I am working on getting this bill passed and had an interview with ABC Action News. It aired last weekend and here is what was said. I live in Largo and I am trying to get together with the Florida Bakers to put a plan together so we can get this bill passed. I have sent letters to almost all the state representatives and need for everyone to do the same. You can email them right from your computer. If you want more info on the letters than just PM me and I'll send them to you. See the article below.
Woman hopes state will enact Cottage Food Act to help Floridians that want to bake and sell items.
Largo - Many chefs get started right in their own kitchen.
However, in Florida, it is illegal to cook something at home and then try to sell it.
It is a law that has been really frustrating for Barbara Schmal, so she is trying to do something about it.
Schmal loves creating gorgeous cakes in her own kitchen.
"I just love doing the cake decorating part of it and trying out new recipes and new techniques," Schmal said.
The Largo woman has the tools and the training to create shells, lovely flowers, and creative cakes.
Schmal even has her own website: http://www.krazyaboutcake.com
However, state law makes it difficult for her to pursue her passion.
"The way Florida law reads, you cannot bake in the kitchen that has the living quarters nearby," Schmal said.
Because Schmal's oven is close to her couch, the state says she should find a commercial kitchen to cook. (If she wants to run a business.)
Not every state has that same policy.
Chef superstar, Paula Dean, got her start in Georgia. Dean would cook in her kitchen and her sons would deliver things like chocolate cookies to clients.
Dean quickly outgrew her own kitchen, and eventually landed on television.
Schmal has big dreams too, but just wishes a Cottage Food Act existed in Florida, so she could legally sell the cakes she loves to bake and decorate.
"This would really help a lot of people to make a second income or to supplement the income that they have," Schmal said.
Schmal says she realizes some are concerned about the cleanliness of home kitchens, but if the law changes, Schmal says the Health Department would be responsible for inspecting home kitchens that have proper licenses. Licenses and permits would also cost at home chefs money, which would help bring in money for the entire state.
Schmal recently wrote a number of letters to lawmakers, and some have passed the notes onto others, but because not a lot has happened, Schmal plans to be persistent.
"I'm the type of individual that if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it," Schmal said. "If they're in the state of Florida, they're getting a letter! We want their help to help get this passed, because it would help a lot of the people in Florida."