Ca Home Bakers

Business By MamaNenascakes Updated 30 Oct 2010 , 9:38am by MamaNenascakes

MamaNenascakes Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 5:54pm
post #1 of 20

I just got off the phone with a lady in the health department in Monterey CA and this is what she said:
I asked info about selling baked goods into the farmers market and the permits needed for that...
At the end I asked info about selling wedding or birthday cakes and she said: "If you sell directly to the person, not to the commisary or another retailer... if it's between you and the person who hires you as a cake maker, you can bake the cake at your house" no, I'm not kidding!
She said unless you go to sell th cakes at a store or market then you need a commercial kitchen but if it is between you and the other person, you don't even need a permit.
I think I might be on a dream on this... but give the other departments a call and check on that.

19 replies
jason_kraft Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 6:07pm
post #2 of 20

It says right on the Monterey County Health Dept web site:

"All businesses that sell food at the retail level must obtain and hold a permit from Environmental Health, including restaurants, retail markets, bakeries, bars, food booths at community events, food vehicles, ice-cream trucks and carts, and produce vehicles."

http://www.mtyhd.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=351&Itemid=575⟨=en

The health dept worker you spoke with is probably talking about limited selling "under the radar" as an unofficial, non-licensed business. The relevant Monterey County statute is Chapter 10.04.020, in which the county defers to the state definition of a "food facility" that requires a permit.

http://library.municode.com/HTML/16111/level2/TIT10HESA_CH10.04HEPEEGEE.html#TIT10HESA_CH10.04HEPEEGEE_10.04.020PEEQ

It's certainly possible that Monterey County is not enforcing this, but according to the law the county health department can shut down home-based food services businesses at any time.

MamaNenascakes Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 6:19pm
post #3 of 20

hmm... kind of confusing.
She said if it's between you and the private person that contacted you, it's ok to bake it at home, only if you sale it to a retail [b]Retail consists of the sale of goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a department store, boutique or kiosk, or by mail, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser.[1] Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be individuals or businesses. In commerce, a "retailer" buys goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers or importers, either directly or through a wholesaler, and then sells smaller quantities to the end-user. Retail establishments are often called shops or stores. [/b].
Then woul it be ok or not?

jason_kraft Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 6:24pm
post #4 of 20

I would advise calling her back and asking her which section of the county statutes allows you to legally sell homemade baked goods to private individuals...the written law always trumps verbal consent from a government worker. If you sell to another retailer, you may be classified as a wholesaler, which has a different set of rules.

The definition of retail you quoted fits a home-based bakery...you buy large amounts of sugar, butter, flour, and fondant; bake and decorate cakes in a fixed location; then sell them to individual consumers.

leily Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 6:33pm
post #5 of 20

if she's telling you this, tell your you want it in writting on the HD letterhead. That way if anyone comes back to you for anyreason then you can say "this is what i have from my county health department"

Not saying she's right or wrong as i'm not in california, but if it contradicts what you've heard and found on your own then definitely get it in writting, she may change her tune then.

MamaNenascakes Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 6:45pm
post #6 of 20

Yes, I just sent her an email asking something written.

gingerbreadtogo Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 8:21pm
post #7 of 20

Sounds to good to be true... I hope for your sake Monterey Co is just more lenient than other parts of CA...

Good Luck...

tavyheather Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 9:08pm
post #8 of 20

dang! looks like I'm living in the wrong part of the state! assuming this is true...

cheriej Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 9:26pm
post #9 of 20

I'd be surprised if that is correct but you never know between northern and southern California. I can definitely say that in Orange County you cannot do that.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 9:31pm
post #10 of 20

Even if you do get it in writing on official letterhead from the person you spoke with, health dept employees do not have the authority to change county statutes, so unless she backs up her statement by referencing existing laws it carries no weight.

kimmerly1966 Posted 11 Oct 2010 , 6:42pm
post #11 of 20

Does anyone have any information on commercial kitchen space in San Diego?

lyndim Posted 11 Oct 2010 , 6:59pm
post #12 of 20

I hope the HD person is correct. That would make things a lot easier.

justsweet Posted 11 Oct 2010 , 7:00pm
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmerly1966

Does anyone have any information on commercial kitchen space in San Diego?




Try looking here:

http://www.commercialkitchenforrent.com/California-5-0.html


___________________

If Monterey County let you bake from your home, I will be very surprised. I am not far Monterey and State law says no baking from home. Their are a couple of groups trying to get a cottage law passed and cottage law are strict too. A few people are not happy you can not have pets living in your home.

Good luck, will be interested to see what the lady from the health dept sends you. I know I would not want to get fined by CA.

MamaNenascakes Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 1:04am
post #14 of 20

Me again
I talked to them again, they said that it is ok to bake the cakes at your house and sell them as long as you don't advertise... don't understand that part.
She said if it's a word by mouth; you're good to go. I still might rent a kitchen to seel the other bake goods at the farmers market, but I guess it's kind of green light to bake the cakes to neighbords and friends and friends of friends...and something like that

jason_kraft Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 1:30am
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaNenascakes

Me again
I talked to them again, they said that it is ok to bake the cakes at your house and sell them as long as you don't advertise... don't understand that part.
She said if it's a word by mouth; you're good to go. I still might rent a kitchen to seel the other bake goods at the farmers market, but I guess it's kind of green light to bake the cakes to neighbords and friends and friends of friends...and something like that



Did the health department give you something in writing stating it's OK to sell cakes made at home as long as you don't advertise?

MamaNenascakes Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 2:00am
post #16 of 20

No, they didn't.
It was another lady over the phone (from same health dpt.) who told me that it was perfectly fine as long as I didn't advertise, only if it was "word by mouth"... another friend called too and same thing was said to her...

jason_kraft Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 2:15am
post #17 of 20

Sorry, but if it's not in writing, it doesn't mean anything.

Are the actual inspectors telling you this, or are they just office workers?

gingerbreadtogo Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 2:28am
post #18 of 20

I sure hope it is true... Maybe I'll move to Seaside icon_smile.gif

flydiva Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 4:54am
post #19 of 20

That is how I interpret the law here per Dept of Health website. The part about being able to operate, just don't advertise or have a business license here in South Carolina. I don't have formal advertising.For example I can call people I know, offer services bake cakes collect money.But I don't have a flier, card, website or anything that just the general public can call and I seem like a "real" bakery operating.

My business is all word of mouth and I email pics of cakes if someone request to see a particular style etc.I was also told over the phone when I called to confirm, that I was only allowed to bake "non hazards".Nothing like chicken pot pies or baked goods contain meats that pose a hazard from improper cooking temps.

I guess they figure with the advertising restriction it would keep the home bakers "small" with maybe a few cakes here and there.Not enough for the State to concern themselves with.They obviously don't know the power of word of mouth and that the little home cake business can be very lucrative with no need for formal advertising.I'am gonna keep on caking until I hear otherwise or they start messing with us home bakers.I dont mind not having to spend the fees for a food permit or business license anyway! icon_biggrin.gif
http://www.scdhec.gov/health/envhlth/food-safety/bakery.htm

MamaNenascakes Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 9:38am
post #20 of 20

That's exactly what they told me too... I do have a blog where I post my pics, but not flyers, cards... anything like that!...
This makes me happy! Now I know Monterey (CA) is not the only health dpt. who does allow this

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