Trying To Start A Cottage Food Cupcake Business In Michigan

Business By shilindsay Updated 23 Oct 2011 , 4:53pm by scp1127

shilindsay Posted 24 Aug 2011 , 7:21pm
post #1 of 21

Hey All,
So, I'm almost set to start a Cottage Food cupcake business here in Michigan, but I think I'm about to have to cancel all my plans, and I'm not going to lie, it makes me very sad.

I have a cat, and I can't seem to figure out what the laws say in my county about having pets and the Cottage Food law. Does anyone know what the rules are for Wayne County, MI?

I'd just like to know before I get too excited about having my own little business.

Thanks.

20 replies
madicakes Posted 24 Aug 2011 , 7:50pm
post #2 of 21

I would suggest that you contact the person responsible for the inspections, either the Department of Agriculture or the Health Department. Here in PA is is the Dept of Ag, but not certain about your state. They will be able to tell you exactly what is required.

carync Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 2:07pm
post #3 of 21

Here's a website I found some time ago that might help.
http://homebasedbaking.com/knowledgebase/rules-regulations/michigan/

I know here in my state the Dept of Ag regulates all this stuff.

sokorachel Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 1:05am
post #4 of 21

Not sure about the cat situation. I'm sorry that I don't have an answer for you...mine is more of a question. Did you ever start your cupcake business? I'm about to do the same thing in Royal Oak area and was wondering if you had any advice for getting started!

carync Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 1:39am
post #5 of 21

shilindsay & sokorachel I am quite certain that there is no cottage law that allows pets in your home as a home-based baker, no matter what state or county you live in. Here's a link that might direct you to MI cottage food law information and I know there is a discussion board on Facebook.

Michigan Cottage Food Law - http://homebasedbaking.com/knowledgebase/rules-regulations/michigan/

Facebook Discussion Forum - Login to Facebook to access this link:
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=38679543682&topic=15884

Good luck ladies!!!

godsgood Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 5:51pm
post #6 of 21

I know this post is a few months old, so I don't know if it makes any difference to you now or not, but Michigan's law does not state anything about pets. It states "As a Cottage Food Operator, it is your responsibility to assure the food you make is safe". IF someone complains, they do have a right to investigate, and I'm sure it would be a negative to have a pet if that ever did happen. But there is nothing in the law saying you can't have pets in the home.

jason_kraft Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 5:56pm
post #7 of 21

MI and several other states have very liberal CFLs that do not require any kind of inspection unless someone complains. You would still need to be compliant with your local zoning ordinances, and protecting yourself with liability insurance is also important.

godsgood Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 5:58pm
post #8 of 21

The food law in Michigan prohibits "adulterated foods" and you cannot "Permit filthy or insanitary conditions to exist in a food establishment in which food intended for human consumption is manufactured, received, kept, stored, served, sold, or offered for sale." Nothing specifically about pets, but you better make sure you keep your place spic and span.

carync Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 8:46pm
post #9 of 21

1. If you are not sure about pets contact the MI Dept of Ag at 1-517-373-1104. Michigan also have a wonderful website addressing all cottage food rules and regulations.
Visit: http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,1607,7-125-50772_45851-240577--,00.html
Review each link and the FAQs.

There is also a Facebook page where food crafters can post questions.
Visit: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=38679543682&topic=15884

I have received a lot of misinformation on forums, so it is always best to just go directly to the source, in this case the MI Dept. of Ag. Good Luck!

MimiFix Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:15pm
post #10 of 21

Several CFL states allow pets in homes. In NY there are no restrictions, however having a pet creates more production problems. No customer wants to find evidence that the business owner has a pet. I tell all my students who have pets to follow certain procedures before starting every bake session.

SnLSweetEscapes Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 1:57pm
post #11 of 21

I am NY with an inspected kitchen with 2 dogs. However, my bakery is separate from my personal use kitchen, in my basement with 2 different doors to access it. The dogs are obviously not allowed in my basement. It is all dependent on your state, I would say.

scp1127 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 2:21pm
post #12 of 21

My bakery is set up like SawLil.

My number one concern as a pet owner is a stray hair. Sepatate kitchen or not, my concern is my clothes. Even if you use a commercial kitchen, it can follow you. I change my shirt when I go to the bakery. I always wear jeans, so they aren't a problem. I also judge my "work" shirts by their ability to repel lint or dog hair. My dogs aren't allowed in my SUV, which became my delivery vehicle. My dogs are all brushed with the Furminator and I have a housekeeper who keeps the house and the bakery spotless. I put the housekeeper part in there because without her, I would not have put the bakery in my home. It is a huge responsibility to handle this issue. We own commercial space as an alternative. In my situation, I think this is my number one priority. I have carpet on the stairs to the bakery which is great at catching things in the air and any dirt on my shoes.

So I guess I'm trying to say that even if your HD allows pets, the responsibility is so much greater than without pets. Be sure you have the means or the dedication to be OCD about a stray hair.

carync Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 3:31pm
post #13 of 21

I don't even believe this conversation is occurring. Food production and pets do not mix; why would you ever want to prepare food in the same environment where your pets are allowed to live. If pets are not allowed in the commercial food environment, they should not be allowed in the home food production environment. This is a no-brainer!

scp1127 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 3:47pm
post #14 of 21

I hope you are no referring to me. I have a commercial kitchen that is ready for FDA approval in an area that is almost as strict as the FDA. Since my home is almost 7000 square feet, the size of the house alone makes the bakery and my home not together and not near each other. My own fastidious habits and the use of a housekeeper make my home cleaner than most with no pets. It is no different than a bakery on a street with residential units above, even though that is not my situation. Due diligence in this situation is prudent.

My message is concerning pet owners, even if you have a separate bakery. People who lose hair easily should have the same concern about clothing.

jason_kraft Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 3:50pm
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by carync

why would you ever want to prepare food in the same environment where your pets are allowed to live.



Pet owners prepare food for their families in their home kitchens every day.

scp1127 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 3:56pm
post #16 of 21

By the way carync, I don't believe anyone put you in the position of law-making. If the health dept in the area where the baker lives approves pets with conditions, I'm not sure why you think you should pass judgement on situations you know nothing about. Why not stay focused on the discussion?

kelleym Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 3:57pm
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by carync

why would you ever want to prepare food in the same environment where your pets are allowed to live.


Pet owners prepare food for their families in their home kitchens every day.



Seriously. thumbs_up.gif

MimiFix Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 3:58pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by carync

I don't even believe this conversation is occurring. Food production and pets do not mix; why would you ever want to prepare food in the same environment where your pets are allowed to live. If pets are not allowed in the commercial food environment, they should not be allowed in the home food production environment. This is a no-brainer!




In our dismal economy with many folks unemployed, I don't feel it's my place to tell them to get rid of a pet companion. So what may seem to you as a "no-brainer" has emotional and fiscal implications for fellow members of our society who seriously need the income that a home-based food business can contribute. If the state allows this, then it's legal. I explain about cleanliness and safety issues and hope that they follow through.

scp1127 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 4:04pm
post #19 of 21

Sorry guys, but that comment just really hit a nerve with me. I'm glad I edited my original comment.

kelleym Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 4:10pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by carync

shilindsay & sokorachel I am quite certain that there is no cottage law that allows pets in your home as a home-based baker, no matter what state or county you live in. Here's a link that might direct you to MI cottage food law information and I know there is a discussion board on Facebook.



I also just noticed that every post you've made here has been regarding cottage food laws, most with links back to a commercial site, and yet you make a statement like the one above which shows you have not studied cottage food laws to any serious degree. What gives?

scp1127 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 4:53pm
post #21 of 21

kellym, I though that was the case, but I don't know enough about cottage law to have commented. Thanks for the post to clear up the situation.

This is where I hate those comments that, read by a person skimming, will just give bad, not to mention, incorrect, information. And in the business forum! I at least google the subject before I post if I'm unsure of the facts.

Check your local HD or Dept of Ag to find out about pets. Don't get discouraged if you do have a pet until you find out the truth.

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