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working in a bakery, her customers - my customers?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

hi everybody!

Im brand new in town (Santa Fe, NM) so I started working in a bakery 3 weeks ago. We dont make cakes but mostly bread, scones, loaf and so on.

The lady wants to add cakes and cupcakes anyways, so we'll try to give some samples away at the farmer's market and see what happens. 

She also told me I can use her kitchen to make my own cakes, but since I'm not licensed, it would be under her brand. 

What should be the deal between me ande her? am I going to pay her to use her kitchen or should I give her a % on each cake? she didnt say anything about me paying.

Also, I shared with her my recipe of croissant, she sold them at the farmers market last week and she said "there were a HUGE success"!

post #2 of 22
I think a little more info is needed. From what you posted so far, it sounds like you are baking cakes for her brand, in her kitchen, as an employee. Therefore you get paid your normal rate, or perhaps with an agreed upon "bonus" per cake. If you are finding your own clients and selling directly to them and using the kitchen outside your regular work hours, that sounds more like a kitchen rental. You pay her an agreed upon rate to use her kitchen for your LICENSED business. Every area is different, but you most likely still need to be licensed to legally sell your cakes even if they are baked in a commercial kitchen. Also, how would that work under her brand? Would you have your name on her business card but be selling as a separate business? I don't mean this in a negative way (we've all heard the horror stories that can happen to the best of bakers) but if that is the case she's legally responsible for cakes she's not otherwise involved in the process for. Not something I would do, but I am a bit of a control freak.

As for the croissant recipe, congrats on them being a success! However, I don't think you are entitled to anything additional to your salary unless she agreed to buy the recipe from you. Were you hoping for more than the compliment? Sounds like she's lucky to have you!
post #3 of 22
Do you want to own and manage your own business?
post #4 of 22

FrostedMoon answered your question much better than I could. I think it also depends on what your future plans are, how you want to set up your relationship surrounding the cakes. I love your little Minnie mouse, btw.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

thank you for your answers!

 

Yes, I'm planning, in the future, to get my own business and still yes, I would be using my boss's kitchen and her insurance to make cakes. I was just wondering if i should give her a % each cake I bring to the business.. 

 

Also, yes, she IS very lucky to have me! As she told me when we met, she is not a real baker, she only have 4-5 recipes (bread and scones) and she is trying to makey money out of that. She was looking for a baker who has his own recipes to bring and share, so sometime I really think I'm giving too much to be just an employee.

 

LuckyLibra thank you :) can u write me an email on irene-oh-@hotmail.it?

I tried to write u back but it doesnt work!

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheItalianBaker View Post

I would be using my boss's kitchen and her insurance to make cakes.

 

Before starting your own business it would be a good idea to check with the health department in your area. You may need to work under your own license. Ditto the insurance. 

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post #7 of 22
Agreed, you've got to check on the rules for your town. Just like you can't legally drive without a license by borrowing someone's car and driver's license, you most likely can't legally run your business out of your employer's kitchen with her license. If you are making cakes for your own clients and accepting their money directly, not paying taxes the business is required to pay, etc, you are technically a home based baker in a commercial kitchen and must follow those laws. The good news is there does seem to be a cottage law in your state. Take the time to get your license and then use your employer's commercial kitchen to create your business. Doing it the right way now will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

I believe the last paragraph in this article addresses your situation. http://cottagefoodlaws.com/definitions/what-home-based-baker/
Edited by FrostedMoon - 7/9/13 at 6:55pm
post #8 of 22

Be very careful about handing over your personal recipes to your boss and the owner of the business.  You need to have (best in writing) about who is the owner especially if this isn't a mainstream recipe that any google search can find the same, or extremely similar recipe.

 

If you decide to leave her employ, and start your own business with the same recipes that you gave her willingly,  she can say that you gave her that recipe, and since you were the employee she now owns the rights of using the recipes.

 

You can remain an employee, bake the cakes etc that she doesn't offer with your recipes and she pays you as her hourly employee.

 

You can be sub contracted and you are your own employer and she takes a cut of the final price of each item for use of kitchen payment and you have to keep your ingredients separate from hers.  This would be more complicated with ordering and then with your own personal taxes etc because she is no longer your employer.

 

You can pay her an hourly rent for the kitchen use and you buy your own ingredients, have your own business and tax setup and you take 100% of sales and then turn over her kitchen money once a week or once a month etc.

 

Good Luck.
 

Always put your eggs in one basket.......why do you want to carry two?
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Always put your eggs in one basket.......why do you want to carry two?
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post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheItalianBaker View Post

thank you for your answers!

Yes, I'm planning, in the future, to get my own business and still yes, I would be using my boss's kitchen and her insurance to make cakes. I was just wondering if i should give her a % each cake I bring to the business.. 

Also, yes, she IS very lucky to have me! As she told me when we met, she is not a real baker, she only have 4-5 recipes (bread and scones) and she is trying to makey money out of that. She was looking for a baker who has his own recipes to bring and share, so sometime I really think I'm giving too much to be just an employee.

LuckyLibra thank you icon_smile.gif can u write me an email on irene-oh-@hotmail.it?
I tried to write u back but it doesnt work!

So you would simply be an employee working under her brand. As an employee you get your regular pay and nothing more UNLESS you both sit down and draw up an agreement clearly delineating your relationship. Will it be a pseudo-partnership-- where you retain some ownership rights on your recipe and designs etc OR would it remain an employee-employer relationship which is what you have now where your recipes, and products are essentially hers since she fully remunerates you for your services a.k.a your pay check.

As an employee whatever you create in her kitchen, using her things, under her brand, and under her insurance is her stuff. She has rights to those talents because she is paying for them via your pay-check, and also assuming responsibility and liability for them if something goes wrong. It's her name on the line, even though you made it. Ron Ben Israel's cakes are Ron Ben Israel's cakes even if he didn't touch any aspect of the cake and his baker/designers did everything.

If you want 'ownership' you're going to have to think about redefining your relationship with her, and creating some form of identity of your own (getting your own license, insurance, and renting the kitchen when your are NOT clocked in as an employee, getting your own clients etc).
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker_Rose View Post

Be very careful about handing over your personal recipes to your boss and the owner of the business.  You need to have (best in writing) about who is the owner especially if this isn't a mainstream recipe that any google search can find the same, or extremely similar recipe.

Most recipes are not copyrightable, so you would probably not be able to legally claim ownership or stop others from using a recipe once you share it with them.
post #11 of 22

You can copyright the directions of what to do with the ingredients, but you can't copyright ingredients or their quantities. There's a whole lot of things you can make with butter sugar, eggs and flour.....and any good baker knows what makes something special is the details of how you manipulated those ingredients.

 

I once quit a decent job because the Chef insisted I give him all my recipes that I had created before coming to work for him. Nope. He could have what I created at his kitchen but he couldn't have my whole life's work on command. Well in total disclosure I quit for a bunch of reasons but that was the one where I drew the line.

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Most recipes are not copyrightable, so you would probably not be able to legally claim ownership or stop others from using a recipe once you share it with them.

 

The word "copyright" applies to the written form of a recipe. But for production purposes, anyone can produce any recipe. There are no restrictions on the use of a recipe for commercial purposes. In your case, Italian Baker, both you and your present employer have the ability to legally use your recipes in your respective businesses.  

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post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix View Post

The word "copyright" applies to the written form of a recipe. But for production purposes, anyone can produce any recipe. T
here are no restrictions on the use of a recipe for commercial purposes. In your case, Italian Baker, both you and your present employer have the ability to legally use your recipes in your respective businesses.  

I agree but usually the issue is not the recipe or who can use it. It's more the external drama of 2 bakeries offering the very same red velvet cake, and probably for different prices. Most cakers keep their prized recipes close because it can be a competitive advantage, that advantage is lost when all the bakeries have the same recipe and are legally using it. It's legal on paper but sucks for the originator that can't really maximize the competitive advantage of an awesome recipe.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Most recipes are not copyrightable, so you would probably not be able to legally claim ownership or stop others from using a recipe once you share it with them.

 

Years ago I shared some personal recipes, created by me from years of baking to a woman who paid me to work on her website.  I shared them with the understanding that they were open on her site for the world to use, willingly. 

 

She immediately copyrighted all the recipes and text and then shortly locked up her site from a free use site to a pay subscription site.  My recipes are gone behind her wall and she is making money from the site and the info that I provided.  I don't share recipes with anyone anymore.  I have mine written down in notebooks and they are kept in a safe.  I have a LOT of original content recipes and wouldn't mind publishing myself someday (I thought I was on that path with her, but that relationship went really weird, really fast.)

 

I have had this happen to me because I was naive and never thought about it, after that, I warn people not to be upfront with their personal recipes with an hourly employer unless that recipe can be easily pulled up with any search engine.  If that's the case, it's not "your" recipe in the first place.

 

I worked for a caterer who insisted that many of the baking recipes were her personal families recipes.  Every single one came from Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines type cookbooks from the 1950's.  Every single one could be found in a few minutes online, but she had many stories published in the newspaper about her secret family recipes.  It always made me laugh.

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Always put your eggs in one basket.......why do you want to carry two?
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post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

The recipes I use are not created by me, they come mostly from the italian pastry tradition. Some of those recipes can be pulled up with google for sure, if you speak italian! But, I mean, u need a baker who bring his recipes.. u need a partner not an employee, right?

Of course, VGCEA made the point: when i'll have my own business it will bother me A LOT since we are in a small city! So I don't really know what to do, share or not to share? 

 

Basically yes, I'll keep on being an employee and working under her brand/everything.

I'm checking the food cottage law, thanks for sharing the link!

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