Can you please tell me what states / counties you live in and the limitations you have on your home decorating?
I am taking up the fight in Wisconsin to try and implement a level of licensing called "Professional Home Baker". Rather than starting from scratch, I'd like to review other states' / counties' laws.
I read all the discussions about the member who got called by the Health Department (uh, yep, that was me). I understand that it is for the safety of the general public that Health Department's inspect commercial kitchens. When I go into a restaurant that deals in massive amounts of different kinds of foods, I like knowing someone has their eye on them. That they aren't storing raw meat over their tossed salad. I get it.
Here's my problem. Did you know that in Wisconsin, you can provide daycare for up to 3 children without being licensed by the state? You can advertise in the newspaper and everything. Nobody checks up on you. The people who drop off their kids make the educated decision to pick you to watch their children. These same people, however, cannot make the educated decision to choose me to make cupcakes for their kids' birthday party because nobody has come in and wiped a white glove over my counters. That seems a little off-kilter to me. The general well-being of children in a daycare situation is not as important as a batch of cupcakes. Hmmmmmmmm.
That said, if it's a matter of paying my taxes and licensing fees - sign me up! I'll pay them! I have no problem with letting Uncle Sam have a portion of my very eager earnings.
I've taken the ServSafe Food Manager's class and passed the test with flying colors. I even got my Food Manager's license. I work alone. I work in a clean kitchen in a smoke-free home. My friends and family who order cakes from me know they are going to get a safe product (it's kind of a running joke among my friends that I'm so anal about throwing things out the day they expire) that tastes good.
I can't afford to go commercial. I can't even afford to lease space from an existing kitchen because I live in a town where I if I charge too much for cakes I won't have any customers. I do it because I love it. My friends come to me because they trust me.
O.K. - I'm done with my rant. I'm still looking for the information I asked for in the first sentence. LOL. :)
Hi Ladies :-)
I live in Florida and we are NOT allowed to have a home baking business. We are in the process of trying to get the Cottage Food Act passed here. What I don't get is we can bake cakes, pies and cup ckaes for school functins and bake sales, but God forbid we do it and make money. It's a win-win situation for the state and the baker if they pass this law. I have no problem paying the license fees and taxes.
PREACH ON!!!! Please keep me posted if u have any luck! I am in Florida and in the same boat....or uh kitchen, lol. I can get a license to run a home childcare, taking care of CHILDREN, and have the health dept. thouroughly inspect my home, but there are no options that i have found for home bakers. Right now I just bake for friends, family and friends of friends, but I am tryin to get established as a business. I absolutely dont have the $ to rent/least a commercial kitchen. Many local restaurants dont even know what I mean and dont wanna b bothered anyway. I cant even find what the definition of what the consider a commercial kitchen is. Could i set up an enclosed storage shed/workshop with all the proper equip and get that certified??? still cheaper than leasing space somewhere.
With the economy and job market like it is these days, u would think they could make some rule adjustments to help people work from home if they need to. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to know how ur battle goes. Plus If i can help the cause in any way !!!!!
I did do some research on setting up a commercial kitchen in my home. I was thinking about converting the 3rd bay of my garage into a kitchen... It can be done, but is still costly. It cannot be used as your personal kitchen, must have a separate entrance from your main home entrance, and must have all commercial appliances and surfaces. In addition, a 3-compartment sink with a commercial grease trap system is required (which, I understand to be quite expensive). Too bad there isn't a large national lobbying group for bakers.
I live in Illinois and have a licensed bakery attached to my home. I have had this for 15 years. There were a lot of hoops to jump through and a fine line to balance between commercial enough for the health department and less commercial for the city. To make a long story short the fee for the health dept. has doubled this year! And for this they visit one time a year for about 5 minutes. This is $600:00 for 5 minutes and a piece of paper. Then there is the food handlers license I must have and then insurance. Everything this year will come to around $1000.00 just to keep my bakery up.That doesn't include heating water etc... Then there are the income taxes. I am not sure why I am saying all this I guess I feel for your rant and felt like ranting too.
Are you saying that in Wisc. one cannot start a home bakery? Are you using your own kitchen or a seperate one? I am just asking not judging in any way.
I have delivered wedding cakes through the kitchen of seemingly clean resturants Some were really bad and one even had a tray of food ready to serve, setting on the garbage can!. So the health department system is really messed up. They need to leave the little person alone. I think a lot of laws are by county not just state. I know several persons in another part of Illinois that have home based bakeries that are licensed and not with a seperate kitchen.
Well, good luck with your quest. I am at the other end of things. I am looking to down size and this will probably be my last year. I hope thing work out.
After talking to the heath dept. here in montana I know some rules are different for saturday markets? You might want to look in to that . Some people bake at home and can sale at the Sat. market
I have a restaurant in Montana and I know people baking Pie's and selling them at the market