I have been posting alot of my cakes on facebook, and people are starting to take notice of my work. I have had many people ask if I could make a cake for them. And although I would love to< i'm not sure how to go about it. I called my local health department, and talked to a very nice gentleman but alot of what he said i already knew so he wasn't of much help. I live in the state of Michigan, which has a cottage food law allowing bakers to bake goods out of there home, as long as it is not hazardous.. So I already knew that, I guess what i'm trying to say is what else do I need to look into.. I feel kind of lost at this point because I thought maybe he could have told me. So all i know is I can bake cakes out of my kitchen as long as it does not bring me in more than 15,000 a year,(which will never happen) I am pretty new at doing cakes.So does that mean i don't need a license. I just don't want to sell a cake and find out I broke any laws..If any one has any information that might help me, it would be greatly apprecited...
The checklist on the page linked above is a great resource, the only thing I would add is to make sure you have business liability insurance, State Farm and The Hartford both offer good coverage for $400-500/year.
You'll also want to make sure you accurately capture your costs (including ingredients, labor, and overhead) so you can set fair prices, the cake boss software package can help with this.
I am in Michigan also and have been working for a bit under the cottage food law. what part of Michigan are you in?
I spoke today with a rep, and he told me that my orders have to be taken face to face.. which as a cake decorator its a horrible thing! all my cake orders come in via phone. so, I am breaking a rule right there. besides that the rules are pretty easy and they dont do much at all to regulate the program.
best of luck to you! I hope everything works out great for ya!
I spoke today with a rep, and he told me that my orders have to be taken face to face.. which as a cake decorator its a horrible thing!
That's not necessarily a bad thing. You can talk to customers on the phone all you want as a consultation, the only face to face interaction required would be when money changes hands. For large custom orders where a deposit is required you can collect the deposit at a tasting or face-to-face consultation, and for smaller orders with no deposit you can collect the amount due when the customer picks up the cake or has it delivered.
You cannot sell your Cottage Foods over the Internet, by mail order, or to wholesalers, brokers or other food distributors who will resell the Cottage Foods. Additionally, the law requires that the sales be face to face in order to assure the consumer that they have some relationship with the Cottage Food operator and can discuss any questions or concerns that they may have about the food that they are purchasing.
Michigan's Cottage Food Law 2011
For me the face-to-face sale requirement is one of the easiest of our new law (Texas) to meet, as far as custom cake orders.
Blacks law dictionary defines sale as follows:
Sale, n. 1. The transfer of property or title for a price. 2. The agreement by which such a transfer takes place. The four elements are (1) parties competent to contract, (2) mutual assent, (3) a thing capable of being transferred, and (4) a price in money paid or promised.
Hi Simplysweet Amy,
I am from the monroe Michigan area..
Thank you all for your help!!