I'm thinking about starting a cake business from home. I've been making cakes for friends and colleagues for a year now and feel I have enough skills and experience to start a business.
What I DON'T have is any idea how to go about it. I have a few questions and would love some help!
1. I understand I need to register my business with the local authority and complete a food safey standards certificate, but I don't know how to go about ensuring my kitchen meets the standards or what the standards are! All the information I've read online says I need an additional sink in my kitchen which is for hand-washing only - is this the case and will I be rejected without this?
2. Where do you buy your ingredients? (not the decoratiing materials, I'm purely talking flour, butter etc) - I'm sure there is somewhere cheaper than my local Tesco!
3. How do you price your cakes? I've seen the threads on the American pricing matrix which is per slice, but that doesn't seem to be the way it is done here in the UK. Can anyone offer advice on this front?
Welcome to CC!
In the UK, your local environmental health dept (at the local council) will be your 1st point of call. They are usually really helpful and will advise what is and isn't acceptable (a lot of councils want you to at least have a 1 and 1/2 bowl sink) No doing laundry at the same time as cakes unless you have a separate utility room. They often come out and inspect you and you need to register 28 days before you can start trading. You will also need to register with HMRC for tax and VAT if you plan on selling chocolates (not chocolate cake - the rules for food and VAT are a bit mad) The Food Standards Agency have a great thing called Safe Food Better Business - Get it quick before the government close it down!!! It's full of great info on HACCP etc.
Ingredients can be bought somewhere like BAKO, but you will be buying big quantities and need to be careful of flour lice if you are not using it regulary (it should be stored in specialist expensive bins!) To be honest the big supermarkets may be a better bet for this sort of thing unless you are making shed loads of cakes a week. Culpitts is good for decorating supplies and reynards sell large quantities of sugarpaste and coverings.
Don't forget insurance and you will need to get the consent of your mortgage lender or landlord too if you are doing this at home.
Hope this points you in the right direction!