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Selling cakes when you're not legal - Page 2  

post #16 of 71
It is so sad. I was hoping this would be a way for me to stay at home longer, but I don't think it will work as DH will not be willing to fork out a penny for a "what if" business. I'll go ahead and get the info I need to make an in-home bakery, but I'm not encouraged.

Melissa
Sweet Melissa's
Custom cakes made from scratch using organic ingredients
http://www.sweetmelissas.net/ http://sweetmelissas.blogspot.com/
Sweet Melissa's
Custom cakes made from scratch using organic ingredients
http://www.sweetmelissas.net/ http://sweetmelissas.blogspot.com/
post #17 of 71
Man that is one hefty fine in Texas!!!!! icon_eek.gif I wonder what it is here in KY...... I mean come on - if you're making that much money and you're illegal than sure - but if you made $70 every couple of months making cakes they're going to fine you that much???!!! icon_mad.gif Seems a bit absurd.....

I definitely know people that don't have clean kitchens - I'll say it again though - I wish the health department could just take a moment to come visit our homes and do an inspection of them - if you're nasty w/ your own family, then you can't cook/bake for others! They could be "surprise" visits I suppose.... just to see if you keep everything up to standards - like your refrigerator might have to have a thermometer thing in it to make sure it's the right temperature - and how and where you store your ingredients woudl have to be checked - maybe that would end up to be too much trouble too - but it sounds a little easier than trying to re-do your entire home and get ANOTHER fridge and ANOTHER oven and seperate everything........

I just bake for friends right now - I don't think I'd even take an order from someone who wasn't at least a close friend - or a close friend of a friend..... I'd be too scared they'd get upset w/ something and want thier money back or go sue happy or something b/c it turned out a different color than they expected - there ARE crazy people out there...... so for now I'm just baking for friends and family while I develop my skills and decide if this is something I want/could do full time. It helps build up your business AND gives you practice - so why not? The only problem is the cheap friends - you gotta still charge what you're worth and not back down!

Good luck with everything - I wouldn't advertise a lot except by word of mouth - I think you can put a website up w/ pictures of your cakes (I have a Yahoo page- nothing fancy) but you can't put your name/telephone/ "call me if you want a cake like this made for you" - kind of stuff..... it can't LOOK like advertising...... but if someone wanted to see pictures of your cakes, you could have a portfolio or you could do something online or even send them some pictures by e-mail to "advertise" your talents.....
post #18 of 71
Don't despair. I went through the same feelings.

Search your area (and it will take some serious looking) and see if there's a kitchen you can rent. I called and called and begged and cajoled and got turned down by everyone from day spas to bakeries to churches; then I literally had one land in my lap because I put out the word that I needed a kitchen, and my insurance guy (of all people) knew a guy who runs two restaurants locally and is really into entrepeneurial people like myself, who said, "no problem--you can use it anytime" without even meeting me!

Call local clubs, churches, schools, and mom-and-pop restaurants or afternoon/evening cafes or non-cake bakeries and see if you can find someone who will rent to you or work with you. They're out there; they're just hard to find.

Also, google "incubator kitchen" in your area. I found two here, but both are at least a 30-40 minute drive away and not too feasible for me.

Don't give up! Licensing costs almost nothing and can be done online through your state. Insurance costs like 80 a month (here), find a kitchen to rent and you're good to go. thumbs_up.gif

Then if you get busy, you can look into renting an actual shop or building one.

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

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

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

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

post #19 of 71
Thank you for the encouragement. It makes me feel a bit better. I guess if the only thing I have to "deal" with is a double sink which I don't have yet, then it's probably possible to get a double sink wihtout breaking up the kitchen! LOL I'll have to wait to get my packet (ordered it today) and go from there.

The good thing is - I made ONE cake this weekend for a girlfriend and another girlfriend emailed me today asking if I could make her cake, so I suppose this is POSSIBLE!!!

melissa
Sweet Melissa's
Custom cakes made from scratch using organic ingredients
http://www.sweetmelissas.net/ http://sweetmelissas.blogspot.com/
Sweet Melissa's
Custom cakes made from scratch using organic ingredients
http://www.sweetmelissas.net/ http://sweetmelissas.blogspot.com/
post #20 of 71
Well, there you go! thumbs_up.gif

It sounds like you're on the right track. It's do-able; it's just not a simple-simon business to jump into and start up in some states.

Keep us posted, of course. icon_smile.gif

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

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

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

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

post #21 of 71
Hi Everyone!
I just want to thank you for sharing your experiences and insights! I've been hesitant to heavily "advertise" my new venture because of the legal ramifications. icon_sad.gif

Homecook is soooo right on the money (pun intended), all it takes is ONE disgruntled (no matter how big or small the issue) icon_evil.gif client/co-worker/competing business owner/friend/relative or stranger to make that call to the Health Dept and we're talking massive legal red tape, financial sanctions, and/or jail time. I should know, I live in CA (the sue-happy state) and I work for a local government branch. icon_cry.gif

I also know too well w/ the frustration of wanting to share our beautiful creations of love (yeah, it's cliche & cheezy but true) w/o proper licensing, but I think having a peace of mind overwhelmingly outweighs the stress of constantly looking over my
shoulder. Ugh...I feel ya... icon_wink.gif
post #22 of 71
ok, I'm glad I read this thread. I've been on the fence on this one! my brain tells me to not sell cake in MI illegally, but my heart has been telling me to do it because it's been very difficult in MI to get things started. I'm calling VFW's, Halls and churches....it's been a ruff road, but I look at it as may be right now is not the good time I think it is and a higher being is making sure I'm ok first. icon_razz.gif
1, 2, 3, 4 UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!
SEMPER FI!
1, 2, 3, 4 UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!
SEMPER FI!
post #23 of 71
I'm in a state that doesn't allow home bakers. icon_cry.gif
I'm very worried about going farther than I am right now (just doing a couple of cakes here and there) because the woman I used to work for (she has a bakery) is the vindictive sort. It's sad really. She never believed I decorated cakes and wouldn't even ever give me a chance. So, I'm doing it on my own, quietly. icon_biggrin.gif I'm working on perhaps getting the church kitchens. We're building a new building, so I'm not sure how that will go.
post #24 of 71
i too have been struggling with the whole "should i get licensed" question. in ohio you can either be licensed or consider yourself a "cottage industry". for now i've chosen the latter. i have labels that i put on my cakes telling of all the ingredients, weight of product, the fact that it was "home produced".... getting licensed in ohio looks pretty easy. a kitchen inspection and a $10 yearly fee. but then you have to pay taxes. most of the cakes i make are for family and friends. family i don't charge for and friends i do, although i'm sure i'm not chargling nearly enough! in the last year i think i "made" $170..... $70 of which went towards supplies. i am not paying taxes on that last $100! that's crazy. so maybe someday, if i get more customers, i'd get licensed. i would love to do weddings.... but that probably won't happen until i am licensed, since a lot of places don't allow un-lincesed people to bring cakes into their venues. unti then, i'll just keep baking for family and friends and consider it practice!
Death to a Christian is a transfer to the home office.

"How come if you mix flour and water together you get glue? And when you add eggs and sugar, you get a cake? Where does the glue go?" -Rita Rudner
Death to a Christian is a transfer to the home office.

"How come if you mix flour and water together you get glue? And when you add eggs and sugar, you get a cake? Where does the glue go?" -Rita Rudner
post #25 of 71
I was just thinking - where ARE you supposed to come up with this magical money to get licensed? I mean if you can't sell them to start with - how are you supposed to be able to expand? You have to make some money before you can open up a business - a lot of people will start a business, make a little money, and THEN make it legal when they can afford to do so - it only makes sense really. If you aren't making any money, why pay someone for a license, rent, etc.? And if you can't or aren't or don't want to make enough cakes to have your own bakery/kitchen - then why SHOULD you have to be legal to sell at all? Maybe there could be a happy medium - like if you make over $600 a year in cakes, you have to pay taxes and you have to have your business legalized - if you make less than that, you can sell out of your home with a twice yearly inspection by the health department or something to make sure your home isn't infested w/ nasty bugs and your flour doesn't have critters in it and is sitting next to the dog bowl or something......
post #26 of 71
imarsty~

agreed! and in ohio $600 happens to be the limit. if you make under that, you don't have to file any taxes... unless you are licensed. if you make $10 and you're licensed you pay taxes on that. RIDICULOUS! for now, i'll stick to being a "cottage baker"!
Death to a Christian is a transfer to the home office.

"How come if you mix flour and water together you get glue? And when you add eggs and sugar, you get a cake? Where does the glue go?" -Rita Rudner
Death to a Christian is a transfer to the home office.

"How come if you mix flour and water together you get glue? And when you add eggs and sugar, you get a cake? Where does the glue go?" -Rita Rudner
post #27 of 71
Same law in KY - I think maybe anywhere - if you make less than $600 as an "independent contractor" or "business owner" - you don't have to pay taxes on it. Seeing as how I haven't made that much on cakes as of yet, I don't feel I should have to become legal and/or pay taxes on the tiny little bit I've earned selling a couple of cakes - besides, once it's sold, the evidence is eaten, right?? icon_lol.gif

---I'm not saying we shouldn't pay taxes - I just sometimes feel the IRS taxes even the taxes! And I'm not talking about hundreds and thousands of dollars being unaccounted for - I'm talking about money from like babysitting or selling some homemade jam or a cake for a tiny bit of money - not something you would charge someone else sales tax for and then "withhold" it from the gov't - hope that all makes sense!
post #28 of 71
HI! SOOOO very glad someone asked this simple question. If you have to pay taxes on the money you make selling cakes, can't all your supplies be deducted as business expenses? I mean if you are going to go to the trouble of "making it leagal", then go the distance and clame every grain of sugar.

I don't know what it takes to get leagal here in Texas, but it doesn't surprize me that the fine is so large. Everything is bigger in texas. Lucy us. Like Harris County, Brazoria County doesn't allow any food products to be taken to school as snacks or treats unless it is pre-packaged.

I am now going to have nightmares about getting sued. I just passed out "card" at my daughters dance class and got an order for the 21st. icon_eek.gif

Also, what does the abbrv. "DH" stand for? I see everyone using it and have no clue as to whom they are reffering. icon_rolleyes.gif

Thanks for all the posts on this subject.
Never underestimate the capacity of another human being to have exactly the same shortcomings you have -Leah Steinberg in America West
Never underestimate the capacity of another human being to have exactly the same shortcomings you have -Leah Steinberg in America West
post #29 of 71
DH = dear husband
post #30 of 71
In Florida I don' t charge tax on my cake sales, only on food that is consumed on premis.

I got my coupon book and freaked out, I finally calmed down when I called the IRS! lol
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