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Calling all FLORIDA home bakers - Lets get the law changed! - Page 6

post #76 of 238
Thread Starter 
I was concerned about the links too and I think it will be best to just remove them completely and just put the states where they are already approved.

Carole - thank you so much for the link to the NJ effort and their letters -I am going to post them now in their original form so that others can modify as they see fit as well!

I am so excited about this!!
post #77 of 238
Thread Starter 
From the NJ thread!

To the Honorable (insert name):

I hope you will consider sponsoring a bill that is very important to me as a cake decorator. This bill would legalize residential kitchens and allow for the fulfillment of supplier and consumer need, regulation of home bakers, additional revenue for the state and commercial parity with our neighboring states. Many people do not realize that New Jersey currently does not allow for legal sales of home-baked goods. Within Chapter 24: Sanitation in Retail Food Establishments and Food and Beverage Vending Machines (NJAC 8:24) there are allowances for preparing not potentially hazardous food for sale at a religious or charitable organization's bake sale, as well for foods being prepared and served if the home is a bed and breakfast guesthouse or homestay, or if the private home is a family child-care home, but it does not extend to selling such items to any other consumer. However, legalizing residential kitchens for non-potentially hazardous foods (i.e. foods that will not support the growth of pathogenic organisms and do not require temperature controls, such as bakery products - cakes, cookies, brownies, breads, rolls; jams and jellies; acidified foods; and candy or ready-to-eat foods) will be beneficial for the state of New Jersey in the following ways:

1. Fulfillment of supplier and consumer need:
For many bakers, opening a legal bakery is a catch-22 situation: they want to know if they will have a customer base before investing a great amount of money and spending resources to open a legal kitchen, but they must open a commercial kitchen to legally sell their products. In turn, many home bakers turn to illegally selling products from their residential kitchen. For these home bakers, the opportunity to prove to their clientele that they are legally recognized by the state would be a real boon to their business. They would be able to show their clients certificates from the Department of Health showing that they've passed inspection and could even print up business cards, register with the state and truly 'test the waters' as a small bakery business owner to see if their products are well-received and if this is what they truly want to do, without going into debt. Given that home bakers average a small quantity of goods each week (as they just don't have the equipment, space, or the staff), and many are already operating 'under the radar', the impact on commercial bakeries should be minimal.

Similarly, many consumers have a desire to purchase home-made baked goods from a local neighbor or friend. However, if they've never been to the baker's home before they might be leery about approaching someone that has no certification, permit or license. Being able to see these items would give the potential customer greater peace of mind, and in the unlikely event that a food-borne illness was to result (it is definitely not unheard of even in inspected, licensed commercial food establishments), the customer would have some recourse and the health inspector would have a much easier time being able to track down the cause/origin of the problem. This would alleviate the problem of trying to track down an illegal baker, and gives greater possibility of preventing this scenario in the first place.

2. Increased regulation:
Commercial kitchens undergo strict food regulations, permitting, and licensing by the state. In contrast, people who sell out of their home kitchens undergo no such regulations or restrictions. By legalizing residential kitchens, the bakers will have to take the same food handling courses to earn their certificates and be subject to many of the same rules and regulations for sanitary conditions and procedures within their residential kitchens that are prescribed for retail food establishments. Such regulations could also include a no pets in the home clause, common in many other states' rules for residential kitchen home food manufacturing, as well as requirements for labeling advising that the product was manufactured/baked in a licensed home kitchen, making it mandatory to keep products and ingredients used for saleable goods separate from home use items, etc.

3. Increased revenue with negligible cost
Legalized residential kitchens will allow bakers a legal income and would follow the current income tax laws regarding minimum and maximum revenue taxation, which would in turn bring more revenue to the state of New Jersey. Furthermore, the home baker would be responsible for paying the fees associated with opening a small food establishment business, which includes but is not limited to: application fee, permit fee, trade name fee, home inspection fee, etc. The revenue generated from these would help cover the costs to the state for the additional workload to its employees. Also, the home baker would most likely need to purchase supplies, equipment, and ingredients; all of which would help stimulate the economy (as would the sale of the baked goods, too) resulting in more revenue for New Jersey.

4. Parity with neighboring states
Some of New Jerseys neighboring states in the northeast (such as, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, just to name a few) allow for the sale of food from home kitchens. Sharing a similar law will enable New Jersey to remain commercially competitive with other states in this geographical area.

Some other states have cake decorators in the same situation as my peers and myself and they, too, are trying to have their states laws changed as well. One such state, Texas, recently had their bill, HB 3282, heard before Committee and is now pending. Many of their opponents mentioned the dangers which bringing this bill into law would cause, but the whole reason for wanting to become legal is to prevent dangerous situations and to protect both the baker and the consumer, as the baker would have the responsibility of taking food handling courses and being required to have that certificate in order to register and the consumer would benefit from the knowledge the baker obtained. Its far more dangerous now having so many illegal, unlicensed home bakers who might have taken safety or food handling courses and are unregistered should something actually occur.

Another concern came from larger commercial bakeries and restaurants that are already established. They questioned the unfair advantage that the home bakers would have regarding no overhead, lower pricing and possible unsanitary kitchen practices. These worries are actually baseless since the home baker would have restrictions that the commercial baker does not; such as only preparing potentially non-hazardous foods, and not having a staff to help or commercial equipment to increase productivity. The home baker, most likely would not reap the benefits of shopping for ingredients in bulk so their costs on that level would probably actually be a bit higher and would be reflected in their pricing. Also, the standards of cleanliness would have to be kept the same since both the home baker and commercial baker would have their kitchens inspected by the same agency and need to be certified by the same state recognized food handler courses (though chances are the home baker, not having any employees or staff, would probably set him/herself to a higher standard since its not just a job as its the bakers home and the customers would know where the baker lives). Furthermore, of course, both the home baker and commercial baker would be required to carry liability insurance, as well.

Please consider seriously what I have put before you here. This potential law really means a great deal to me and my cake decorating friends and, I believe, would benefit many, not only home bakers, but the whole state of New Jersey. Thank you.

Sincerely,


___________________
under name include:
Address
Phone No.
E-Mail Address
Web Site (if applicable)
post #78 of 238
Thread Starter 
Okay, for all the non-bakers who support our cause, here's a sample letter for them to follow:

To the Honorable ___________________________:

I have decided to write to you today to let you know I whole-heartedly want to support my _______________(insert relationship and/or name here) in her/his endeavor to open a small home-based bakery. I believe ____________ has what it takes to do well, except for the support from the state of New Jersey.

It wasnt until __________________ informed me that New Jersey made it illegal for a home-baker to sell his/her baked goods to the public that I knew about this law. I would love to see a new law instated to change this and allow home bakers the opportunity to sell their creations. Of course Im concerned about public safety issues and food-borne illnesses and such, but even restaurants that are inspected and licensed sometimes have their share of problems. You hear on the news and read in the papers stories about restaurants being closed for not keeping up with codes and sanitary standards, but I believe someone who is baking from their own home would not wind up in this type of a situation. Knowing that someone is judging you, your desserts and your kitchen, which reflects the heart of your home, will definitely keep one on their toes!

I can also see other advantages to this: more jobs in this current recessed economic climate, incubator kitchen situations for the home baker (if (s)he can start the business out of the home kitchen and expand it enough (while making a profit from it) then (s)he might actually open up a commercial bakery), stimulation of the states economy would also come from the baker purchasing supplies, equipment, insurance, taking food handling classes, and other business-related necessities. I remember mentioning the rental of a commercial kitchen to my ________________(insert relation cousin, friend, sibling, etc.) only to be told that to find one is a job in itself. When looking on Craigs List and some other sites, there are numerous requests from those looking for kitchens and rarely any ads to rent a kitchen. This situation is extremely frustrating and problematic for those bakers that want to be above-board and legal.

Finally, if you were to consider writing a bill for this, it would be a shame to have gone through all of this and still have some bakers not reap any reward due to zoning issues. Maybe that could be addressed as well a built-in variance or waiver since this type of a business would not create much traffic only occasional meetings before hand (tastings, deposits are sometimes done beforehand and usually only in the case of wedding cakes), and of course, delivery or pick-up of the baked goods.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read and consider this issue.

Sincerely,

_______________
post #79 of 238
Those are awesome Janel!! And Im so happy you found one for non-bakers as well, as I know sooo many who would support this endeavor as well!!

Thank you for all your hard work!! {{{{{huggs}}}}}
Becoz you so deserve one!!


Ok! All my emails are sent .. including one for Govenor Crist AND Lt Govenor Jeff Kottkamp - now time to make some phone calls! =)
I'm NOT 40 something ... I'm $39.99 plus shipping and handling!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Words from the lovely caterer Goldy: "When in doubt; Bundt"
Reply
I'm NOT 40 something ... I'm $39.99 plus shipping and handling!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Words from the lovely caterer Goldy: "When in doubt; Bundt"
Reply
post #80 of 238
I want to help! I've been thinking on this for a while, too, but didn't know where to start, except praying about it. I wholeheartedly support making it legal to bake from home without a separate kitchen, and will do what I can to help pass the new law. icon_smile.gif

I'm gonna keep praying!
So excited!
Minnie, in North Central Florida
post #81 of 238
Thread Starter 
Linedancer is the one that found those letters and I was so happy that she found one for non-bakers - I was going to write one, and this just saves me the trouble!!!

copy and email that letter out to everyone you know that lives in florida - they have to be a Florida resident or registered to vote in Florida to count!!
post #82 of 238
I have a thought or maybe its a question but ...
How are the vendors beside the road and at flea markets and such, any different than what we're doing??
I know for a fact they are "cooking" these foods (and some of them in their homes). My fav thing in the world is "roadside" boiled peanuts!!
hmmmmmmmm .. why is a vendors license any different?? Would I get one if I made my cakes then sold them in the yard???? hmmmmmmmm =) Not really a question, just food for thought I guess!
I'm NOT 40 something ... I'm $39.99 plus shipping and handling!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Words from the lovely caterer Goldy: "When in doubt; Bundt"
Reply
I'm NOT 40 something ... I'm $39.99 plus shipping and handling!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Words from the lovely caterer Goldy: "When in doubt; Bundt"
Reply
post #83 of 238
Thread Starter 
The place where the food is prepared has to be licensed as well - either the kitchen that they cook from or the mobile vending unit has to be licensed just like the kitchen - if they are baking from home and then selling on the street/carnival/fair/festival/farmers market/wherever - they are also illegal!

I have seen on craigslist where people are selling "licensed mobile kitchen" - I have even thought about getting one of those to be legal! sad, sad, sad.....

Plus the mobile vendors are licensed from a total differnt agency as well - CRAZY!!
post #84 of 238
Thats exactly what I thought but I KNOW there is NO way on Gods Green Earth that little ole man (thats prob 90!) that sells THE BEST boiled peanuts around - is licensed! And I have seen MANY a police officer stop and buy his peanuts FOR YEARS - and he's still around today .. probably his ONLY income besides SSI .. I would certainly be sad if they hauled that little ole man away!!
Guess I just wondered just HOW they were any different ...
I kinda figured they were illegal selling after cooking from their home - but I SEE it ALL the time! And have bought many a thing from them all icon_wink.gif
I'm NOT 40 something ... I'm $39.99 plus shipping and handling!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Words from the lovely caterer Goldy: "When in doubt; Bundt"
Reply
I'm NOT 40 something ... I'm $39.99 plus shipping and handling!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Words from the lovely caterer Goldy: "When in doubt; Bundt"
Reply
post #85 of 238
Thread Starter 
I am hoping (on the suggestion of another CC member, thank you Parable!) that someone knows of a really good attorney or a lobbiest etc. that can help us through all the red tape.

I am also hoping that someone personally knows a legislator, senator, congressman, mayor, the Governer etc....

I think that would move things along pretty quickly for us.

ok people - get those letters out and email everyone you know in Florida and pm all the people that you know on CC in Florida.
post #86 of 238
I am on board!! It's about time!
Faith
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Faith
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post #87 of 238
Already copying the messages so that I can get them ready to go out. I'll get my family and friends to send out a few and hopefully this will go somewhere.

I live in an older home that I don't think would pass inspection since the molding around the bottom frame of the wall would probably fail me instantly icon_cry.gif everything else is spic and span but I know as soon as I move out and get a better place if the option is out there I'll take advantage of the opportunity.

Thanks for everyone finding the previous threads. It's greatly appreciated.

Let's do this!
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Delectability Cakes & Bakery
Jacksonville, FL
Website: http://www.delectabilitycakes.com
Email: delectability@gmail.com
Reply
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Delectability Cakes & Bakery
Jacksonville, FL
Website: http://www.delectabilitycakes.com
Email: delectability@gmail.com
Reply
post #88 of 238
I'm so in! This is not my day job, but would like to do stuff fun cakes for work & friends and make enough to cover the cost. I'm not competeing with any bakeries!
Liz
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Liz
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post #89 of 238
Thread Starter 
Ok - I emailed my rep, my senator, my congressman, the governor and the lt governor!

Lets see what happens!!
post #90 of 238
Thread Starter 
Ok - I emailed my rep, my senator, my congressman, the governor and the lt governor!

Lets see what happens!!
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