Cheesecake Business

Business By Bitts-cakes Updated 27 Aug 2015 , 5:04am by johnson6ofus

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Bitts-cakes Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 3:52pm
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I am in the process of beginning my own cheesecake business. Currently, I am in the stage of trying to determine how much to sell my cheesecake for. Any advice? It costs me about $14 to buy ingredients for one original cheesecake. Baking time is an hour, while prep and clean-up time is about 45 minutes. I do offer shipping so I also have to determine a standard shipping fee. For most cheesecakes, 9 inches is going to be my selling size, but at request I can also make 6", 8" and 10". Most business in my area of Ohio, sell their cheesecakes for anywhere from$25-$80, with a set standard shipping price. I am completely new at this, and a college student, so any advice would be helpful. Thank you

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Jeff_Arnett Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 5:14pm
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I have a friend here in my small eastern KY town who operates her own custom cheesecake business.  Her cheesecakes are 10 inch and sell between $40-$50 depending on the flavor.  She supplies a lot of local resturants as well as selling retail to the public, though I don't believe she ships her cheesecakes.

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-K8memphis Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 5:23pm
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because you are a college student and are not sure how to price your wares i'm going to venture a guess that you haven't done the homework needed to determine the legalities involved in shipping cheesecake which is a highly hazardous food --

so if I'm wrong i'm wrong no worries but otherwise you need to research this for your specific location -- it's an education in itself -- start with your health department--

best to you

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Bitts-cakes Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 5:29pm
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Ok, Thank you! I was going to deliver cheesecakes to customers or have them come and purchase them at my business. However, since i am working from my apartment, several individual encouraged me to simply have customers order online and then ship the cheesecake to them, like Harry & Davids or other businesses.

  To kind of make it easier, I divided all of my cheesecakes into four main categories, and assumed that each group would be a different cost. So, I have no-bakes, which i figured would be cheaper because they do not take a whole lot of work. Then, the classics, and then specialty cheesecake, which take the most work and time. Finally, I have cheesecakes that are more for holidays, that I assumed would be the most expensive, because they go with a holiday. 

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Bitts-cakes Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 5:30pm
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Thank you, I will do that!

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littlejewel Posted 25 Aug 2015 , 8:49pm
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I would think shipping could get expensive. There is a company in my city that has been in business for atleast 2 years, that specializes in cheesecakes, sad thing is most people haven't heard of them. Is the town a college town or is it a fairly large city? If it is a university you my be able to seek help from  marketing students. 

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Dzrt-Bkr Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 1:37am
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Starting out is always exciting, I would be screamingly cautious with shipping. As K8memphis said, cheesecake is an extremely hazardous food. There is no guarantee that the temperature will be maintained to keep it safe! The variances in the shippers vehicles, buildings, etc. is not consistent. The companies that do ship, without a doubt,  have insurance!

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costumeczar Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 2:17am
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Cheesecakes will probably require a food business license and an inspected and licensed kitchen to sell in the first place, with or without shipping. 

Shipping food across state lines involves FDA regulations, not just state regulations. It's highly unlikely that there would be any kind of exemptions for home-based businesses even if they're inspected for hazardous/temperature sensitive foods like cheesecakes. 

I'd look into this a lot more before you start selling or shipping anything. Just because other people are selling and shipping them doesn't mean that it's legal to do it. They may or may not be licensed and inspected for handling perishable foods, but if you're not you shouldn't be doing it, it's too risky in both a health-inspection way and a busted-by-the-IRS way.

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Pastrybaglady Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 3:02pm
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Yes to all of the above!  In my state I'm not even allowed to sell cheesecakes or ship any kind o baked good much less something as volatile as a cheesecake.  Do your homework carefully.

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-K8memphis Posted 26 Aug 2015 , 3:55pm
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yeah crossing state lines complicates things immeasurably --

plus just as an aside i have this juicy story -- was watching the shopping channel one day and this beauty expert who has all kinds of books and diet foods and all kinds of things -- was apologizing very carefully about the cheesecake they had sold -- that the water in there had frozen into ice crystals and it was mush mash when it arrived/was defrosted by the customers -- yuck bo mojo --

so there's just rivers of minutiae to every facet of this cheesecake jewel -- not for the timid --

*edited to say so they shipped out some good ones to make up for the booboo

*Last edited by -K8memphis on 26 Aug 2015 , 4:12pm
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johnson6ofus Posted 27 Aug 2015 , 5:04am
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Presenting a food safe cheesecake is a challenge, including customers themselves who need storage information. I don't know if the risk/ storage/ transportation issues won't kill you quickly... both from regulations and requirements and insulated transportation costs.

Research, research, research. 

It only takes one serious case of food poisoning to rain down hell fire on your business. 

My sis is a MD.  In a small Texas town, that also made her head of the health department. She bought fried chicken from this one place about once a week. She served up this chicken and cole slaw to family. My cousin wasn't really hungry so only ate cole slaw. It didn't stay down long, and it was obvious what the source of the "poison" was. My sis, as head of the health department then inspected the place (it was GROSS, BTW) and she closed them down. They never recovered. They poisoned the wrong person...and it only takes one.

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