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Question for those who bake and sell from home - Page 3

post #31 of 222
So where does that leave the people wanting to open a legal biz but have no money???
post #32 of 222
You know what...MOST decorators do not have the money to risk on something they don't even know its gonna work. MOST decorators sell cakes to family, friends, word of mouth before thinking "Wow I'm starting to bring in some cash now, its time to get licensed."

To me, you don't just walk in cold turkey, spend money on a kitchen, licensing, and insurance...and expect people to buy from you. You lay low, you let word of mouth build your reputation, and then you go from there and get yourself legal.

I baked for many years before I had the reputation and money and business to become legal. I'm still not "slammed" with business but doing enough to compensate for the insurance and other expenses and a little profit. But you know what, when I first moved here and had one or two cakes a month...I'm not gonna get licensed for that.

I have heard successful decorators with large bakeries say the same thing. IMO you will know when "its time". When you start pulling in orders and you realize you are actually getting a decent sized profit that needs to be reported to Uncle Sam...and you realize that you have enough orders that you should probably be insured...then its time.

I know people on here disagree, and also state laws vary (my state is very easy to get licensed from home) but I just think its ridiculous to browbeat every home baker as if they should be looking behind their back as they make the neighbor's birthday cake for a little pay.

Its a service...and it should be paid for...and until you are actually peddling it as a business and having regular orders...I do not think we should be piling guilt on people for just seeing how the decorating thing goes for now.
post #33 of 222
I am with StepOmni. I bet nine out of ten cake decorators started out doing this from home. Here in Utah the laws have recently changes to support more "cottage industries" but I think any time we can help people avoid giving their money to big box stores like Wal-Mart, and avoid eating crappy Wal-Mart cake, we should. I think as long as you are clean and careful, you would be just fine to start out baking from home. If you are nervous about the business aspect of it though, try decorating for someone else for a while to see how it all works. Good Luck!
post #34 of 222
Not to step into this bees nest, but I wonder if the roadside stands that farmers have apply, the ones who sell homemade jams and jellies and crafts, apples, squash, etc.

You can't say that anything you do out of your home is illegal, because it isn't. You have to go according to the rules where you live.

And Kudos Kitagurl, for your comment. I just wonder how many of the legal people started exactly the way the author of this question did. Aren't we a group of cake enthusiasts that are supposed to share thoughts and ideas, help each other, not rip each other apart when we ask a simple question? This poor lady probably feels like "Joe the Plumber" right now. This makes me sad. There are ways of saying things without being offensive.

Enjoy your day.
"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche." -- Marie Antoinette
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post #35 of 222
Quote:
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jkalman
No one here would ever turn someone in.. at least I would hope not. This isn't professional cake baker central, but when you ask a question (especially in tru business forum) expect people to answer turthfully. The only thing I want to accomplish by my posting is to get the facts out there.. what you do with those facts, of course, is up to you entirely.



I am in TN I am trying really hard to get legal (it is hard and very confusing) but in the meantime I have been selling some cakes, or at least until yesterday , I find out that one of the TN cake suppliers also a CCer turn someone in icon_sad.gif I don't know details but I am a little worried now, you just never know...
post #36 of 222
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Originally Posted by laynie72

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No one here would ever turn someone in.. at least I would hope not. This isn't professional cake baker central, but when you ask a question (especially in tru business forum) expect people to answer turthfully. The only thing I want to accomplish by my posting is to get the facts out there.. what you do with those facts, of course, is up to you entirely.



I am in TN I am trying really hard to get legal (it is hard and very confusing) but in the meantime I have been selling some cakes, or at least until yesterday , I find out that one of the TN cake suppliers also a CCer turn someone in icon_sad.gif I don't know details but I am a little worried now, you just never know...

[/quote]

Sorry but I would never turn in a home baker. I'm licensed (now, haven't always been), and I know of at least one very talented home baker in my area who is not. If all I have time to do is make trouble in somebody else's life, I need more to do. Decorate another cake, find a second job, read a book to the kids...SOMEthing.
post #37 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!



Well, you ARE posting in the "Cake Decorating Business" forum, so expect there to be business owners responding.
I can't help but detect the sarcasm and disgust in your post.......all I can say in response to that is, I guess the truth hurts. States have laws for a reason, if you choose to break those laws, than so be it, but I wouldn't brag about it.

I love when people ask a question than get pissed when they don't get the answer they want.

I think what people want to here is "No reason to get licensed and insured, just open a business, sell your product, and hope nobody turns you in. You'll be fine, no one will turn you in." " Only fools spend their time and money on getting legal, no need to really".

Sorry, I can't mislead people with lies. When asked, I answer truthfully, even if it may not be the answer you're looking for.

We've worked hard to do things lawfully, studied the rules and requirements of our state's health depts., and been through the scrutiny of the inspectors when they come to make sure our kitchens are on the up and up. I won't let somebody who's not licensed tell me it was unnecessary to go through all of that. If you're not licensed and have no intention of doing so, I'd stay quiet and wouldn't brag about "not getting turned in yet".
post #38 of 222
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If you're not licensed and have no intention of doing so, I'd stay quiet and wouldn't brag about "not getting turned in yet".




But this is key...I feel like most decorators DO "intend" to! I know I always did, and am now! But we can't just make them feel like criminals as they work towards that goal. Most decorators had to start somewhere as they worked towards their dream, ya know? Let's be patient with these guys...yeah, eventually they need to be licensed. But why jump down their throat for making the neighbor's kid a birthday cake and getting twenty bucks for it?
post #39 of 222
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Originally Posted by Kitagrl

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If you're not licensed and have no intention of doing so, I'd stay quiet and wouldn't brag about "not getting turned in yet".




But this is key...I feel like most decorators DO "intend" to! I know I always did, and am now! But we can't just make them feel like criminals as they work towards that goal. Most decorators had to start somewhere as they worked towards their dream, ya know? Let's be patient with these guys...yeah, eventually they need to be licensed. But why jump down their throat for making the neighbor's kid a birthday cake and getting twenty bucks for it?



thank you! thumbs_up.gif this is what I was trying to say. I have been on this site far too long in order to see a bunch of home bakers feel like this.

and even though this IS a business forum that doesn't mean that we all have to be 'business' like...we can be nice and such and give advice without saying 'nooo don't do it! you are bad if you do!' because we ALL have been there done that.

I'll tell ya I'm a full-time college student and am learning exactly how to become an entrepreneur the RIGHT way! It's not easy and it's called 'bootstrapping'...we've all done it. but finding out the 'correct' information is what is important...not to judge people along the way of them trying to succeed.

I would also tell you that there is a book out there...go to your local library that i just learned SOO much from today. It's called "Best Customer" and there's other books that you can find industry information on where you are at and what people spend their money on. It's not hard...just a lot of hard work. You may just want to see how much people are going to spend on a cake in your area or if the market is declining...and the market IS declining...I saw it in my stats today. so maybe we can all be a little nicer in these declining times.
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
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post #40 of 222
Please raise your hand if you started off selling cakes before you became "legal". Be honest now. This is interesting.
The 6 Ps Law states Proper Preparation Prevents Pi$$ Poor Performance.

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The 6 Ps Law states Proper Preparation Prevents Pi$$ Poor Performance.

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post #41 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

You know what...MOST decorators do not have the money to risk on something they don't even know its gonna work. MOST decorators sell cakes to family, friends, word of mouth before thinking "Wow I'm starting to bring in some cash now, its time to get licensed."

To me, you don't just walk in cold turkey, spend money on a kitchen, licensing, and insurance...and expect people to buy from you. You lay low, you let word of mouth build your reputation, and then you go from there and get yourself legal.

I baked for many years before I had the reputation and money and business to become legal. I'm still not "slammed" with business but doing enough to compensate for the insurance and other expenses and a little profit. But you know what, when I first moved here and had one or two cakes a month...I'm not gonna get licensed for that.

I have heard successful decorators with large bakeries say the same thing. IMO you will know when "its time". When you start pulling in orders and you realize you are actually getting a decent sized profit that needs to be reported to Uncle Sam...and you realize that you have enough orders that you should probably be insured...then its time.

I know people on here disagree, and also state laws vary (my state is very easy to get licensed from home) but I just think its ridiculous to browbeat every home baker as if they should be looking behind their back as they make the neighbor's birthday cake for a little pay.

Its a service...and it should be paid for...and until you are actually peddling it as a business and having regular orders...I do not think we should be piling guilt on people for just seeing how the decorating thing goes for now.




Disagree wholeheartedly sorry. If your child took a candybar from Walmart without paying for it, is it not stealing because "It doesn't cost that much money".

Starting any business is a risk. I've been hairdressing for almost 25 yrs., and it took me the first 8 yrs of working for someone else before I started my own Salon and began earning a great salary. I still had to be licensed and insured even though I didn't make very much.

What may not be "a lot of money to you" certainly is to the IRS.

Nobody is piling guilt on anyone just for the fun of it, we're being truthful.

I added a second kitchen to my home when we were building it 4 yrs ago, baking is my part time job/hobby. My DH has informed me many times that my baking business STILL hasn't paid for my kitchen, and it's been 4 yrs. So, I guess if I went by your rules, I shouldn't have bothered spending the 15k it cost me to put that kitchen in, and license it, right?
post #42 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake_Princess

Please raise your hand if you started off selling cakes before you became "legal". Be honest now. This is interesting.



Honestly my answer is, no I didn't. Part of the reason I have not paid for my second kitchen yet is I did cakes for almost 20yrs for family and friends for free and it's hard to get these same people to PAY me now. They would choke if I charged them what their cake is worth, that's why I can't make a living doing this. I love to bake, and I'm fortunate that I can do it in the capacity that I do.

Please don't think I'm trying to scare anyone, I don't think any of us are trying to do that. I also don't think we've been mean to anybody. We are just telling of our experiences......
post #43 of 222
Like I said before.. my posts have been for pure information.. people ask.. I tell. Yes it can suck to hear that it's not as easy as you think it will be, and yes it TOTALLY stinks if you live in a state where it's hard to get legal. All I can offer is information.. I can't force anyone get legal, and that's not what I am trying to do.

I did spend the money to get legal before I started anything. I am fortunate to live in a state where you can bake from your home and getting legal is pretty easy to do. It wasn't a HUGE investment like a separate kitchen, but I did make sure I was doing it right. That's me and how I chose to do it.. someone else isn't always going to feel the same, and that's okay.. I just want to let the risks be known because the risks are real. I know I have it much easier than most people do and I am thankful for that everyday.. because I can do this as I can and build my business while still abiding by the laws of NH. I truely feel for those of you who don't have it so easy. I'd say move on up here, but it's cold here so if you don't like to ski (and freeze your ass off) it might not be a happy place for you.. icon_lol.gif.

I would never in a million years turn someone in to the HD. That's some Karma that I just don't want. So I just put it out there as a public service message. You can easily look the other way and not read it, but I feel a need to just lay it out on the table.

I am the same way with under cutting your pricing. These two aspects of our jobs are things I am passionate about so I tend to go on a bit. I most certainly mean no harm by it.. just information about business in the business forum.

I wanted to quickly add that I see nothing wrong with baking a cake for your family member or a friend and being compensated for that.. these people are your family and people you trust.. it's the rest of the world that I find as the big risk in this all. Your sister-in-law (unless she's a king-kong-super-mega-bitch) isn't going to turn you in for making lil'Billy's cake.. your neighbor isn't going to either (unless you go an sleep with her husband icon_lol.gif) so I see this as very low risk. It's when someone random comes to you.. this is when you need to start thinking about the legalities and the risks involved with all of this cake business nonsense. Having insurance is the biggest relief one can have IMHO. It takes a lot of the worry out of it.
post #44 of 222
I have been reading this thread and there are very good arguments on both sides, however i also agree that it's a lot of money to spend if your just starting out and trying to get a feel for your market.

Another thought without a whole lot of cost perhaps think about renting a small "legal" kitchen on the occasions you make cakes If you're really worried. Then get the word out, see if your clientelle picks up and then decide if you warrent spending the money on your own new kitchen.

I also bake from home and from a commercial kitchen, i'm limited by the time in the commercial kitchen due to my kids.

Good luck deciding thumbs_up.gif
post #45 of 222
Frankly I have become very tired of all the ranting on this site. From the gossip and accusing of stealing photos, to boxed mix or scratch baking cat fights, or the scolding of home bakers. This is no longer the site that gave me the courage 8 months ago to start my own cake business. Simple questions turn into 4 page rants and nothing really get accomplished accept hurt feelings.

Instead of discouraging and degrading, how about we tell them about renting from other restaurants or bakeries. I have a lady baking out of my licensed kitchen now. She is a seperate business and she is licensed seperatley. I charge her a flat fee for storage each month and then only charge her for the days she is actually in the kitchen. Some weeks you wont have cakes and there is no reason to pay for those days. Exhaust every option available... search out any kitchen who will listen.

Yes, operating out of your house with out a license hurts those of us who put everything on the line. But in this America we live in its Every man for himself. A hard reality but its true. I operated without a license and actually got turned in by a competitor that I was "friends" with. The health dept simply called and asked if I was operating. I lied (not proud of it) and told them no. I quickly decided believe in myself and my talents.

There are ways to get legal without risking the farm. If you can find a place that is fully equipped and will let you work out a rent schedule in my county (and we have the most strict food license rules in the state of IN) you pay $150 to get inspected and licensed.
Danielle Yoder
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