Cottage Food Law Baker Vs. Do What I Want Home Baker

Decorating By ashleykay07 Updated 12 Feb 2015 , 12:38pm by costumeczar

ashleykay07 Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 2:15am
post #1 of 16

AHaha..soo the title is in reference to me being a home baker who follows the guidelines for baking out of your house under the cottage food law. I find myself seeing all kinds of cake ladies on "ahem" Facebook, that do not follow such guidelines. They are selling cream cheese frostings, chocolate covered strawberries, cheese cakes, etc. I am just frustrated. I do my very best to follow the guidelines and all these other people aren't. I hope by the end of the year I can rent a kitchen. I work very hard to do everything the right way including labeling. Ugh sorry! Just felt the need to vent.....and on top of everything else they're selling their cakes......2tier cakes....6in and 8in cakes heavily decorated for $50! Finding it very hard to compete with these ladies price wise. I don't want to start anything, but I bake all from scratch.I buy quality supplies, and they blatantly talk about which cake mix they think is best. Now I have not always baked from scratch, I started with doctored cake mixes, but never sold just a cake mix cake. Personally I cannot stand the smell of a cake mix cake baking. Ugh, rant over!

15 replies
Norasmom Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 2:25am
post #2 of 16

If you know they are not legal, you are able to report them anonymously to the local Board of Health. They will have to shut down their FB pages.

Singerssoul Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 2:44am
post #3 of 16

I completely understand!!  That is the toughie when operating under CFO. I personally offer more than cake and actually am finding a niche with my various desserts like pies. 

 

I decided from the outset to not offer things that were already done extensively like cake pops.  My CFO offers baked goods without Artificial Colors/Flavors or Preservatives.  It was/is a tougher hall but I take pride in my products are handmade, small batch, and a throwback to a time when nobody had or used those things.  It makes offering some things impossible as I am unable to find natural counterparts. This includes not using most food coloring, even the popular brands, because they are made with both preservatives and artificial colors. Luckily there are other companies that are working at providing those types of ingredients for bakers like me, so slowly more of those types of ingredients are becoming available.  I recently have been working with a homemade fondant that is not made with marshmallows, corn syrup, or anything like gum tragacanth. It is still limiting (natural coloring is off white) but it moves me steps forward towards offering a limit amount of fondant cakes. 

 

You will never be competitive with cheap cake ladies, illegal or otherwise.  But frankly I would not even try, unless of course that is the niche you are trying to fill.  I try not to compete with the folks around me outside of pricing to  what the area will afford for things like the per serving cost for cake.  And that was only to ensure that the pricing I had have worked on with my matrix  would allow me to be competitive with the type of product I offer.  Outside of that, my pricing is based upon my matrix and nothing else.  I do not assume everyone will like the pricing I have, but the folks looking for my type of product generally find my prices are well in line for the products. 

 

Yes, sometimes it is a struggle because of the limitations put on CFO with my state. Especially when they deny something that is considered shelf stable by any and all standards. But the CFO allows me to bake and be in business.  And even with all the costs ( yearly city business license, special home license, CFO, Flip insurance, etc). I am working at building the business in what is considered a saturated market. It is slow and may not pan out the way I want it too, but I have a 5 year plan, and so far so good as the first year closes.  Hang in there!!! Know that eventually the cheap cake ladies will get tired of earning nothing really but even if not, you can build your craft and reputation and it might lead you further down the path of success!

ashleykay07 Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 3:05am
post #4 of 16

Thanks! I decided coming into opening my 'Bakery' and taking more orders. I would not be the cheap cake lady. I take pride in what I do, and will not pay myself like $1 an hour like others. It does get very frustrating, but I will strive through it. @singerssoul I think that is so great that your baking and making items without preservatives or colorings! What a great niche! I don't know any around my area that even does that. All I see around here is the gluten free.  Seems like you have a good plan! I need to sit down and make an outline. I already went through and priced all my recipes down to the cost of each cup or teaspoon of each item. haha that was fun!

Singerssoul Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 3:19am
post #5 of 16

Oh yeah, that is a new good time..(insert eye roll here)..lol.  The majority of starting and running my bakery has had little to do with creating and baking.  But putting together a good business plan feels like I am provided with a solid foundation for my business and allows me to ignore the um non-competition.   I mean seriously, even with available CFO, I can point right now to at least 8 illegal businesses within a 5 mile radius of my location. And without exception each is offering things that I would kill to offer, in addition to copyrighted images, and well the lists go on. So ANNOYING!! Sigh, but I can deliver to local wedding venues and wineries for weddings and they cannot.  Score one for the legal enterprise!!! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA.  (and that is done with my best grown up voice!!) :D

Jedi Knight Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 6:04am
post #6 of 16

AReport them to the health department.

MimiFix Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 8:18pm
post #7 of 16

@Singerssoul, you are the best! A business plan and a good attitude - I love your outlook!! 

Singerssoul Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 8:24pm
post #8 of 16

thanks MimiFix! :lol:  Apparently keeping up on my caffeine fix helps! HA!  ;-D 

DeniseNH Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 9:47pm
post #9 of 16

I say, don't report them.  it's more fun watching them fade away and disappear when they finally figure out that they're actually losing money offering cakes at WalMart prices.  :-)

MimiFix Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 10:15pm
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeniseNH 
 

I say, don't report them.  it's more fun watching them fade away and disappear when they finally figure out that they're actually losing money offering cakes at WalMart prices.  :-)

 

Yeah, but more fun for who? I don't know how much fun it would be if we were the ones losing business to them.

costumeczar Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 12:46am
post #11 of 16

It's no good watching them fade away, because as they fade away ten more spring up to take their place. I'd turn them in if you know they're not following the regulations. It's much more satisfying to see the panic among them when one gets busted and the rest of them scurry into their corners and try to hide.

BakerBlackCat Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 1:44am
post #12 of 16

@AshleyKay07 & @Singerssoul I'm so with you!!!  I'm a CFO in northern California, and I'm doing my damnedest to follow all the rules, and it's very frustrating when I'm so limited in terms of fillings & frostings.  (No cream cheese, no whipped cream, no custards...which is a pity, because I do love me some pastry cream!)  But I'm finding my elegant niche in the sea of OMG-what-is-that?, and that gives me hope.

 

I spent the last month going through both ingredients and material inventory, and entering/updating costs so I can tell you to the penny how much something costs, as well as how much time I put into it, and I know that other "Do What I Want Home Bakers" don't put nearly that kind of effort into this.  (And I'm using that term, in conversation, as often as possible from now on!)   My goal is to get an actual storefront one of these days, and all of this behind-the-scenes, non-baking work is going to get me there.   For once, all that education that came before the P&B degree is coming in handy, with handling all the paperwork that goes along with a legal CFO bakery.  (Business plans! P&L reports! Lists & lists of *stuff*!)

 

It's so refreshing and reassuring to come to CC and realize that I am not alone.  I spend my off-time slowly going through old threads, learning as much as I can, and occasionally laughing until tears are running down my face.  So thanks everyone, for past, present, and future support!

ashleykay07 Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 3:27am
post #13 of 16

Thanks everyone! I think I have made up my mind as to what I'm going to do, and they are probably not going to be happy. Oh well! I'm sick of it. @BakerBlackCat Haha yea! I was trying to think of how to phrase the non compliant home bakers. I thought it was pretty funny. I am also developing a plan, I hope to be able to find a kitchen in the next few months to bake and decorate from and by this time next year, it's in the works to open a storefront! Yea, I have been a lurker for awhile. I plan on getting on here more, and posting! I have learned so much from this page!

costumeczar Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 11:16am
post #14 of 16

I have to comment that I find it interesting how many threads like this have started in the past where it became a flame war from people saying "leave them alone, there's enough business for everyone" (not true) and people saying to turn them in. Now that the people who were doing it illegally (not saying anyone on here was, but with the CFLs spreading that's becoming more common) are trying to run an actual business, it seems like the tide is turning. Much better.

winniemog Posted 12 Feb 2015 , 3:44am
post #15 of 16

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

It's no good watching them fade away, because as they fade away ten more spring up to take their place.....It's much more satisfying to see the panic among them when one gets busted and the rest of them scurry into their corners and try to hide.

Gosh, I was thinking you make them sound just like cockroaches....and then I realised that's EXACTLY what they are. And the health department is that can of bug spray I was looking for....

costumeczar Posted 12 Feb 2015 , 12:38pm
post #16 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by winniemog 


Gosh, I was thinking you make them sound just like cockroaches....and then I realised that's EXACTLY what they are. And the health department is that can of bug spray I was looking for....


Heh heh heh...I was thinking more along the lines of rats, but  cockroaches works too.:twisted:

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