10 of 55

The link that Texas_Rose gave you above is an excellent link.

Read through that webpage, then talk to the departments that the article recommends. Earlene Moore is very knowledgable, and her website is a valuable resource.

Good luck with your home bakery endeavour!

kelleym Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 5:16pm
post #11 of 55

Here's some info you might find interesting: http://www.texascottagefoodlaw.com

Please become a fan of the Texas Baker's Bill page on Facebook to stay in touch with us as we work to get this law changed!

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Texas-Bakers-Bill/292920830821?ref=ts

CrazyCatLady Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 5:22pm
post #12 of 55

You can make cakes for anyone, you just cannot accept money for them.

Ingredient cost or not, money is money.

Just because your "business" only charges enough to cover your supplies, the government does not care. They do not care that you don't charge enough to make a profit. They still view you as a business.

However, you will only get into "trouble" if you are caught. But that is true with anyone who breaks a law, regulation, or ordinance. Your willingness to risk that is your own decision.

I have peace of mind knowing that I am truly giving away my works of art. It is a sacrifice on my part, but I also get to experience making more cakes than I would ever possibly need for myself.

Hobbies cost money. If you can't afford the hobby, then you can't do it. That goes for anyone with any interests.

My husband spends about $100 per month on his hobby - comic books. What does he get out of it? A few hours of entertainment then into a box they go for storage.

I spend that same amount on cake supplies. What do I get out of it? Really happy friends and family, and an awesome cake portfolio.

As a hobby baker, one should only make cakes as they are able to afford them. Budget each month how much you can afford, then only make the cakes that you WANT to make. And along the way, work through all the legal stuff to get yourself legal.

People often ask how much I would charge for a cake. I tell them that the first cake order would have a $50,000 deposit.... so I can start my business first!

leah_s Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 6:01pm
post #13 of 55

CrazyCatLady, not only do I love your screen name, but I found your post to be well written, well thought out, perfectly expressed and the best advice and reasoning I've read lately on the topic of hobby baking versus business baking. Hobby baking is just that, a hobby. Just like you said, other hobbies are also expensive, but your family and friends will appreciate the cake, or the scrapbook that you make for them.

Good job!

shorty23903 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 6:04pm
post #14 of 55

kan i have my friends & family bring me the supplies and I just make them the cakes?

CrazyCatLady Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 6:21pm
post #15 of 55

leah_s - Thank you for the compliment. I can tell you that I knew very little on the subject until I joined CC a few years ago. (Thank you to you and the others who are so willing to share!)

This topic is very close to me, as I have been decorating for 9 years and am completely unable to make a business of it!

I have learned to just enjoy the fact that I am able to make memorable cakes for the people that I care about. (Plus they are thrilled that I can make them a $400 cake that they don't have to pay $400 for!) They donate whatever they can afford to charities like the Food Bank, Humane Society (my personal pick!), Salvation Army, and Red Cross. To me, it seems like we all win in this scenario. They get cake, I get to make it, and a charity is benefited.

Yes, it's unfair that I can't sell my cakes. Yes, it's unfair that some people do sell theirs illegally. I learned to accept that.

shorty23903 - If you were to give them your list and have them provide everything that is to go into their cakes, you aren't really "earning" those things from them (provided that you return unused items to them). You are using those ingredients to mix together to make their cake. This is the only work-around that I have come across that does not seem like a business. I have not personally done that since I can afford the ingredients, so I cannot tell you for sure.

Good luck getting anyone to buy every single item you need for a cake, though! Non-cakers really have no clue most of the time.

You have some really cute cakes, shorty23903. Do whatever you can to keep bringing them into the world!

shorty23903 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 6:45pm
post #16 of 55

thank you for your comments. one more question. lets say I make friends a cake.. & they give me buckets of fondant or buckets of buttercream to use for the next cakes..

is dat ilegal? I kan do dat right? that way I dont have to use alot of my income & i can keep making my friends and family happy by keeping making them the cakes they love. That way it would b affortable for me & for them to have cakes on every birthday. or is there something ilegal about that too?

sorry, I dont know much about about laws but im hoping to find the best way to keep making cakes without getting introuble or without ending up broke. I cant afford to spend $100 amonth on free cakes.

Its just seems unfair that I cant have them pay for the ingredients only which they dont mind doing. Its better for them than having to pay hundreds somewhere else. Right now I dont care alot about making profit, Dont wana end up broke tho.

Any suggestions on how I can go around to keep making free cakes without me having to put costs. I dont mind the time. Just want it to where I kan find a way that they pay for the supplies some how & would keep doing them for free. I'd hate to have to quit. Cake is my passion!

shorty23903 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 6:58pm
post #17 of 55

Or did u say that they actually buy the ingredients to make them free cakes? because if they paying for the the ingredients Y does it matter if they go get them or if i get the ingredients for them? what part am i lost on?...lol

CrazyCatLady Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 7:00pm
post #18 of 55

I believe that non-monetary compensation (i.e. bucket of fondant, pans, tools) is still viewed as income.

Now, if they want to buy the fondant before you make the cake so that you can use it on their cake, then you return the unused fondant to them (which they could save for a later cake), then you really haven't gained anything, right? (Other than a dirty kitchen to have to clean up.)

I know that there's bartering and things that go on where people exchange services or items that they need... but if I was having to get into that, I think it's just too complicated to deal with. I wouldn't want to have to prove anything to the "officials" over a cake.

Bottom line is that if someone "in charge" attends a party that is serving a cake that you have made, and that person inquires as to where the cake is from, you really don't want to give them an excuse to look into your activities. The easiest thing would be to just give them the cake so that they could say it was a gift.

Again, any person can do anything that they want to do... it just isn't always legal.

shorty23903 - You should really look into all the work that kelleym has put into helping legalize home kitchens in Texas. It could happen someday, and she and others are working their hardest to make that happen. That campaign needs all the support it can get! She posted the link above.

tmac670 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 7:27pm
post #19 of 55

When I make a cake as a volunteer (like my son't band banquet cake next month) I buy the materials and keep the receipts. The band reimburses me that money. No other money changes hands. They also have me log the hours I spent doing the cake as volunteer hours.
If I buy a dozen eggs and only use 9- I do not return the other 3 eggs- and I don't throw them out either. I use them- however- if I am only going to use 3 eggs- then I don't bother with buying a dozen- I just use my own- so in the end it is probably a wash.

shorty23903 Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 11:01pm
post #20 of 55

That sounds reasonable.. so i guess i can buy the materials & just have them pay for that and not charge for making the cake.. I dont think I can get in legal trouble as long as I'm not makin profit.

I just think its alot more trouble to have people go look for the things i need because they dont know what i need & dont wana bother going to go look for all my materials. Its easier for me to just buy it & give them the receipt.

Thank God.. I was starting to get depressed thinking dat the best thing was for me to stop making cakes because its to costly to open up a business for me right now. & all I want is to do a few cakes but on my free time. Not all the time.

I will just do them for free until I can get a business established. My friend keeps saying that as long as I dont advertise that I will b fine selling & making a lil profit. But im scared to take that risk.

indydebi Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 11:36pm
post #21 of 55

I'm sorry, I can't stand it anymore. icon_eek.gif

"dat" is not a word. It's spelled "that".
"kan" is not a word. It's spelled "can".
If you are going to use the word "wana", it's spelled "wanna".

Please know this is offered as a help to you so people can easily read and understand what you are asking.

As a member of the older generation who just got dragged into texting (with some stiff rules for my family on how texting is allowed on my phone), I do not like to see text-shorthand in normal writing .... and mostly because it takes me too long to try to figure out what the heck someone is saying.

As a trained adult literacy instructor, I take illiteracy VERY seriously. I find that text-shorthand promotes illiteracy and I can't sit by and let it go on as if it's "normal".

"Any1" is spelled "anyone".

CC does not charge per letter so it's ok to use all of them.

Quote:
Quote:

My friend keeps saying that as long as I dont advertise that I will b fine selling & making a lil profit



Your friend is wrong.

ArtieTs Posted 23 Apr 2010 , 11:56pm
post #22 of 55

CC does not charge per letter so it's ok to use all of them.

Boy oh boy! I've been following this one for a minute & was just waiting for this. LMAO!!!! Ok I'm going home on that one. Too funny. Yikes.

tiggy2 Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 12:01am
post #23 of 55

I agree deb. I wanted to gouge my eyes out tring to read the intial post.

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 12:05am
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by shorty23903

That sounds reasonable.. so i guess i can buy the materials & just have them pay for that and not charge for making the cake.. I dont think I can get in legal trouble as long as I'm not makin profit. I just think its alot more trouble to have people go look for the things i need because they dont know what i need & dont wana bother going to go look for all my materials. Its easier for me to just buy it & give them the receipt. Thank God.. I was starting to get depressed thinking dat the best thing was for me to stop making cakes because its to costly to open up a business for me right now. & all I want is to do a few cakes but on my free time. Not all the time. I will just do them for free until I can get a business established. My friend keeps saying that as long as I dont advertise that I will b fine selling & making a lil profit. But im scared to take that risk.





Legally that still considered a business whether you are making a profit or not.



LOL Indydeb icon_biggrin.gif

EnjoyTheCake Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 12:20am
post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady

You can make cakes for anyone, you just cannot accept money for them.




Actually, according to Travis County Health department, you can only make cakes for private events. You can not bake and/or decorate a cake in your own private kitchen for profit or to give away to the public. So you can make them and give them to be served in groups of people that have been invited.

I hope that makes sense.

Occther Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 12:24am
post #26 of 55

Bravo, Deb - thought it was just me!!

tiffani_1 Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 2:46am
post #27 of 55

I think you have your questions answered - but please please please change the way you write.

Dat gives me 1 lg hedake.

icon_smile.gif

icer101 Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 3:00am
post #28 of 55

i,m seeing that she is spelling some words as if it was a text message? shortening the words in otherwords. she is saying "dat" some of the time, then she is saying that sometimes. don,t know why she uses kan instead of can. maybe its just typing too fast. and maybe not reading over what she typed. i looked up other post and see this too. just typing too fast i guess.

shorty23903 Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 3:08am
post #29 of 55

Thank you so much for everyone's answers and I'm sorry about the way I wrote. I text alot on my cell phone & that's the quickiest way to answer and ask questions for people my age. But I will keep in mind to use correct writting when I ask questions here on cake central. Which it also took me a while to figure out what CC meant.. thanks again.

cakesbycathy Posted 24 Apr 2010 , 3:11am
post #30 of 55

I am really hoping the OP is typing/texting on her iphone and doesn't actually write like this.

And call me a skeptic, but am I the only one wondering if this post is for real icon_confused.gif

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