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Cottage Food Law--if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I posted in June about my state's CFL going into effect and I wondered if my small retail cake/bakery would be affected at all.

I saw the effect immediately. Since there are no inspections required, everyone and their brother is now selling cakes from their homes. Every garage sale has cupcakes and cookies for sale.

So as of August 31st I will officially be out of the retail storefront bakery business and will be joining the CFL. Thank you God my landlords understood and have let me break my lease early. It would have been a financial disaster for me if they had forced me to pay the rest of the lease.

I was upset at first since we have invested so much money and time into making the kitchen my husband built me legal to work out of. If I had known this was coming I would not have had him build the kitchen. But now that I have stepped back and reviewed everything, I have to admit I am relieved that my high costs will be going down. My insurance to cover the store is due again and it seems like I just paid the dumb thing.

I have a great customer base from having my store open for a year and I am OK with the other bakers taking all the "cheap" customers. I can't even turn on my oven for what these ladies are charging for decorated cakes--I don't know how they are justifying it. One of them is charging $2.00 a serving for tiered cakes--it's insane with ingredient costs so high.

I see they are plenty excited though, with lots of cake orders and busy, busy, busy since I have announced I am closing.

This has forced me to finally learn the lesson I have read on here so many times: I would rather make a few really nice, expensive cakes than lots and lots of cheap, mediocre cakes (trying to look at the bright side here)

Thank goodness for an understanding husband too!
post #2 of 9
Congratulations on simplifying your business! I totally feel where you are coming from. Two months after i got everything up and running at a commercial kitchen, my state passed CFL. I am actually amazed at how well I did considering, but I am ready to kill the lease at the commercial space...I pretty much work cottage as it is because i need AC in the summer to work and the commercial space is an evaporative cooler. I hate writing that check every month! I can't imaging the pressure of having my own retail space.

fewer, more expensive cakes is my favorite mode of operation as well thumbs_up.gif
post #3 of 9
Just curious . . . A Cottage Food Law exists in my state, but I was under the impression that it only allows baking out of the home for farmers' markets. Is it different in other states?
post #4 of 9
I believe that I remember your earlier, plaintive, post. I am so glad that you are feeling good about this entire situation! (Sorry about the insurance check, though. That's a bummer....)

I wish you much continued and profitable success!!!
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenBee1

Just curious . . . A Cottage Food Law exists in my state, but I was under the impression that it only allows baking out of the home for farmers' markets. Is it different in other states?


Yes, the laws differ from state to state. Sometimes greatly.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenBee1

Just curious . . . A Cottage Food Law exists in my state, but I was under the impression that it only allows baking out of the home for farmers' markets. Is it different in other states?



Yes, KelleyM is correct. In TN the CFL does not apply to decorated cakes made-to-order. It is considered catering and must be done in a commercial kitchen.
post #7 of 9
In NY, the CFL allows selling wholesale.

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post #8 of 9
Amberwaves, congratulations for your positive outlook, but I'm so sorry this happened to you.

I have had a little trouble with my attitude toward these ladies underpricing themselves. They are hurting everyone who makes cakes. From where I sit they look like heedless, irresponsible fools. But I guess the fool was me. I fought hard for the cottage law we got in Texas and in some ways I'm sorry it passed. I didn't know I'd be helping a bunch of people blithely undercut me.

The very best to you and good luck.
post #9 of 9
Amber waves, I totally understand your decision. Where I live there is no cottage food law and there are ALOT of people doing cakes from home, NOT paying the fees, insurance, rent,costs ect. That I am. I have been in business for a little over 13 years and it has been a struggle with people undercutting cost for an inferior product they are providing in a NON health inspected environment. I also blame the consumer...cost is the only thing that matters. They come to me for a "ace of cakes" but only want to pay " I do it out of my home" prices.
You are a far better person than me.... I would be soooo bitter. I love what I do so as long as I can keep it going I will but the " out of home decorators"
certainly make it harder and more costly for the legitimate business person!
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