I see that alot of you already have businesses. I am so interested in starting my cupcake business. I have done some research and found some information. Most of what I don't like. Long story short: I live in Illinois and can't have a cupcake business in my home unless its in a separate kitchen than what I use everyday. (which I can't afford right now). Or, I could rent a spot somewhere else. (which I can't afford). I was hoping to start small and work up to renting a space. I do want it to grow but don't want to go too fast and end up ruining it. So my question is, can/should I just start baking in my normal kitchen and then when the health department catches up with me, hopefully I will be ready to rent a spot or put another kitchen in my home? Also, where do I start. Do I just figure out what to charge and then put fliers up and start baking for people.....hopefully? Please help. I very much want to do this but have no idea where/how to start. What is my first step? Thank you so much to all of you who can help me.
You start by getting legal *before* you sell. Also, you'll need insurance and some form of incorporation.
In some states, once the HD finds you working illegally, you can be barred from ever getting a license. Feeding food to the public is serious business.
Start by saving up the money you will need to get legal and working on the best recipes for cupcake and icings.
Have you looked into renting a commerical kitchen?
I wouldn't post flyers. That's advertising. And if you get busted, they could find out you knew you were illegal, and that can be BAD! (yikes)
Maybe try giving away cupcakes to friends and family to get your name out there. Remember, exchanging money (even if you are being compensated for materials) means you are selling. Sure 'donating' cupcakes for gatherings and parties can be pricey, but I like to think about it as a business investment. You get to try out fun flavor combinations, and when you can afford to start up the business, you will have a following of people who love your work and will want to pay you for your goodies. I wouldn't give away to 'friends of friends' ('my SIL, hair stylists, roommate, needs cupcakes for a bridal shower) because that would be silly to hand out freebies like that. I mean 'my best friend just bought a new house and is having a house warming party, I'm going to offer to bring an assortment of cupcakes'.
I give away so many cakes. I cut them up, pass them out to family and my daughter's school friends and their parents. I get great feedback. I was in the process of getting licensed but we made a decision to move to another state in a few years, so my friends and family will help me fine tune my recipes. Fortunately, I will be able to pick a house that will accomodate my little business in my new state.