I am in the tideous process of legalizing my home based bakery based in Fort Worth TX. I will be cooking out of a commercial kitchen, I will be getting a food Manager's certificate...then what next? I called the health department and they dont even know what Im talking about. ANY help from someone who has accomplished this task before is GREATLY appreciated!!! Please help, this gets so overwhelming! All I ever want to do is make cake art and be able to sell it! I just cannot afford to put up a bakery yet. Thank you for your help!
Hello ArtsycakesFW! from another newbie!
I wish I could give you advice in starting up your business, but I'm in the same boat, except in Midlothian, VA! I didn't get a FMC, but I did get register my trade name and get an EIN number. I did call the Health Dept. and they directed me to the Dept. of Agriculture (because the business was going to be run out of my home and not considered a restaurant, which is where the Health Dept. focuses, I guess?) So then the Dept. of Ag. emailed me a packet that gave the steps needed before they come out and inspect my kitchen. That's as far as I've gotten, because the steps involve typing out all the recipes I will be using, a diagram of the kitchen, separate areas for cake pans, ingredients, etc. I need to stop procrastinating and just do it, but I've been so busy with orders, I haven't set aside (been able to set aside)time to do this.
Good luck with everything!! I will be anxious as well to see what other responses you get! It's very exciting!
I am not sure but when I did it I rented a commercial kitchen and I didn't need an inspection because the kitchen was already inspected. I registered my business name and got a state sales tax number and then got the permit. I will pm you with the telephone numbers, websites and etc.
Actually if you are renting a commercial kitchen then it is not considered a home based bakery. I am assuming your "storefront" will be a website, so you have a web based bakery
Is the kitchen a rental kitchen or a commercial kitchen of an existing food establishment? All you need to do is give the HD the information of the location of the kitchen and they might ask for specs (floor plan) to submit even if it is already licensed for another entity. They will come and inspect. If they are confused just explain that you are renting time from the owner to do your bakery business. They will understand then. You can also tell them when you call that you are "sharing" the kitchen. They might understand that better.
You may contact the agency below. You are not operating a home-based bakery since home food processing is illegal in the state of Texas. If you want to sell food retail it must be processed in a licensed commercial kitchen. Here is the agency you must contact:
For Foods, Retail Food Establishments,
Certificate of Freesale and/or Certificate of Origin,
TELEPHONE: (512) 834-6626
You may also want to visit this link: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/foods/rules.shtm