I am baking as a hobby basically cupcakes but wanted to take this to the next level and offer cupcakes to some cafe shops close to my full time job. Do i need to have a license to sell them my sweets or is it okay to say that I am home based. I live in Florida and not sure if it is okay.
This sticky tells which states allow home baking. It (and a ton of other valuable information) can be found in the cake decorating business forum.
Florida doesn't allow home production. You'd need to produce your cupcakes in a licensed commercial kitchen
Thanks for the info. Do you know of any commercial kitchen here in Miami? I don't think is gonna be worthy then if i have to pay for rent a space. I'm just starting and doing small stuff. Also, I have bought in the past several cakes from people that even have their business cards and I have picked up the cakes at their homes. How can they do it and how can they promote their cakes by even having and distributing business cards. The last cake I ordered, the lady even had a website and she baked from home.
Ask her, politely of course. Just tell her you are hoping to start a small business from home and were wondering how she went about it.
I'm in MA but I would also clarify with the Health dept etc, moving forward what the different standards for production, codes, etc would be for retail vs wholesale. If you are distributing through a wholesale vendor vs directly to a customer we have different standards in MA in regards to packaging etc so if you move forward you should make sure you are researching the correct avenue that you are looking to pursue
You do need a license in Florida to sell to the public. You would need to be licensed before selling your cupcakes to another establishment or the public.
I highly doubt any reputable cafe is going to purchase cakes from an unlicensed baker or one that does not carry liability insurance. Many cafes and restaurants purchase their desserts from local wholesalers that are licensed with inspected kitchens.
In some cities/states, baking for the retail customer is even different from baking for a wholesale customer, like a coffee shop. Sometimes that's a much more stringent license.
I feel a little bit down now and I guess I would have to take another direction. I just have a couple of months doing this and trying with different recipes and ingredients and I have really found a passion on this. I wanted to start little by little and if it eventually works, I would look at the whole picture and perhaps quiting my full time job which I hate so much. IT is so hard to start your own business especially if you have to be liscensed and renting a space since they one. Any ideas or suggestions?
I do so understand your frustration. I'm in Florida also and when I started down this road in January, I had no idea you could not sell cakes baked out of your home. I was so disappointed!!
There are many many people who do it illegally, which makes it even more frustrating. I want to do it the right way and I'm almost envious of the people who either don't give a damn or are completely ignorant of the law. I am just not willing to risk being sued, etc.
My goal now is to continue to bake cakes for friends and family. It allows me to practice recipes and techniques, etc. It does take pressure off since I know these are "free" cakes so if it's not perfect, no one is going to get too mad...LOL! I will continue to perfect things.
I will also use this time to do market research, get together a business plan, etc. So when the time comes that I'm able to rent a kitchen, hopefully I will have all my ducks in a row.
Also, I will see if I can find the thread for you...but they are trying to pass a "cottage" law here in Florida that will allow selling food prepared in your home! So maybe we will get lucky anyway
And maybe in the meantime, I might also discover I DON"T want to do this as a business. I would hate to invest $$ only to discover I really prefer this to be a hobby
Edited to add: Here is the thread with the latest info on the law that they are trying to get passed: