countrycakes Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 6:33pm
post #1 of

I went thru this in the summertime a little.....now it's happening again......there is a young lady who is doing 'business' as in NOT INSPECTED, NOT LICENSED, NOTHING from her home about 20 miles from me.....she's advertising on Facebook, taking orders, baking up a storm. UGH!!! I swear.....it is enough to make me just want to scream...all people see is the $$$ of what they are purchasing......it's not so difficult to get going LEGALLY in NC...why do people want to do this under the table?! She's killing me...she is doing all this 'home baking'  and doing it cheap as crapola......she is not doing the decorative cakes YET......just all the other stuff, as in plain homemade cakes, desserts, etc.........and not making a damn dime off of it, according to her prices! :( People will pay to get desserts so cheap.....it bites me bad.She posted on her wall how 'swamped she was with all this baking at Thanksgiving'....I really hoped she would have gotten sick of it, also having 3 small kids at home is a challenge..... I have worked very hard to get my name and business out there, it is hard to do when you live in a small county....as far as I can tell, I am the only licensed legal home baker around here.............I sweared I would not let this get to me......obviously cheap is the key ingredient in bakery stuff. :/ Just had to vent to get it out.....ignore this if you need to. It just sucks bigtime for me. :(

34 replies
Godot Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 6:36pm
post #2 of

ATurn her in.

I turn in all the illegals I find. I don't go trolling around gor them, but whenever I stumble over one I shoot an e-mail to yhe HD.

Norasmom Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 6:40pm
post #3 of

Complaining on Cake Central will only help you temporarily.  You need to take action and report her to the board of health in her county, they will shut her down until she is in compliance.  Otherwise, it will continue to happen.  Don't be afraid to make the call, it will also protect her in the long run.  She may not even be aware she's illegal.

MimiFix Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 6:59pm
post #4 of

Yes. Turn her in. With her pricing you'd be doing both of you a favor.

howsweet Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 7:15pm
post #5 of

^^How true^^

 

Unfortunately, once she gets legal, she's still going to under cut you. I can only assume these people don't get sick of it because, even when they charge so little, they may still bring in an extra couple of hundred dollars a week. Though they usually think they're bringing  more because they don't fully subtract their costs. Try telling them different though...

IAmPamCakes Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 8:16pm
post #6 of

AThere are VERY few legal bakers in my area, yet so many baking 'businesses.' It cost almost nothing for me to get all my paperwork done to become legal, and the money that was spent was on a water test because I'm on a well. In conversations with the health department, they have said they are OK with the public alerting them to illegal food businesses. They don't have the time or manpower to find them, so they actually depend on us to help. So, yeah. Turn her in.

Paperfishies Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 8:47pm
post #7 of

AIf it is super easy in your area to become legal, then it sounds like even if she did become "legal", you would still have a problem because she works for cheap.

Sounds like your problem isn't with the legality but with her prices.

costumeczar Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 1:46am
post #8 of

Just turn her in.

jason_kraft Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 3:24am
post #9 of

AI'm surprised no one has mentioned turning her in yet.

Godot Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 7:20am

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

I'm surprised no one has mentioned turning her in yet.

I know - it's usually the first thing someone says!

Then all the other illegals come on here and start screaming about karma and minding one's own business.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 7:52am

AOmg, mind your own business and leave her be!

I just reported someone, she's someone I know actually... Made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

morganchampagne Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 8:01am

ASomeone told me to my business once. I told them that minding my business included looking for my company. That means reporting illegal bakers. I don't mind competotion. But I only want to compete with legal places following the rules.

BrandisBaked Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 2:48pm

AHow do you know if someone isn't licensed? I was home-based and fully legal for a long time. I don't know how anyone would know whether I went through the proper channels or not. Do you ever wonder how many bitter bakers have called to report *you*? ;-)

jason_kraft Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 3:40pm

A

Original message sent by BrandisBaked

How do you know if someone isn't licensed? I was home-based and fully legal for a long time. I don't know how anyone would know whether I went through the proper channels or not. Do you ever wonder how many bitter bakers have called to report *you*? ;-)

If you report someone who is actually licensed, the worst that happens is the health dept wasting a few minutes looking into it.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 2:56am

AIn my case, the girl is proudly advertising the fact that she isn't legal. The health dept knows anyway, if you report a legal business for being illegal, they never even know.

kikiandkyle Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 4:09am

AThe kind of customer that will go with an illegal baker to save a few dollars is not the kind of customer you want anyway. If you are the only legal home baker in your area you should be charging enough to make sure you only attract the kind of clientele that shops for quality, not for price.

costumeczar Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 11:13am

A

Original message sent by scrumdiddlycakes

In my case, the girl is proudly advertising the fact that she isn't legal. The health dept knows anyway, if you report a legal business for being illegal, they never even know.

If the health department won't do anything, turn her in to the state tax people or the IRS. They'll definitiely pay attention.

BrandisBaked Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 2:00pm

AWhy would someone "proudly advertise" breaking the law to strangers on the internet? Hard to believe someone is that stupid...

But then again...

morganchampagne Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 2:42pm

AIn my state, there are some things we are not allowed to make under the cottage food law. The biggest thing I see is cheesecakes. If you want to make cheesecakes then fine..go through the proper channels so that the health department can come and make sure you're following the rules. In my county if you report someone and you can prove they are selling cheesecake (or something similar) the health department will and does fine people.

The people who choose to ignore the laws should be reported in my opinion. Its too easy to follow the law. & honestly is not too difficult to get licensed in my state either

kikiandkyle Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 5:59pm

AThere's a cheesecake lady in my sub Morgan, I'm pretty sure she's not legal. She only advertises in the HOA newsletter though!

morganchampagne Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 7:28pm

AIt's unbelievable to me!.the state has a short list of things they don't want you to sell. People just do what they want I guess

costumeczar Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 9:28pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by morganchampagne 

It's unbelievable to me!.the state has a short list of things they don't want you to sell. People just do what they want I guess

Well, because they're so special the rules don't apply to them. They're only there for other people and if it's inconvenient they can be ignored.

Norasmom Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 10:05pm

It's all fine and dandy until someone gets sick from eating something baked in an illegal kitchen.  Or finds a dog hair or chards of glass in their buttercream.   Yup, gross, but there are many illegal bakers with animals in their kitchens.  Make it known on your Facebook and webpage the importance of having BOH certification, and WHY. Talk about no pets, serve safe certificate, the IRS,  e.t.c…You may dissuade people from going with the illegal baker.  I have a picture of my certificate on my FB page.  Lucky, though, no illegal undercutting in my area.

IAmPamCakes Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 10:16pm

AI make a point of telling people I am a legal business. I encourage them to check in to any home based business they use, for their safety. I'm very open about that stuff, so more people can become aware of the rules and regulations for home based businesses. Hopefully it will help them to make an informed decision when ordering.

howsweet Posted 9 Dec 2013 , 7:51pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norasmom 
 

It's all fine and dandy until someone gets sick from eating something baked in an illegal kitchen.  Or finds a dog hair or chards of glass in their buttercream.   Yup, gross, but there are many illegal bakers with animals in their kitchens.  Make it known on your Facebook and webpage the importance of having BOH certification, and WHY. Talk about no pets, serve safe certificate, the IRS,  e.t.c…You may dissuade people from going with the illegal baker.  I have a picture of my certificate on my FB page.  Lucky, though, no illegal undercutting in my area.


It's a misconception that being licensed would somehow protect customers from getting food poisoning or glass shards. And mentioning the IRS as advertising would be a rather odd thing to do.

 

Besides, in my state, it's perfectly legal to decorate cakes with your parrot on your shoulder while wearing your ferret in a sling as your cat supervises from his spot on the kitchen table. The cat can also come along on cake deliveries. I mention that specifically because that's a problem a health department representative complained about at the state committee hearing. No one believed her-- she should have used a different tactic...

 

Personally, I don't much care who is legal and who isn't... I just don't want to be undercut.

GrammieLovey Posted 10 Dec 2013 , 12:55am

AI am new here......just looking for helpful tips to make my daughter's wedding cake. I just think and maybe I am wrong, but as consumers most of us never give a thought to legal verses illegal. Until I read this I really had no idea that all the ladies around here that bake cakes may or may not be licensed. Honestly in this economy a lot does come down to money. I want my daughter to have a gorgeous cake but there is no way we could afford that so giving my artsy side a whirl!! :) Just a thought from a consumer prospective.

howsweet Posted 10 Dec 2013 , 2:14am
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrammieLovey 

I am new here......just looking for helpful tips to make my daughter's wedding cake. I just think and maybe I am wrong, but as consumers most of us never give a thought to legal verses illegal. Until I read this I really had no idea that all the ladies around here that bake cakes may or may not be licensed. Honestly in this economy a lot does come down to money. I want my daughter to have a gorgeous cake but there is no way we could afford that so giving my artsy side a whirl!! icon_smile.gif Just a thought from a consumer prospective.


I agree, the vast majority really don't care and a large percentage are consciously looking for a cheap cake lady.  There were cheap cake ladies all over the country long before the recent trend of cottage food laws. I mean for a very long time- as in, their mothers always used the cheap cake lady and now they're looking for one too. And when they find her they pat themselves on the back for being resourceful and in the know. Who can blame them?

costumeczar Posted 10 Dec 2013 , 11:45am

A

Original message sent by GrammieLovey

I am new here......just looking for helpful tips to make my daughter's wedding cake. I just think and maybe I am wrong, but as consumers most of us never give a thought to legal verses illegal. Until I read this I really had no idea that all the ladies around here that bake cakes may or may not be licensed. Honestly in this economy a lot does come down to money. I want my daughter to have a gorgeous cake but there is no way we could afford that so giving my artsy side a whirl!! :) Just a thought from a consumer prospective.

If you go with a cheap cake lady who's unlicensed and uninspected that's the consumer's prerogative. However, you also take a chance of getting a cake that isn't built right and falls over, that is full of dog hair (yes, the health inspector tells me stories when he does my inspections), or that just gets cancelled because the "baker" either doesn't have time or whatever. The number of cheap bakers has ballooned around here with the cottage food law, and I have started getting panicked calls on a weekly basis from brides whose bakers decided they couldn't do the cake for one reason or another. Without an exception, they had all hired cheap uninspected bakers, or friends of the family doing it for cheap, or whatever. cheap always came into the conversation. Sometimes part of the payment is to guarantee that your purchase will actually be delivered in a professional manner and without dog hair in it.

Same goes for farmer's markets, too. Lots of uninspected businesses there.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 10 Dec 2013 , 12:31pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 


If you go with a cheap cake lady who's unlicensed and uninspected that's the consumer's prerogative. However, you also take a chance of getting a cake that isn't built right and falls over, that is full of dog hair (yes, the health inspector tells me stories when he does my inspections), or that just gets cancelled because the "baker" either doesn't have time or whatever. The number of cheap bakers has ballooned around here with the cottage food law, and I have started getting panicked calls on a weekly basis from brides whose bakers decided they couldn't do the cake for one reason or another. Without an exception, they had all hired cheap uninspected bakers, or friends of the family doing it for cheap, or whatever. cheap always came into the conversation. Sometimes part of the payment is to guarantee that your purchase will actually be delivered in a professional manner and without dog hair in it.

Same goes for farmer's markets, too. Lots of uninspected businesses there.

Question from the UK - does the health department in the US look into the quality of your cakes before they issue a licence?  In the UK, all you have to do is have an inspection from the environmental health people to say your kitchen is ok and they give you a certificate, but that is no guarantee that the product you produce/sell is built/baked to what I would call a 'merchantable standard'...as in bits don't fall off!  :-)

GrammieLovey Posted 10 Dec 2013 , 12:52pm

ADon't get me wrong....I have a lot of respect for the talent you all offer as well as the professionalism you provide.....that is why I have to try this. I cannot go to a cake lady and say I want this awesome three layer snowflake cake....here's $80.00. I would be embarrassed to offend someone like that. Twenty-five years ago my wedding cake to feed 250 people was $350 and that was a friend of the family discount!! I am just praying that I can do a "dumbed down" version that will be good enough. I know that I am taking a chance of a toppled mess but I have to work within the financial restrictions I have at the moment.

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