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. :)