Cake Decorators In Qld, Australia?

Business By sweet_tooth85 Updated 19 Mar 2013 , 2:49am by ChicPinky

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sweet_tooth85 Posted 29 Aug 2011 , 4:09am
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Calling all decorators in Queensland!!!! I NEED HELP STAT! I have started a home-based cupcake/cake business and was told by our local council that I didn't need a license to operate. However I'm being told by friends that I will probably need to work from a registered/licensed kitchen, which I don't have.

Basically, I need to know what to do. I make make cakes and cupcakes for birthdays, special occasions, functions etc. I want to produce business cards and flyers to distribute and eventually place ads around town. I don't want my house to be converted to a shop front....just want to make cakes and cupcakes from my kitchen and deliver as needed.

Please, if you live in Queensland, respond and put me out of my misery!! Because thus far, the council has been extremely unhelpful and inconsistent with their information.

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ApplegumPam Posted 29 Aug 2011 , 4:32am
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If YOUR council says it is OK then stick with that ..... they are the ones that make the decision.

Well meaning friends only make life difficult - as you are probably aware - every Council has different rules and regulations - AND worst of all - they ALL have different ways of interpreting the SAME rules

One thing I have learnt is don't uptalk what you are doing - just state exactly what you plan to do.

I am not in Qld but have discussed this with many Australian decoraters

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sweet_tooth85 Posted 29 Aug 2011 , 4:43am
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Thanks for the reply, but I feel as though my council doesn't even know what the rules are. I've spoken to someone on the phone who assured me I didn't need a license, but he mentioned nothing about needing a registered kitchen. And he told me he wasn't familiar with small business anyway....which made me want to reach through the phone and strangle him after waiting 4 days for a 'call back'.

I've read through the council website and they contradict themselves at every turn, so I'm very confused. I basically want someone to spell it out for me so I know I'm not breaking the law. I'd rather not get a $100,00 fine. BUT, I'd also rather continue to operate my business as it's my income and my passion icon_sad.gif

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marisab Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 12:23am
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Sweet tooth, where exactly in Queensland are you as different council regions will have different requirements.

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sweet_tooth85 Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 12:33am
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Marisab, I'm in Townsville

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marisab Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 12:41am
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This link is from the Townsville City Council website:

Hope this helps.

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sweet_tooth85 Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 1:00am
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Thank you marisab, but as you can see from my earlier posts, I've already contacted the council and read through their website and the Food Act 2006. None of it makes much sense to myself or many other members of my family, which is why I was looking for a Qld/Townsville cake decorator to clarify.

Thanks anyway

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mum2jam Posted 3 Sep 2011 , 10:42am
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Hi sweet tooth, I feel your pain, I went through it all recently. I live in Cairns, and the councils are probably similar. I spoke to someone diffferent every time, they usually had to ring me back as they weren't sure which category I belonged in, but in the end, I need a food business licence and I have to work from a commercial kitchen even though I make only the cake decorations from commercially bought icing, I don't even make the cakes!!!(But I am handling food!!) I could go on and on about how frustrating it is/was. They have now been to the kitchen to see exactly what I do, and her comment was "is that all you do?". YES, I have been trying to tell you all that for months!!! Anyway, in the future I will probably be able to set something up at home, but it will still have to be according to their strict rules. Depressing isn't it!! I questioned many times whether it was worth the effort, but now I am up and running, it is (I won't get rich from it though - not with all the council fees!! LOL) Good luck with it all.

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Mietta Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 12:52pm
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Hi, I'm in Queensland (although I'll be moving soon) and I have operated in the Brisbane region for some years and in different Council areas.

I just thought I'd comment even though this thread is a little aged because Councils in Queensland are vastly different and you do need approval to operate in writing. This protects you.

It's not enough to say, oh okay, my Council told me over the phone it's alright because it might not be.

In Queensland, all food operators need their Food Safety Certificate for a start. You can get this from the local TAFE or a private provider. I recommend a TAFE because it's cheaper.

You will also need insurances. (That's just commonsense anyway. I'm sure you have it already).

But I'd also like to point out that a licence and registration aren't the same thing. You will need to register your kitchen as a food business and you will need to be inspected before you are placed on that register.

Given that I have witnessed people getting caught out as unregistered operators and the fines and stress that ensue, I can't stress the importance of having your approval in writing.


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ChicPinky Posted 19 Mar 2013 , 2:49am
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Just digging up an older thread..

Currently looking into registering my home kitchen..


I have been to the council and have been given the application information..


Who has been through this recently for a home cake business that can provide some insight?


First up from what I can see is that you need to submit the 'design application', which is the drawing (scale 1:50) of the kitchen including the surfaces etc etc etc... (costs $325 to submit)

What I'm uncertain of is if they generally approve these disign applications... from what I can tell it's mainly aimed at new commercial builds rather then existing home kitchens?


Once that's approved it's the request for the kitchen licence (registration) $675 per year.


Plus $70 to nominate a food supervisor (which can be me also)..


I asked re: courses required and the guy said it's not needed to be approved but it is generally good to have an understanding of the food safety information.


Has anyone been through this process before and can shed any light?



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