I have many friends and family wanting to pay me to make cupcakes and cookies for their events. I am very familiar with the laws and restrictions for home baking in CA. Is there a way to legally accept money for my creations?
If I don't solicit my goods and accepted donations would that be legal?
Example...if someone asks me what I would charge for 2 dz cupcakes could I respond, "I bake at home and can not sell my goods but would be happy to accept any donation you might want to give"...would this be legal?
Also...can you legally barter for an exchange of services?
I am diagnosed with depression and anxiety and my baking hobby gives me relief and enjoyment. I wish there was a way I could help support my hobby without the worry of being fined. I do know there are local businesses that don't like the "competition" of home bakers and will try to get them to stop by reporting them.
The bad news is you can't legally accept any form of compensation (cash or barter) for baked goods in California unless they are made in a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen, so you'll have to fund your cake decorating hobby yourself for now. Trying to get around the law by soliciting donations would probably just make things worse if you're caught.
Now for the good news: a cottage food law that would allow you to sell baked goods made from home (with some restrictions) is currently working its way through the California Senate, if it is passed by the end of the month and the governor signs it you may be able to sell homemade baked goods starting next year.
Thanks Jason...I have been following AB 1616 very closely. In fact, I just sent my letter to the governor today.