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Anyone here licensed in PA? - Page 3

post #31 of 40
It is amazing how all the different townships vary!! I live just outside of Harrisburg (between H-burg and G-burg) and the "kind" gentleman at my township building is giving me next to no hope in being approved for zoning. My dealings with PDA have been wonderful so far. COmplete an application, re-oraganize my kitchen a bit, pay an application fee and wait for zoning approval. For the zoning, I need to fill out the million and one pages, pay my $400 application fee thumbsdown.gif and cross all my fingers and toes that I am approved. Even though there are 2 hair salons (out of resident's homes) and a photographer all within my zoning area, the township made me feel like it was far fetched to open a small, small cakery in my home. I may have to deliver all cakes, since they frown upon traffic. It's not like I am opening up a "Charms City Cakes" for cyin' out loud!! icon_eek.gif I work full-time and have been making cakes for friends and then friends of friends and my requests continue to grow, so I thought I would become "legal". I never wanted something so bad... maybe someday open a retail location and those ol' fuddy-duddies at township are not slowing down this cake decorator!! thumbs_up.gif
Sorry..... I know this is all going to be worth it at the end, just going through process now and need to vent. Thanks for listening!!
I was born to be a cakerator!!

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I was born to be a cakerator!!

Fan request me on Facebook!!!!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Central-Pennsylvania/JaimeCakes/241230292149?ref=ts
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post #32 of 40
It can be daunting can't it! I want to have my own thing going but all the hoops we have to jump through are somewhat overwhelming when you aren't sure how things will turn out in the end.

I'm in a holding patttern now to get more experience. When I'm SURE I'm ready, then I'll JUMP! But not before.
-Stacey
Truly Custom Cakery, LLC

Website: http://www.trulycustomcakery.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TrulyCustom
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-Stacey
Truly Custom Cakery, LLC

Website: http://www.trulycustomcakery.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TrulyCustom
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post #33 of 40
Wow. I can't believe the problems you guys are having. It cost me just the money from the pda (which was $30, I think. now I can't remember). I live in Bucks County below Quakertown. I'm sorry to hear it's such a bother for you. I only sell about 3 or so cakes a month on a good month. It was worth it for me, but not for $500. As for insurance, I put it on to my homeowners insurance for an extra $30 a year. My friend who is a lawyer, said that I could do that and go without being an LLC for a while as long as I am making for friends and friends of friends. Once I get a few orders from strangers, than I am going to want to to an LLC and get different insurance.
Hope this helps for you!
Music and cake make me happy!
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Music and cake make me happy!
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post #34 of 40
I am just getting started, and would love to get your input and advice on your experience. Would you be willing to talk with me?
post #35 of 40
I was told from my township also that it was okay for me to go ahead and sell cakes just like Chrisl121070 posted earlier. I had to tell them that I needed a letter giving an okay for the dept of agriculture.

Is this the link to the application for a home bakery?
http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/agriculture/cwp/view.asp?a=3&q=126850 then go to "Restaurant and Retail Food Services"???

For a home bakery, how detailed did you have to make the application? Since I want to do this part-time at night (after my day job), did you actually put in 8-10pm M-F for the hours? If I get my kitchen remodeled, do I need to do this again? Do I fill this form out yearly or only when there is a change? Where do I tell them I don't need to pay the license fee since I know I won't use 5200 lbs of flour or whatever it was? Did you actually submit a floorplan of your house for the floor containing the kitchen? For my menu, do I have to list every cake I plan on making--which I don't know yet?

Thanks for any and all help. Sorry for all the questions, but I don't want to get rejected the first time!

Tina
post #36 of 40
I live in Slatington PA which is about 15 miles N of Allentown. I would love to get a license for my home too, but I also have a kitty. She is very neat, and clean, but I am sure that doesn't matter to the health dept. I wonder tho, because it also mentions no children in the area where the food is actually being made. A few years ago on the Food Network they showed a family who made toffee from their small home in Pittsburgh, and they had like 8 kids and homeschooled in the dining room and made their candy in the kitchen. All the kids helped make the candy, and they ranged from ages 1-14. And the person who did the voice over said about the laws in PA not being so strict to have a home food business. I wonder what the health dept would say if they knew all those kids were handling the candy?

Also the person who lives in the Philly area and is looking for a cake decorating class besides AC Moore and Micheals. The local community college both Lehigh Carbon Comm Coll has a class, Northampton Comm Coll does too. Also a great place called Bev's Cake and Candy Supply had classes all year round. www.bevscakeandcandy.com I go there to get my supplies and they are all so nice.

So, that is a good idea about hiding my sweet kitty when the inspector comes to the house. She hides anyway when strangers come in, and she will stay hidden for hours. LOL icon_biggrin.gif
post #37 of 40
I love Bev's, too, Ritter. I am hoping she will have an airbrush class this fall on a day I can go.
Anyway, I did not have to answer a lot of that form, Tina. I didn't even have to submit it to get inspected. The inspector came out and filled out the form while he was in my kitchen. It was really easy. I guess each inspector is different. Anything that doesn't seem to apply, put N/A. As for hours - by appointment. I did not submit a floor plan. You do not need to have a food handlers license. I did not need a menu list. You only have to fill it out once. Then, the inspector will come out once a year, if he is lucky. Mine said for a home bakery, it would be more like 18 months to 2 years because they are so swamped. If you guys have questions feel free to pm me, though I am not always good about a timely response. HTH
Music and cake make me happy!
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Music and cake make me happy!
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post #38 of 40
Hi all, I'm moving to Bethlehem area in the next few weeks and have been waiting to open up my home cake decorating business. I have been doing some from the current home but on a very limited scale. I have read all your comments on the whole process but am still a bit vary about the home inspection and paper work for the borough. Does anyone have the particulars about the Bethlehem / Northampton county area. Can I also do cake decorating classes from home (legally)? How about cakes with cream cheese filling and other cream fillings? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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post #39 of 40
I'm in Adams county and was told when I first got my license that they'd never stop by unexpectedly to someone's home since most people usually have outside jobs and wouldn't be home during the day anyway...I went 4 years without anybody contacting me...then two weeks ago my doorbell rings, I open the door and the lady hands me a business card and says she's here for my inspection... I think I stopped breathing....I let her in and told her she took me off guard given what I was orginally told...she was new to this area and didn't know storefronts from homes...she just has an address to go to. So needless to say she checked my fridge temp, asked me what my hot water heater was set at, talked to me about using a bleach solution on the counters before I go to bake and that was about it...She said that if she does visit a home and it's not clean she will drop by unexpectedly...

My home is spotless for customer pick up and tastings...however this was a monday morning after a very busy weekend and my house was not picture perfect....I had just pulled frozen chicken out of the freezer for that nights' dinner and I had cream cheese and butter sitting out to come to room temperature... I thought for sure she was going to say something about that but didn't. She was very nice and said I was good for the next 2 years... All in all, PA is very lenient for home bakers.
post #40 of 40
Hey guys!
So I did contact my township and it turns out I can operate from my home kitchen, I just need to apply for the zoning which didnt seem too complicated.
I had another question, anyone applied for a business license? If so, how do you go about getting one in PA? Or is this business license what the PDA will give once they inspect the kitchen!?
Really confused and need help!
Thanks!
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