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New Advice on NYC-based Cake Business?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello all! 

I am based in New York City and looking into the process of legalizing a home-based cake business while feeling a bit overwhelmed. I am reading through the NYC.gov portals dedicated to small businesses and entering my info through a "wizard" to help identify exactly what I would need to do to license and permit such a venture but the site keeps generating an "error" message after every couple of questions. Submitting a request for a call back from an agent but in the meantime was hoping to obtain some feedback from the Cake Central community.

Does anyone have any advice on where to start? Is this even possible in NYC? I have been reading some information to the contrary (although those search results are two years old). 

Any input/advice would be greatly appreciated. 
 

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

Any advice?

post #3 of 7
Have you tried calling 311 and asking to speak with the NYC health dept?

The direct phone number for NYC health is 347-396-4100.

I don't believe NY has a cottage food law for retail food businesses so you will probably need to rent a commercial kitchen.
post #4 of 7

As far as I understand, NYC doesn't have Cottage Food Law, which is required in order to have a home business certified. I am a NYC transplant, and I looked up starting my business while I lived there. An alternative option is to use a 'Culinary Incubator" which is a location you rent temporarily. You can look up NY's at http://www.culinaryincubator.com/maps.php. I've heard of a fantastic location in Harlem too but for the life of me I can't remember the name. Also while I would not advise this route, most people I have spoken to start out of their home "under the table." I know in MA the rule is that you do not need to claim a legal business until you exceed $15000. If you do choose to do this, you also run the risk of being liable for lawsuits, so it is up to you what route works best for you. Good luck!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your responses. Not a happy camper that this can't be done entirely from home here in NYC, but will take the necessary steps to do everything the correct way as the personal liability issue is very disconcerting. Definitely not worth the risk! 


And thank you for that Culinary Incubator link--temporary rental is a great idea as I am just starting out and by no means have any regular business scheduled. 

post #6 of 7

NY has a cottage food law. Selling wholesale (within the state) has no restrictions, but retail sales are restricted to agricultural venues such as farmers' markets. Selling cakes at a market is allowed, but special orders are not allowed. It's a quirky law and not ideal but it does help entrepreneurs start up a baking business at home.

 

If the products you want to make are not allowed under the Home Processor permit, you would need the Article 20-C commercial license. You'll need to use a commercial kitchen so I suggest you investigate local kitchens in your community, such as found in churches, fire halls, schools, and social service agencies. Rent in those types of kitchens are usually much cheaper than renting in a shared use facility. Good luck!

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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix View Post

NY has a cottage food law. Selling wholesale (within the state) has no restrictions, but retail sales are restricted to agricultural venues such as farmers' markets. Selling cakes at a market is allowed, but special orders are not allowed. It's a quirky law and not ideal but it does help entrepreneurs start up a baking business at home.

 

If the products you want to make are not allowed under the Home Processor permit, you would need the Article 20-C commercial license. You'll need to use a commercial kitchen so I suggest you investigate local kitchens in your community, such as found in churches, fire halls, schools, and social service agencies. Rent in those types of kitchens are usually much cheaper than renting in a shared use facility. Good luck!

Thank you for the tips on local kitchens that can be used. I never even thought one could go that route! I just checked the Culinary Incubator site for shared commercial kitchens and found more than one very close to home, but have not spoken to them yet about pricing. I will also check the local churches, schools etc. 

 

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