I have just received an order for a wedding CHEESEcake for 150 people. I told her I work from home, not a licensed kitchen or anything. She said she knows and that it's fine with her; they are coming here Saturday to do a tasting, etc. BUT our state doesn't license home kitchens at all, AND the reception is at one of the nicest local day spa/golf clubs here, and I'm thinking I should have her ask them how THEY feel about her having a home-made cake, especially a cheesecake, brought in.
I realize this may jeopardize my being able to do this for her, but I don't want to mess up her reception by getting in trouble with a home-made perishable cake. I have looked for a kitchen to rent and have had no luck yet or had the real need to find one until now. (her wedding's in July) I have the opportunity to build a separate kitchen here (which has to be completely separate), but not til next year probably...
ugh. I hate feeling like I'm doing something "subversive!" by being willing to bake a cake for someone who is willing to pay me to do it...!
I will have to have her ask the facility and make sure they're ok with it--and if they're not (and I'll be surprised if they ARE OK with it), I guess I better find a rental kitchen SOON. I don't want to lose this sale--especially not in that particular upper range market...
just thinking out loud. Doncha hate the catch-22 of trying to get this started without being able to license our home kitchens!!?? What a pain!
Toss in any comments here:
I did a wedding cake for a reception that was held on the Queen Mary. Nobody asked me (or the bride and groom) if the cake was from home or professional. I called them to make sure that I had a table and what were the procedures to set it up and still no questions. I'm sure it's better to make sure if you are really worried about it. (I live in California so we have the same laws). Good luck!
1 more thing... I know that I had asked my Wilton teacher about making cheesecakes for wedding cakes, and she told me that the way that she does it is makes dummy wedding cakes for show and the top cake is cheesecake and then she makes extra for serving (that way the perishable factor is a little bit more controlled).
I think its smart on your part to check first with the club. You would hate for it to be a problem on the day of the wedding. Because of insurance and health department reasons they will probably say no & that sucks, but its better to know ahead of time.
of course you need to do whatever make you comfortable...but can't the bride just inform the venue that she is taking care of the cakes & find out what time you can get there & where you are to come in at (isn't this kinda her responsibility if she doesn't care where you bake at) ...dress professional, take help (if needed) and just act like you own the place. HA HA
i say all of this because i live in a very very small town (few follow the rules) there are NO bakeries, but the local grocery store. so here no one would care.
also what makes you think that you are not a professional, just because you bake out of your home, if you built a kitchen off from your home would you feel differently???
Just a thought, but what happens when a family wants to make their own cake for a wedding? Would the halls not allow a grandmother to make her granddaughter's cake? What if your bride asked the location about her "friend" making the cake rather than stating she intends to buy a cake from an unlicensed baker?
The club is liable for what is served there, and I am sure that using someone from an unlicensed kitchen could be a huge risk for them. They have to assume that a licensed bakery is following the health department guidelines while a home baker is never monitored or inspected. If someone happened to get sick they have to be prepared to cover themselves. Allowing food from unlicensed people would be too much of a liability.
Some of the time I get asked for my insurance policy when I do cakes for weddings that are held at clubs or reception sites. Sometimes they don't ask at all, but I wouldn't chance it.
around here u rent the hall/club & u bring what u want to
dont chance your rep, it's all we have
All good ideas and comments!
I feel just as professional as if I had my own shop when I deliver a cake. I dress professionally and I DO act like I own the place; no problem there, hee hee.
But I've also never been asked any of those questions that would throw me, except at the last one the wedding planner came up all enthused and said, "Who are you with?" as if to get my card and hook me up with her portfolio of brides...and I crumbled and said, "Oh, I'm just a friend."
DH says I need to just forgetaboutit and say I'm a friend and we're bringing the cake in, end of story, but I'm so not that way...
What I AM going to do in the meantime between now and July is just simply beg, borrow, or steal (LOL--Like, "HEY, someone was in her BAKING last night!") a certified kitchen to use for this one. There's GOTTA be an available kitchen in this dang town! That will solve everything, AND I can give out my card and get more business from this, as it seems to be a referral-based thing with me.
Keep 'em coming; I'm very much enjoying this discussion!
OH WOW I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT "RENTING" A KITCHEN, I KNOW THAT SOMEONE OUT THERE WILL LET YOU--THAT'S AN EXCELLENT IDEA
Actually, what I have in the back of my head is the fact that our school (private, held in a large church building) has lost its lease and is being moved out of the current building because the church (25 or so members) want to "just enjoy their building", so....um....there's this building...empty all summer...with a big KITCHEN in it attached to a cafeteria...with no one using it, I mean at ALL....Surely, surely, I could get them to let me use it, even if just for one time?
I mentioned this to a lady who knows the people there, though, and she made a face like, "good luck honey" and said, "Weee-elll, you could TRY..." but that she thinks "they really just want to be a church for awhile" (read: bad ending with renting to the school, I think).
so much to consider...!
The spa/golf club may have a waiver that both you and bride to be/renter can sign that would release them from liability. just a thought. Also, for kitchen space, you may want to try call your local churches or community centers. They will probably be more reasonable to rent from than a professional rental kitchen.
You know, I don't think there is a law in providing free cake.
The venue may have a rule requiring only cakes supplied by licensed caterers, which includes having the bride NOT be able to bring a friend's homemade cake into the facility.
Note I said a friend's homemade cake. The fact that you charge for the cake is what may make the cake illegal and require a license. You know. what you COULD do is....
Prepare bridal favors such as sacks with rice in them, or bubble blowin' thinga mabobs and charge double for them. Provide the cake for free. That was she isn't paying for a cake. She is paying for non-edible favors and having you as a friend make the cake as a gift.
It is only what you SAY it is. There is nothing wrong in charging double for the favors and providing the cake for free as a friend.
If the facility has a practice of asking for insurance, "free" cake won't work. It is still a risk that the venue cannot accept. If the venue also serves food prepared on site, they are liable for everyone on the premises and what they consume. "free" won't make it "safe" in the view of the insurance.
However, if they don't have a policy of asking for proof, and you are very,very careful, it will probably be fine.
Interesting concept, but somehow I don't think they'd buy it that she spent almost $700 on favors...lol
What IS very COOL is that I am meeting with the lady who runs the banquet/reception part of the club, and she is going to let me use their kitchen whenever I need it, not sure what the fee is yet, but she said, "Hey, no problem. Come on up and check it out." She said they used to have a baker in their who did well with cakes but that he's not there any more.
ANYway. What is also very cool is that the bride in question is having her reception there, so I can bake the cake there, store it there, and on the evening of the reception, they can just wheel it on down the hall to the right room! How COOL is that??
I am SO EXCITED that I have solved this first most difficult (for me) step in this series of hurdles. You can imagine, of course.......
SOOOO happy for you things worked out like they have.
It is wonderful when that happens.
Best Wishes to you and lots of success!!!
RLIcorp.com offers insurance for home bakers. It is based on your location but generally $300 or less a year. To me it is well worth the price. My premiums are $370 but that also includes my soapmaking biz and I have higher coverage.
We have a banquet facility here that when they started out you could only use their approved list of vendors. I think it has now changed.