My Own Morality Keeps Me From Baking Illegally! Vent!

Decorating By ponderiffic Updated 10 Aug 2010 , 11:46am by momma28

ponderiffic Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:52pm
post #1 of 36

I was searching craigslist today in the DFW area for cake deals like deep discounts on supplies and such. What I found was TONS of people advertising their cakes for sale. It really seems to me that there are so many people baking illegally from their homes in my area. I had made cakes for friends and family and started to make cakes for friends of friends but stopped because I knew in my heart of hearts that I was baking illegally and that it was wrong to do so. I still do the occasional cake for friends but I don't usually make any money on them. I am just a little ticked that others are doing it and that I cannot because of my own moral compass. To be certified in TX you have to have a separate, inspected kitchen and I do not have the time or money to make that happen. Plus, we are planning on moving to CO as soon as our house sells! I am hoping their home baking laws are a little more lenient. Anyone in CO know what I need to do to become a legal baker?

I just needed to vent! Thanks for listening!

35 replies
DeeDelightful Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 4:12pm
post #2 of 36

Just wondering how can you tell from the newspaper ad that they are illegal home bakers?

I agree, you should not do anything that makes you uncomfortable. If those bakers are illegal, maybe there are some circumstances (such as the need for extra money) that, to them, outweighs the risk of baking illegally. I'm sure they think their kitchen is germ-free and their baked goods couldn't possibly have a hair or cause a complaint (smiley face).

There is a thread on here under Cake Business Forum that discusses the laws in various states.

KatsSuiteCakes Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 4:13pm
post #3 of 36

Co laws don't allow home bakeries at all, even if you have a separate kitchen. Unless there's something I don't know, this is my understanding. You can however, sell baked goods at Farmers Markets; although I never have. I applaud your character, and feel your pain if it's any consolation. You're gonna love it here!
Best,
Kat

Sassy74 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 4:20pm
post #4 of 36

Dear, I have the same dilemma. I do bake for friends/family, but no way no how am I going to advertise myself, or act like I'm in business. It's not legal here in La, either. Same deal--have to have a separate kitchen, and I'm not prepared to go that far right now. Good for you for doing the right thing. It chaps me too...I'd love to do more volume, and even make some money doing this, but I'd feel badly about myself knowing that I was deliberately breaking the law. Hope no one asks me about how fast I drive, though...

TexasSugar Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 4:58pm
post #5 of 36

I won't say all of them, but my guess is that alot of them do know now that you can not do it. How was it you found out that it was illegal?

I'm a WMI and when someone mentions they are talking the classes to sell cakes I always ask them of they knew it was illegal to do out of their home. Wanna guess how many know that it is?

BlueBurd Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 6:27pm
post #6 of 36

I feel your pain. NM doesn't allow for the cottage food industry either *sniff sniff* Maybe I'll move to Michigan? icon_smile.gif

I got pretty good at decorating, started a website (not published), built a brochure and price list...then called the local treasury office about a business license...then called the health department, who shattered my dreams of a home bakery. All makes sense from a consumer standpoint, but no fun when you're willing to meet regulations if they'd just HAVE regulations!

maybe someday... good luck and sleep well knowing you are doing the right thing.

Smashme Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 6:32pm
post #7 of 36

hey BlueBurd, i live in new mexico too, and january first they passed a cottage food law here-so now you can bake from your home. you have to pay 100 for a licence and have your kitchen inspected (most newer homes here are almost up to code) i'm sereousely considering it when my kiddos start school.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 8:24pm
post #8 of 36

I'm sooooo with you ponderiffic. MN doesn't allow me to sell either. So I make cakes for free for family events. I have a policy with them and friends that they can ask me to do a cake for them, but I need at least 3 weeks notice, I get the final say in design/flavor/colors, plus I can call them up if I need to and tell them "sorry, can't do your cake I'm too busy".

I've even got a few family members that insist on paying me, even when I tell them I can't accept payment. They say they'll keep it hush hush and not tell anyone. But I know in my heart that I'm not supposed to do so. I guess it's from a bible study I just finished up not too long ago. I studied Romans for 2 years and first half of chapter 13 talks about respecting your governing authorities. For some reason that chapter is first and foremost in my mind whenever I start thinking or talking about MN food laws.

soccerbecca Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 8:37pm
post #9 of 36

What are the penalties for baking from home as a business? Been looking around here and other places to find that out (not that I'm going to do it, same with most of you my moral compass says no way), but I'm curious.

Elcee Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 10:45pm
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponderiffic

Plus, we are planning on moving to CO as soon as our house sells! I am hoping their home baking laws are a little more lenient. Anyone in CO know what I need to do to become a legal baker?




Nope, sorry...Colorado is as strict as California and Texas. icon_sad.gif

Elcee Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 10:53pm
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatsSuiteCakes

Co laws don't allow home bakeries at all, even if you have a separate kitchen. Unless there's something I don't know, this is my understanding. You can however, sell baked goods at Farmers Markets; although I never have.




Kat, I thought you could have a separate kitchen...I think the wording is something like "not attached to a living and/or sleeping area". I didn't know you could sell at Farmers Markets; where did you learn that? Not that I'm interested in Farmer's Markets but I always wonder, when the stand doesn't have a business name where they are baking. icon_smile.gif It wouldn't make sense (not that making sense is a criteria for laws icon_rolleyes.gif) if I can't bake, decorate and sell a wedding cake from my home but I can bake banana bread and sell it at a Farmer's Market.

mysweetsugar75 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:00pm
post #12 of 36

Does anyone know what the Ohio law is about home cake decorator/baker?

mirda6275 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:17pm
post #13 of 36

Ohio has the Cottage Food Law. It's through the Ohio Department of Agriculture. It allows the sale of non-perishable foods (i.e. no cream cheese, fresh fruit) from unlicensed kitchens.

Foods need to be labeled as home made, list all ingredients in decending order by weight and list the total weight of the item in pounds and ounces.

All the information is easy to find online and in the threads on CC that discuss this.

kimbordeaux Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:23pm
post #14 of 36

When I first started I had no idea that is was illegal to create my cakes and sell them. I found out after getting into caking big time, purchasing equipment and supplies, advertising... In SC you cannot bake out of your home under any circumstances. If you add another building to your property it has to have its own water and septic and meet DHEC (dept of health and environmental control) requirements. DHEC requires any food retail establishment to meet the same standards, restaurant standards. So, I'm in the process of creating my bakery, almost done. Kakes by Kim will be open in a couple of weeks... that is my goal anyway, not too much left to finish.

I would love to be able to make cakes out of my home! I would be saving money on licenses, taxes, rent, water, electricity, new equipment...

deMuralist Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:37pm
post #15 of 36

well....in Tn you would be saving on rent but the license you would still have to have and pay taxes and be inspected and of course it would take more water and electricity and have a separate fridge and storage, alter your bathroom and kitchen to comply, have no one come to the home for business, no signs not even on a car sitting out front...but yes I still admit much easier.

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:38pm
post #16 of 36

You should never feel bad for doing the right thing. I'm sorry you're in a state where you can't sell legally, but you're right to stay within the law.

For the person who asked about what the penalties are, in Virginia they can collect back income and sales tax based on what they ESTIMATE you would have been making (and I'm sure that they're going to estimate high.) Plus interest and penalties. I don't know what other states do, but it's probably something similar. Then the IRS would also be interested in what income you weren't reporting, and you don't want to mess with tthat.

PattyT Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:42pm
post #17 of 36

[quote="Rose_N_Crantz"]I'm sooooo with you ponderiffic. MN doesn't allow me to sell either. So I make cakes for free for family events. I have a policy with them and friends that they can ask me to do a cake for them, but I need at least 3 weeks notice, I get the final say in design/flavor/colors, plus I can call them up if I need to and tell them "sorry, can't do your cake I'm too busy".
quote]

I'm with you and ponderiffic, Rose_N-Crantz! Being from New Jersey, we're stuck. I'm going broke (not literally) giving cakes for friends/family events and celebrations. Not just the moral and legal issues, I'm terrified of a stray hair or something - and, especially these days, getting sued! "My little darling was traumatized and can never eat a cupcake again!!!" Anyone working illegally needs to think of that part of it. No license, no insurance...

On the plus side, like you, I can pretty much do whatever I want - and say yes or no as often as I need to....and no Bridezillas or Walmart pricing, or refund complaining.

All the same...it would be nice to be able to try...sigh!

p.s. I didn't know it was illegal till I came to Cake Central. Even after 3 Wilton classes with our instructior showing us her portfolio!! icon_confused.gif

Melvira Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:54pm
post #18 of 36

God bless Iowa. I feel for all of you who are dealing with all the tight restrictions that make it impossible to live your dreams. I understand WHY they exist, but it doesn't make them stink any less. I hope Iowa doesn't get any crazy ideas...

Sassy74 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:55pm
post #19 of 36

PattyT, I took the classes too, and my instructor did the same thing! Showed us photo albums FULL of her cakes, would come in to class each week talking about the wedding cake she was working on for that weekend, etc. I had no clue it was illegal till I came to CC.

BlueBurd Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 2:15am
post #20 of 36

Grrr....I know this isn't about me, but I just looked up the new home based food law in New Mexico and guess what? ALBUQUERQUE IS EXCLUDED! Oy vey! You cannot tell me that my kitchen isn't cleaner and more disinfected than some of the "roach coaches" driving around this city. And probably several restaurants. So aggravating!

costumeczar Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 10:41am
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueBurd

Grrr....I know this isn't about me, but I just looked up the new home based food law in New Mexico and guess what? ALBUQUERQUE IS EXCLUDED! Oy vey! You cannot tell me that my kitchen isn't cleaner and more disinfected than some of the "roach coaches" driving around this city. And probably several restaurants. So aggravating!




Well,that's stupid. Why did they exclude one city?

FairyCakeDesigns Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 6:27am
post #22 of 36

The laws are definitely a hinderence to free enterprise. I have been meaning to look into how much it costs to rent commercial kitchens but that would only be feasable at a very good price.

debbief Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 5:53pm
post #23 of 36

I feel for you too. I've been really getting into baking/decorating during the last several months. So any excuse I get to bake a cake for someone, I do it...well if I have time. Once people realize they can get a free cake, you get all kinds of requests. I've actually taken money for a couple cakes when some insisted that I at least let them cover the cost icon_redface.gif But I'm really apprehensive about even doing that.

I live in a state (CO) where it is illegal to sell out of your kitchen. You can't even build a separate kitchen...from what I understand icon_sad.gif

So this has to be a hobby for me. But it's an expensive hobby! And the sad part is that people actually want to pay, but I can't let them icon_cry.gif

Price Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 7:04pm
post #24 of 36

Back in May I made my nephew's wedding cake. I had people coming to me at the reception wanting my business card. Even the caterer had a piece of cake and wanted my card. It was heart breaking for me to tell them sorry, I only bake as a hobby and can't sell. I would love to be able to do it as a VERY small business from home. I am retired, but still work at a clerical job 20 hours a week, and not really interested in opening a full time business, but it would be really nice to be able to do a cake here or there and not having to worry about it. I haven't done a decorated cake since May. I have a large family, but only caking for family occasions doesn't give me much chance to practice.

It is legal to bake from home in PA. I live about 20 minutes from the PA line. Amazing what a difference a few miles makes!

Elcee Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 10:50pm
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by debbief

I live in a state (CO) where it is illegal to sell out of your kitchen. You can't even build a separate kitchen...from what I understand icon_sad.gif




debbief, I'm curious, where did you get the information that you can't build a separate kitchen? You're the second person who has mentioned that. According to page 59 of this document...

http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/regulations/consumer/101002RetailFood.pdf
...

Quote:
Quote:

6-502 Living Areas
No retail food establishment operation shall be conducted in any area used as living or sleeping quarters. A retail food establishment operation shall be separated from any living or sleeping quarters by complete partitioning and solid, self-closing doors, and shall comply with local requirements.



This reads to me like a separate kitchen would be allowed as long as it follows the regulations set forth in the other 160 pages icon_smile.gif.

Doug Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 11:02pm
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Price

Back in May I made my nephew's wedding cake. I had people coming to me at the reception wanting my business card. Even the caterer had a piece of cake and wanted my card. It was heart breaking for me to tell them sorry, I only bake as a hobby and can't sell. I would love to be able to do it as a VERY small business from home. I am retired, but still work at a clerical job 20 hours a week, and not really interested in opening a full time business, but it would be really nice to be able to do a cake here or there and not having to worry about it. I haven't done a decorated cake since May. I have a large family, but only caking for family occasions doesn't give me much chance to practice.

It is legal to bake from home in PA. I live about 20 minutes from the PA line. Amazing what a difference a few miles makes!




the caterer has a kitchen. Might you strike a deal?

Price Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 11:19pm
post #27 of 36

Doug, I thought about that, but this particular caterer is a BBQ type cuisine! My cakes might taste a little smoky! lol

momma28 Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 11:52pm
post #28 of 36

Really illegal in PA or just your part of PA. We looked into moving there and you could have a legal home caking business but there were restrictions on the types of fillings you could use, whether you could have animals etc. I think it varies by county but I know some allow. I wouldnt have considered it if they didnt.

Texas_Rose Posted 6 Aug 2010 , 11:59pm
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by soccerbecca

What are the penalties for baking from home as a business? Been looking around here and other places to find that out (not that I'm going to do it, same with most of you my moral compass says no way), but I'm curious.




In TX it is a class C misdemeanor, same as a traffic ticket. First time offenses may carry a $500 fine.

Taxes would be a separate issue.

What's really frustrating is to see people selling cakes illegally on Craigslist, and advertising over a couple years, and to see the way their skills progress because of all the practice they're getting. I can't afford to practice that much.

Doug Posted 7 Aug 2010 , 12:37am
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Price

Doug, I thought about that, but this particular caterer is a BBQ type cuisine! My cakes might taste a little smoky! lol


[img]

LOL


well it could give spice cake a whole new meaning! icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif [/img]

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