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Selling Cakes out of your home in Texas

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know the rules about this in Texas? I'm in the Dallas area. I've been doing cakes for people I know, but I'm hesitant to really start doing business until I know all the rules. I know other people in the area have cake businesses out of their homes, but I'm not sure if they've done anything formal or legal to be able to do it.
post #2 of 57
You have to be licensed and certified by the state and also have a separate kitchen - not in your home. They don't make it easy in Texas. They are very strict and have severe penalties if you are caught.
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles..." Isaiah 40:31
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"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles..." Isaiah 40:31
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post #3 of 57
I don't know for sure but these are some of the things that I've seen mentioned here before (I'm sure this is not all of the requirements):

Separate kitchen (not the one you use for family cooking)
Separate entrance (can not go thru the house to get to this kitchen)
Separate bathroom
Separate mop sink

I have also heard that the floors, ceiling tiles and walls have to be a certain type.

I have also heard that different counties have different requirements - so it is best to check with your County.
post #4 of 57
true, you will need to have a seperate kitchen, if this is possible for you, first thing you need to do is check with your city to see if you are zoned to have a home based business, also ask for the name of the citys health inspector, if you pass the zoning, then call the HI, they can tell you all that you will need., but it will be, a 3 compartment sink, hand sink, mop sink, washable surfaces, all of them, cabinetry and shelving 6" off the floor, sealed lights, fire extinguisher, its own entrance, thats about it.

im working on my kitchen, or at least DH is.
post #5 of 57
I'm confused about the regulations about selling cakes from your home. I'm not about to quit my job and go into "business" for myself with my cakes, but I would like to sell a cake here and there, maybe once a month or so, without having to rent time in a kitchen. Are there people out there that just sell cakes to people they know without going through the process of becoming licensed, etc?
post #6 of 57
I sell them to people that I know. I presently have 7 cakes I'm going to be doing over the next few weekends. My son is a senior so I'm doing a lot of cakes for the members of his class. I donated a cake for an event a few months ago and since then, the orders have been coming in for graduation cakes. I'm flying under the radar. The fine is pretty hefty if you get caught.
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles..." Isaiah 40:31
Reply
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles..." Isaiah 40:31
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post #7 of 57
I think are lot of people go under the radar. I have a seperate kitchen but there is no way I can get it up to the regulations. I'd have to remodel the whole thing.
post #8 of 57
I probably average 2 cakes a month. I really enjoy decorating cakes and seeing how excited the customer is when they receive it but I'm not going to quit my job. I wish I could figure out how those people are under the radar because the people I have found websites for say on their website "location: my house". So they are advertising they sell cakes out of their home.
post #9 of 57
Lots of people do fly under the radar, but all it takes is one call to the health department and your toast. They aren't out there looking but if they get one complaint or call letting them know you are baking and selling from your house you will get a warning (if your extremely lucky) or you will get a HEFTY fine. It is risky since you never know when a disgruntled customer, mean acquaintance or even the local bakery may decide to turn you in. Be careful and be prepared to accept the consequences just in case you get caught.
post #10 of 57
I'm here in the same boat. I just relocated here from NJ where I had a successful bakery/ barkery gig. Now I am here in TX and I am being told I can not bake from my home. It is all that I know how to do icon_cry.gif I love what I do and my edge is that a majority of my creations are organic and vegan friendly. I can't afford to add on to my home or rent a commercial kitchen, but I can't afford to start doing something illegal either. So what gives? Has anyone come up with any solutions? How do the groups that have bake sales skirt around the issues? After all, they are sellling to the public items that have been created in their homes. Granted, I should have checked into this before hand to know what I was getting into.

icon_sad.gificon_cry.gificon_sad.gificon_cry.gif
Life's too short to drink poison- Alton Brown
I'll start being nicer when you start acting smarter.
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Life's too short to drink poison- Alton Brown
I'll start being nicer when you start acting smarter.
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post #11 of 57
I think bake sales fall under a different category than a bakery.....bake sales are occassional and usually a part of another function (fundraising). I think in TX unless you have the means to build/buy/rent a kitchen you are stuck. Sorry this throws a wrench in your plans, but I definitely don't recommend doing it illegally from your home icon_sad.gif . Maybe you will get lucky and find a place to rent kitchen time from...check churches, smaller restaurants etc. It is definitely hard to get started.
post #12 of 57
Hi guys; I'm new on here, but I'm in the same boat, though not in TX. I've heard my state has the same rules mentioned above, and DH has offered to build me the kitchen separate etc. I'm just starting to sell to people who I don't know, but I'm curious what you mean when you say "hefty" fines. Are we talking, $100, $1000, $10,000? That would help to know whether it's worth building a $20K kitchen and going through a whole new-business start-up...

Plus, I tried making all the phone calls around here to the health dept and zoning, and I got the runaround. No one seemed to be able or willing to help--no one returned my messages, and the only lady I did get to talk to would only say "we don't license home kitchens."

For now--Flying under the radar but not happy about it...

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

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Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply
post #13 of 57
I think depending on county regulations and what kind of a person you deal with you can be fined more than $10,000....if u go to the texas health dept. website they can pretty much fine you and tack on a series of fees such as administrative fines, court fees, document fees etc. That is not to say they will, but they can. You might get a simple warning saying to stop, but who knows. I just would be afraid to do anything illegal.....plus you couldn't get liability insurance either and as "sue happy" as our society has gotten that would be dangerous as well.
post #14 of 57
If anyone has any info on where bake sales stand in the baking legalities of TX, I sure would appreciate any info on the subject.
Life's too short to drink poison- Alton Brown
I'll start being nicer when you start acting smarter.
Reply
Life's too short to drink poison- Alton Brown
I'll start being nicer when you start acting smarter.
Reply
post #15 of 57
I'd love to know exactly what "hefty" means, too. The State makes it very difficult to become legal so most people are going to end up trying to get around the law. I sell to people I know and my Wilton instructor does the same thing. If the State would make it a little easier more people would be willing and able to do the right thing. If I ever get to the point where I am busy on a daily basis I would look into renting kitchen space at a church or somewhere else. Right now, it's just not worth it.
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