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Question for those who bake and sell from home - Page 13

post #181 of 222
I am new to the posting area of this site but I felt like I needed to chime in. I really think there is this view that people who do business from home and are not "legal" are purposefully charging less to undercut their legal competitiors but that is not always the case. Many people charge less because they have no idea what they should/could be charging due to inexperience in business, etc. I am not saying that covers all home-based cakers, its just a thought.

I live in Arizona and the laws are a bit different however for people struggling with capital it is difficult to get started. I do bake from home and I started charging friends and family so I could accumulate enough money to pay for having my business name registered with the state, etc. They all knew why I was charging them so they were a big part of helping me get started. This may be an option for you to get the $500 donated by people who are close to you; I just let everyone know that they were contributing to the start up of my business.
post #182 of 222
thanks for all the discouraging advie. you would have to be a million aire to afford to do all that. i will prob stop making cakes then cause i dont have the money to pay for all that crap.
post #183 of 222
chutzpah, I am so sorry to hear that - I am seriously at a lose for words. I am truly sorry. Now I feel bad about it - very bad. I am so sorry.

Kendi
C'est un bon la vie!!!!
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C'est un bon la vie!!!!
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post #184 of 222
I recently attended a class that was sponsored by a local non-profit about starting a food business where I live (Austin, Texas). It was very informative. We heard from people that have been thru the process of becoming legal and what obstacles they faced, the biggest one being working with city/county employees who don't know their own rules!! HAHAA

Anyway, for me to be legal it would cost around $600. This is the cost of permits, inspections and food manager's classes. I was fortunate enough to locate a commerical kitchen that I could rent so I don't have the expense of a new kitchen. Before finding the kitchen that I could afford to rent, my goal of becoming legal was going to be impossible to attain.

I guess it's all up to the individual .....how much do you want this? What are you willing/able to scarifice? What are you willing/able to risk? It's not going to be easy.

I am still having to save the $600 or so. One way I have made a few bucks is by selling cookie ornaments at craft fairs. I get to show off my cookie decorating talent but I am not risking getting caught selling baked goods without a license. Another way is to teach decorating classes.

A bit of advice for home bakers (not legal). If you truly intend to become legal, you really need to charge a competitive price, if you aren't already doing so. Your current customers are going to expect to pay that low price even after you become legal. If the bakery in town has a wedding cake price starting at $2.00 per serivng, then that is what you should charge, too. You need to start building a customer base that will support your business later on....keeping in mind that you always run the risk of getting caught for not being a legal business.

That's just the way it is.
Go Red Raiders!!
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Go Red Raiders!!
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post #185 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

yea...apparently this site has only turned into the 'professional bakers' site and no one starts in their home anymore. so yea...I am illegal and I do it in my home and I have been for the last year and a half and no one has turned me in! so what! I sell to my friends and family because they feel that should pay me for my time. there's my rant for the day icon_razz.gif


I'm sorry, but that is a patently unfair remark to make. She posted in the "Cake Decorating Business" forum - so the replies are from the Cake Decorating Business POV. It's not an "us against them" mentality. I am fortunate that I am able to bake out of my home legally - so does jkalman, btw. Many of us do, we just went through the legal route. I did do it illegally for a few years, as I was unsure if I wanted to take that next step. But my state does allow for in-home Cottage Industries.

Ultimately it's your decision to fly under the radar. But in doing so you potentially jepordize yourself and other bakers in your area.
post #186 of 222
A point to ponder. To raise money to open a cake biz why not grow marijauna? Now before you go all gaga over that think about it. A very large portion of the population accepts it's usage. The medical society has learned/accepted it's usage. In some states it's accpetable to have "personal usage" amount on your person. In some states it's legal to grow for medical purposes. For those curious I don't use it.

Mike
post #187 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

A point to ponder. To raise money to open a cake biz why not grow marijauna? Now before you go all gaga over that think about it. A very large portion of the population accepts it's usage. The medical society has learned/accepted it's usage. In some states it's accpetable to have "personal usage" amount on your person. In some states it's legal to grow for medical purposes. For those curious I don't use it.

Mike



Geez....if I had a choice between growing and selling pot or baking under the radar to raise money......I'd take my chances with the baking. I think that's a no brainer. icon_rolleyes.gif
post #188 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSmith

thanks for all the discouraging advie. you would have to be a million aire to afford to do all that. i will prob stop making cakes then cause i dont have the money to pay for all that crap.



Hope your bitterness doesn't seep into your cakes. Wouldn't taste very good.
post #189 of 222
This just burns my butter. I know it's been said before.... person asks for advice, person gets the advice, HELPFUL advice, but it's not what the person wants to hear. Deal with it. Get thicker skin!

And thank you so much to the professional decorators who contribute their advice, their time, their general helpfulness!
post #190 of 222
For your info Jamie85364 i didnt ask the question i was giving my opion to someone. And All I said was I cant afford all that money in fees and stuff like people in the "big city" I only do it as a hobby and besides what my feelings are about this issue it would NEVER interefer with my taste of cakes.. I just said if It had to be legal i would stop because i have alot more things to put money into that paying lawyer fees and stuff. i have alot more bills to think about that paying fees. some people arent fortunate enough to have alot of extra money to sling here and there to start their dreams. I would rather be a wife and mother that to take away from that and try to pay all the fees they want you to pay to be a legal cake decorator.
post #191 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSmith

For your info Jamie85364 i didnt ask the question i was giving my opion to someone. And All I said was I cant afford all that money in fees and stuff like people in the "big city" I only do it as a hobby and besides what my feelings are about this issue it would NEVER interefer with my taste of cakes.. I just said if It had to be legal i would stop because i have alot more things to put money into that paying lawyer fees and stuff. i have alot more bills to think about that paying fees. some people arent fortunate enough to have alot of extra money to sling here and there to start their dreams. I would rather be a wife and mother that to take away from that and try to pay all the fees they want you to pay to be a legal cake decorator.



You have to be legal. You just choose not to.

Mike
post #192 of 222
Things to do if you find out that in your area it is expensive/difficult to start a home cake biz:


-Look at doing DUMMY cakes only.
-Start a petition drive to your local or state government
-Gather facts to send a long with that show that home cakes can be safe and add needed revenue to your local or state government.
-Set aside $20.00 a week to start building a start up fund.
-Look at auctions for equipment.
-Check out local kitchens that may rent to you.
-Assess the real cost of adding a possible addition to your property, talk to local banks or lenders. Ask real estate agents what it may do to the value of your property.
-MOVE to a state where start-up is easy or cheap, (Like OHIO)
-Get a partner who may want to help you with costs. (There are probably more in your area who want to do JUST WHAT you have been dreaming of, too!
-Remember that an artist is an artist, whether they sell their work or not.

WHAT NOT TO DO:
-Get discouraged.
-Stop making cakes (you just probably shouldn't sell them)
-Get mad at those who give you legitimate advice, even if you don't like it.
-Get mad at those who have done it the right way (You don't know what they did to make THEIR dream come true, and it probably wasn't any easier than what you may have to do)
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
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You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
post #193 of 222
Everyone has their own opinion.... so here's my 2 cents.... I started making cakes for my kids, brothers, sisters, etc. They would then ask me to do them for their friends, then their friends would want me to do them for their friends... you know, it snowballs. I think once you get to the point that you are making them for people you don't know and decide to "make money" baking cakes, then you should become legal. I'm in Utah and I can bake from my home as long as my baking area is not in living space and I have a separate entrance. We have a 3 story home and were not using our downstairs at all except for storage, so I had a great opportunity to turn my downstairs into a bakery. We put in a walk out door, etc. and about $7,000 later I almost have my bakery done. I know that everyone doesn't have $7,000 laying around, and me with 4 kids didn't either. I saved money by cutting costs everywhere I could and did little by little. I think there are legal steps everyone has options to.... starting out making them for friends and family, then find legal option (legally in your home, or rent a kitchen), then if things go good open a bakery. This website is everyone to help everyone..... The best thing I did was take the advise from members on here to be legal!!! Thanks everyone! With a family of 6, it just isn't worth the risk of being fined for being illegal.... just my opinion.
No kids.... don't eat the yellow snow!!
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No kids.... don't eat the yellow snow!!
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post #194 of 222
Cakemom, that was very helpful!
post #195 of 222
Wow - I just found this thread. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time to browse the forums like I used to but just thought I'd offer my story.

I think both sides make great points and I am someone who has been on both sides. I blindly started doing cakes on the side in 2003 while I was still working my full time job. I did not know about Cake Central yet and didn't take the time to find out the information ahead of time. I just assumed I could bake, decorate & sell cakes from home so I did.

I basically just decided that I wanted to work for myself so I came up with a name, made a website, a price list and took a decorating class to see if I could make a rose. Well, turns out I could and it all started from there. While I was working my full-time job I was also advertising via my website and started taking Wedding Cake orders. I didn't start with the small stuff - I went right to the Wedding Cake orders because I wanted to make money so I could quit my job after all!

I left my full-time job in early 2004 and worked at a local grocery store bakery to gain some more experience and to learn how things work. All the while, I'm still advertising and taking cake orders through my website. I left the grocery store bakery right around graduation time of 2006 and went to work in a high-end bakery as their lead decorator. The bakery that hired me knew I was making Wedding Cakes out of my home and never said anything to me - never questioned me. Nothing! So at this point, I was still clueless about the rules & regulations and just went about my business. I left the high-end bakery in the Fall of 2006 to do my business Full-Time and still, at this point, did not know I was in the wrong.

I didn't realize that I had been very lucky all these years operating under the radar until I joined CC in early 2007. When I started looking through the forums I discovered pretty quickly that I was breaking the law but at that point, I had already booked enough business that it was my only source of income. I wasn't making a lot of money but at least enough to stay in business and pay my bills. I was extremely nervous once I had the knowledge and wanted to get legal right away but couldn't afford it at all.

I made a decision - not one that everyone would feel comfortable with - but I decided to continue as I had been and get legal as quickly as I could afford to and hope that no one turned me in. I never disclosed this information to anyone - especially here on CC because I suspected there were those on here who were spiteful enough to turn me in, and apparently I was right!

I was not able to get legal until August of this year. That is a total of about 4 years operating illegally and 1.5 of those years I was aware of it. No, nothing happened. Would I do it again with full knowledge? No - but frankly, what was I going to tell the 25-30 brides on the books at that point? Sorry - you'll have to get your cake somewhere else - sorry for the short notice. Well, perhaps some of you would have done that - and I guess that makes you a better person than me, in your eyes at least.

I don't encourage anyone to do it illegally but I am not a judgmental person and I would NEVER be a snitch and turn someone in. I have far more important things to do in my life than to be the moral Police for the human race. To each his own. But I will say this - It does feel better to do this legally and I would never do it any other way again.

Tammi
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