I have recently started making some cakes, as in recently I meen I have done 2 and practiced another for 1 I'm doing in a couple weeks. I already have 3 others that people want after seeing the 1s I did. I have 2 questions: I live in PA, I have no clue what the rules are or if you need to make a certain amount of money before you gotta get certified and all that stuff. 2nd: I have never taking any type of classes in anything baking/decorating so I'm a little concerned about making a good tasting cake as well as something that looks cool.
I love doing this, kind of clears the mind for me but I don't want to get in over my head. I have a full-time job which I don't belive I'll be able to quit on behalf of making cakes, just don't want too get popped by the law.
since you have a full time job and you enjoy doing this
i heartily recommend that you continue it as a hobby as i just mentioned on another post
unless you can easily make the shift to being legal in your home kitchen aka no additional rent & utilites to pay
adding in financial things and employment conundrums kills the joy quite frankly unless you're in the right area
what i mean is in some areas you can bake yourself silly in your own home and charge for it--in other areas you cannot ever do it legally but from a commercially zoned place--this is all determined by the local authorities
so instead of using your free time to enjoy your next project start calling health department, agriculture department, code enforcement, business license peeps, the fire marshall, zoning and whoever else i forgot and see how it goes for you where you're at in pa
otherwise keep having fun & create whatever you want for close friends and family--make something awesome and invite people over to enjoy--relax and unwind between projects
maybe some folks from pa will pipe up too
best to you
rhetoric question--if you were good at knitting or model airplanes or coin collecting, bird watching--would you start a business?
just random thoughts
best to you
maybe there's some kids who need a cake--or someone who is ill--or the police/fire station, hospital staff
selling really has the potential to make it messy
but i do wish you the best
APA has a cottage food law so if you meet the requirements you can sell cakes from home: http://extension.psu.edu/food-safety/entrepreneurs/starting-a-business
If you do decide to start a business, you'll want to put together a business plan that outlines your costs (including paying yourself a decent hourly wage and overhead like a business license and liability insurance) as well as your pricing based on both the market value in your area and your cost structure.
I'm in PA as well. In order to sell anything you need to get yourself legal (there is no dollar amount or level - any sales count). In this case that means filing a Home Food Processors Application with the Dept of Agriculture. Before submitting you will need to get zoning approval from your local township, have a business plan, and have your menu set including ingredient lists. In PA, we are only authorized to sell non potentially hazardous foods from home - this means nothing that requires refrigeration (so no cream cheese, mascarpone, etc). Once your paperwok is submitted, you will then have your inspection, pay the $35 fee if you pass, and then you are good to go! I also recommend getting liability insurance (you can add it thru your homeowners policy) and looking into starting an LLC (to protect your personal assets).
From reading these boards, I think PA is one of the easier states to get legal in, but there are a few hoops to jump through before you can start selling. Good luck getting started! For what it's worth, I also work full-time (and have 2 kids) and do this on the side. No way I could quit the day job, but it's fun to do at night/on weekends and a little extra cash never hurts :)
Thanks for the information!! I'll making some phone calls this week and try to get a lil "legit." I guess weigh theamount of cakes I think I'll do in a year up against the cost of getting all the paperwork. Thank you