Cerficate/license Necessary???

Business By cupcakesbykarla7 Updated 25 Feb 2016 , 8:36pm by cupcakesbykarla7

cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 2:37pm
post #1 of 32

Hello Everyone,

I live in New Jersey and are just starting out with my business. Here, we do not have the Cottage Food Law yet, which means I have to rent a Commercial Kitchen. I was wondering, is the Food handling and Food Safety Manager Certificate necessary to operate? or is it just a requirement to use a Commercial kitchen? I just obtained my Food Handler Certificate and now the place where I want to rent from is asking me to obtain the Manager's Certificate. I called the state and they told me they have no requirements but only to register the business, which I already did. Someone please help!!!



31 replies
-K8memphis Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 3:18pm
post #2 of 32

if they ask you to do it then it's one of the requirements for that facility -- you need to comply or find another place -- that's actually a good sign that they have/want/shoot for that high of a standard

Webake2gether Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 3:23pm
post #3 of 32

Here in Illinois there has to be someone with a food managers license  in the establishment at all times. My husband and I both have a food handler managers license. the local health dept or dept of agriculture would have  more information regarding the requirements specific to your location. I've been following  several posts from you lately and would like to encourage you to not be too overwhelmed and it is very much a one small step at a time process and can take quite a bit of time. Each state varies on what they require what they'll allow and there are several different government agencies involved and usually none of them really know what each other require. Or at least that was our experience, the state knew what they required, the health dept knew what they required and our city knew what they required but none of them knew what ALL was required lol.  The cottage food law here actually makes things a lot more complicated and it's still very restrictive and limiting so not having a cottage food law may be a positive. i know you've already spoken to the health dept  but I'd call back and say this is what I'm doing and I want all my ducks in a row what are all the requirements necessary to operate a food establishment business. It may take several phone calls but they have the information you need. You may also have to have separate insurance as well so I would ask the place you are renting the kitchen from about that as well. Hope that helps :)

cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 3:36pm
post #4 of 32

Hello Ladies,

Thanks for your responses! :)

I have actually been back and forth with the state and the town where I live. (I'm sure they don't want to talk to me anymore lol).

The state only requires my business to be registered, which it already is. The town requires for me to bake my goods outside my home, which I'm trying to rent a place for. The place where I want to rent, requires that I have both the Manager's license and Insurance. Insurance I already have too.

So far, I am complying with both the state and town. (Thanked God!!!!).  and to be honest, I am suprised none of these places require insurance, but I got it anyway.

I think right now I should find a place that does't require the Manager's License, since I'm just starting out. Once I put my foot in the door than I'll start looking for a better commercial Kitchen.

Thank you ladies for your advise, I really need it.

-K8memphis Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 4:01pm
post #5 of 32

you should eventually get the managers level sanitation certificate whether it's required or not -- finding  a place that requires it is good insurance that everyone will be on the same page in regards to safety -- you don't want anyone putting thawing chicken on a shelf above your eggs/milk/strawberries -- so you're going to go to a place with less sanitation requirements?

this is a very good thing when sharing space 

cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 4:29pm
post #6 of 32

Yes, I will eventually get my Manager's certificate without a doubt and everything else that comes along the way. Thank you.

mymamacakes Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 4:58pm
post #7 of 32

Hi cupcakes, I'm just checking in to make sure you are following the Home Bakers movement in NJ.


cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 5:02pm
post #8 of 32


Hello, I just did, Thanks!!! :)

mymamacakes Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 5:05pm
post #9 of 32

Awesome!  There is a post on there about being added to the mailing list too.

We are going to have a large meeting in April of all wannabe-NJ-home-bakers soon, so keep your eye on everything!

-K8memphis Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 6:44pm
post #10 of 32

i just always think of this story when i hear about peeps wanting to take down all the walls to 'make it better/easier' for everybody to do cakes --

"There is a story of a man who once tricked a leprechaun into revealing the whereabouts of his valuables. The treasure was located beneath a bush in a large field surrounded by other similar shrubbery. The man needed to go off and get a shovel for which to dig up the treasure, so he tied a red ribbon to the bush so he could identify it on his return, and made the leprechaun promise not to take it off. Convinced he was more clever than the leprechaun and had secured his gold, he made off to get his shovel. On his return however, much to his dismay, he found that the little creature had tied a red ribbon on every other bush in the field!"

moral of the story is: it's better now 

best to all y'all

cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 6:59pm
post #11 of 32


I'm totally lost. Did not understand your posting. Please explain.

I think everyone has the right the better themselves, wether is a business at home or a location. No one is perfect and not everyone has the opportunity to open up a bakery when they want to. People like myself, who have a dream of someday owning a bakery, have to start off from home, from the bottom. I am very thankful to everyone who has given me advise and tips to grow. I think we come to this places lookin out for help, not to see who's better than the other. Sharing experiences and advise of what you know with others makes one a great person. I love baking, but for some reason or other my life turned a different way and now I am an Accouting Manager, who wants to do what she loves best, BAKING.

So I hope to receive more advise and tips to become a better business woman.



-K8memphis Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 7:35pm
post #12 of 32

oh sure we all can better ourselves and open businesses and whatever -- the world is your oyster as the saying goes --

all i meant was if the door is open for everyone then everyone's going through it and gonna do it right -- if everyone can bake legally then there will be a flood of bakers and a glut of baked goods -- like instead of it being exclusive like the one red ribbon -- it will be a forest full of identical red ribbons -- 

baking is a penny business -- successful cakers can make some money but nobody is getting rich baking -- because anybody can bake at home -- then when the laws enable everyone to also sell it from home then prices drop and it's even harder to succeed --

loving baking is fine -- making a business out of something that will not support you or just barely support itself is something to think about -- but on top of that opening the doors wide for everyone in the state to be your up close & personal immediate competition is completely counter productive -- 

just saying -- look at the big picture 

best to you

hey i very much want you to succeed but you're picking a dang tough industry and supporting the cottage law flow is madness stuck_out_tongue.png


-K8memphis Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 7:37pm
post #13 of 32

it's not you or me it's the law of supply and demand kwim --

mymamacakes Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 7:44pm
post #14 of 32

NJ is one of only two states without some ability to bake from home.  So everyone else does have an option to consider.  OP deserves same. 

Go for it, Karla! 

Webake2gether Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 7:52pm
post #15 of 32

you'll have to keep us updated on your progress!!! There weren't  any commercial kitchens available to rent where I am so that's great you have a few options to choose from. are the rental rates reasonable? It can be a tough business to take a crack at but a good business plan, accurate pricing and a lot of hard work can make it a reality :) 

-K8memphis Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 7:59pm
post #16 of 32

i see what you mean mymamacakes you mean bake and sell it from home --

-K8memphis Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 8:00pm
post #17 of 32

but all those houses gonna have big red ribbons on 'em hahahaha

cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 22 Feb 2016 , 9:37pm
post #18 of 32

I will keep you updated on my progress. :) Thank you so much!!!

Webake2gether. prices here are a bit high but ok. I'll continue searching along the way for better prices. :)

MimiFix Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 1:38pm
post #19 of 32

Renting commercial space can be expensive. Have you tried looking at a community org (church, school, fire hall, VFW, etc) that may charge less or even barter with you?

Have you written a business plan? Some people shrug it off thinking it's a silly thing to waste time on. But it will help a new business focus on important points such as: given your target market and the competition, will income from your products cover the cost of renting a commercial kitchen plus the cost of ingredients, packaging, labels, insurance, etc?

Competition today is tougher than even a couple of years ago. @-K8memphis ‍has been hammering away at a good point that addresses not only you, but others who are reading this thread. Most states now allow some form of home-based baking and that means far more competitors than ever. While it's not a pleasant, cheery topic, it is the reality. For anyone determined to move ahead, pay attention to the business details. Good luck!

cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 2:46pm
post #20 of 32

Good Morning All. :)


Thank you for your comment and advise. and Yes, I do have a business plan, otherwise I would've not register my business. I have been checking out places and already have some options. Thanks.

As far as the topic of baking from home, as I mentioned to K8memphis, everyone has the right to start any businessof their choice from anywhere. If we are talking about competition, than we should talk about everyone in general. Competition will come from bakeries, restaurants, etc. Why do you guys feel so intimidated by people who want to start a business from home? There are people out there who are masters and artists when it comes to baking, those are the people you should worry about when it comes to competition. Which by the way, I have seen many here, WOW!!! Truly amazin bakers. God bless their creativity and hands!!

Anyhow, I appreciate all the advise and tips, I am sooooo glad I found this website. :) :)

Have blessed day!


-K8memphis Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 3:25pm
post #21 of 32


it's not the quality of the competition it's the over abundance of sellers that's created when cottage laws are enacted and the customer base hemorrhages  -- 

i changed my mind (from post #12) i don't care if you succeed -- relaxed.png

Mikellee31 Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 3:50pm
post #22 of 32

As a home bakery owner, I thought I would throw in my two cents. I have my food managers license because I was renting commercial space at one point and it is one of the best things I have ever invested in. It was $150 and it's good for 3-5 years depending on your county/ city rules. I went through ServSafe and took a real class, but it was also offered online. I learned SO much compared to my food handlers license. It is a really, really good thing to do if you are going to be working with the public. 

It sounds like you are on a great path, keep it up!

As for home bakers vs. commercial bakers, I just don't understand the fear. There are 1,200,000 people in the metro area where I live and a finite amount of bakers. Baking is hard work and from what I see, the only people not succeeding at it are people who have inferior product, terrible customer service, and/or a lack of professionalism overall. My state is Oklahoma and we have just gotten the Home Bakery act in 2013, and there are a lot of people who are baking from home, but there are not a lot of "home bakeries" with the all out marketing and drive to compete with the commercial bakeries. Plus, we are limited in the amount of income we can make (20K,) the people we can serve (no markets or outside venues or any sales outside of our home,) and what can be in our food (no fresh fruit.)  The laws do not allow home bakeries to operate like commercial bakeries at all and it's really just comparing bananas to pears. bananas to pears. 

cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 3:51pm
post #23 of 32

I understand your point of view, and to be quite honest, the only one that should care wether I succeed or no,t is ME. grin.png.

You got to stick to your product, if what you're making is unique, people will come back and you will not have any competition.

I still wish you  the best, if you're still in business and may God bless you and guide you.


cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 3:55pm
post #24 of 32


Thanks for your comment and advise. Yes, I will obtain the Food Safety Manager's Certificate without a doubt. It's in my to-do list.

Many blessings to you.


MimiFix Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 3:58pm
post #25 of 32

Quote by @-K8memphis on 6 minutes ago

it's not the quality of the competition it's the over abundance of sellers that's created when cottage laws are enacted...

... which leads to low prices. In some regions it's currently a serious issue with home-based specialty cake businesses. The competitor's product price is less than the cost of its ingredients. This gives your competitors the edge, until they realize they're paying the customers to buy their products. Eventually those competitors go out of business while new ones enter the race.

But of course, every new business has its own perspective and success rate. Kate, we were newbies once, too. We survived and now try to help the current new ones. But we can't help everyone. 

cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 4:06pm
post #26 of 32


That's exactly why I'm here, to get advise from the experienced Bakers. I very much appriciate that. :)

-K8memphis Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 4:09pm
post #27 of 32

confusing thread

Webake2gether Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 4:38pm
post #28 of 32

It's  not confusing just a difference in opinions and experiences and my two little cents is yep over saturation is a huge problem but so is a lack of common respect for each other in the the business world I'm speaking locally on the respect. My competitors are other commercial kitchen bakers and brick and mortar bakeries bc we all have the same investment in it. And guess what I have a wonderful business relationship with another competitor why bc there is enough to go around and we respect each other. my business is to operate in a way that sets us apart and appeals to our target market. Strive for the best product give fantastic customer service and find a niche and run with it. I look at it as a consumers choice on who they want to use and know that if we are giving our best then we will grow. Our success is not based on anything except what we are doing. Is over saturation an issue yes it is but if you only focus on it being a problem you won't get anywhere. Some places support higher end bakers and some don't and there  will always be someone doing it cheaper. bottom line is any small business is hard work these days and we live in a budget driven society but if you offer great items and you have a market for it you'll do just fine. No matter what choice you make whether it's store front baker or home baker not everyone is going to agree and not everyone will be your customer :)

-K8memphis Posted 25 Feb 2016 , 1:17pm
post #29 of 32

i lied, karla -- i really do want you to succeed and since you asked for advice here in this thread -- i'd like to suggest that you avoid pissing off the people who offer it to you --

@mikellee -- it's not a fear of home bakers per se -- it's the reality that they cut into everyone's customer base continuously -- 

i don't understand why this ignites the new cakers *who are asking for advice* because it is very important to their success -- poo poo it/ignore it if you want but it will still impact your ability to succeed -- 

which is why most viable cake businesses do more than just do cake -- serve lunch, sell product, do lessons, parties etc.

you're welcome

cupcakesbykarla7 Posted 25 Feb 2016 , 2:58pm
post #30 of 32

Hello and Good morning all,


As I've always said, I appreciate very much the advise and tips. Now, I don't recall saying anything to piss off anyone, if you can't control your feelings towards what people write here, than I would suggest, you don't continue reading.

This website is to help new comers and the ones already in the business. It's not for criticism, negativity or anything of that sort.

I am not trying to be disrespectful by all means, but please understand that you have to becareful with what you write. What you told me above about not wanting me to be successful, could hurt other people's feelings. I, in the other hand, took it rather as a challenge and did not bother me at all. I have been in the business world for almost 20  years and I know what it takes to succeed and there wil be people out there who might not want to see me up there. But like my son says "tough bananas". :)

Anyhow, I repeat, thank you for your advise, it's very much welcomed and needed.


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