I was told a little under 2 months ago that I was not able to bake cakes through my home, but the very next day someone from the Dept. of Agr. called and said it was fine as long as I filled out my packet and got it approved. Well I did that, as well as spent a bunch of money redoing my kitchen (I got a new counter top, some new cabinets, repaired things, bought a seperate fridge etc.) I also rented a small office so clients wouldn't have to come to my house, which was for a year lease.
About a week after I sent my packet, the lady called to say it was approved and that she would be forwarding it to the health inspectors. I waited a week and started calling and got no where. I called a bunch of times for like 3 weeks and was not able to find out when I was getting a health inspection. About a week ago, I was called from the Dept. of Agr. to inform me that in my city (Hampton) that I was not able to bake from my home unless it was a seperate kitchen. In all of the other surrounding cities, I would be able to, but not mine because Hampton had their own Food Codes.
I was so upset, after I spent all of this money and time and got stuck in a year lease for an office, they finally call me to tell me I can't do that. Well luckily I found a kitchen for rent from a local catering company for $20.00 an hour! You all know how much time it can take to bake and decorate a cake. Even though I am not able to profit much at all, I don't want to give up and shut down my business, because it has taken already so much hard work and money and I love doing what I do. So now, I am all legal, which is a relief in itself. We plan on moving next summer and I can guarantee it will be to a different city!
Thanks for listening to me vent! : )
Since you probably set your prices based on the overhead cost calculations of a home kitchen, you may want to think about increasing them so you can make an equivalent amount of profit.
Congrats! I live in VA as well and understand the frustration. I had my kitchen certified for about 1 year now, but recently became a LLC. That was the easy part but completing everything for my biz license was a pain:$. But its over and I HEART CAKE LLC is the real deal now! Good luck to you and your endevors!
Thank you all very much! I will have to make a price increase, at least until I move.
I just got word that the Florida Cottage Bill has been passed - by July 1, we will be able to sell baked goods from home!! I bake from home now, but I do not charge - I have a very understanding boyfriend! Anyway - Yay Florida!!
lol! Yes! YAY! For Florida, Congrats!!
Isn't it wonderful when one person/department says 'alright all you have to do this and this'. You follow their plan to the letter and then you still get slapped down!
I remember when I went to open my 1st shop in CA after months of fixing up a shop - I'm ready to open the door the next day and an inspector says Hold on you *MUST* have an industrial sized, underground grease trap, not the small one I got from a restaurant that closed just the day before. It was good enough for a busy hamburger place but not big enough for my little cake shop! I had to ask for 'special political favors' to get it approved a week later.
Glad you were able to work things out for yourself.
And the remodeling you did to your kitchen should help you sell the house better