Disappointing, But ...

Business By RebelChick Updated 5 Jun 2010 , 12:46pm by tsc

RebelChick Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 11:49pm
post #1 of 16

I live in VA where you can bake from home if you get your kitchen inspected, but since I have a dog and two cats, I can't do business from home. It would be nice to be able to rent a store front, but that's not an option. We live sort of in the country and I don't think the area would support it. So, I'm just a little bummed that my "little cake business" is going to be a no go. icon_cry.gif

As you were...

15 replies
costumeczar Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:34am
post #2 of 16

I live in VA and the inspector told me that animals aren't a problem. He also told me that they can't tell people not to have pets, so I don't know who you talked to, but you're getting wrong information. They just make sure that you don't have animlas in the cooking area, which is probably hard if you have free-roaming pets, but it can be done.

tsc Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:45am
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I live in VA and the inspector told me that animals aren't a problem. He also told me that they can't tell people not to have pets, so I don't know who you talked to, but you're getting wrong information. They just make sure that you don't have animlas in the cooking area, which is probably hard if you have free-roaming pets, but it can be done.




ditto for me. i live in va too and was told the exact same thing. at the time i had a dog and was told just keep him out of the kitchen w/ baby gates. best case scenario was to keep him on a second floor, but they'd be happy with the baby gates. i would call back and talk to someone else. don't give up yet.

Mindy1975 Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 11:15am
post #4 of 16

RebelChick, I live out in the country too, and I am liscensed! I agree it can be challenging at times because sometimes people can't find my house, so I tend to do more deliveries because of it. But it is worth it to me than to have to "guide" every lost soul on the phone who is lost that can't find thier way down a straight shot off the highway. It takes a few years, to build your business, I can honestly tell you that, but it so much worth it. You never know where your next order is going to come from, and sometimes you go a week or two with no cakes at all. But if you are like me, and you love living in the country, it is worth every ounce! I too, have a separate kitchen, so I don't see why pets would be a problem. Another thing to think about......weddings are a major income and it really doesn't matter where you live when it comes to weddings. You can do consultations at your home. I do them all the time at my dining room table. And even if they don't decide that evening if they want to go with me for their cake, usually I get their signed contract and check in the mail within the month. And we are good to go from there. IT doesn't matter that I live in the country. I still get their cake delievered to the venue on their wedding day. If you have something unique to offer and you are good at what you do, word will get around! If you can get liscensed and can advertised, then that will be a great thing! You won't know until you try! I hope I have at least talked a little bit of sense into you! (((hugs)))

RebelChick Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 9:16pm
post #5 of 16

Where do you guys live in VA? I live in the Hampton Roads area and the USDA inspector is for the whole area! I explained to him that my animals don't normally come into my kitchen at all. I have 2 cats and a dog. They'd rather hang out in the living room or bedrooms (one cat practically lives on my bed!) He said that pet fur can get into your baking even if they aren't in there and he told me of a woman that had a dog and they did a surprise visit and tested her product and found pet hair in it. I know I'm very careful when I bake at home for family/friends and have not ever had any problems or complaints about hair being in the food! Please let me know who/where to get the information to let this guy know he isn't correct! I'd be more than willing to get baby gates for my kitchen or anything else so make sure the animals stay out of the kitchen while I'm baking. The dog already does. She KNOWS not to come in when we are cooking/baking. Thank you all so much!!!!

Mindy1975 Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 10:10pm
post #6 of 16

well, I'm in Illinois. lol I'm sorry! I was just trying to keep you from being discouraged and frustrated just because you live in the country! TSC and Costumcszar are the ones that live in the same state as you. BUt still, don't give up!

costumeczar Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 12:25am
post #7 of 16

[quote="RebelChick"]Where do you guys live in VA? I live in the Hampton Roads area and the USDA inspector is for the whole area! I explained to him that my animals don't normally come into my kitchen at all. I have 2 cats and a dog. They'd rather hang out in the living room or bedrooms (one cat practically lives on my bed!) He said that pet fur can get into your baking even if they aren't in there and he told me of a woman that had a dog and they did a surprise visit and tested her product and found pet hair in it. quote]

Did you talk to Eric? He told me the same story, but he also told me that they inspected her three times until she got the acceptable amount of dog hair in her candy. Unless they've changed the regulations you can have animals as long as they don't come into the baking area at all. Eric is located in Vorginia Beach office, I think. He's the inspector for the Dept of Agriculture for that area and up into Richmond, which is where I live.

RebelChick Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 12:44am
post #8 of 16

The guy I talked to was Joe Ferguson. He said he had VB, Isle of Wight and Newport News. I'm going to call the Richmond Dept. of Ag. office Monday to see what I can find out. Maybe I can find Eric and talk to him also!

MJoycake Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 12:44am
post #9 of 16

Yes, I'd check again. I'm in VA too - Central VA. I have one dog and we put up cafe doors - the dog never comes in the kitchen. You want to be sure the animals don't come in the kitchen at all - not just when you are baking. I agree with the other posters about being in the country...you can build your business around it and use it to your advantage if you can. Put up a barrier to your kitchen and talk to someone else in the dept - you can do this! Best of luck!!

RebelChick Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 12:47am
post #10 of 16

Joe also said we had to list all our ingredients, provide a sketch of our layout of rooms, where the well and septic is (we have town water system). I'm all for that, if that is what I'm supposed to do, but he didn't seem like he wanted to help us, just tell us we couldn't do it!

RebelChick Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 12:51am
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJoycake

Yes, I'd check again. I'm in VA too - Central VA. I have one dog and we put up cafe doors - the dog never comes in the kitchen. You want to be sure the animals don't come in the kitchen at all - not just when you are baking. I agree with the other posters about being in the country...you can build your business around it and use it to your advantage if you can. Put up a barrier to your kitchen and talk to someone else in the dept - you can do this! Best of luck!!





Maybe that is one of the problems. I live in a mobile home and it would be a little difficult to put up a barrier for them. Do-able maybe with baby gates, though, but not doors. No possible way to permanently block it off since my AC unit is in the kitchen window!

MJoycake Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 12:59am
post #12 of 16

the cafe doors are just swinging half height doors - like saloon doors. They don't block off the entryway, but the dog won't go through them.

Navyempress Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 1:07am
post #13 of 16

I talked to the Agriculture office in Virginia Beach two days ago and they are sending me their info packet for inspections. I have talked to several people through email and on the phone in Chesapeake and they have told me I can't have a home bakery although I know of a licensed home bakery in Chesapeake.. not sure if they just don't know the answer so they automatically tell me "no" or what..

RebelChick Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 1:11am
post #14 of 16

Thank you all for your advice!!!! I will call the Virginia Beach office Monday and see what they say! And look into the cafe doors also!

costumeczar Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 12:36pm
post #15 of 16

I get so pissed off when people are trying to do the right thing by getting licensed and are given bad information by people who don't know what they're talking about!

You can definitely have a licensed and inspected home business in the state of VA. I've had one for 11 years, and I know of 6 others in my area just off the top of my head. I also did the wedding cake for the woman who runs the licensing part of it in Richmond, and I've talked about it with her, so I know that she knows the licensing regulations and would have told me if I needed to change something. I also know people in VA who have had licensed businesses out of apartments, and they also had cats, so it isn't limited to houses that are totally pet-free.

In 2008 they changed the law so that you could make baked goods that aren't perishable and sell them from home without an inspection as long as they're labelled "non-inspected facility." The inspector I spoke to wasn't happy about this, because they were losing the capacity to inspect people who did have pets (thus the story of the dog hair in the candy) if they weren't going to be selling perishables. You can still get inspected, though, and it's an added credential that will tell people you understand sanitation, and will also allow you to sell perishable fillings, etc.

I'd call the inspector back and ask them about the repeal of VA food code 3.1-398.1, which I've attached here. This gives you the ability to produce and sell non-perishable baked goods from home without an inspection, but you have to label it clearly that it came from a non-inspected facility. I've also attachesd a link to a brochure that I found for farmer's markets, which clearly says that home production of food requires an inspection (but they're talking about meat/milk/eggs.) The point with that is to show that yes, they do inspect home businesses. There's also a section in there that lists the phone numbers to call for information.

http://www.scottsvilleva.com/farmers/FM%20Food%20Safety.pdf

tsc Posted 5 Jun 2010 , 12:46pm
post #16 of 16

Well I'm in the central southwest part of VA. I checked in 2007 but then gave up because I decided it was too much work while dealing with my baby boy. The guy I spoke to at the Dept of Ag was really nice and helpful. I had a dog at the time, and he acted like it was no big deal. I was thinking about checking into it again. Didn't hear about the 2008 thing. Now I'm definitely interested. I just sell a few cakes a year right now, but I've been really careful about only doing it for friends for fear of not being inspected. Maybe I can take it up a notch. Thanks for sharing the link.

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I get so pissed off when people are trying to do the right thing by getting licensed and are given bad information by people who don't know what they're talking about!

You can definitely have a licensed and inspected home business in the state of VA. I've had one for 11 years, and I know of 6 others in my area just off the top of my head. I also did the wedding cake for the woman who runs the licensing part of it in Richmond, and I've talked about it with her, so I know that she knows the licensing regulations and would have told me if I needed to change something. I also know people in VA who have had licensed businesses out of apartments, and they also had cats, so it isn't limited to houses that are totally pet-free.

In 2008 they changed the law so that you could make baked goods that aren't perishable and sell them from home without an inspection as long as they're labelled "non-inspected facility." The inspector I spoke to wasn't happy about this, because they were losing the capacity to inspect people who did have pets (thus the story of the dog hair in the candy) if they weren't going to be selling perishables. You can still get inspected, though, and it's an added credential that will tell people you understand sanitation, and will also allow you to sell perishable fillings, etc.

I'd call the inspector back and ask them about the repeal of VA food code 3.1-398.1, which I've attached here. This gives you the ability to produce and sell non-perishable baked goods from home without an inspection, but you have to label it clearly that it came from a non-inspected facility. I've also attachesd a link to a brochure that I found for farmer's markets, which clearly says that home production of food requires an inspection (but they're talking about meat/milk/eggs.) The point with that is to show that yes, they do inspect home businesses. There's also a section in there that lists the phone numbers to call for information.

http://www.scottsvilleva.com/farmers/FM%20Food%20Safety.pdf


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