So I have to say, I'm in shock right now. This past weekend I went to a bridal show where the co-sponsor of the event was a "bakery". They had samples to taste and some cakes on display. Here's where it gets interesting...I asked the owner where she bakes from (in our area your home kitchen can only be licensed for wholesale with no advertising AND it is illegal to bake retail from your home kitchen)...she says "From my home kitchen". Ugghh...I almost passed out. I questioned her regarding the health dept. and her response, "Oh, its really no big deal. I mean if someone really cares about their cake being certified I can always go to a restaurant, but most people just don't care."
By the response of the owner, I question whether she even knows the legalities of the area. She seemed like such a nice lady and didn't even hesitate to tell me that "its no big deal to bake from home". But then again, shouldn't the bridal show organizer make sure everything is done legit? I keep thinking about all those brides who went through the show and assume that the "bakery" abides by the health dept. rules. The funny part is because they were a "co-sponsor" of the event, no other bakeries were allowed in.
So here's my question to you - what would you have done?
I just smiled and walked away (trying to hide my utter disbelief).
I don't understand how people like this manage to continue fooling people. Around here you can't provide food to pretty much any of the venues without being an approved vendor.....and by approved I mean fully up to date on license and insurance!!! I just has a bride call crying bc she had given some random Craigslist lady a 1/2 down deposit on her $400 wedding cake only to find out her venue, a local hotel, refused to allow the Craigslist crazy to bring the cake bc she isn't licensed. I felt bad for bride but at the same time wanted to be like.......Ummmmm you went on Craigslist!!!!! I will be doing her cake and was already an approved vendor for this hotel but the moral of this story is:.........how how how how do people get away with such blatant disregard for the legal responsibilities that go along with what we do?
I don't come down on people who keep to themselves and are just trying to make a little extra selling to friends and family.....its none of my business and frankly I have too many other turns to worry about in life LOL BUT when you present yourself as an established business, go to a bridal show, and talk up brides for cakes on their big day......oh hell no!!!!! I'm pretty sure I would've hunted out the director of the event and demanded an explanation and reported the event!!! I'm sorry but I don't care how nice this lady was.....she was doing something very wrong and very illegal!!! She shoulda stayed in her apron at home andsold cakes to Aunt Mary not done a bridal show!! Lol
Personally I dont get why people (especially those who have dependents) who cheat the system think it is no big deal. Piss the wrong person off with a bad cake and your world will be crumbing around you. Can you image the kids at school:
my mom is in jail for baking a cake out of our home.
we are in so much legal debt we are losing our house.
I dont sell cakes, just a hobby, so Im not taking sides of the whole legal vs illegal, but I do work for my brother who has family and every time someone tries to get me to bend the rules I remind myself that my nieces and nephew/his family are worth too much for me to risk it.
And to answer your question....I might of pick up the phone the next business day.
One would think that the organizers of such a show would care if it's vendors are legit! To hear such a thing just upsets me. It is quite expensive and time consuming to participate in such shows. ( rent, insurance, cake dummies samples etc) I wonder if she has insurance since she was serving food ( samples). I think the law is there to be followed by all the same way.
To awnser your question...I would done the same you did. Just walk away. What could you do ? She is the co-organizer of the show. I guess if a bunch of illegal vendors decide to put up a wedding show it makes ok not to have the propper legalities?
Please, don't get me started ......after all the hoops I just had to jump to became legal.
I would have talked to the show organizer, and I probably would have called the health department the next day.
I am a hobbyist and this situation really upsets me. If I was to attend a bridal show because I was in the market to purchase a wedding cake, it would anger me to no end to find out they allowed someone to advertise services that isn't even legal . Legailities aside, It is a complete waste of time for all of the brides in attendance! Some people may disagree with me but I would have reported her the next business day, too. She has an obvious disregard for the law to publicize her illegal services at an event!
I would have done what costumeczar said. There is no excuse for that woman.
Co sponsor doesn't always mean show organizer, so I would go to the company who actually organizes the show.
Last weekend I did a show and I had to show proof of license just to serve samples. If someone had gotten sick at your show, it would be on the head of the organization that puts together the show.
And that's a big deal.
I would have been very upset too. Where I live it's not legal in no way, shape or form to sell any baked goods from your home, although ALOT of people do. I got into the cake business kinda by accident and started making cakes for friends and friends of friends, etc. I had no idea about any of the legalities, etc. As soon as I started getting a good bit of orders (3 months after I made my first cake) I called the health dept to see about becoming legal and thats when I found out I could not do it from my home, so within 2 months, I opened the doors to my own legal commercial bakery... and yes, I had to jump through LOTS of hoops and spend lots of money on licenses, insurance, etc.
With all that said, I sorta have a chip on my shoulder about the people that get away with doing at home when your living in an area that it is in no way legal. These people have been turned into the health department and NOTHING gets done about it. It costs me around 8000.00 a month (lease, electricity, water, gas, insurance, workers comp, etc) just to keep the doors opened at my bakery, and alot of times I don't even get to pay myself at the end of the month. I would be making a killing if I was doing it at home. I've heard that if they are not advertising and stay under the radar that they will let them get away with it, but that's not the case, they are putting themselves out there and advertising... it's just not right, nor is it fair.
I have no problem with people baking from there home for friends and family, but if you want to compete with the bakeries, advertise, etc., you need to do it the right way. If the health department were to come by my bakery tomorrow and find one thing out of place, I would be fined, however, people at home doing it (some with even pets in there home), just get a slap on the wrist, but no consequences at all. I don't understand why we even have laws sometimes....
I do wedding shows all the time. Not once has one ever asked me for proof of being legal (other than being asked to provide proof of insurance with the show coordinators and show venue as additional holders - which I am able to provide). They are not here to police us. They are here to make money. It is up the the bridal customer to ask the right questions. I get asked constantly while presenting at the show if I am legal. So most customers in this area are savvy, I guess.
I've heard that if you do get caught here it's not a big deal... however, being in the LA/Hollywood area you will get slapped big time if you have copyright infringement - but not a lot is done as far as health inspectors go.
Evidently she's very lucky in your area because it sounds like you have a HD that is not up to par in doing their job. In Indpls, I was told by my HD inspector that for every event, she gets a list of the food vendors and she checks the list against her files. She told me at the biggest show of the year, here, she had to go to the homes of two cake ladies and shut them down.
I say .... if you're stupid enough to pay $1500 for booth space (at this Indpls show) and you're NOT legal and licensed, then you deserve to be busted and shut down!
If you're going to be in business, you by G** better act like a business person! And that means not poo-poo'ing the rules with "oh no one cares about that!"
What other (sanitation) rules does she poo-poo?
I agree, friends and family are ok. But soliciting strangers and web sites that make you look legit are going too far. Turn them in. It's not personal, it's business.