Can anyone tell me what type of license I would need to provide to a venue at which I wish to provide a wedding cake? I plan on operating as a CFO, here in Louisiana, and my local planning and zoning dept says I need an occupational license to be is business. So, I will be applying for that, but is this what venues are looking for? I will be looking into insurance as well.
Thanks in advance!
Probably each venue is going to want something different. Your best bet is to contact them directly.
If you intend to produce food from your home kitchen you need to be in compliance with all cottage food industry laws in your state. Each state and county determines its cottage food industry laws, so requirements vary by state and county. Some states do not have cottage food industry laws. Examples of requirements are: safe food handling certifications; business license; facility inspection; product labeling; liability insurance.
If you are renting, you may be required to obtain approval from your landowner to run a home based business.
If you intend to produce food from a commercial kitchen (hourly rental), the kitchen operator will have to be in compliance with your state's commercial kitchen regulations. In addition, you may be required to have a business license, resale license, health permit, liability insurance, and/or food safety certification.
And as kakeladi stated, you will need to contact the venue regarding their specific vendor participation requirements. Venues at the minimum require compliance with all industry federal, state, and local laws. Some require you to submit a vendor application and only allow pre-approved vendors to participate in events. Others contract exclusively with a specific caterer, thus will not allow any other food vendors to supply events at the venue. Some venues only allow their in-house kitchen to prepare and serve food.
Thank you for the replies. I will have to call around to some of the local venues to see what they require...I am just thinking ahead. I plan on producing from my home kitchen, as a cfo, and I am hoping to get my foot in the door with doing wedding cakes... hoping that is a possibility.
Siftandwisk2 - I'm having trouble finding a source to go to, in my state, to ask questions about the cottage food business. Regarding each county determining there own cottage food laws, I thought there was only a statewide law, which counties cannot override? Can a county not allow cottage food businesses at all?
Counties cannot override state regulations, however they can impose additional regulations. For example, state law will not require copies of your food label, or kitchen floor plan, but the county you live in may require these before reviewing your application.
Cottage food laws are normally enforced by the state's department of public health. If you Google the name of your state and cottage food laws or go to your state's public health website you should be able to locate the information you need. Likewise, Google the name of your county and cottage food operations.
I live in Napa County. If I Google "Napa county cottage food laws" the county cottage food law page comes up; also a pdf with the county requirements; and a pdf for the county application.
One thing I forgot to mention, is "approved sources" for ingredients. A lot of states require ingredients be purchased from "approved sources", but they aren't real specific as "approved sources." But it important to get some understanding as to what your state/county considers "approved source" if that's a requirement.
Thanks for the reply. So far, my local planning/zoning has said they are not allowing cottage food operations. Frankly, I think they have no idea what they are talking about. I have been playing phone tag, trying to get to talk to someone in charge, but to no avail yet. I will be calling the health dept next. There is nothing on the net yet about Louisiana cottage food except the actual law...More phone calls to be made.
Thanks so much for your info, siftandwisk!
You're right, Louisiana's health department doesn't provide any information about the law. But it appears the state enacted a law 3 years ago. Try calling your state representative's office. Tell them you understand the state enacted a cottage food law around 2013; possibly amended it in 2015, but the state health department website does not provide information on the law. Ask them to provide you the name and contact information for the state department with regulatory authority and oversight of your state's cottage food laws.