I am currently teaching myself how to decorate and in order to gain experience I wanted to post an ad for "discount cake decorating services" I was hoping to make some cakes for people at just the cost of ingredients so I can build my portfolio to help me get a job.
Is this considered a business? I'm afraid if I post this on craigslist that I will get myself into some legal trouble - I don't really see it as a business more of just a way to gain some experience.
Has anyone tried this? Any ideas would be appreciated.
Pretty sure it considered a business- if you are exchanging money for anything. Now craigslist also doesn't seem to be very regulated- they have prostitutes. I know alot of people that sell baked goods especially around the holidays without a license. Could you get in trouble, pretty sure but I don't think it is likely- unless you upset the wrong person.
In California it would be a business if you took any money. Regardless if it just covers your ingredients. They don't care if you don't make a profit. If you want to get experience make cakes for friends and give them away. Or make dummy cakes for photos and re-do as a new idea strikes you =) I'm in California too and it sucks... Luckily I have 2 kids with lots of friends and a neighborhood full of kids that I make cakes for...Good Luck!
It is a business. In fact you can't even swap for anything or technically you are selling your cakes!
I have a website from when I was selling cakes but as I no longer have my access to a commercial kitchen I am no longer doing them. But I was investigated by the county health department. I think a cake shop here in town turned me in. UGH!
Just be prepared. Get the word out to friends that you will do cakes for birthday events and allow them to tip you. Be prepared to suggest an amount. It is still not legal but if it is just friends.... i draw the line for myself at friends. I won't bake for friends of friends. It isn't worth everything I have worked for if someone decided to sue me. And in Cali..... well you know how sue happy people are!
Thanks for the advice guys. I found a few commercial kitchens that rent by the hour, maybe its worth the investment... if not I'll buy some dummy cakes
I'm in San Diego too, I dont think its a good idea to go on craigslist unless you have the proper licensing and insurance.
From my enquiries, it seems you need liability insurance, a license from the health department, and an inspection from the health department for whatever kitchen you decide to rent. You also need an additional license for the farmers market if you decide to go that route...
This will run at least $1k just to start the process, in addition to rentals etc. Oh and your sanitation certificate too!
I recommend taking lots of classes, doing lots of practice for friends and family, running a business model to see if you can actually make a profit (I did the entrepeneur class at Grossmont online).
Good luck! and try coming to the san diego cake club at do it with icing, maybe you'll meet other cake enthusiasts who can give you tips?
You could also try interning at a nearby bakery. It might be a good opportunity to learn decorating and the ins and outs of how a cake business works, plus you'd have someone there(the owner, other employees, and customers) to give you feedback.
If you don't have a facebook page, you should start one. I post pics of my cakes just to show folks what I'm doing. I get requests almost every time I post a new pic of folks wanting me to do cakes.