Illegal Home Baker Help

Business By kcampeau Updated 3 Mar 2017 , 2:33pm by julia1812

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kcampeau Posted 2 Mar 2017 , 8:57pm
post #1 of 3

Hi All

I have a situation and I want some objective advice. I bake out of a legal kitchen. There is a mom who makes cash on the side out of her house that has quite the following because she is talented and her stuff is good but she barely charges anything. She is maybe breaking even and not paying herself. So she has a following because nice work and dirt cheap. It is too the point now that another legal baker in the area and I were talking and we are noticing declines in both businesses because of this lady.

We are irritated because we have legal businesses, adhere to all the legal requirements, pay insurance and all that and here is this lady doing it illegally without inspections or health certifications for dirt cheap and hurting out businesses.

Well a friend of mine found out her address from a lady that ordered a cake from her and now I am in the position where I could report her to the board and have her shut down by the health department, or at least they will shut her down until she does what she needs to do to comply (separate kitchen, etc). I really want to report her but I do not want to be petty.

Is this being petty and I should just suck it up and look the other way or would it be okay to report her?

2 replies
-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 3 Mar 2017 , 12:57am
post #2 of 3

no, it is not petty -- it's very important and it ultimately defines you as a person -- understanding all the while that another and another and another one just like her can and will pop up just like so many fertile whack-a-moles --

gotta decide how important it is -- is your cake business the sole support of your family without which the mortgage will not get paid with children and/or yourself going hungry -- or is it a side business like hers is -- 

if it was your only income then i would suggest going to talk to her and speaking up front about everything -- how she needs to be legal and how its literally killing your living and hurting your way of life -- have to leave it all open -- just talk leaving all the decisions up to her -- you might get a nice reception and you might get booted out -- but you got to say your peace--


i'll tell yah what happened here in elvistown several years ago -- these two bakers who had a nice business going turned in four illegal bakers, one of which was their own cousin -- this cousin actually helped the two of them get started from their own illegal home kitchens just a few years earlier -- but they turned the illegals in to the health dept -- the illegals all received cease & desist letters -- the shock of these jarring circumstances reverberated through our community as the news spread --

all of the memphis bakers that i know including ices leaders, cake business owners and cake club members, as well as the health department themselves were more than displeased that these girls struck so low a blow to four of our own -- for no real reason -- some of the illegals had nice businesses -- one was a senior, a little widow -- seriously -- this was her only livelihood besides her fixed income -- within a couple weeks, the two whistle blowers announced they were closing and selling all their equipment -- 

so not every community would react this way of course -- but you just have to decide how vitally important this is to you to police -- and if you do it once -- you'll be doing it many more times to be effective/efficient --

if that will increase your business and make you successful -- in addition that being a cake vigilante is your style -- go for it --

there are a lot of people who have reported on here that they turn people in -- but i sure wouldn't -- i mean caking is so very wide open, i can buy fondant and tons of baking ingredients at my grocery store -- i bought fabulous glittery sparkly tubes of glittery sparkly stuff there -- perfect flower centers -- there is nothing sacred/protected -- and turning in this chick guarantees nothing -- not really worth that kind of karma to me --

best to you -- i do understand your angst -- better to channel your energies into a different business where you can have some exclusivity and protection -- baking ain't it --

best best best to you

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julia1812 Posted 3 Mar 2017 , 10:38am
post #3 of 3

Well said @-K8memphis ‍ 

Totally agree. I also think an open talk/confrontation/warning is the way to go. She'll know anyway who reported her and that might leave you in the light of a back stabber in her (and your) costumers eyes.

YOU are right and SHE is wrong. We agree on that. So let her know....

Am actually just having a funny should offer her a job as a decorator in your bakery lol. Maybe combining forces ? 

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