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photographer wanting my cakes in pictures need advice

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Okay so a photographer wants me to make smash cakes and birthday cakes for pictures for her photography. I'm not a biz i'm trying to start a biz, and she knows that. right now i am a stay at home mom and she said she'd help me promote my biz also when i do a cake by mentioning where the cake come from. I spoke to all the right people before hand so i didn't get introuble and have been told by the health department if she were me and she were just starting out so start small and when i start getting business and start branching out i need to give them a call back to talk about makin things legal. The photographer knows all this and is okay with it and wants to know how much i'd charge for a smash cake. I have no idea. I know some use 4" pans and torte em i know some do a single layer 6". Honestly i have only done 2 smash cakes and both were 6" singles but i used the same batter as the birthday cake i had .. you know "left overs". I dont know how much batter it takes to make the 4" i dont have the pans for that either yet. I thought of chargin like 10-15 is that too much? this is my website so ya'll can see some of my work. I've only been doin it for fam and friends so far and teachin myself the whole way any input you all can tell me i'd sure appreicate :) www.facebook.com/mycakingobsession

post #2 of 35

Those little cakes are a pain in the butt. I bet she doesn't want just a plain cake, either, does she want you to decorate them to be super cute and photogenic? I'd check with her on that, but I wouldn't charge less than $30 for a 4" and $40 for a 5" round, undecorated and iced plain.

post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soprina View Post

I spoke to all the right people before hand so i didn't get introuble and have been told by the health department if she were me and she were just starting out so start small and when i start getting business and start branching out i need to give them a call back to talk about makin things legal.  

Greetings Soprina, You have some lovely cupcakes and cakes on your Facebook page! Best of luck to you in moving ahead. I admire your calling the health department for help; the entire process can be overwhelming. But your statement above caught my eye. Whoever said that to you has given poor advice. When seeking necessary legal permits and licenses to operate a business, this step must be done before any products are sold. (Sorry, I don't write the rules, I just repeat what they are.)

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post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix View Post

Greetings Soprina, You have some lovely cupcakes and cakes on your Facebook page! Best of luck to you in moving ahead. I admire your calling the health department for help; the entire process can be overwhelming. But your statement above caught my eye. Whoever said that to you has given poor advice. When seeking necessary legal permits and licenses to operate a business, this step must be done before any products are sold. (Sorry, I don't write the rules, I just repeat what they are.)


Not to be contrary, because I know most places what you said is true, but I am in Murfreesboro, TN, and my health department, planning commission, zoning department, and lawyer all told me the same thing she was told. She's based in IN, so she could have completely different rules, but it's not completely unheard of. Our cottage food law was amended last year and no longer requires having a health department inspection, so they are much more lax now. I am in the process of getting set up to sell legally this fall, but they honestly didn't care if I were to sell something over the summer.

post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soprina View Post

I spoke to all the right people before hand so i didn't get introuble and have been told by the health department if she were me and she were just starting out so start small and when i start getting business and start branching out i need to give them a call back to talk about makin things legal.

Is this person from the health dept willing to give you this advice in writing? If not, I would not follow it.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soprina View Post

Okay so a photographer wants me to make smash cakes and birthday cakes for pictures for her photography. I'm not a biz i'm trying to start a biz, and she knows that. right now i am a stay at home mom and she said she'd help me promote my biz also when i do a cake by mentioning where the cake come from. I spoke to all the right people before hand so i didn't get introuble and have been told by the health department if she were me and she were just starting out so start small and when i start getting business and start branching out i need to give them a call back to talk about makin things legal. The photographer knows all this and is okay with it and wants to know how much i'd charge for a smash cake. I have no idea. I know some use 4" pans and torte em i know some do a single layer 6". Honestly i have only done 2 smash cakes and both were 6" singles but i used the same batter as the birthday cake i had .. you know "left overs". I dont know how much batter it takes to make the 4" i dont have the pans for that either yet. I thought of chargin like 10-15 is that too much? this is my website so ya'll can see some of my work. I've only been doin it for fam and friends so far and teachin myself the whole way any input you all can tell me i'd sure appreicate :) www.facebook.com/mycakingobsession

 

well if you can't trust the people who have the authority who you do you have left to trust?

 

(who yah gonna call-- ghostbusters!)

 

say worse came to worst and you got busted which means you receive a cease and desist order/letter/whatever--

 

they give you time to get your sh*t together and you can carry right on anyhow if you meet the deadline

 

the gov't likes taxes--the more you make the more they get--it's a win win--they want you in business

 

they do allow for people to start small

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post #7 of 35

meth labs no

 

cakes?

 

it's gonna be ok

love me some cake buzzzzz

 

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love me some cake buzzzzz

 

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post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 

I thought smash cakes aw thats easy! now i'm thinking...wait what kind of smash cake does she want so i wrote her back and asked if she was looking for a basic design or something personalized for each occassion or whatever, still waiting i gave a low base price, i'm still not confident in my stuff...as of now i have only done cakes for friends and family. My health dept told me she's really not suppose to be saying what she did but because i'm not widely known and really am not making anything I dont need to worry right now, she said when i start getting business to call back. There were other recomendations she told me about but none of them are a option cause we dont have money for it. I may advertise in the local farmers market this year. If i continued to work from home and made it legal I would have to have it ok'd by the code enforcer to build a seperate kitchen area to work in but it can't be commercial. She only recommended it that i start out slow if it were her, to "test the waters" and that was talking from one person to another not as a health inspector. I can rent out a space and cook or sell my stuff at the market as long as no perishable things are sold like cheese cake stuff or anything that would go bad in the elements or the health dept would have to inspect that other than that they dont get involved. thank you for all your input and concerns i do appreciate it, i am a total newbie thats for sure.

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

meth labs no

 

cakes?

 

it's gonna be ok

that is hilarious and true!

post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix View Post

Greetings Soprina, You have some lovely cupcakes and cakes on your Facebook page! Best of luck to you in moving ahead. I admire your calling the health department for help; the entire process can be overwhelming. But your statement above caught my eye. Whoever said that to you has given poor advice. When seeking necessary legal permits and licenses to operate a business, this step must be done before any products are sold. (Sorry, I don't write the rules, I just repeat what they are.)

thank you very much for the wonderful wishes and compliments and yes it is overwhelming! and thanks for the input!

post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

Those little cakes are a pain in the butt. I bet she doesn't want just a plain cake, either, does she want you to decorate them to be super cute and photogenic? I'd check with her on that, but I wouldn't charge less than $30 for a 4" and $40 for a 5" round, undecorated and iced plain.

do you do single layers usually or do you torte? I hate charging so much for an itty bitty cake I know its money to make including my own electricity and all, maybe i just should have said no lol

post #12 of 35
The problem with operating an illegal business "under the radar" is that you can be shut down at any moment by the health dept (which would cause problems for any outstanding orders) and liability insurance won't cover you, so if there is a health issue caused by food you sold you could be out thousands of dollars for lawyer's fees (even if you win the lawsuit) and potentially much more if there is a judgment against you.
post #13 of 35

no no no  i got it

 

get a white hazmat suit with a full face shield

 

and when the photographer snaps the picture

 

run around waving your arms

 

shouting "toxic waste toxic waste toxic waste"

 

to alert people to the dangers

 

icon_lol.gif

 

optional--you could squirt a nearby fire extinguisher for a dramatic effect if necessary

 

but i don't want you to over react either

 

i know maybe just point it anyone who tries to eat an illegal godforsaken  bite

 

icon_biggrin.gif

love me some cake buzzzzz

 

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post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

The problem with operating an illegal business "under the radar" is that you can be shut down at any moment by the health dept (which would cause problems for any outstanding orders) and liability insurance won't cover you, so if there is a health issue caused by food you sold you could be out thousands of dollars for lawyer's fees (even if you win the lawsuit) and potentially much more if there is a judgment against you.

It's not just this...If the state shuts you down you could be liable for fines and back taxes. I know a caterer who turns in unlicensed cateres that he comes across because he gets a percentage of the fines they collect on them.

 

I wouldn't operate without everything in place legally, it isn't worth the risk. Having a health inspector telling you off the record that you should test the waters is worth absolutely zero. And sometimes you'll get different answers from different people in the health department. It just depends on who happens to answer the phone when you call.

 

To answer your question, I wouldn't bother doing anything special to a smash cake since it's just going to be smashed by a little baby's fat mitts. Slap some icing on it to glue the layers together and don't worry about doing a special filling or anything like that. I just know that when photographers want them it's usually for photo shoots featuring babies and overdecorated backgrounds, so they'll want the cake to be decorated to coordinate.

post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soprina View Post

Okay so a photographer wants me to make smash cakes and birthday cakes for pictures for her photography. I'm not a biz i'm trying to start a biz, and she knows that. right now i am a stay at home mom and she said she'd help me promote my biz also when i do a cake by mentioning where the cake come from. I spoke to all the right people before hand so i didn't get introuble and have been told by the health department if she were me and she were just starting out so start small and when i start getting business and start branching out i need to give them a call back to talk about makin things legal. The photographer knows all this and is okay with it and wants to know how much i'd charge for a smash cake. I have no idea. I know some use 4" pans and torte em i know some do a single layer 6". Honestly i have only done 2 smash cakes and both were 6" singles but i used the same batter as the birthday cake i had .. you know "left overs". I dont know how much batter it takes to make the 4" i dont have the pans for that either yet. I thought of chargin like 10-15 is that too much? this is my website so ya'll can see some of my work. I've only been doin it for fam and friends so far and teachin myself the whole way any input you all can tell me i'd sure appreicate :) www.facebook.com/mycakingobsession

 

i don't think you can get in trouble for not starting a business if you don't have or want a business.

love me some cake buzzzzz

 

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love me some cake buzzzzz

 

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