Selling Cakes From Home

Business By neffylovescake Updated 19 Mar 2012 , 1:46pm by AnnieCahill

neffylovescake Posted 15 Mar 2012 , 4:56am
post #1 of 13

I'm a beginner cake decorator and I'm only 16. I'm currently taking my last Wilton decorating class. I love decorating but the problem is I can't make a cake all that often because i have noone to make it for. I've spent all this money on the supplies so I figure I could try selling cakes to make a bit of money and gain more experience. I don't know where to start as I have no family here and I'm not sure how to get word around. Any suggestions on how to start? Thanks! icon_smile.gif

12 replies
silverdragon997 Posted 15 Mar 2012 , 5:10am
post #2 of 13

The first thing you should do is check to see if your state has a cottage food law. If not, you can't legally sell cakes out of your home.

auntginn Posted 15 Mar 2012 , 5:14am
post #3 of 13

Welcome to CC, I commend you for putting some thought into this and sincerely hope that you will be able to recoup the money you invested.

Have you read any of the other post regarding selling cakes. You don't mention what state you are in.

As to where to start, do you have any friends? Are you in school (other than the Wilton Course) Do you belong to any social groups or attend church? All are great places to start.

scp1127 Posted 15 Mar 2012 , 5:35am
post #4 of 13

But you still shouldn't sell to friends, even for cost of ingredients until you find out if you can sell from home. When you look into this with your local health department, also check on a business license, possibly a sales tax license, and insurance. All of these may be required.

neffylovescake Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 5:40am
post #5 of 13

I actually live in Canada, but thanks for the warnings! Im fairly sure I can, because some of my cake decorator friends do. Im not in a culinary school, its just a hobby of mine. I want to join clubs, but I didn't start all that long ago, I'll be sure to look into some thanks!

scp1127 Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 7:56am
post #6 of 13

Just because your friends sell doesn't mean that you don't need a license. You are 16. Start out right and call the health department.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 4:26pm
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Just because your friends sell doesn't mean that you don't need a license. You are 16. Start out right and call the health department.




This. I get passed everyday on the highway by people who speed. Does that mean I shouldn't get a speeding ticket because everyone else is doing it? Nope. Check into legalities. If you find it's legal, THINK IT THROUGH. Think about the time and materials that go into it. You said you're 16. I'm assuming you're still in school? Any other school activities? Since you've been taking Wilton classes I'm sure you've at least got a little bit of an idea of the time that goes into cakes. It's a lot, and with school, you might find it's just not worth your time.

I would look for a part time job in a bakery. A grocery store bakery is going to be very fast paced. Perhaps too fast for someone as young as you. Look for some small privately owned bakeries and apply for a counter job. The girls that work the counter at my bakery have very good hours. And yes, the job is mainly selling donuts and bread and cleaning up the front, but sometimes they have side jobs like icing cupcakes for the store, cutting and icing brownies, dipping cake pops, perhaps frosting cookies. That can help you get your feet wet and see what it's all about. Let the owner know that you've taken Wilton courses and know a bit of cake decorating. With graduation season right around the corner, they might like to know they have someone that can help with icing cakes, tinting frosting, perhaps even piping buttercream roses for future use.

Good luck in your endeavors!

cakeRocket Posted 18 Mar 2012 , 4:58pm
post #8 of 13

Depending which province you live in you will most likely have to pass a health inspection. Alberta requires a separate kitchen space where the food inspector has to give you the green light. Canada does not have the cottage food law like the states do. Best to not go into business unless you have the right paperwork. This not only keeps your customers safe but also keeps you safe in case something does happen where fingers will be pointed (ie. food contamination). Unless you are making cakes as a hobby and giving them away to friends as gifts, i'd be careful about charging for them. You never know what could happen. Better to stay on the safe side then have to put up with hassles later on. That's my 2 cents as a fellow Canadian icon_smile.gif

neffylovescake Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 1:10am
post #9 of 13

I'm still in high school yes. And yes, I am very much aware of the time that goes into cakes, and it is something I've considered. I've thought about applying to local bakeries too, and it seems like shift work would take up more time. Thank you for all the warnings, I didn't think through much about the legal aspects. I guess I'll just wait until I'm a little older. icon_sad.gif In the meantime, I'm still going to keep decorating, and I really love this site so I think I'll post some photos. icon_smile.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 1:24am
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by neffylovescake

I'm still in high school yes. And yes, I am very much aware of the time that goes into cakes, and it is something I've considered. I've thought about applying to local bakeries too, and it seems like shift work would take up more time. Thank you for all the warnings, I didn't think through much about the legal aspects. I guess I'll just wait until I'm a little older. icon_sad.gif In the meantime, I'm still going to keep decorating, and I really love this site so I think I'll post some photos. icon_smile.gif




Thank you for having such a positive outlook! I think you totally should get a job at a bakery part-time if you can, or even just a summer job. There is so much more to running a cake business then actually making cake, it's hard to figure it all out on your own, and it can get really overwhelming at times. It's also not a guaranteed income icon_biggrin.gif Just don't tell the bakery you want to open your own business one day. We hate hearing that.

Good luck to you dear, and I am looking forward to seeing your photos!

scp1127 Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 5:53am
post #11 of 13

neffy, you don't need to wait to pursue your dream. My 17 year old daughter is right beside me when she isn't in school. We talk about business, but she is also learning correct scratch baking skills without going through trial and error. Lately, she has actually worked at one station on a project while I worked at another. She is deciding if she wants the bakery when she gets out of college.

Instead of trying to sell right away, why not get a part-time job and bake cakes for free? It will be investing in your career just as a college course would benefit. You will be so far ahead by the time you can even get an HD license (which may be 18???).

Good luck, take the advice of all of us "old" people who have been there, and keep plugging away.

Baker_Rose Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 12:52pm
post #12 of 13

As for practice, you don't need to bake real cakes to practice cake decorating. More than 20 years ago I started dabbling, then when my son was born I took the Wilton series. When he was napping in the afternoon I would sit down at my old, beat up kitchen table with my cake decorating bags, a large spatula, a few pieces of cardboard and the backs of cake pans.

I 'decorated' the top of sheet cakes on the back of the cake pan, with flowers and writing and a border. I practiced writing happy birthday and every name I could think of, when I was done, the icing was scraped off and put back into the bowl. I made flowers, borders, stars, everything from the books I had and things from class.

I set one cake pan on top of another and practiced side ruffles and strings. Then started again.

I used the icing until it was totally gross and threw it away. I made "play" icing with shortening, powdered sugar and water so it was able to sit out of the fridge.

These days you have youtube to learn from and can decorate with videos to help you on your way. I only had books and practice. It takes time, many hours, to get good at this, and that isn't even gum paste flowers (I think it takes longer to perfect those!!). You can do the same things with fondant, get a styrofoam dummy and cover with fondant, decorate and peel it off and start again. You will recoup your money in the long run.

I personally would not be willing to pay for a cake from an absolute new-bie, but there are places that you can take cakes for donation. Meanwhile the idea about a part time job in a bakery to get your feet wet and learn from experienced decorators is a great one!!

Good Luck!
Tami icon_smile.gif

AnnieCahill Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 1:46pm
post #13 of 13

Neffy, I was your age when I took my first cake decorating class at Wal Mart. That was almost 15 years ago! I still have all my supplies from the two classes I took. My problem is that I didn't consistently stick with caking. There was a lot of time when I was in college that I didn't do it, just because of the time factor. But it is never too early to start!

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