I'm relatively new to the world of cake, I make a lot for friends and family, but that's it so far. I have been charging a small fee to cover everything (i just can't afford to do them for free), but I know I have a lot of work to do to get legal. Can anyone help guide me in the steps I need to do? I'm in Erie County. Please be nice about not being legal yet, I actually didn't realize how serious it was til I joined the world of cc! Of course no one mentioned any of these issues when I took my wilton classes, my teacher encouraged selling!
I found this site not sure if it can help.
Is this in your home or outside your home? I does vary from county to county, but here is how it worked in my county.
In your home - contact your department of Agriculture. But don't bother to ask them to be nice, because they will tell it like it is. In your home you will not be able to advertise and you will only be able to sell through your local farmer's market and wholesale. They will come out and inspect your kitchen, give you a form and tell you all the rules you need to obey. If you have pets, be prepared to keep them out of the kitchen. You will not be able to sell cupcakes or decorated cakes directly to the public with this route.
You can build a department of health approved separate kitchen in your home, with a separate entrance (I think, not too sure about the entrance thing). The department of agriculture may be able to help you with those questions.
Outside of your home is the Department of Health. That is a whole, whole slew of things too long to list. I am days away from opening my cake shop. I did both routes and with my business plan, I found the retail route to be more profitable for my area.
If you do more wholesale than retail, you fall under the jurisdiction of the department of agriculture. If you do more retail than wholesale, you will fall under the department of health. I heard that sometime in the future (define - in the future - when it comes to the govt, that could take years!) that both will fall under the department of health. But for now it is split between the two departments.
For both of them contact your local government, set up a DBA, set up books to tracks your sales and expenses. Be sure to do all that so you can claim your earnings. Claim your earnings on your income tax. Failure to do this part will get you in worse trouble than baking in an unapproved kitchen.
Linda - Congrats on opening a cake shop! Where are you located?
In terms of NYS regulations, I think she covered just about all of them! The only difference is I don't believe you need a separate enterance to your kitchen if you choose to go that route. Your dept of ag can answer that for you - I live in Genesee County but work with the same dept of ag as you would. I'm licensed for wholesale. To bake for retail, I rent a commercial kitchen in my area.
Good luck whatever you choose to do!
Monroe County, Perinton area. I'll put the facebook page in my sig line.
Thanks for the info! I was feeling a little lost. Looks like I have a lot of work to do, guess I better start calling now
I am a certified in home bakery in Orleans County. Yes it is a lot of work but definitly worth it. I went through my Dept. Of Health who told me that the only reason I would need to go through the Dept. of Ag is if I was going to wholesale which I am not right now. Be ready because the Health Department will try to discourage you. They did me anyways. You will need a completely seperate kitchen and appliances. I built a "bakery" in my basement that is completely enclosed. I did not need a seperate outdoor entrance. You will need a 3 bay sink as well which is expensive. I was lucky in that my brother built my bakery and I got a lot of the big items, like the sink for free. You will need a seperate stove and fridge. I got a nice convection oven from Home Depot for about $450. It is nothing fancy but I love it!! I also had to go through my Town Board and County Board in order to get my home converted to a Commercial District. After a lot of meetings and run around I finally got approved in February and things are going great! I advertise and have done different shows. I was even told by the Health Dept. and Town Board that I could put a store front in front of my house if I wanted. Which I wouldn't because I am in the county. It is a lot of work but legal is the way to go. Just research a lot and ask questions. Good luck!!