Distressed and in need of input...

Business By redbutterfly Updated 9 Jun 2011 , 8:49pm by hellie0h

jason_kraft Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 12:17am
post #31 of 52

And BTW the contract here is not enforceable -- it would require one party (the vendor) to engage in illegal activity and thus the entire contract would be null and void.

I hadn't actually thought of this before, but it's another good reason to make sure you are operating legally. If you are not, your customers can void their contracts at any time.

sebrina Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 12:34am
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Compensation is compensation, whether you are making a profit, breaking even, or taking a loss.




Yeap, that makes sense. Looks like a lose, lose situation for OP. icon_sad.gif
Let us know how it goes. Good luck!

sweettooth101 Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 12:47am
post #33 of 52

This lady has been communicating for a year for a cake and still hasn't signed the contract or paid anything towards it, doesn't that tell you something? Isn't it normal to secure your date with a deposit and signed contract. I normally ask for 50% of the payment on signing and the balance a month before the event.

kaat Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 1:16am
post #34 of 52

[quote="jason_kraft"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebrina


The options are:
A. Make the cake for free
B. Tell the customer she can't make the cake
C. Accept money for the cake and risk getting busted for operating illegally as well as the potential liability risk from a commercial transaction (since OP has no insurance)

If I were in this situation I would choose option A if I was planning on starting a legal cake decorating business, or option B if I just wanted to keep going as a hobby (after lining up another bakery to take over the cake).




OR D. Find a legal kitchen and make the cake.

jason_kraft Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 2:48am
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaat

OR D. Find a legal kitchen and make the cake.



That's a possibility, but there are usually startup costs involved in signing up with a rental kitchen -- I'm not sure it's realistic to find a rental kitchen, set it up, get inspected, apply for a business license, and get liability insurance coverage in a few weeks, not to mention writing a business plan to see if it actually makes sense to start a business.

Iggy Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 3:59pm
post #36 of 52

How many people go to a wedding asking if the person who made the cake was a "legal" baker? Many times, the person who makes the cake is a friend or a referral from another event. I understand legal is legal but has anyone known of anybody who has gotten sick from a wedding cake?? It's more than likely someone would've gotten sick from the food they ate and not the cake and either way it would be hard to prove. I do cakes for family & their friends, family; no charge, friends I do. I also donate cakes to a charity. I realize that those of you who have opened bakeries as well as put additions onto their homes made alot of sacrifices financially but there is so much business to go around and competition with the Costcos, Sam's Club, big grocery store chains, etc. that making a cake once in a while should be no big deal. I believe that the OP should make the cake IF she gets paid in full before the event and if she wants to make a true business where she is getting alot of orders, then she will have to decide whether it is feasible or financially worth it to pursue making it more than just a hobby. Let's face it, to try & find a good, reputable bakery at the height of wedding season can be very difficult. To leave a bride/customer hanging a month before the event is not in my humble opinion a good idea. Her name will get out there as a baker that can't be trusted to deliver and that could be worse. Word of mouth can be your best and also your worst form of advertising. Why can't you legals give hobbyists a break. Some hobbyists are making cakes as a form of some extra income for their family especially if she/he is a single parent trying to raise kids and /or they have lost their jobs in this economy. Come on, have a little heart and don't be so judgemental and harsh. It goes a long way to make people feel welcome here and not feel alienated. AS I said before, there are already TOO many discussions on the topic and some compassion and understanding need to be expressed forom this community. I will not respond to any other negative posts, I am now off my soap box. Lol Thanks for listening.

jason_kraft Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 4:24pm
post #37 of 52

You're right that the risk of someone getting sick from a cake is pretty low. The risk of getting sick from catered food is higher but still low. But if someone does get sick and decides to sue, they will probably end up suing the venue and all food vendors at the event. If you are unlicensed and do not have liability insurance, you will be on the hook for paying the full cost of your legal defense out of pocket (could be thousands of dollars right there, even if you win), plus any judgment or settlement (in a serious case with compensatory damages, lost time, and pain and suffering this could be tens of thousands or more).

The chances of your house burning down is pretty low, but you still have fire insurance, right?

The argument that hobbyists are just trying to generate some extra income to make ends meet doesn't hold water, and in fact it works against you, since any legal issues or fines from operating without a license (or even just being forced to close the business by the health dept) would be especially devastating to a family struggling to make ends meet. For example, if you are hit with a judgment you can't pay and you don't have business liability insurance, you may end up losing your house.

The compassionate thing to do is to provide people with the facts so they can be aware of the risks they are taking by operating illegally. I'm not saying that no one should ever accept compensation for any cake without a license...I wouldn't, but everyone has a different threshold for risk tolerance, and with the facts you can make an informed decision on whether or not you are willing to continue taking the risk or look for more reliable, legal employment.

Freedomx6 Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 4:48pm
post #38 of 52

[quote="kaat"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebrina


The options are:
A. Make the cake for free
B. Tell the customer she can't make the cake
C. Accept money for the cake and risk getting busted for operating illegally as well as the potential liability risk from a commercial transaction (since OP has no insurance)

If I were in this situation I would choose option A if I was planning on starting a legal cake decorating business, or option B if I just wanted to keep going as a hobby (after lining up another bakery to take over the cake).



OR D. Find a legal kitchen and make the cake.



I think this is a perfect solution to the problem. There are many churches with legal kitchens that get little use. I don't think it would be difficult to find one, and the church may even let OP use the kitchen in exchange for a cake for one of their own events. Win-win.

Kitagrl Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 4:59pm
post #39 of 52

This always turns into the hugest debate imaginable.

To the OP...I think it depends on what state you live in. If you live in a state without a cottage food law of some sort, I would probably be too concerned to do the cake.

If you live in a state with easier laws, such as here in PA...frankly, you aren't going to get turned in and fined for one cake. Finish up the order you promised, like KakeLadi said...and then cut it off until you are licensed. Don't leave business cards or advertise or anything like that.

I would definitely tell her that you need your license and allow her to cancel, but if she still wants the cake...just do the cake. And then go from there.

I baked from home a little while before getting my license, but then I live in PA where the laws are pretty easy on it. As a matter of fact, when the Dept of Ag guy was here filling out my paperwork, he asked to see my website so that he could put it in my paperwork. haha. Logically speaking, I should not have had one! But I did...and he was fine with it...no questions or comments...he couldn't care less and told me horror stories of all the horrible stuff he finds in Philadelphia (not home bakers).

So what I'm saying is...it really depends on how your state feels about home baking as to how scared you should be to fill this order. If you live in PA...just fill the order and then get licensed and go from there. If you live in, say, Maryland, then that's another story and I would not do the cake.

BTW, to the posters above... technically speaking, even if you borrow a legal kitchen, you still have to become licensed yourself as a baker running a business....its all the same thing when you are talking about an order coming up in a month.

jason_kraft Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 5:11pm
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

technically speaking, even if you borrow a legal kitchen, you still have to become licensed yourself as a baker running a business....its all the same thing when you are talking about an order coming up in a month.



In many areas without CFLs you would also need to be inspected separately in the rented kitchen to make sure your area of the kitchen and your processes comply with health dept rules. Sometimes there are also more stringent rules for for-profit businesses, so a church kitchen may not even pass inspection.

Freedomx6 Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 5:22pm
post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy

How many people go to a wedding asking if the person who made the cake was a "legal" baker? Many times, the person who makes the cake is a friend or a referral from another event. I understand legal is legal but has anyone known of anybody who has gotten sick from a wedding cake?? It's more than likely someone would've gotten sick from the food they ate and not the cake and either way it would be hard to prove. I do cakes for family & their friends, family; no charge, friends I do. I also donate cakes to a charity. I realize that those of you who have opened bakeries as well as put additions onto their homes made alot of sacrifices financially but there is so much business to go around and competition with the Costcos, Sam's Club, big grocery store chains, etc. that making a cake once in a while should be no big deal. I believe that the OP should make the cake IF she gets paid in full before the event and if she wants to make a true business where she is getting alot of orders, then she will have to decide whether it is feasible or financially worth it to pursue making it more than just a hobby. Let's face it, to try & find a good, reputable bakery at the height of wedding season can be very difficult. To leave a bride/customer hanging a month before the event is not in my humble opinion a good idea. Her name will get out there as a baker that can't be trusted to deliver and that could be worse. Word of mouth can be your best and also your worst form of advertising. Why can't you legals give hobbyists a break. Some hobbyists are making cakes as a form of some extra income for their family especially if she/he is a single parent trying to raise kids and /or they have lost their jobs in this economy. Come on, have a little heart and don't be so judgemental and harsh. It goes a long way to make people feel welcome here and not feel alienated. AS I said before, there are already TOO many discussions on the topic and some compassion and understanding need to be expressed forom this community. I will not respond to any other negative posts, I am now off my soap box. Lol Thanks for listening.


I don't have a solid opinion on the legal vs. illegal issue. I am a hobby baker, when I considered selling my cakes, I called the Health Dept. and they told me it wasn't acceptable to bake from home, but I could use a church kitchen and legally sell my cakes. I thought back to the baker my family used for years for wedding cakes, and realized she wasn't a legal baker. I wasn't offended one bit, if I still lived in that area I would still use her. She was professional, affordable, and reliable. I wouldn't feel one bit better if she had packed up all her supplies and gone to a local church to bake the cakes.

That said, I've only been posting here for a short time, and I am very put off when every thread turns into an investigation of the posters legality. There is a lot of useful info on this site, but the negative energy here regarding this issue defeats the entire purpose of these forums. Unless advice regarding the legality of a kitchen is requested, the legal beagle's should keep their opinions to themselves. I've seen posters proclaim their 'moral responsibility' to inform other posters that may be unaware, and I've seen those same posters harrass the OP once informed that their advice is unwanted.

Legal beagles (and you know who you are), it is not your responsibility to become the self appointed advisor to every poster on this forum regarding the legality of their kitchens. The information is readily available on this site, and your constant policing is redundant, and annoying.

jason_kraft Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 5:26pm
post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomx4

That said, I've only been posting here for a short time, and I am very put off when every thread turns into an investigation of the posters legality.



There's no investigation of any poster's legality here, OP stated that she realized she is operating illegally and asked what to do about it. The benefits vs. risks of operating legally vs. illegally are the crux of the issue here.

Quote:
Quote:

I've seen those same posters harrass the OP once informed that their advice is unwanted.



Can you link to evidence of such harassment? If true, those posts should be reported to the mods so they can be removed.

Freedomx6 Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 5:43pm
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

technically speaking, even if you borrow a legal kitchen, you still have to become licensed yourself as a baker running a business....its all the same thing when you are talking about an order coming up in a month.


In many areas without CFLs you would also need to be inspected separately in the rented kitchen to make sure your area of the kitchen and your processes comply with health dept rules. Sometimes there are also more stringent rules for for-profit businesses, so a church kitchen may not even pass inspection.


I run a small business that is not related to cakes. It is listed with my county, I carry liability, and workers comp. insurance, and I am not required to be licensed.

I have found the inspectors at the health dept. to be very helpful, they want to help people follow the laws. I have no doubt that I could contact my local inspector, and be in a legal kitchen in less than a month, for little expense. Of course, the OP would have to make that call, and see if it's possible. I don't think it is as difficult as many on here make it out to be.

I live in Indiana, and we are allowed to sell at Farmer's Market's, and road side stands. So, if I have a customer pick up a cake at a dusty road side stand, rather than deliver it, or have it picked up from my home, I would be completely legal to make cakes in my home kitchen. I understand we are a society of laws, but some laws just don't make sense. More, and more states are enacting CFL's, obviously because they don't see a threat from people baking cakes from their home kitchens.

Kitagrl Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 5:46pm
post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomx4

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

technically speaking, even if you borrow a legal kitchen, you still have to become licensed yourself as a baker running a business....its all the same thing when you are talking about an order coming up in a month.


In many areas without CFLs you would also need to be inspected separately in the rented kitchen to make sure your area of the kitchen and your processes comply with health dept rules. Sometimes there are also more stringent rules for for-profit businesses, so a church kitchen may not even pass inspection.

I run a small business that is not related to cakes. It is listed with my county, I carry liability, and workers comp. insurance, and I am not required to be licensed.

I have found the inspectors at the health dept. to be very helpful, they want to help people follow the laws. I have no doubt that I could contact my local inspector, and be in a legal kitchen in less than a month, for little expense. Of course, the OP would have to make that call, and see if it's possible. I don't think it is as difficult as many on here make it out to be.

I live in Indiana, and we are allowed to sell at Farmer's Market's, and road side stands. So, if I have a customer pick up a cake at a dusty road side stand, rather than deliver it, or have it picked up from my home, I would be completely legal to make cakes in my home kitchen. I understand we are a society of laws, but some laws just don't make sense. More, and more states are enacting CFL's, obviously because they don't see a threat from people baking cakes from their home kitchens.




Exactly, that's why I'm saying it really depends on what state the OP is working in as to how risky it is to sell the cake. Some states aren't going to waste their time prosecuting ONE cake like that. Other states probably can't wait to jump on it. So...just depends. And in PA yeah it only took me a month to become legal...so again...it all depends.

Freedomx6 Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 5:59pm
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomx4

That said, I've only been posting here for a short time, and I am very put off when every thread turns into an investigation of the posters legality.


There's no investigation of any poster's legality here, OP stated that she realized she is operating illegally and asked what to do about it. The benefits vs. risks of operating legally vs. illegally are the crux of the issue here.

Quote:
Quote:

I've seen those same posters harrass the OP once informed that their advice is unwanted.


Can you link to evidence of such harassment? If true, those posts should be reported to the mods so they can be removed.


I wasn't referring specifically to you in my post.

I read a thread where the OP was asking about pricing, the legal beagle's stepped in and began questioning her legality, and it consumed the entire thread. The OP removed her pics from her profile, and repeatedly asked the mods to remove the thread, and for posters to stop discussing it, yet it continued for pages. It was apparent that the OP was distressed, and worried that someone from the forum would report her.

I won't bother searching the forum for the thread, and I won't put on my legal beagle badge and start reporting posts to the mods.

warchild Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 6:01pm
post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomx4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy

How many people go to a wedding asking if the person who made the cake was a "legal" baker? Many times, the person who makes the cake is a friend or a referral from another event. I understand legal is legal but has anyone known of anybody who has gotten sick from a wedding cake?? It's more than likely someone would've gotten sick from the food they ate and not the cake and either way it would be hard to prove. I do cakes for family & their friends, family; no charge, friends I do. I also donate cakes to a charity. I realize that those of you who have opened bakeries as well as put additions onto their homes made alot of sacrifices financially but there is so much business to go around and competition with the Costcos, Sam's Club, big grocery store chains, etc. that making a cake once in a while should be no big deal. I believe that the OP should make the cake IF she gets paid in full before the event and if she wants to make a true business where she is getting alot of orders, then she will have to decide whether it is feasible or financially worth it to pursue making it more than just a hobby. Let's face it, to try & find a good, reputable bakery at the height of wedding season can be very difficult. To leave a bride/customer hanging a month before the event is not in my humble opinion a good idea. Her name will get out there as a baker that can't be trusted to deliver and that could be worse. Word of mouth can be your best and also your worst form of advertising. Why can't you legals give hobbyists a break. Some hobbyists are making cakes as a form of some extra income for their family especially if she/he is a single parent trying to raise kids and /or they have lost their jobs in this economy. Come on, have a little heart and don't be so judgemental and harsh. It goes a long way to make people feel welcome here and not feel alienated. AS I said before, there are already TOO many discussions on the topic and some compassion and understanding need to be expressed forom this community. I will not respond to any other negative posts, I am now off my soap box. Lol Thanks for listening.

I don't have a solid opinion on the legal vs. illegal issue. I am a hobby baker, when I considered selling my cakes, I called the Health Dept. and they told me it wasn't acceptable to bake from home, but I could use a church kitchen and legally sell my cakes. I thought back to the baker my family used for years for wedding cakes, and realized she wasn't a legal baker. I wasn't offended one bit, if I still lived in that area I would still use her. She was professional, affordable, and reliable. I wouldn't feel one bit better if she had packed up all her supplies and gone to a local church to bake the cakes.

That said, I've only been posting here for a short time, and I am very put off when every thread turns into an investigation of the posters legality. There is a lot of useful info on this site, but the negative energy here regarding this issue defeats the entire purpose of these forums. Unless advice regarding the legality of a kitchen is requested, the legal beagle's should keep their opinions to themselves. I've seen posters proclaim their 'moral responsibility' to inform other posters that may be unaware, and I've seen those same posters harrass the OP once informed that their advice is unwanted.

Legal beagles (and you know who you are), it is not your responsibility to become the self appointed advisor to every poster on this forum regarding the legality of their kitchens. The information is readily available on this site, and your constant policing is redundant, and annoying.




Thank you! I cannot tell you how much I agree with what you have said! I've seen so many threads that are so innocent in nature become a war over legality. Simple things, a newbie asks a question about pricing etc, and in no time at all, the legal police swoop in for the kill. It's beyond me why certain people feel the need to put so much fear in a newbies mind?

I'm not talking about the people who are giving helpful advice in a kind way. I'm talking about the fear monger, the type that seems to delight in leaving the poor newbie fearing she or he might end up in jail, for making *gasp* a cake for someone else in her kitchen.

Freedomx6 Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 6:03pm
post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomx4

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

technically speaking, even if you borrow a legal kitchen, you still have to become licensed yourself as a baker running a business....its all the same thing when you are talking about an order coming up in a month.


In many areas without CFLs you would also need to be inspected separately in the rented kitchen to make sure your area of the kitchen and your processes comply with health dept rules. Sometimes there are also more stringent rules for for-profit businesses, so a church kitchen may not even pass inspection.

I run a small business that is not related to cakes. It is listed with my county, I carry liability, and workers comp. insurance, and I am not required to be licensed.

I have found the inspectors at the health dept. to be very helpful, they want to help people follow the laws. I have no doubt that I could contact my local inspector, and be in a legal kitchen in less than a month, for little expense. Of course, the OP would have to make that call, and see if it's possible. I don't think it is as difficult as many on here make it out to be.

I live in Indiana, and we are allowed to sell at Farmer's Market's, and road side stands. So, if I have a customer pick up a cake at a dusty road side stand, rather than deliver it, or have it picked up from my home, I would be completely legal to make cakes in my home kitchen. I understand we are a society of laws, but some laws just don't make sense. More, and more states are enacting CFL's, obviously because they don't see a threat from people baking cakes from their home kitchens.



Exactly, that's why I'm saying it really depends on what state the OP is working in as to how risky it is to sell the cake. Some states aren't going to waste their time prosecuting ONE cake like that. Other states probably can't wait to jump on it. So...just depends. And in PA yeah it only took me a month to become legal...so again...it all depends.


Hopefully, a call to the health dept. will relieve some of the OP's worries, and not worsen them.

I was surprised to find my local inspector to be so helpful, and not act like I was contemplating an atrocious crime icon_wink.gif

Freedomx6 Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 6:30pm
post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by warchild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomx4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy

How many people go to a wedding asking if the person who made the cake was a "legal" baker? Many times, the person who makes the cake is a friend or a referral from another event. I understand legal is legal but has anyone known of anybody who has gotten sick from a wedding cake?? It's more than likely someone would've gotten sick from the food they ate and not the cake and either way it would be hard to prove. I do cakes for family & their friends, family; no charge, friends I do. I also donate cakes to a charity. I realize that those of you who have opened bakeries as well as put additions onto their homes made alot of sacrifices financially but there is so much business to go around and competition with the Costcos, Sam's Club, big grocery store chains, etc. that making a cake once in a while should be no big deal. I believe that the OP should make the cake IF she gets paid in full before the event and if she wants to make a true business where she is getting alot of orders, then she will have to decide whether it is feasible or financially worth it to pursue making it more than just a hobby. Let's face it, to try & find a good, reputable bakery at the height of wedding season can be very difficult. To leave a bride/customer hanging a month before the event is not in my humble opinion a good idea. Her name will get out there as a baker that can't be trusted to deliver and that could be worse. Word of mouth can be your best and also your worst form of advertising. Why can't you legals give hobbyists a break. Some hobbyists are making cakes as a form of some extra income for their family especially if she/he is a single parent trying to raise kids and /or they have lost their jobs in this economy. Come on, have a little heart and don't be so judgemental and harsh. It goes a long way to make people feel welcome here and not feel alienated. AS I said before, there are already TOO many discussions on the topic and some compassion and understanding need to be expressed forom this community. I will not respond to any other negative posts, I am now off my soap box. Lol Thanks for listening.

I don't have a solid opinion on the legal vs. illegal issue. I am a hobby baker, when I considered selling my cakes, I called the Health Dept. and they told me it wasn't acceptable to bake from home, but I could use a church kitchen and legally sell my cakes. I thought back to the baker my family used for years for wedding cakes, and realized she wasn't a legal baker. I wasn't offended one bit, if I still lived in that area I would still use her. She was professional, affordable, and reliable. I wouldn't feel one bit better if she had packed up all her supplies and gone to a local church to bake the cakes.

That said, I've only been posting here for a short time, and I am very put off when every thread turns into an investigation of the posters legality. There is a lot of useful info on this site, but the negative energy here regarding this issue defeats the entire purpose of these forums. Unless advice regarding the legality of a kitchen is requested, the legal beagle's should keep their opinions to themselves. I've seen posters proclaim their 'moral responsibility' to inform other posters that may be unaware, and I've seen those same posters harrass the OP once informed that their advice is unwanted.

Legal beagles (and you know who you are), it is not your responsibility to become the self appointed advisor to every poster on this forum regarding the legality of their kitchens. The information is readily available on this site, and your constant policing is redundant, and annoying.



Thank you! I cannot tell you how much I agree with what you have said! I've seen so many threads that are so innocent in nature become a war over legality. Simple things, a newbie asks a question about pricing etc, and in no time at all, the legal police swoop in for the kill. It's beyond me why certain people feel the need to put so much fear in a newbies mind?

I'm not talking about the people who are giving helpful advice in a kind way. I'm talking about the fear monger, the type that seems to delight in leaving the poor newbie fearing she or he might end up in jail, for making *gasp* a cake for someone else in her kitchen.


It's disappointing that such a passionate topic has to be filled with so much negativity. I have seen advice delivered in a very kind way, and have also seen it delivered in a completely rude, and inappropriate manner.

Maybe they should make it a requirement to acknowledge info regarding legality of home kitchens when registering? Then, noone will feel the 'moral obligation' to inform posters.

ShaunPepe Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 1:30pm
post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomx4

Quote:
Originally Posted by warchild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomx4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy

How many people go to a wedding asking if the person who made the cake was a "legal" baker? Many times, the person who makes the cake is a friend or a referral from another event. I understand legal is legal but has anyone known of anybody who has gotten sick from a wedding cake?? It's more than likely someone would've gotten sick from the food they ate and not the cake and either way it would be hard to prove. I do cakes for family & their friends, family; no charge, friends I do. I also donate cakes to a charity. I realize that those of you who have opened bakeries as well as put additions onto their homes made alot of sacrifices financially but there is so much business to go around and competition with the Costcos, Sam's Club, big grocery store chains, etc. that making a cake once in a while should be no big deal. I believe that the OP should make the cake IF she gets paid in full before the event and if she wants to make a true business where she is getting alot of orders, then she will have to decide whether it is feasible or financially worth it to pursue making it more than just a hobby. Let's face it, to try & find a good, reputable bakery at the height of wedding season can be very difficult. To leave a bride/customer hanging a month before the event is not in my humble opinion a good idea. Her name will get out there as a baker that can't be trusted to deliver and that could be worse. Word of mouth can be your best and also your worst form of advertising. Why can't you legals give hobbyists a break. Some hobbyists are making cakes as a form of some extra income for their family especially if she/he is a single parent trying to raise kids and /or they have lost their jobs in this economy. Come on, have a little heart and don't be so judgemental and harsh. It goes a long way to make people feel welcome here and not feel alienated. AS I said before, there are already TOO many discussions on the topic and some compassion and understanding need to be expressed forom this community. I will not respond to any other negative posts, I am now off my soap box. Lol Thanks for listening.

I don't have a solid opinion on the legal vs. illegal issue. I am a hobby baker, when I considered selling my cakes, I called the Health Dept. and they told me it wasn't acceptable to bake from home, but I could use a church kitchen and legally sell my cakes. I thought back to the baker my family used for years for wedding cakes, and realized she wasn't a legal baker. I wasn't offended one bit, if I still lived in that area I would still use her. She was professional, affordable, and reliable. I wouldn't feel one bit better if she had packed up all her supplies and gone to a local church to bake the cakes.

That said, I've only been posting here for a short time, and I am very put off when every thread turns into an investigation of the posters legality. There is a lot of useful info on this site, but the negative energy here regarding this issue defeats the entire purpose of these forums. Unless advice regarding the legality of a kitchen is requested, the legal beagle's should keep their opinions to themselves. I've seen posters proclaim their 'moral responsibility' to inform other posters that may be unaware, and I've seen those same posters harrass the OP once informed that their advice is unwanted.

Legal beagles (and you know who you are), it is not your responsibility to become the self appointed advisor to every poster on this forum regarding the legality of their kitchens. The information is readily available on this site, and your constant policing is redundant, and annoying.



Thank you! I cannot tell you how much I agree with what you have said! I've seen so many threads that are so innocent in nature become a war over legality. Simple things, a newbie asks a question about pricing etc, and in no time at all, the legal police swoop in for the kill. It's beyond me why certain people feel the need to put so much fear in a newbies mind?

I'm not talking about the people who are giving helpful advice in a kind way. I'm talking about the fear monger, the type that seems to delight in leaving the poor newbie fearing she or he might end up in jail, for making *gasp* a cake for someone else in her kitchen.

It's disappointing that such a passionate topic has to be filled with so much negativity. I have seen advice delivered in a very kind way, and have also seen it delivered in a completely rude, and inappropriate manner.

Maybe they should make it a requirement to acknowledge info regarding legality of home kitchens when registering? Then, noone will feel the 'moral obligation' to inform posters.




thumbs_up.gifI only read these posts after quickly scrolling down pretty much pages 3 & 4. Did not feel like reading people's (once again) rants at each other on CC. My opinion, make the cake for free. Even if you are not legal, it is very unprofessional to cancel on someone a month before event.
It is not the customer's fault you did not do your research and find out it was not legal to sell cakes.

WykdGud Posted 6 Jun 2011 , 2:20pm
post #50 of 52

Must. Not. Post. icon_mad.gif

ncsmorris Posted 9 Jun 2011 , 8:22pm
post #51 of 52

I just wanted to add that usually the intent is not to make someone feel bad for operating illegally, it's to inform. I would love if I didn't need to be inspected. I'd love to have a dog. I would love not to spend $500 of my profit on insurance. And honestly, I do think some of the laws go too far (especially states that don't allow home-baking even with an inspection). But I'm so glad I found out about the laws. At first, I wasn't trying to be a "business" it was just a hobby, but I couldn't spend so much money giving stuff away! So I took money. As soon as I found out that was illegal, I had to make a choice - to take the risk of being illegal or not. I knew I had to be legal - not because I thought it was "wrong" or I was doing something "bad" but because it was too risky. I couldn't afford the fines nor could I afford to lose my house, my car, etc. for an occasional cake. To maintain a hobby, all the hoops to jump through and the expense wasn't worth it. So it came down to baking for free vs. becoming legal and running it as a business. I chose the latter.

If someone chooses to operate illegally, that is their choice; however, I would never want someone to make that choice without realizing what it COULD cost them. People are sue-happy. No, it isn't at all likely that they get sick from cake, but they could claim it. They could come to your house for pickup and fall down your stairs. You could have a car accident while delivering and, without business coverage, your auto policy wouldn't cover this.

Sorry for the tangent icon_wink.gif

hellie0h Posted 9 Jun 2011 , 8:49pm
post #52 of 52

For goodness sake, use some common sense, it's not like you are going to jail for doing one more order that was promised before you became aware of legalities. People that make mountains out of mole hills have got to be very intense persons. You are now aware that you need license if not in a Cottage Law" state.

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