I bake cakes out of my kitchen in MA, and I'd like to get licensed so I can sell them with a clear conscience. Who would I contact in my town/state about this? Also, my kitchen is not separate from the rest of my house, as we have an open floor plan. We have a cat and a dog (and children). Is this going to be a problem? I could gate off the kitchen (there is an island in the middle that I could put a gate on either side) if necessary, but it would be extremely inconvenient. Has anyone successfully gotten licensed with a similar situation? Thanks!
You should start with your health Dept in your town. There are a few things that you will need and with the pets they will require you to gate off access.
I would also look at www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dph/.../residential_kitchens_faq_sheet.pdf
It's pretty easy but takes a little work.
Each town in MA is different, so you'll have to call your Health Department for their specific requirements. I live in Milford and they are extremely unfriendly towards home-based and small businesses of any kind. However, a chef I met in the last several months had no problem getting her kitchen in Natick certified, so my official working kitchen is hers.
Also, I got a ServSafe certification, which was a good move for a variety of reasons. So if you can't get your kitchen certified, at least get yourself certified.
Thank you very much! Someone else I know who bakes out of her kitchen said she got a DBA license and a Residential Kitchen Permit. Does that sound about right? I'm going to go down to my town hall to ask how to proceed from here.
Yes, You need both of those and servesafe but your Health dept will be able to clarify that.