So Annoyed (A Little Long)

Business By circleinn Updated 19 Sep 2010 , 11:59pm by EvMarie

circleinn Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 9:23pm
post #1 of 77

I own a restaurant but also sell decorated cakes, pies, pastries, etc to our customers. Today I had a lady come in with a price list stating that she is a 'professional baker' who is currently running her business out of her trailer with her 6 kids running around!!!! She was wondering if I would want to purchase her items (HELLO!!) or rent out my kitchen space while we are closed. I had never laid eyes on this woman before so I would obviously have to hang out and babysit her to be sure she isn't using my ingredients, burning down the place, etc which I'm not fond of the idea since I put in anywhere between 60 and 80 hours a week there as it is in addition to paperwork I take home. After she leaves I brew over this and get MAD. This woman obviously doesn't have a health dept approved kitchen space and is making many of the same things I do for significantly less because she does not have the overhead of payroll, insurance, etc. She doesn't have to contend with the department of health and it just isn't fair that she is trying to undercut the honest businesses playing by the rules.

I'm not sure if I should just ignore her and hope she will go away or pick up the phone and call the health department?

76 replies
keriskreations Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 9:33pm
post #2 of 77

As a home baker, I can appreciate what she's doing......however, I would never assume a business would want to purchase my stuff, coming from my non-health department approved home. I make cakes for friends, co-workers, and friends of friends. I would never even consider going in to a restaurant and asking them to buy my stuff!!!!! My BIL is in the restaurant business, and I asked if I could use his kitchen sometimes to do cakes, and he said he would, if he had an oven---minor details. But, even so, this would have just been to bake things faster in a bigger oven than I have at home, not to get around the health department thing. If you live in a small town, I might contact our restaurants and see if they got the same thing from this lady...

jason_kraft Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 9:34pm
post #3 of 77

I would contact the health department ASAP and leave an anonymous tip. She seems to be trying to find commercial kitchen space, but in the meantime if she continues to sell food she is opening herself up to a huge amount of liability.

The health department will probably just tell her to stop selling products until she gets a licensed commercial space. An official response from the government will hopefully instill in her the seriousness of the situation, much more so than a friendly tip from a competitor that could be misinterpreted.

cakesbycathy Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 9:37pm
post #4 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

I would contact the health department ASAP and leave an anonymous tip. She seems to be trying to find commercial kitchen space, but in the meantime if she continues to sell food she is opening herself up to a huge amount of liability.

The health department will probably just tell her to stop selling products until she gets a licensed commercial space. An official response from the government will hopefully instill in her the seriousness of the situation, much more so than a friendly tip from a competitor that could be misinterpreted.




I agree with this!

cutthecake Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 9:42pm
post #5 of 77

If she persists: "My insurance does not allow such an arrangement."

myslady Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:36am
post #6 of 77

Here she is trying to do the right thing by finding a commercial space to bake out of and you are annoyed that she asked you. If she rents from you, she would obviously have to raise her prices to cover the additional expense of renting a space which equals additional money in your pocket to cover your expenses.

She may not have realized that you bake your items on site either. If you don't want her using your kitchen, just tell her no.

angelwings1 Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:50am
post #7 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by myslady

Here she is trying to do the right thing by finding a commercial space to bake out of and you are annoyed that she asked you. If she rents from you, she would obviously have to raise her prices to cover the additional expense of renting a space which equals additional money in your pocket to cover your expenses.

She may not have realized that you bake your items on site either. If you don't want her using your kitchen, just tell her no.




I agree. There may not have been anything sneaky or underhanded in her request. Sounds like she's trying to make a little extra money without dealing with the kids underfoot. I wouldn't turn her in, but that's just me. icon_smile.gif

DetailsByDawn Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:58am
post #8 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by myslady

Here she is trying to do the right thing by finding a commercial space to bake out of and you are annoyed that she asked you. If she rents from you, she would obviously have to raise her prices to cover the additional expense of renting a space which equals additional money in your pocket to cover your expenses.

She may not have realized that you bake your items on site either. If you don't want her using your kitchen, just tell her no.



I agree. I don't know any local restaurants that bake their own cakes, pies, or pastries. She probably thought you ordered your desserts and was just trying to drum up a bit of business.

Asking about renting some kitchen space is a pretty common occurance from non-licensed, home bakers trying to get a legitimate business up and running. My first instinct is that this woman meant no harm, but was just trying to get her foot in the door. Some businesses will be more than willing to make some extra cash during closed hours and she will probably find a space.

If you're not interested in renting, just be up front and say so. I wish you well in your business, but I'm not willing to rent my kitchen out to someone I don't know, unsupervised, sorry. She's obviously trying to do the right thing, but she's still in violation of the law. You can report her or cut her a break, your call.

Corrie76 Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 4:59am
post #9 of 77

Ugh, what a dilema, I can see both sides of the story. At least she is actively seeking a commercial space- at the same time it's sketchy (or ignorant) that she also is trying to sell you cakes for the restaurant from her home.

Ultimately, I would not turn her in...right now. If you have further run-ins with her or see evidence that she is actively sabotaging your business, then report it.

Also, take heart that usually those who under-price their cakes get completely burnt out within months from all the cheapskates out there! Those type of customers have a way of sniffing out the "low-self-esteem cake decorators" and will squeeze them dry before the year is out!

Ednarooni Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 5:44am
post #10 of 77

Just nicely say thank you but no thank you.....people do rent out kitchens..I think you would be surprised at how many kitchens do rent to home bakers....... I'm thinking you might be upset thinking she's somehow getting this done easier than you as you mentioned all the things you have to go through for your business.. We all have our own mountains to cross.. Just explain the "insurance" concerns, necessary inspections...etc..and wish her luck.. Not sure what kids have to do with this..many a woman raised lots of kids and worked..maybe that's why she "wants" a kitchen out side of the home.. I would go one further and keep her "resume" on hand in case I needed an extra baker down the road..IF she is a professional baker...

adventuregal Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 9:42am
post #11 of 77

I'm not sure if renting a commercial kitchen is a new idea to you, or if you were upset that she is an irresponsible person asking about renting your kitchen. It's VERy common for bakers who wish to get their foot in the door to start a delivery only business by baking in a licensed kitchen. Of course this means they need their license and health department info. Perhaps she is planning on getting these items and is just seeing if theres a kitchen that will take her...or she's just really ignorant! Either way-theres absolutely nothing weird or strange about the concept (just maybe this particular woman?) If she comes back and you know for a fact she's illegal I would warn her that it's illegal and she could be turned in. She might not even know it's not legal...some people don't have the sense to look into these things. icon_rolleyes.gif

adventuregal Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 9:46am
post #12 of 77

Oh as an after thought icon_smile.gif Just because she wants to rent your space doesn't mean she is going to be using your equiptment or "burning down the place." I've rented a kitchen at our local community center and from the pans to the paper towels I used my own equiptment and left the place cleaner than when I came into it. It makes me wonder what her cakes look like hmmm icon_rolleyes.gif

cakeville82 Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 11:01am
post #13 of 77

Oh no someone wanting to rent commercial kitchen space in order to meet licensing requirements....gasp...how dare she.

mombabytiger Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 12:36pm
post #14 of 77

I'm sorry, but this just sounds snobbish and unkind. If she were baking out of a McMansion with no kids running around would you have the same attitude? Kudos to a woman with six kids making an honest attempt to support them. You don't know her story, cut her a break. Calling the health department with an anonymous tip is just about the lowest thing I can think of. Just let it go.

flamingobaker Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 12:51pm
post #15 of 77

Well, first of all, welcome to CC! (I see you just joined yesterday)

I'm not sure I understand why you are so angry with her.

She just seems to be trying to do the right thing. Yes, she may be ignorant of the rules, but maybe educating her would be more productive on both sides rather than ignoring her or turning her in.

Malakin Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 1:02pm
post #16 of 77

I believe she is trying to honestly do the right thing. She already knows baking from home isn't good or she wouldn't have asked and that she needs to find a commercial kitchen to rent. She probably didn't know you do your own inhouse desserts.
That being said, with renting a commercial kitchen, I leave it spotless, use my own supplies and always make sure everything is exactly the way it was when I got there. I was always grateful for the chance to be there and don't want to screw it up.

kansaslaura Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 1:11pm
post #17 of 77

Over the years I have been approached a number of times asking if I'd purchase pies, cakes, cookies, fudge--you name it.

I just nicely say no and that is that.

I've not been asked to rent my kitchen, and would probably say no. Not to be mean, but it's small and just not suited.

hbarberycakes Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 1:48pm
post #18 of 77

I too agree with most of the people on here. I think she was just trying to make sure she was doing the right thing. If she wasn't chewing you out or putting your business down I don't understand why you were offended. And I'm not by any means trying to be mean to you, but her asking to use your kitchen doesn't mean she is just too lazy to have her own business. Have you considered with six kids the chance of her having the finances to open a business are quite slim, especially with just starting out?

lardbutt Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 1:56pm
post #19 of 77

I try to stay of out things like this.....BUT icon_smile.gif did I miss something? Do we even know IF this is in a state where it is illegal to bake and sell from home? Clearly, this lady is not legal, but in those states that allow it.....there is nothing wrong with baking and decorating in a trailer with your kids running around. (unfortunately)

North Carolina, for example, seems to be relaxed with all of their laws....I homeschooled my kids there and never had ANY accountability at all. Sure we had to register, but never had any other communication with the state after that. That is one state you can have a home bakery. Hmmm, I should m ove back to NC....

UpAt2am Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 2:03pm
post #20 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by lardbutt

I try to stay of out things like this.....BUT icon_smile.gif did I miss something? Do we even know IF this is in a state where it is illegal to bake and sell from home? Clearly, this lady is not legal, but in those states that allow it.....there is nothing wrong with baking and decorating in a trailer with your kids running around. (unfortunately)

North Carolina, for example, seems to be relaxed with all of their laws....I homeschooled my kids there and never had ANY accountability at all. Sure we had to register, but never had any other communication with the state after that. That is one state you can have a home bakery. Hmmm, I should m ove back to NC....




i live in NC and it's more complicated than "just registering." we are inspected by the health dept, we have to have a business license just like every other business, we had to register with the state, form an LLC, get insurance, etc. i'm not complaining b/c i'm very blessed to live in a state that allows home bakeries, but i definitely have to have accountability. i'm simply pointing this out b/c i don't want other north carolinians reading your post, thinking that they only have to register. i have enough illegal home bakeries around me that i'm competing against as it is!!! icon_smile.gif

Mommy2ThreeBoys Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 2:09pm
post #21 of 77

I agree, you do sound very snobbish with the way you posted that. I give her kuddos for trying to do the right thing. I only bake cakes for friends and family, but I have three sons and with just those three there is no way I could afford to start my own bussiness even if I wanted to.

NJCakeDiva Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 2:29pm
post #22 of 77

To UPAT2AM: [quote]i live in NC and it's more complicated than "just registering." we are inspected by the health dept, we have to have a business license just like every other business

I believe that Lardbutt was giving us an example of the home schooling process not the home bakery.

To OP- I have to agree with everyone else. Do not turn her in to the health department right off. Talk to her and find out a bit more about he reasons for wanting to rent a kitchen. If you are not comfortable with the idea of her renting from you, just tell her plain and simply that you are not interested in renting space or buying goods.

God Bless and Good Luck!

matthewkyrankelly Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 2:41pm
post #23 of 77

Some states allow baking from home and selling to retailers just not directly to the public. Some allow home bakers free reign. Some restrict everything. Her house might be immaculate. Her baking might be delicious. This is where you need to get to know people and how they work.

The idea that she would offer to bake for you is not that off the wall. Happens all of the time. Some states allow it.

jerseygirlNga Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:04pm
post #24 of 77

I probably shouldn't add my two cents but since you are new to CC, I need to say just a few things.

First, Turn her in? Really? Why would you even consider that option? She knows she is doing wrong, selling her "creations" and using her home kitchen. She knows there is liability involved or she wouldn't be seeking out a shared space agreement. But, that is the risk she NEEDS to take to care for her children, most likely.

Here is a woman, whose life is a little less fortunate, doing what she knows she can while caring for her kids and you want to shut it down. I don't understand.

I don't mean to attack the original poster or anyone else who is on the other side. I just can't get my head around why people always see the worst in others rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt. If this isn't for you, just tell her. She poses no competition. Maybe offer to help her (advice) if she comes across something that is too challenging.

Folks, maybe its my "hippie" ways--I'm alot older than most here, but an act of kindness, whether in words or actions, means plenty to the receipiant but is euphoric to the giver.

cakesbycathy Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:07pm
post #25 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygirlNga


I don't mean to attack the original poster or anyone else who is on the other side. I just can't get my head around why people always see the worst in others rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt. If this isn't for you, just tell her. She poses no competition. Maybe offer to help her (advice) if she comes across something that is too challenging.
.




Except in this case this woman is the OP's competition. You know it's not about "being mean" or not trying to help. Sometimes it's about protecting your own business investment.

Mommy2ThreeBoys Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:13pm
post #26 of 77

Wow, but you would think if she has a resturant that sells pies and stuff too, it really most likely wouldn't be taking all that much from her business.

Jayde Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:45pm
post #27 of 77

I try to stay out of conversations like this too, but something just doesnt add up.

Why would any person come into a bakery, ask to use their liscensed kitchen, so that way they can become legal, and then proceed to tell the person that they have 6 kids and live and bake out of a trailer? How in the world did that come up in conversation? That is extremely unprofessional to bring your personal life into a business arrangement with someone you dont even know and just plain weird if she truely did that. If those were not her words, you have no idea what kind of conditions she bakes in if you dont know her personally, and it sounds like from her post you didnt. Maybe she have a prior arrangement with another business, or is just starting a business. It is possible, if you dont know for sure, she could have been giving away free cakes to build a portfolio.

If you are uncomfortable with the arrangement, just say so. No further explanation is needed. I dont know about everyone here, but we all started somewhere. She is just trying to start out, and I would have considered it a compliment that she came to me to rent space.

kelleym Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:54pm
post #28 of 77

Guys, this person joined CC yesterday and this was his/her first post. I think we're being punked. (apologies to the OP if this is not the case, but this is a very unusual "first post".)

jason_kraft Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:59pm
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygirlNga

First, Turn her in? Really? Why would you even consider that option? She knows she is doing wrong, selling her "creations" and using her home kitchen. She knows there is liability involved or she wouldn't be seeking out a shared space agreement. But, that is the risk she NEEDS to take to care for her children, most likely.



So it's OK to break the law as long as you really NEED to? icon_wink.gif

Montrealconfections Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 4:15pm
post #30 of 77

All I see on the news is how bad the economy is and how tough it is for people you say she lives in a trailer with 6 kids and is trying to make a little extra money to help support her family you don't know her situation maybe they can't find any other work. She came to you asking for help and you can't that's understandable but if the health department gets involved she could get fines or something I don't think that is very nice. Maybe educate her on what is going on just like you said here tell her she could get in trouble with the health dept. and that obviously you can't encourage the competition. She probably doesn't know your situation that YOU make the cakes yourself, here is an idea ask to see her portfolio if she is good maybe have her come in and work for you? Obviously if you need the help if you're working 80 hrs a week maybe you do?? All I'm saying is a little kindness goes a long way, life isn't always black & white.

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