I'm new to the site and hoping to set up a home based business that provides food allergy friendly cupcakes, and possibly cakes. I have a son who is allergic to peanuts (we finally outgrew the egg allergy!) and have seen time and again how sad these kids are when they can't have cake at a party or in class. So, since we have to live peanut free home anyway and I enjoy baking and get tons of compliments on my cakes/cupcakes, I thought I might give this a try. I'd like to provide other options such as egg free, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, organic, etc.... My son is in the allergy class and they have peanut, egg, soy and wheat allergies so they were so excited when I sent in football cupcakes last month free of all those ingredients! And I'm a single mom so the extra income would be extremely helpful. I'm just wondering how much demand is out there for this? From my perspective, I know it's hard to find safe baked goods but will people really order allergy free cupcakes to send to school from me if they can pick them up a couple dozen from Walmart for $10? (BTW, our Walmart doesn't have the peanut warning on them although we know from talking to the staff they are not safe which is very frustrating!) For wedding, parties, etc.. I know it's different but I'm really targeting (at this point) birthday parties and school/preschool activities. Even if I don't make a dime, I still want to do this as my primarily goal here is to find a way to include these kids safely. I'm just wondering from the business side if there a real market out there for this? Do you all get many requests for this type of product(s)? Thanks in advance for any advice.
I think there would definitely be a demand... your problem is going to be getting legal. It's really difficult (in some states/counties impossible) to become a licensed home baker.
There's a thread on here somewhere about states that license home bakeries - I'll try to find it and post the link, but you can also go to "forums", and "search" (along the top) and try searching for that topic.
Not sure about Virginia, but I've seen many posts on this site for people asking how to make an allergy-free cake for someone, and getting the advice about cross-contamination and needing separate tools and such, so a lot of bakers/cake decorators shy away from it... I would think there would be a market.
That's how I got into cake decorating as well.... my daughter has egg, peanut & wheat allergies and I wanted her to have a cool birthday cake like her older sister could... so I self-taught myself baking for it, and then the decorating piece. Well worth it to see her smile and enjoy the same treats as everyone else.
You will just want to make sure you check out the laws in your state about running a cake business from your home & whether that is legal or not. Each state is different.
Good luck and welcome to CC! this site is the best!!
here's the link
there's plenty more discussion on that topic in the "business" section of the forum.
You can get licensed in Virginia to have a home bakery, I know that I saw in another thread you're in the middle of that process.
I think that there would definitely be a demand for an allergen-free product, and your selling point should be that you have a child with the same issue, so your house is free of whatever allergens you avoid. I do cakes for allergic clients, but since I'm not a dedicated allergen-free baker I tell people that there's a risk of cross-contamination. If you are totally allergen free for certain things, I'd market the heck out of that.
Keep in mind that a lot of schools in Virginia don't let you bring baked goods that were made, not purchased. Some require treats to be wrapped individually. It makes no sense to me, if they're coming from a licensed business, but that's the way it is. You might be able to talk to the administration at your kids' school and arrange something, though.