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Legal matters and what I learned from it.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I started making cakes for my family in 2010 until my co-workers started egging me to turn this into business. Since I have no idea how to start a business, I kinda practiced doing it by making more cakes, baking for friends etc. Friends payed me, though with the amount of work I do, the money they pay me doesn't even cover for the ingredients sometimes. I created an fb page, websites, joined fairs, ads etc.

 

 

My "business" was slow, because I think I acted on impulse and didn't know what I was doing. Friends of friends have referred me and, to be honest with you, I have charged and sold my cakes which I baked from my own kitchen (problem #1-though from the March 2011 that I charged, believe it or not, I have not even earned $1000 total. That's how slow this venture was) I was known for giving it free when people were giving me the look like "it's just a cake" 

 

 

fast forward, I decided wanted to make this entire thing full blown, have HD inspect my kitchen etc...then out of my research a few months back, I found out NJ has no cottage law!!!

 

what?!?!?

 

I realized my crime. As painful as it may sound, I decided to the responsible thing and stopped this little "venture" that I was doing.

 

i took down my ads, fb, and website (though I could keep my website for blogging) and threw in the towel. 

 

i know a lot of bakers who went through the same dilemma that I went through, some, still going through. I read a lot of posts here too, but I don't understand one could still continue. I understand times are tough, but you know it's the smart thing to do. Stop before its too late. 

 

Best decision I made so far. And to be quite honest, I'm happier when I was just doing this for fun, feeding ,y friends and family free cupcakes. And I can better sleep at night.

post #2 of 12

I made the same decision you did, it was hard to let it go though.  I think a lot of people are selling cakes from home just to make ends meet, I feel for them.  I am working on my business plan and working.  I hope to one day try it again.

 

I invested about $20,000.00 on equipment and tools of the trade. It is a dream that I am still willing to fight for, so I just put it on the back burner for now.

 

Laws are changing all the time, slowly but surely, I'm glad to here that you are happy doing it for fun and not worrying about getting caught.  Hope you never lose your passion for the craft.

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by enga View Post

I made the same decision you did, it was hard to let it go though.  I think a lot of people are selling cakes from home just to make ends meet, I feel for them.  I am working on my business plan and working.  I hope to one day try it again.

I invested about $20,000.00 on equipment and tools of the trade. It is a dream that I am still willing to fight for, so I just put it on the back burner for now.

Laws are changing all the time, slowly but surely, I'm glad to here that you are happy doing it for fun and not worrying about getting caught.  Hope you never lose your passion for the craft.

Wow $20, 000 is a lot here I thought the few hundred that I've invested was alot I'm am just a hobby baker so maybe $20, 000 isn't that much if you are trying to go into business with it.
To the OP I've never thought about going into the business for myself, I have found that making cakes even if it is just for family and friends is stressful I'm to much of a perfectionist.
post #4 of 12
Enga was it you that posted about whats your favorite utube video? I tried to send you a personal message about it just now but my phone keeps messing the message up. Anyways this is totally off topic but my daughter informed me that utube is going out of business because they are losing so much money I don't know how much truth the information is but if it is true that really sucks.
post #5 of 12

Kazita, that was an April Fool's joke. :)

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syriana View Post

Kazita, that was an April Fool's joke. icon_smile.gif

I certainly hope so because like I said that would really suck
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syriana View Post

Kazita, that was an April Fool's joke. :)


April fools joke.  They announced they were going offline to find the best UTube video and the results would be announced in 10 years.  Google did something similar announcing their new Google Nose (technology that can tell you how something smells).

 

Anyway, to the OP:  I remember finding out that NJ doesn't have a Cottage Food Law when I was living there - My reaction was the same; "What????? But this is Not a state you want legal fines from.  But if caking for fun makes you happier than opening up a business, then maybe the time isn't right for a business anyway.  You may feel differently down the road.  I am in PA now and there is a CFL but what a pain in the keester.  It think it will be easier to rent a kitchen than do the renovations required - ugh

I love what I do and do what I love

https://www.facebook.com/JeanneWinslowCakeDesign

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I love what I do and do what I love

https://www.facebook.com/JeanneWinslowCakeDesign

Reply
post #8 of 12
I live in central florida & I baked cakes for friends, family etc--only charging for ingredients. ive lost time & money, but I love what I do & actually enjoy making beautiful cakes {while in the meantine learning as much as I could with each cake completed}. Last yr I thought about going FT with it & checked into the laws. There actually is a cottage law here (thankfully!!) & ours are quite lenient. Our restriction is "no dairy or whipped ingrendients". We can use any ingredients or boxed cakes as long as dairy is not one of the main ingredients. This has been a challenge as I have had to search really hard for recipes without any dairy in them. I thought it was odd, though, with the limited restrictions, considering a lot of states opt out of the cottage law.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by enga View Post

I made the same decision you did, it was hard to let it go though.  I think a lot of people are selling cakes from home just to make ends meet, I feel for them.  I am working on my business plan and working.  I hope to one day try it again.

I invested about $20,000.00 on equipment and tools of the trade. It is a dream that I am still willing to fight for, so I just put it on the back burner for now.

Laws are changing all the time, slowly but surely, I'm glad to here that you are happy doing it for fun and not worrying about getting caught.  Hope you never lose your passion for the craft.

Oh my goodness! $20k! I don't even know where I will get $20k lol. I was lucky enough that my family supports my venture. My cousin bought me my kitchen aid mixer and most of my fondant tools were gifts from Christmas. I also sacrificed some of the gift cards I got from my students (I teach) from Christmas (like visa, amazon etc) and buy books, printer etc. one Christmas I asked my husband to buy me kopykake. That's how I got most of my materials. But the saddest part was using my savings to invest with some of the gadgets, ingredients, materials, etc thinking I would earn it back. However, I am not born to do business because I end up giving my cakes for free. Again, I hate pricing my cakes and I hate charging friends (or even their friends) when they ask me to make them cakes. Of course they try and wouldn't just simply take offer my offer to do it for free (when I tell them just buy the ingredients) they want to compensate me for my work.

Sometimes we do an exchange of work. I'll make you a cake if you take my family picture for free. Something like that and to be quite honest I'm happier that way. I don't owe you, you don't owe me. icon_smile.gif

Was talking to a friend earlier. He asked me I it's true that I quit baking. I course I went into the entire spiel of "I just didn't wake up and deciced to stop baking!" After I explained to him that I am spending more than earning, they understood. Believe it or not, my 2011 net income (if we want to be technical about it) was only $240! Lol now if you take out all my expenses... That's a different story. It's hilarious actually! So that's why I always say, I'm pretty much giving my cakes for free.

icon_smile.gif thank you for listening. Yes, I will not lose pr even let go of my passion icon_smile.gif
post #10 of 12

Oh it was not hard to do,lol, My 20qt mixer was 1100.00 new, oven, two door commercial fridge, various muffin pans, cake pans, bread pans, and whole sheet pans..... the list is long.  I got a lot of it from online auctions.  I was so ready to start, the net was dismal at best from doing out of a commercial kitchen.  My partner was in it for the money with no baking background, I was in it for the passion of it.  It was like oil and water, just could not mix.  I think I went about it all wrong.

 

I do cakes for other services while working part-time, Bartering, that's my motto icon_lol.gif.  Works for me.  Car repairs, carpet cleaning, you name it.

 

So don't give in just yet, you will get that legal business one day and God works in mysterious ways. You have a whole bunch of people who believe in you that's all that matters.

 

Try to take a small business class, Score is a good place to start.  A lot of them are free just to get your feet wet and meet people doing the same thing.  After the class, we all exchanged business cards and call each other some times too catch up or trade services.  It was a win- win situation. I met some really great people from all walks of life. I met a party planner, a lady who wanted to start a non-profit organization for at risk youth, and a sweet older woman who made this awesome cranberry relish.  we are all still friends.

 

Network, network, network, did I say network,lol.  It is one of the most under used steps to obtain a successful business in my opinion.

 

So take small steps if you want to start your own business, I wish I had.

 

Good luck with what ever you decide.

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by enga View Post

Oh it was not hard to do,lol, My 20qt mixer was 1100.00 new, oven, two door commercial fridge, various muffin pans, cake pans, bread pans, and whole sheet pans..... the list is long.  I got a lot of it from online auctions.  I was so ready to start, the net was dismal at best from doing out of a commercial kitchen.  My partner was in it for the money with no baking background, I was in it for the passion of it.  It was like oil and water, just could not mix.  I think I went about it all wrong.

 

I do cakes for other services while working part-time, Bartering, that's my motto icon_lol.gif.  Works for me.  Car repairs, carpet cleaning, you name it.

 

So don't give in just yet, you will get that legal business one day and God works in mysterious ways. You have a whole bunch of people who believe in you that's all that matters.

 

Try to take a small business class, Score is a good place to start.  A lot of them are free just to get your feet wet and meet people doing the same thing.  After the class, we all exchanged business cards and call each other some times too catch up or trade services.  It was a win- win situation. I met some really great people from all walks of life. I met a party planner, a lady who wanted to start a non-profit organization for at risk youth, and a sweet older woman who made this awesome cranberry relish.  we are all still friends.

 

Network, network, network, did I say network,lol.  It is one of the most under used steps to obtain a successful business in my opinion.

 

So take small steps if you want to start your own business, I wish I had.

 

Good luck with what ever you decide.

ohhhhh, enga this is soooo beautiful. Thank you for the advice. Eventually, when the timing is right, I will start again. But I think ending this venture and accepting that what I was doing was wrong was the most responsible thing I've ever done! I think the acceptance was easier because it was rooted from passion and not from the "money" side of it. :) Thank you, again! 

post #12 of 12

You are so welcome icon_wink.gif
 

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply

"You don't have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great"

 

By a very smart 6 yr old

Reply
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