MELI_CAKES Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 2:35am
post #1 of

I am watching the TLC show "Fabulous Cakes" and this episode they are focusing on some NY decorators. One of them is Kate Sullivan of Cake Power and they said that because she has to split caking with being a mom she does it straight out of her Manhattan Loft. But how ?

The camera is panning in different ares and you can see common living areas and bookshelves.

I'm so confused. I thought you absolutely cannot run a bakery out of your home in NY.

So what am I missing?

38 replies
cmnycakes Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:05am
post #2 of

I'd be curious about this too. Although, I think it has less to do with being a "New York" question, rather than a "Town of" question. My guess would be that because of the nature of Manhattan, the Health Department rules for the "City of New York" are much more relaxed. There's hardly any commercial space in the City, and a residential space may be right adjacent to a commercial space. My guess is that as long as all the health rules are followed (such as proximity of hand-washing sinks, health department inspections etc) you'd be fine.

Here in the Town of Hempstead (Long Island), something like that doesn't fly. It's commercial space all the way.

Think I'm on the right track?


http://cmnycakes.com/

LindaF144a Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 12:47pm
post #3 of

I live in Monroe County upstate. In NYS there is such a thing as a Home Processing Permit where you can make cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins out of your home.

You can only sell wholesale and on farmer's markets or so the law states. But if you are at a "farmer's market" and someone asks you to make something special are you going to say no?

The one stipulation on the law is that you can't advertise on the internet. I called my local agriculture department and they are going to come out and inspect my kitchen for this. They told specifically that I can't advertise over the internet, and it states that on the NYS website also. The lady said this means no Facebook, Twitter or "any of those things the young kids are using nowadays." I guess I'm pretty young then! Anyway that is what I know so far.

I saw that episode too. Now this may be what this lady has. I'm not too sure if she advertises. But I recognized one of her cakes as a pretty popular cake that I have seen published in one of the cake magazines. But then again advertising and being published and wrote about could be two different things too.

I don't understand the emphasis on not advertising on the internet. But that is not important to me anyway.

cmnycakes Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 1:30pm
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144

I live in Monroe County upstate. In NYS there is such a thing as a Home Processing Permit where you can make cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins out of your home.




I don't mean to start a flame war, but I'm not sure this is correct. First off, a quick search of "Home Processing Permit" on google returns 5 results, and I think 3 were from cakecentral?? Maybe it's called something else?

Also, from my understanding and experience of owning a bakery on Long Island, food safety actually falls under the County jurisdiction, not NYS. I may have said "Town" in my previous post, but it's actually the Nassau County Department of Health inspectors that come and inspect our kitchens every once in while. Also, we are required to be "ServSafe" under Nassau County, not NYS. Check out http://www.servsafe.com/RegRequirements/rr_state_juris_summ.aspx?st=New%20York&id=120

In Nassau County, home bakeries appear to be out, at least according to this Nassau County .gov website: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/health/FAQ/permits.html

I would research the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website, as that's what a quick search led me to: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/home/home.shtml

Good luck!

PS: if you check out our website, we have a location in Manhattan, but it's a sales office, and therefore we don't have to worry about food prep.


http://cmnycakes.com/

q2wheels Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 1:57pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Quote:

I don't mean to start a flame war, but I'm not sure this is correct. First off, a quick search of "Home Processing Permit" on google returns 5 results, and I think 3 were from cakecentral?? Maybe it's called something else?




Here is the link to "Home Processor" on the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets:

http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/FS/consumer/processor.html

cmnycakes Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 2:05pm
post #6 of

Cool...interesting link. This may suggest that in NYS you can apply for something like this and make stuff out of your house.

But then again, there is a note on the site: "NOTE: In any event, all operators should consult with local zoning officials for approval before commencing any food processing operations."

So local zoning in my area would forbid this type of operation (see previous post). I'm not a lawyer, but from experience, it's the County/City level that you need to be concerned with.

MELI_CAKES Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 4:03pm
post #7 of

Thanks for your input I will check out these links. It's so confusing when what your research says one thing but what's blasted on TV says another. Margeret Braun worked out of her home too, and I wonder also how she pulled that off because she didn't live in a loft but a regular standard NYC apartment in Brooklyn ...

CMNY you know what, I was saying to myself why does that name look familar to me? It's because your bakery had posted a job on Craigslist and I had emailed my info. Small world !

cmnycakes Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 6:40pm
post #8 of

Cool Meli, did I ever respond?? We got quite a bit of response, even with phonecalls, so it was hard to get back to everybody.

Oh, and this might have been buried a bit in the posts before, but my gut says that NYC may be more lenient with working from home, because, as you said, Margaret Braun is known for working from her apartment. I've even seen her take a tour of it in some show.

Ro
http://cmnycakes.com/

LindaF144a Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 9:22pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmnycakes

Cool...interesting link. This may suggest that in NYS you can apply for something like this and make stuff out of your house.

But then again, there is a note on the site: "NOTE: In any event, all operators should consult with local zoning officials for approval before commencing any food processing operations."

So local zoning in my area would forbid this type of operation (see previous post). I'm not a lawyer, but from experience, it's the County/City level that you need to be concerned with.




This is true that it is your local zoning law. That is why I stated I lived in Monroe county. It differs from county to county.

Here is a link to the site page that had the phone numbers to call for your area:

http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/FS/general/contactinfo.html

I'll be glad to keep you posted on my personal experience. I called them previously to gather information which I posted here. I just called them yesterday to set up the inspection appointment.

Thanks for your response. Your cakes and the show was very interesting to watch. I love your designs. Hopefully you will be on more cake shows in the future!

MELI_CAKES Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 10:32pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmnycakes

Cool Meli, did I ever respond?? We got quite a bit of response, even with phonecalls, so it was hard to get back to everybody.

Oh, and this might have been buried a bit in the posts before, but my gut says that NYC may be more lenient with working from home, because, as you said, Margaret Braun is known for working from her apartment. I've even seen her take a tour of it in some show.

Ro
http://cmnycakes.com/




I can imagine all the responses you got ! I scour Craigslist almost every day looking for positions.

Yes you did respond. You said you were looking for someone further along in experience...

Were you able to fill the spot(s)?

Cindy619 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 1:17am

The Home Processors License in NY is actually fairly easy to obtain, but as it states, you can only sell wholesale, at farmers markets and stands. Therefore you can sell to the wedding planner who then resells it to the bride, but you can't sell directly to the bride/client. It greatly limits what you can do. As always, laws and regulations vary by individual counties/towns, but in general, the license does NOT allow you to sell retail from your home kitchen.

LindaF144a Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 2:26am

You can sale wholesale to restaurants also.
Om my initial conversation with the person who returned my call, I told her my intention to try this and she did not say I couldn't. But I am not talking wedding cakes here, nor am I directing my business directly to the bride. When it comes to cakes , there are more customers than brides.

There is also a person who has this type of permit and sells baked goods at our local farmer's market and does quite a brisk business too.

The only thing the person who spoke to me emphasized is that I cannot advertise at all any where. Not a problem for me and what I intend to do.

Cindy619 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 2:04pm

Sure, restaurants, grocery stores, etc all count as wholesale. My point was simply that in most cases you can not sell directly to your "normal" cake customers.

LindaF144a Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 3:33pm

delete

Cindy619 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 3:44pm

icon_wink.gif

LindaF144a Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 3:51pm

Unless you have taken this route,, or are a home processing inspector I believe that you are speculating.

I wouldn't be so nitpicking about it if I haven't already talked to a lot of people who do this route here in my county.

And yes, I am offended. But I can't put all the blame on you. You are right to clarify what your interpretation of the law is.

I'm sorry to have been so harsh in my response. It is so different everywhere in this state, that I have decided to go straight to the source. I learn so much more every day. Sometimes it is amazing and sometimes it is not what you want to hear, but you have to live with it anyway.

I'll go change my original message.

chrissypie Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 7:51pm

I have heard of people in Manhattan making cakes from their homes, Margaret Braun comes to mind. I think the laws are completely different in NYC. It definitely is a county to county law. Does anyone know about Suffolk County New York. I think the answer is no, but I have to say, I see sooo many illegal businesses and ones that advertise online and on facebook and I am wondering what the deal is. Either they have no clue they can't sell or don't care about the consequences. But I know of at least 3 advertising, home bases bakers in Suffolk County.

LindaF144a Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 7:59pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissypie

I have heard of people in Manhattan making cakes from their homes, Margaret Braun comes to mind. I think the laws are completely different in NYC. It definitely is a county to county law. Does anyone know about Suffolk County New York. I think the answer is no, but I have to say, I see sooo many illegal businesses and ones that advertise online and on facebook and I am wondering what the deal is. Either they have no clue they can't sell or don't care about the consequences. But I know of at least 3 advertising, home bases bakers in Suffolk County.


The only thing I can say about this is don't assume they are illegal. I know of several at home bakers in my area. I can't vouch for all of them, but one lady was written up in the local paper. Even though she is out of her house, she built a commercial kitchen in the basement of her home.

Possibly the ones you have heard about have done the same thing.

chrissypie Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 8:07pm

[quote="LindaF144"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissypie

I have heard of people in Manhattan making cakes from their homes, Margaret Braun comes to mind. I think the laws are completely different in NYC. It definitely is a county to county law. Does anyone know about Suffolk County New York. I think the answer is no, but I have to say, I see sooo many illegal businesses and ones that advertise online and on facebook and I am wondering what the deal is. Either they have no clue they can't sell or don't care about the consequences. But I know of at least 3 advertising, home bases bakers in Suffolk County.


The only thing I can say about this is don't assume they are illegal. I know of several at home bakers in my area. I can't vouch for all of them, but one lady was written up in the local paper. Even though she is out of her house, she built a commercial kitchen in the basement of her home.

Possibly the ones you have heard about have done the same thing.[/quote


I was told by suffolk county that even with a commercial kitchen in the home, it would not be allowed. I personally know two of the ladies, but am not friends with them enough to feel comfortable asking them the details of their legality, and I DO know they do not have commercial kitchens anyway. The third person a friend of mine knows. I am not assuming. I know what they are doing. It is of no consequence anyway, it isn't like I would turn them in. I don't believe in that at all. I was just saying I am shocked that they would advertise and was just wondering if maybe someone knows something about the laws in Suffolk County besides what was told my the BOH. I inquired about baking from home and I was told, no.

LindaF144a Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 8:08pm

Interesting. Then it is different in every county. Your county is the first I have heard about that has different information. Thanks for sharing.

chrissypie Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 8:12pm

Yeah, it is a bit of a bummer because obviously I would love to do iit. I get asked all the time. But I have to say no. I suppose I am a little envious, even though that is bad, of those doing it anyway, but I don't feel comfortable risking anything just to do it. IF anyone does have any good information about Suffolk County, please share!

Atomikjen Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 8:17pm

I've been looking for a commercial kitchen too... in Suffolk County. I've seen many decorators offering their services and I've asked them if they'd be willing to share space with me... they come back with "I work out of my home". I'm not going to bust them... it's not my job. They do it at the risk of getting caught. I like my house, and so does my family. You can't have a kitchen in the home in Suffolk. I've asked even to have a separate one, it's a no go.

I posted on craigslist about my search and hope that something comes of it along with hopefully some calls I've been making.

I wish I had the money to just open up a big facility to have an incubator kitchen here for all the decorators looking to do their businesses. It would sure be better than being sued or anything like that.

chrissypie Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 8:26pm

Thanks for the info! Yes, I know, I looked into a commercial kitchen situation. I only found one in Long Island City, but the cost was prohibitive with the amount of orders I would have. I have only been asked to make cakes like 4 times! LOL! It wouldn't be worht me spending hundreds to make less than that! It sucks considering other counties have different rules. And no offense to NYC but most aparments have rats and cockroaches! We don't have those kind of issues here, yet we cant bake from home! LOL! Go figure! And the search goes on! Hahaha!

cmnycakes Posted 14 Aug 2010 , 11:48pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissypie

Yeah, it is a bit of a bummer because obviously I would love to do iit. I get asked all the time. But I have to say no. I suppose I am a little envious, even though that is bad, of those doing it anyway, but I don't feel comfortable risking anything just to do it. IF anyone does have any good information about Suffolk County, please share!




I think I do have some good info.

Here's a link to Suffolk County's health department FAQ:
http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/Home/departments/healthservices/publichealth/healthprotection.aspx#Food%20Control
It says "If you plan on opening a market or wholesale food business you should contact the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets at (71icon_cool.gif 722-2876 or 2877." This seems to indicate that NYS rules would apply


I found some other info for Nassau county as well, in case someone was interested:
http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Health/FAQ/foodprotect.html
"How can I obtain a permit to operate a catering service or retail bakery from my house?"
"In no case will a permit be issued for a non-commercial [private] kitchen or residence in Nassau County. The provision of food to anyone outside your immediate family or circle of friends by definition would classify an operation as a catering service. The options would be to either buy or lease an existing business, construct one in owned or leased commercially zoned space, or sublease space from a foodservice operation currently under permit by the department."

Seems to say that you need a commercial kitchen in Nassau County.

Couldn't find information this definitive for NYC. Crappy website.

harlemcakelady Posted 15 Aug 2010 , 1:09pm

I believe Scott Clark Woolley and Margaret Braun do the same thing.

The law in NYC mandates that you can bake out of your home and get licensed as long as you are not selling directly to the public. You can only sell to markets wholesale. Your recipes have to be analyzed at the lab and then you have to label your products with nutrition labels and apply for barcode scanning. It's a process..


You can have Ia bakery in a building apt. as long as you are zoned for mixed use or commercial building. Kates building is condo and Margaret's and Scott's are both residential.

I saw the show as well and it looks to me as if she was selling retail directly to the consumer.

The dept of health does not go after anyone unless there is a complaint. They are more concerned about the restaurants. At least that is what the inspector told me off the record.

I still am not comfortable with that so I do rent commercial space that I bake out of in Queens. Kind of wish I could bake out of home. Would save a lot of time and money.

Cindy619 Posted 15 Aug 2010 , 11:59pm

Has anyone tried contacting TLC to ask them? You'd think that they would make sure anyone they feature on TV would be legal...or maybe there is a way around the rules that we aren't aware of yet. I think we need to keep digging!

Cindy619 Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 12:46am

Okay, I just watched the rerun of the episode. Is it possible that she has two kitchens in her loft? I know that in my county in NY, you aren't allowed to bake from your "home" kitchen, however if you have a second kitchen installed in your home then you can. This is information that was given to me directly from the Dept. of Ag & my local health dept. NYC might have the same type of rules.

I just emailed Kate from Cake Power, so I'll let you know what I find out!

chrissypie Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 1:14am

Cindy, what county are you in??

Cindy619 Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 1:28pm

Okay...and the answer is...(drum roll please)...

Kate does not doing any of the baking out of her loft, but is allowed to do the decorating portion.

BTW, she's super nice and I commend her for taking the time to answer my email!!!

chrissypie Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 3:28pm

Wow, interesting! Thanks for doing the research!

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