It's Just Not Fair!!!!

Decorating By YOUnique_Cakes Updated 2 Sep 2010 , 12:44am by ambermbauman

YOUnique_Cakes Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:21pm
post #1 of 33

I just don't feel that is fair that small bakers and small time decorators can not make and sell cakes out of their homes. A ton of huge corporations that are ran today were started by one person out of their homes. The fee's and licensing processes today make it almost impossible for small business to even make it today. America's economy is going down the toilet yet they still make it almost impossible to make a go of a small business. I'm not trying to become a millionaire and I don't live in a city were I can get $800 dollars for a simple four tier wedding cake. I just wanna be able to do what I love to do and make a some money for my time. I know some people on here say it's immoral to make cakes out of your home because it illegal but I feel a lot of those laws were only put into place for the money the city makes of the licensing fees. I have yet to hear of people getting sick off of a cake. I feel that if it's your home and the people buying the cake understand your a out of your home baker then it should be completely legal to bake and sell out of your home. It's baking and decorating cake, it's not like I'm doing open heart surgery out of my home. I had to rant!!!

32 replies
ladyanaely Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:35pm
post #2 of 33

You are completely right, and I have to add that because a place has a commercial licensed kitchen that doesn' t mean that everybody there follows the rules. There are places that they are just disgusting and I know it because I used to work in one, and that was a hospital kitchen. Most people there were very nasty and dirty. After I noticed it a stoped eating there. Commercial licensed kitchen doesn't exactly means clean. You can get food poisoned from anywhere.

texanlostlover Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:41pm
post #3 of 33

I completely agree! It's so frustrating that most states don't have any way to do this legally from your home. If I could pay a (reasonable) fee to get a license and be inspected, I would totally do it! And I would be happy to let customers know that it is coming from my licensed, inspected at-home bakery. It seems like that would be an easy way for the health department to make some money. And you guys are so right, there are some commercial kitchens that are filthy, so why is that any less of a risk than a home that would also be subject to inspections? It seems like more states are starting to pass cottage-food laws though, and I'm hoping many more will follow!

YOUnique_Cakes Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:50pm
post #4 of 33

I have worked in restaurants my whole life and trust me some of them are down right dirty but they hang that license on the wall so the city says they are good. Plus most restaurants and bakeries fail in the first five years because they just can't recover their costs and make a profit and that's what is truly sad. Everyone should have the right to start small until they have the money to build a bigger business without digging themselves into a huge financial hole they can't get out of.

Babarooskie Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:50pm
post #5 of 33

Nothing against the OP, but be aware that you will get some nasty responses from other posters.

You may have just opened a can of worms from the "Home Baker" section. icon_cool.gif

cathyscakes Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:59pm
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babarooskie

Nothing against the OP, but be aware that you will get some nasty responses from other posters.

You may have just opened a can of worms from the "Home Baker" section. icon_cool.gif


I hope this post doesn't go there.I don't know why anyone would be against it. Its just too hard for a beginner to expect getting a business going, with all of the expenses involved and expect to succeed. So starting in a licenced home kitchen is a great option. They can test the waters and see if this is what they want to do. Cake decorating is stressful, so I think they should try it a while and see if they want to continue.

jillmakescakes Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 7:17pm
post #7 of 33

ok- I'm getting on my soapbox now....

Just because you "feel" it is unfair doesn't actually mean that it IS unfair. I feel its unfair every time I scratch a lotto ticket that isn't a winner, but that doesn't mean that it's gonna magically become a winner. icon_wink.gif

is it frustrating that you can't make money from you hobby- sure. is it hard to do it the legal way, YES. just because something is hard doesn't mean that it is unfair. I went out begging banks for money to start my business. Did is suck when they turned me down, sure, but I kept at it, got a small loan, started my business the right way (legally) and now we're well on our way.

if you really believe that the laws need to be changed, then figure out how to change them.

YOUnique_Cakes Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 7:19pm
post #8 of 33

Well I must say it's pretty sad when someone has to warn you that your gonna get some nasty responses on this subject. I feel that everyone should be able to have a fair chance to do what they love to do and be able to make some money at it. I live in such a small area even if I started up a licensed bakery it wouldn't make it. The last 3 small bakeries that opened here closed and Wal-mart gets most of the cake business because they do cheap cakes. A lot of people in these bigger cities don't understand people in these small town just wont pay some of the prices that they pay in the city. It makes it almost impossible to open a bakery in some of these small towns and be able to make a profit enough after paying all your costs to keep it open. The only way for some of us to make it is to start one out of our home.

Malakin Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 7:25pm
post #9 of 33

Not saying this issue is right or wrong since my state doesn't let you bake out of your home even if it is licensed, (has to be complete seperate residence).
I am only assuming here (and probably going to hear about it) that the majority of the people here on CC didn't just wake up and decide, "Hey, I'm going make open a business and make me some cakes!!! I'll go out, get a loan, rent a building, and start business".....

Am I right in thinking most everyone on CC at one time or another sold baked items from their home before opening up a business and being legal?

Malakin Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 7:27pm
post #10 of 33

Whoops...should have read "I'm going to open"...not make

Ruth0209 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 7:28pm
post #11 of 33

Plenty of states have laws that permit home bakeries. If you think you have a good argument to change the law in your state, do the homework. Research the content of those laws, make an honest list of pros and cons (and there ARE some cons), do cost estimates of the burden on health departments to inspect additional home kitchens and the potential gain to the tax department by having all these under-the-table businesses finally collecting sales tax, buying business insurance, earning taxable income, etc., contact your legislator to sponsor a bill to change your state law, lobby the heck out of it and get it passed in your state.

"Fair" doesn't really have anything to do with it. Life's not fair, and starting and operating a business isn't a right. You only get to be a business owner if you have the financial means to do it, and right or wrong that's just the way it is.

As someone who runs her business by the rules, I resent that probably thousands of cake decorators across the U.S. sell cakes and don't collect sales tax like they should or report their income. Somehow they think it's okay for everyone else to carry that burden but they should be able to run a little business and earn the income but not pay their share like legitimate small businesses do. Systems only work if we're all playing by the same rules. As far as I'm concerned, it's all or nothing if you want to run a business.

malene541 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 7:50pm
post #12 of 33

Yes Ruth0209!!! I live in Oregon and legally bake and sell cakes out of my regular home kitchen. I pay only $152 a year for the license and have random inspections which are no problem because I do everything I'm supposed to do!
So, there are places that let this happen. Take your energy and make your state one of them too!

texanlostlover Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:09pm
post #13 of 33

I think some of you have made a valid point: the correct wording here really isn't "it's not fair", it's more like "this is really lame and I wish it were different, and I hope that it will be soon!" icon_smile.gif I know I was so frustrated and devastated when I found out that I was unknowingly illegal (I guess it was naive of me to think that I could just start selling cakes without checking on legal issues). I'm keeping an eye on things through a website my state (Texas) has about making a cottage food law, and hopefully we'll get it passed during the next session in 2011. icon_smile.gif

YOUnique_Cakes Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:14pm
post #14 of 33

I agree with both of the last post. I'm not trying to get around doing things right. I just want my state to give all of us that live here a chance to have a legit home bakery. I would love to know if anyone from Colorado would be interested in joining my to try to change this! I agree that if you want change then you gotta go try to get it changed yourself. If any one from Colorado is with me on this help would be appreciated. I would love to start hearing from some bakers in Colorado that wanna make a change in this state.

NatD Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:20pm
post #15 of 33

I kinda have to side with the OP on this one....and I think the word "fair" was taken out of context...i don't think she meant it like a whiney baby that the world isn't "fair"..she was just trying to vent how hard it is to start up a small business and actually make it...besides doing cakes I am a licensed hairstylist/mua and building clientele when you are first licensed is extremely difficult..so I know better than anyone how much work goes into finding and building that clientele for your own business....

I'm just interested in knowing the few on here that posted that they followed all the rules and are doing it legally how did you start? before you got your bank loans did you ever sell a cake to anyone out of your home?? to a friend,family memeber,co worker? even if it was just ONE....I think it's funny that so many people post on here how frustrated they get about home based bakeries in their area because they steal their business since they can charge less....I don't get upset about licensed stylists who do hair from home(and in CA it is also against the law to do hair from you home)....I feel I am good at what I do and if they choose to go to a home stylist or another local salon I will not take offense to that....sorry for rambling but i have seen too many establised decorators say how they are against home bakers....i just wonder if they all answered honestly i bet they all sold at least ONE cake they made at home!

motherofgrace Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:22pm
post #16 of 33

Everyone has to work with what they have got.


In my province I need a Separate kitchen, closed off from the rest of the house.Which doesnt work for me since I live in an apartment.

BUT

I can legally sell at farmers markets, without a commercial kitchen. So I work with what Ive got, and am selling at 2 different markets.

From there I have made a solid customers base, Along with a strong relationship with my health inspector, who has granted me special permissions through the city to sell at trade shows!

So even tho I cant open a full on business yet, I am way further ahead then I would be if I had just heard "no baking from home"

What you haev to do is look at EVERY option that is availible!

Good luckicon_smile.gif

gidgetsmom Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:33pm
post #17 of 33

There was a group here in Texas that worked on getting a law on the books last year (still wear my T-shirt proudly) - but our legislators were too worried with hunting wild hogs from helicopters or something else of dire consequence and didn't get around to an issue that could positively impact the lives of a bunch of us who could use the extra income (or for some simply have an income) and WANT to do the right thing....

texanlostlover Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:45pm
post #18 of 33

VERY well said NatD, that's exactly what I was thinking. It sounds like CA is way strict with licensing which seems a little rediculous to me. It's sad to see how government is stepping in and regulating so many things, when that's not what our constitution was originally all about. It's sad that the government feels forced to step in and make laws about every little thing because there are so many crazies out there who will sue over anything and not take responsibility for their own actions. Whew! There goes my rant! I feel better. icon_smile.gif

NatD Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:52pm
post #19 of 33

thanks texaslostlover! I agree...it's so hard for anyone to find jobs these days who does it really hurt to let people make extra income making cakes! Some families are struggling to make ends meet....what's the big deal?? Oh I know..the government doesn't make any money on it!

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:53pm
post #20 of 33

I can understand how frustrating it is to want to do something you're good at, but can't do it as a business. I am one of ya'll who would LOVE to have a small home-based baking business but can't because of where I live. It's been a dream of mine for many years. However, if I *could* do it, I would not illegally sell cakes to save up for it. (That's just me, though. icon_rolleyes.gif ) I will have to find another way of setting aside the necessary funds. I will have to give away lots of free goodies to get my name out there and build a reputation for being a great baker. I will invest many many hours developing a business plan and doing market research to see what I can effectively sell in my area. thumbs_up.gif

I can see why some of you would ask the question about how other's got started. I co-own a business (not baking/food related) and not one job was done without proper licensure. To me, it's not worth the risk or penalty. I know that many of you feel otherwise and I'm not saying this as "judgment". What I am saying is that it was and IS a LOT of HARD HARD HARD work to build the business (to get financing for equipment, licensing, certifications, insurance, taxes, etc., etc., etc.). Running a business is not easy.

I'm sorry that the OP feels backed against the wall because of not being able to sell baked goods from home at this time. I hope that the feedback from others somehow helps ease your heart and mind. And I do wish you happiness in your future endeavors. icon_smile.gif

Babarooskie Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 9:01pm
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NatD

I kinda have to side with the OP on this one....and I think the word "fair" was taken out of context...i don't think she meant it like a whiney baby that the world isn't "fair"..she was just trying to vent how hard it is to start up a small business and actually make it...besides doing cakes I am a licensed hairstylist/mua and building clientele when you are first licensed is extremely difficult..so I know better than anyone how much work goes into finding and building that clientele for your own business....

I'm just interested in knowing the few on here that posted that they followed all the rules and are doing it legally how did you start? before you got your bank loans did you ever sell a cake to anyone out of your home?? to a friend,family memeber,co worker? even if it was just ONE....I think it's funny that so many people post on here how frustrated they get about home based bakeries in their area because they steal their business since they can charge less....I don't get upset about licensed stylists who do hair from home(and in CA it is also against the law to do hair from you home)....I feel I am good at what I do and if they choose to go to a home stylist or another local salon I will not take offense to that....sorry for rambling but i have seen too many establised decorators say how they are against home bakers....i just wonder if they all answered honestly i bet they all sold at least ONE cake they made at home!




Good luck with that last request! I doubt (but I could be wrong) that a professional "Cake Artist" will admit that he or she sold AT LEAST 1 cake from their home. icon_rolleyes.gif

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 9:04pm
post #22 of 33

I agree--the government is out of control with their regulating every little thing...however they have been forced to in some cases because there are always those people that insist on spoiling it for everyone.

Case in point: the woman in my town that can't be bothered to do anything legally, she just bakes out of her kitchen, selling to whomever will buy. My problem with it? She has 3 large dogs in the house. Plus the fact that everything I make as a legal baker is taxed, she pays zero tax. I pay licensing fees every year and a $250 inspection fee annually. What does she pay--oh yeah, that's right, zero. No wonder her prices are so much better than mine for the same items.

Talk about not fair.

malene541 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 9:08pm
post #23 of 33

I can and will completely admit that I sold cakes illegally. That is, BEFORE I knew it was illegal. (I'm still baffled that I really thought that was ok at the time)
It took me about 6 months to realize it and the wonderful help of CC's forums! I then immediatelly posted on Facebook to my friends that "I officially quit making cakes, sorry everyone but I'm out!" Then I looked into the legal side of it and got that done and now back in business. Officially this time!

YOUnique_Cakes Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 10:23pm
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babarooskie


Good luck with that last request! I doubt (but I could be wrong) that a professional "Cake Artist" will admit that he or she sold AT LEAST 1 cake from their home. icon_rolleyes.gif




I'm sure most of these professional "Cake Artist" started from home or baked at home. Plus that makes the rest of us sound below them somehow. I have seen some amazing "Cake Artist" that design everything at home and sell from their home. I don't like this separation between those who bake at home and those who own shops. As if somehow they are better "Cake Artist" . I may have taken that wrong but that's how that type of thing always comes across when it is phrased like that.

Stephy42088 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 10:37pm
post #25 of 33

I have talked to various professionals in my area and from what I understand, there are too many of us for the health department to keep traack and therefore, unless you are being incredibly dumb about it, do something really wrong or make someone sick then they don't really care. It is just another way for the state to get money from licensing fees. They are much more concerned about people selling eggs, meats, dairy or other easily spoiled food products. That is truly the dangerous stuff that could get the state in trouble also. I've also witnessed some topics on this site about making sure a wedding or event venue allows unlicensed bakers to bring their products to the event. Well, from what I understand, in my area at least, that is crap. The venues don't check and don't really care, they have other things to worry about. Not to mention, you are NOT selling the cake to the venue, you are selling it to the bride and as long as she is okay with it then you have no problems. Problems arise when you sell commercially to other businesses, then it is a much bigger issue to get licensed. I'm not trying to upset anyone or step on any toes. This is just the situation in my area, I'm not saying it is like this for everyone.

malene541 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 10:45pm
post #26 of 33

I have talked with someone (my SIL) at the health dept in my town. She said that the prior person who did the inspections for my state was a real stickler for following the rules and that if she caught someone baking and selling illegally that they would get into trouble. But the new person in charge is way more laid back.
I was inspected by the new guy and he really was great and laid back. So, I think also depending on how the "person in charge" takes their job seriously is also how much risk you have with getting in trouble or not. ??
He did also make comments on how he wasn't too worried about me because of the eggs, meats, dairy part too. I can't sell anything that has non-cooked eggs or dairy and no meat what so ever.
Sorry Grandma, no mincemeat pie for you. icon_wink.gif

suz3 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 10:55pm
post #27 of 33

I am in Oklahoma. No legal home based bakers here unless they have a seperate commercial kitchen. I am working with my state rep to get a bill passed to legalize us. We passed 2 committees last year and then died when Senator Jolley refused to hear the bill. I think the politics involved is the most frustrating part. We just want to bake, sell, get insurance and pay taxes like everyone else. I was offered the use of a kitchen that is currently licensed by the health dept that was so dirty that even for free it would never be worth it to me.

Texas_Rose Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 11:03pm
post #28 of 33

There are always going to be people breaking the law. I know a lady who makes seafood empanadas in her apartment and sells them to local restaurants. I know someone else who makes tacos with ingredients she buys with food stamps that she got by lying about her household income and sells them every morning. I know someone else who is running a whole little store out of her house, racks of candy and chips and a fridge of sodas set up in her living room. And I know of about 30 illegal cakers in my city alone. Do I report anyone? No. It's not my business.

Rachel5370 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 11:39pm
post #29 of 33

Ok, coming from the perspective of someone who has worked in commercial kitchens all my life (since the age of 12) and gone to culinary school- here are my thoughts. A kitchen that appears "clean" (home or commercial) can still produce food-bourne illness laden foods. Improper heating and cooling as well as cross-contamination are the main causes of food-bourne illnesses. So are improper handwashing practices. Just like hands that look "clean" may be coated in Noro-virus or shigella, so can a kitchen that looks "clean" be full of critical violations. Commercial kitchens are designed to help minimize the risk. The coolers and freezers are colder, the water is often hotter, the warewashing and handwashing requirements help make it safer. A commercial kitchen that looks grimy because it has many years of heavy use can still produce safe food. It's not what I prefer, I have never taken a job where the kitchen was like that. But I have also seen some serious violations in pristine, clean kitchens. Most of the time it is simple mistakes or even good intentions. The last kitchen I managed was super clean, but our inspections yielded some "critical violations"- not even close to enough to be shut down though. Some examples: we got dinged because someone left their coffee cup on the shelf above the prep table, a storage room had un covered lights, we re-used containers that were meant to be disposable, we had things stored in zip-loc freezer bags, etc. My point is that the health dept has regulations for a reason and they are not money hungry ogres. It's alot more complex than some home bakers may realize, it was complex for me- and it has been my life's work. I have no problem with home kitchens, if they have the same requirements as commercial kitchens. And that folks, will cost thousands or even tens of thousands- just like opening a bakery! Commercial kitchens are required to have commercial NSF certified equipment- it ain't cheap- even used. Just sayin'... ~Rachel

NatD Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 11:52pm
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by YOUnique_Cakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babarooskie


Good luck with that last request! I doubt (but I could be wrong) that a professional "Cake Artist" will admit that he or she sold AT LEAST 1 cake from their home. icon_rolleyes.gif



I'm sure most of these professional "Cake Artist" started from home or baked at home. Plus that makes the rest of us sound below them somehow. I have seen some amazing "Cake Artist" that design everything at home and sell from their home. I don't like this separation between those who bake at home and those who own shops. As if somehow they are better "Cake Artist" . I may have taken that wrong but that's how that type of thing always comes across when it is phrased like that.




i agree with you 100%! that is really how it comes across to me...I was just "scolded"(lol) on another posting because I felt what someone posted was in the same context about licensing...i think it bothered me so much because when established business owners discuss licensing and home based bakers this is how they come across...as if they are above the rest....funny thing is I've seen quite a few newbies have way more talent than some of these veteran cake makers....

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