So im just a hobby baker for now, but would live to grow and be able to make cakes for profit, i feel so lost when it comes to permirs/liscenses i may need to start a home based bakery. sometimes i wonder if its worth it, since ive seen so many not allowed foods in NY. So was wondering if anyone has any experience with this, is it worth it??? :/
Hi... I live in NJ. I've been doing hobby cakes for 20+ years. I just wanted to say that, in my opinion, whether or not it is worth it depends on how much you want to do your hobby as a business. And work it like a business (i.e., knowing your costs, and how many cakes you need to make to break even before making a profit, record keeping for income tax purposes, etc.).
Sometimes I wish I could do cakes as a business. Lots of family and friends over the years have urged me to seriously consider it. But in NJ (and PA), it's not easy, whether it be cottage laws or a store-front bakery. The investment is significant where I lived (NJ & PA). And because I love making special cakes for people, I (personally) wouldn't want to do it if the "business" end of it would interfere with the love and enjoyment I have making cakes for people. ... So! I'm a happy hobby baker! <3
Anyway, I'm sure you'll here from bakers in NY who can help you better. I just wanted to share my thoughts and point of view. (I hope you don't mind.)
I sincerely wish you the best with your decision, too! Just make sure to always like what you do! (((Hugs)))
Some hard facts: (1) The business end is the most time-consuming part of a baking business and not nearly as much fun as decorating cakes. (2) The market in your area is so saturated with an abundance of cheap cakes, it is currently not viable for someone hoping to make a living only doing cakes. (3) The NY cottage food law does not allow for the direct selling of specialty cakes to the customer. Home Process application
The law does, however, allow for the production and sale of other items (cookies, brownies, breads, etc.) which, if sold wholesale, can definitely turn into a small, profitable business.
It depends upon the types of foods you want to produce and your ability to keep up with the business end. It's not that hard, but you'll need to change your product line to fit the rules. I started many years ago with the Home Processor permit, selling retail at farmers' markets but mostly wholesale to area stores. Eventually my business grew into a bakery and cafe. But trust me, it was quite a journey.
I know this isn't my thread but wow that is so informative, @mimifix. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you continued success!
I have so much respect for people who have followed the process to create a business from something they love to do. I've also had a lot of people tell me to just charge for my cakes anyway, but I don't. My cakes are gifts.
It's a nice dream for me, though!
And @amaviles , may ALL of your wishes and dreams come true!
Thank you for your answers and best wishes.
It just sucks how difficult they make it to be able to bake cakes from home, but yet if they catch you they fine you. I wasn't sure if maybe they had something like Ohio I believe it is, if you make less than a certain amount a month you don't need certain permits.
It's very different from where I came from, moved to NY from PR.
Every state that has a cottage food law, decides how they want to manage it. In some regards, NY has an excellent permit. There's no fee, no restrictions on selling wholesale, and no income limit. The restrictions on cake sales is actually a moot point. Thank the cheap cake ladies for that one.
Thanks for asking the question @Amaviles and thanks @MimiFix for consistently giving some really good info! from a Hobby Baker!!
I'll keep looking into it. For now this is not going to be possible so I'll continue to be a hobby baker.
Thank you for ask your responses and feedback greatly appreciate it.