Great News!?

Business By saberger Updated 14 Apr 2008 , 5:11am by Sugar_Plum_Fairy

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saberger Posted 7 Apr 2008 , 7:47pm
post #1 of 12

So, I have some possible good news. I contacted a place near me that is like an indoor playground and they do kids birthday parties on the weekend. They are new and didn't have anyone to do there cakes, so I went and introduced myself. To make a long story short, she wants to use me for the cakes/cupcakes/cookies, but I am concerned since I a not licensed. I didn't say anything to her for fear of losing he potential business, but I really am not interested in getting her into any trouble (or myself).

So here is the thing: there is a kitchen on the premises and I am thinking it would be great if I could approach her to use it and get my license. What do you think? How do I do this without shooting myself in the rear and losing the biz? Any suggestions?


11 replies
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indydebi Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 1:42am
post #2 of 12

When I was an at-home baker, one of my food sales reps brought me an opporunity to do the same thing ... a kids party place needed a cake person. She told them about me and they were interested .... after I got licensed.

I certainly would pursue the kitchen use idea .... what's the worse that can happen? You can 'suggest' that you're looking for a 'new' space (not totally untrue!) and it would be a win-win for both of you for them to have their cakes made right on site.

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cakemommy Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 2:00am
post #3 of 12

You asked that perfectly. I am wondering the same thing but for sure couldn't have explained it better than you.

You know, I have always said, it takes just one person to give you your big break. This could be it especially that this place is new. That's a huge plus!!!!!!!!!!!! Let us know how this turns out and how the negotiation went.


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GeminiRJ Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 11:59am
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Indydebi said it all! Sell the client on the pluses to having you do the cakes and cookies on-site. Good luck on this golden opportunity!

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acookieobsession Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 12:08pm
post #5 of 12

But just don't provide them with products unless you are licensed. If you get sued or fined the place of business would get fined or worse for having you sell there.

I would imagine at some point they would ask you for the license forma nd the insurance....unless they too are not that experienced since they are new.

Good luck to you and I hope they let you rent!

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saberger Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 2:10pm
post #6 of 12

I don't think that she knows what she needs. And I am not sure what the benefits ARE exactly if I do the cakes on site. What are they? And then how do I work out $ for using the kitchen? She is already getting 25% discount from my regular price since she would only be using me...don't worry, I am still making some $ (and she wants to put me on her web site).

But the license thing really IS making me uncomfortable. But I am new to all of this and don't know the ins and outs of the business aspect - actually, I don't know anything and learning along the way. I really don't want to screw this up and think it could really be good for me. Any other advice?

We went over what the standard cakes and options would be, then add the extra options. Any suggestions about what to make sure I offer? And since there are so many 'extra' things that I could do, how do I possibly put that on a list? Is there a way to have the customer just contact me directly and still give the discount?

Again, thanks for everything. I really appreciate all help and suggestions and criticism!

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GeminiRJ Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 5:48pm
post #7 of 12

Have you checked into what you need to do to be licensed in your area? Some places are fairly reasonable...others are not. The pluses to having you do them on-site means they are assured of the cleanliness of the kitchen, less likelihood of an order being overlooked, being able to have direct contact with you, among other things. You just need to phrase it so that it's a plus for them. In the meantime, check into getting licensed.

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saberger Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 7:05pm
post #8 of 12

does anybody else have any suggestions. I will check into the license tomorrow.

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cupcake Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 7:33pm
post #9 of 12

Perhaps she could "put you on the payroll" so to speak, even if she shows it as contract labor? I am not sure about your states laws, though. If something did happen, at least she would be covered and so would you. This might buy you some time until you check out the licensing issue. Just a thought?

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saberger Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 12:36am
post #10 of 12

Well, I called my Dept. of Health and the guy was a total $#* and of no help whatsoever. I explained that I am interested in starting a new business and wanted to know what the requirements are and how to go about getting licensed. He said it depends on your proposal...oh, so I have to write a proposal? No, but you need a commercial kitchen 9like with 3 sinks and so forth). Okay, but churches don't have that and I thought I could rent a kitchen at a church. "Well, no, because a lot of places like that only have a temporary license and that doesn't help you....That is why it depends on what you have in mind. It doesnt sound like you have anything in place, so why don't you wait until you do and then contact me." Oh MY %$*%#$!!!!! What an ***! So I said" Well, that is what I am trying to find out - what I need to do in order to get a license." Then he said that if I rent space with a restaurant, then it may not be possible for that place to have 2 licenses because why would they want the competition?"

Do I need to continue with the bull he fed me? By the time I hung up I was ready to cry with frustration. This man was absolutely no help and a jerk to boot. So, I proceeded to call the NJ State Dept of Food and whatever it is called to get info. The gal there was so sweet and told me that they only deal with you if you are trying to sell wholesale, not retail. I explained that I was frustrated because my local Dept.of Health was no help and told her about it. She got me in touch with someone who was able to answer a couple of questions at least. And here is what I learned:

If I want to sell to an individual, then that is retail and I get the license from the town my kitchen space is in. If, however, I would be supplying a business with goods on a frequent or even scheduled basis, then I would be selling wholesale and need the license from the state.

*sigh* I am even more stumped as to what to do now. I m thinking of finding a kitchen outside of my town just so I don't have to deal with this a-hole.

So there is my story. Perhaps I should just can this whole thing. icon_sad.gif

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mkolmar Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 4:43am
post #11 of 12

You poor thing. My HD guy is very sweet however overworked. I was due for another inspection at the church kitchen that I rent for well over a year. I've called them a few times and nothing. Last week I get a call telling me to meet him there at this time. (Since I'm not at the church all the time I get a heads up on when he's coming since he has to make sure the church is open and I can be there.) Well, I'm in school full time and told him no way, I couldn't make it. I'm calling him tomorrow to reschedule. I hope he doesn't get mad and mark me down for this.

Everywhere around me is way past due for getting inspected. I think it's kind of sad and funny when I'm trying to call them out to come and inspect my kitchen.

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Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 5:11am
post #12 of 12

I know how frustrated you are, saberger. I'm in the Far Hills area of NJ - not too far from you - and I've all but given up on finding a kitchen to rent. I've been in touch with the Health Dept. in Bernardsville (which has jurisdiction over my town) and was told that churches and fire houses do not get inspected by them, so using their kitchens is not possible. I've also inquired at the school my children attend and of course the answer to that was negative. They don't rent it out.

My next step is to start asking at local restaurants, but I'm afraid they'll just see me as competition because they do have desserts (even if they aren't making custom cakes). My DH keeps saying that eventually we'll turn our spare apartment into a kitchen, but I don't think he really knows what's involved. He promised me he'll read the pages I printed out from the Dept. of Health, but hasn't had a chance to do so yet. I just don't see it happening any time soon as I think it will be way too expensive (I'm a stay at home mom and we live off of one salary and in an expensive town).

Well, I don't have any answers for you, but I wanted to let you know I feel your pain.

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