I have been a cake hobbiest for years, and have always made cakes for friends and parties and the kids for free. Recently I decided to start charging for people at work. After a couple of cakes, the orders are flying in! (mainly birthday parties) I am charging 25 dollars a cake, which seems to give me a small profit and everyone seems to like that price (this is for a 13x9 sheet cake or a character cake) My question is I want to start expanding and putting out flyers and see if I can drum up even more business in my neighborhood. I was thinking of making cakes ahead of time (just the cake itself, not frosted) and freezing them, and be ready to just buttercream them, etc. Is this what everyone normally does? It seems like a real time saver. (I am going to use a full size freezer) I also am using my home kitchen and wonder if there were laws I had to look into? My other question is I would like to try to cut down on material costs...I buy at BJ's and places like that now..should i look online for cheaper costs?
Any hints you can give me would be great! I live in the Raleigh NC area, btw!
You should check the laws in your area. SOme states/counrties allow home business but most do not because of health codes. For example here I have to bake in a licensed kichen but I can decorate at home. I have insurance, city and state sales licenses, trade name license.. etc.. there is a lot to look into. Here also you can;t advertise if your not legal and there are a lot of places like that. They usually say word of mouth is ok.. Check it out and let us know what you find!
bonnscakesAZ is right, you need to check with your local health department and department of agriculture. in my state, North Carolina, the health department doesn't care if you make cakes and such from home but the department of agriculture does. i just went through their inspection and it wasn't bad. all i have left to do is get my business license and i will be legal and can start advertising. you all need to get with a local accountant and find out about sales tax stuff. for example, here we pay an extra .5% food and beverage tax. you will also have to get with the zoning department to have your home zoned to do business in.
it really is a good bit you have to do, but it is worth it in the end if you want to grow the business.
I'm in Durham and just starting my home based business. MontiesBelleBakery is correct you need to be inspected by the Dept. of Agriculture (I would like to hear more about that experience) and be licensed in your city/county. A home based baker is certified by the Dept. of Agriculture instead of the Health Department because the contamination risks are generally less.
If you are going to have a "named" business you should also check with your county to find out if someone else may have your name.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
Sorry for the longness!!
I don't see anything wrong with freezing the cakes ahead of time, as long as they are not in longer than a month. I made my own wedding cake 3 weeks before my wedding, and froze the unfrosted layers in my large freezer. They came out of the freezer as great tasting as they came out of the oven. People had no idea they were frozen. I say just make sure that you super-wrap them in plastic to avoid the freezer taste, and make sure you do not have any other strong flavors such as onion in your full size freezer. This should make a difference! Best of luck! ellen
Welcome to Cakecentral!
Good luck to you in your new adventure...a good place to start gathering info is your local Department of Agriculture.
Baking ahead of time is a great time saver...especially if it a a particular size cake thats get ordered. I bake ahead of time, wrap the cakes in reynolds and then put into a zipper type bag...label it with the date and the size and cake flavor. Making buttercream ahead of time is also a great timesaver..store it in the fridge or freezer, biring to room temp and then rewhip when you are ready to use it!
You could also make up bunches of royal icing flowers....they keep forever. They are always good to have on hand for decorating!
Wow thanks for all the great postings! And the information about North Carolina. I will fer sure look into it! As I research this, my head keeps filling with so many questions! I am glad to hear that I can freeze...I normaly bake my cakes the day before I frost them, and this would save me so much time to just freeze cakes..!
Good luck to all of you! (Boy, I have a lot of reading to do!)