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For those of you that are home bakers and don't have a storefront... - Page 3

post #31 of 49

I am in OH also.  I have been doing this for 7 years.

 

I have people come pick up their orders at my house all the time.  It has NEVER been a problem.

 

No one has ever just showed up looking for cake or a consultation.  I have had people call asking where exactly my store was so they could stop by and pick up some cupcakes or a last minute cake but I just explain that I operate out of the kitchen in my home, am a licensed home bakery and that I only make custom orders.  I don't have anything just lying around for them to pick-up.  They always just say "ok, thanks."  No one has ever actually come to the door or anything.

 

It is much easier for me to have people come get their order from my house rather than make arrangements to meet them, leave my house with the cake, meet them somewhere else, and then have to come back home again.  Usually I would have to take my kids with me.  Unless it's a tiered cake they can come and get it.  Or they pay for delivery.

 

I set up an 1/2 hour to hour window for them to pick up and tell them I have to leave shortly after.  I make it very clear that if they aren't here during that time they won't be able to get their cake.  I've never had anyone late OR they make sure they call and tell me they are on the way so that I don't leave the house.

 

Honestly, if someone wants to find out where you live, in this day and age of internet info it's incredibly easy to do so, no matter how guarded you are with your information. 
 

Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #32 of 49

Regardless of whether you need to put the address on your labels, or which address, there could also be rules about not having pickups at your house. When I first started it explicitly said in the paperwork that customers could NEVER come to my house. Seriously,  it said specifically that you were not EVER supposed to have customers come to your home. They wanted to stop people from paving their lawns to make a parking lot in a residential zone, which makes sense.

 

If you don't want to require deliveries, which is what I would do to keep it simple, I'd arrange a time to meet and distribute cakes at a store parking lot or something like that. That is, if you don't want people coming to your house at all.

post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

Regardless of whether you need to put the address on your labels, or which address, there could also be rules about not having pickups at your house. When I first started it explicitly said in the paperwork that customers could NEVER come to my house. Seriously,  it said specifically that you were not EVER supposed to have customers come to your home. They wanted to stop people from paving their lawns to make a parking lot in a residential zone, which makes sense.

Did this requirement come from the state? It sounds more like a municipal zoning or HOA restriction.
post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

Regardless of whether you need to put the address on your labels, or which address, there could also be rules about not having pickups at your house. When I first started it explicitly said in the paperwork that customers could NEVER come to my house. Seriously,  it said specifically that you were not EVER supposed to have customers come to your home. They wanted to stop people from paving their lawns to make a parking lot in a residential zone, which makes sense.

 

If you don't want to require deliveries, which is what I would do to keep it simple, I'd arrange a time to meet and distribute cakes at a store parking lot or something like that. That is, if you don't want people coming to your house at all.

when i started my paper work with my city (before i could go to the HD) they told me the same NEVER was i to have customers. But when i went to the city the sign the papers they wrote it in to my licenses that i could have pick up between 8-5. i got luck because i am the only person in my town with a CFL

May good luck be your friend
in whatever you do.
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.
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May good luck be your friend
in whatever you do.
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.
Reply
post #35 of 49

I have pick ups at my home all the time and have never had a problem and never had an unexpected customer.  I do set up a pick up time for their cake.  I also do not publish my address so people don't stop by, I only give it to them once they have paid for their cake.  I really don't think people would want to stop by a home unannounced to order a cake.  Most people would just drive on by once they see that your bakery is a home based bakery.  My state requires sales to occur at your home, which is kind of the whole point of a CFL (a new bill just passed allowing other sites for sales to be conducted like farmers markets etc...).  If you do really don't want people coming to your house I would find a office that people can meet you at to pick their cakes up.  Most businesses and coffee shops don't want you conducting business in their store.  Plus it seems more professional if you find an office or just require delivery on all cakes.  I have a room that I use as my cake office that is right in front of the door, which has my cake dummies, computer and a table that I use for consults as to box up cakes when customers arrive so they don't have to walk through my house.

post #36 of 49

I'm not sure the differences between having a commercial kitchen on residential property and a CFL, but when I set my business up the rule was only one customer at a time.

post #37 of 49

Or you can make your business delivery, roll the price of delivery into the price of your product and tell the customers it's free delivery within a certain area. That way you don't have to worry about clients who want to pick up and if other bakeries in your area charge for delivery it looks like you're offering an extra service.

 

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post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

Did this requirement come from the state? It sounds more like a municipal zoning or HOA restriction.
It came directly from the state department of agriculture documents. I don't have a homeowner's association, I made sure to move somewhere that didn't have one so I wouldn't have to deal with a bunch of dingleberries telling me what color to paint my house.
post #39 of 49

OP, I operated a cake biz under Ohio's cottage law for a couple of years.  I lived in Columbus.  I had both tastings for wedding cakes and pick-ups in my home.  As someone else previously suggested, I did not place my home address on my website.  I also made it clear on my website that I legally baked out of my home and that all cakes were by special order only.  Not once did I have someone show up unannounced.  Not once did I have an issue with a pick-up.  Also, I had business liability insurance, so I did not have to worry if someone tripped/fell/injured themselves while walking through my front door. 

 

I also offered delivery, for a fee.  Most of the time, it was to a venue.  Sometimes it was to their home.  One time, I met the customer in a mall parking lot, but that was at the customer's request. 

 

I think you have to do what is comfortable for you.  I think it's important to add that I came up with a safety plan around the same time that I did my business plan.  (Single gal, here.)  If someone came to my home, I had someone else at my home, too.  If that wasn't possible, I made sure that someone (usually my sis or my BFF) who knew that someone was coming for a pick-up and the time they were coming to my home.  Then, I'd call or text them that all went well after the person left.  I also had my cell phone by my side whenever a customer came into my home.  When I delivered a cake to someone's home, I had a friend ride along with me.  Yes, it was a lot of work to coordinate all of this, but after a while, it really became routine.  These are the steps that I took to feel safe.  Everyone's comfort level is different.  I think you need to listen to your gut as to what you are comfortable with and go with it.   

Check out my cake blog at: http://adventuresofacakediva.com
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Check out my cake blog at: http://adventuresofacakediva.com
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post #40 of 49

Florida resident- I've been "family & Friends" baking for a while and am in the process of getting things together under our Cottage Law. I was fortunate to reach someone at county offices that have been very helpful. In our county, we do have to get the occupational license, but she also brought up that there is a section for that license where person's working out of the home are not allowed to engage in "retail" transactions in the home. This was explained to me (for my purposes), that I could make the product, label (which must include my name & address since its where I'm baking) but could not allow items to be picked up at my home. Since I really haven't started baking for profit yet I'll have to look into handling this aspect. I probably shouldn't say this but she actually mentioned that "technically" most sidewalks (or easements) are county property so I could meet customers on public property & be within the law-can't imagine standing on a sidewalk holding a cake but...icon_rolleyes.gif

post #41 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsmom View Post

In our county, we do have to get the occupational license, but she also brought up that there is a section for that license where person's working out of the home are not allowed to engage in "retail" transactions in the home. This was explained to me (for my purposes), that I could make the product, label (which must include my name & address since its where I'm baking) but could not allow items to be picked up at my home.

If you had multiple customers stopping by every day that's one thing, but it's difficult to imagine how they would enforce this for the typical volume of a custom home bakery (e.g. 2-3 customers per week).
post #42 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Did this requirement come from the state? It sounds more like a municipal zoning or HOA restriction.

Although I bake from a commercial kitchen my office is in my home. I was told I could not do consultations or pick ups from my home.I could also not have supplies delivered from big shipping companies (UPS and FEDEX are fine)

post #43 of 49
I usually meet somewhere close, the farthest I will go for free is to our local Abrys, which is about 15 minutes away. (My husband is the GM there, so it's more convenient)
post #44 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

Regardless of whether you need to put the address on your labels, or which address, there could also be rules about not having pickups at your house. When I first started it explicitly said in the paperwork that customers could NEVER come to my house. Seriously,  it said specifically that you were not EVER supposed to have customers come to your home. They wanted to stop people from paving their lawns to make a parking lot in a residential zone, which makes sense.

 

If you don't want to require deliveries, which is what I would do to keep it simple, I'd arrange a time to meet and distribute cakes at a store parking lot or something like that. That is, if you don't want people coming to your house at all.


That's interesting. While nothing has been said about not allowing people to come to one's home Ohio's website doesnt go to in depth I've noticed about all that you can and can not do aside from the basics. It's entirely possible for a state to not allow people to come to your house since laws vary so widely from state to state and even city to city.  I've been thinking it would be easy enough to meet at a local coffee shop or something.

post #45 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy View Post

I am in OH also.  I have been doing this for 7 years.

 

I have people come pick up their orders at my house all the time.  It has NEVER been a problem.

 

No one has ever just showed up looking for cake or a consultation.  I have had people call asking where exactly my store was so they could stop by and pick up some cupcakes or a last minute cake but I just explain that I operate out of the kitchen in my home, am a licensed home bakery and that I only make custom orders.  I don't have anything just lying around for them to pick-up.  They always just say "ok, thanks."  No one has ever actually come to the door or anything.

 

It is much easier for me to have people come get their order from my house rather than make arrangements to meet them, leave my house with the cake, meet them somewhere else, and then have to come back home again.  Usually I would have to take my kids with me.  Unless it's a tiered cake they can come and get it.  Or they pay for delivery.

 

I set up an 1/2 hour to hour window for them to pick up and tell them I have to leave shortly after.  I make it very clear that if they aren't here during that time they won't be able to get their cake.  I've never had anyone late OR they make sure they call and tell me they are on the way so that I don't leave the house.

 

Honestly, if someone wants to find out where you live, in this day and age of internet info it's incredibly easy to do so, no matter how guarded you are with your information. 
 


True enough, Though i guess it depends on whether any of your information is listed in the phone book or online and whether or not you live in a house or an apartment complex and the size of the complex and whether or not it's a secured complex. I would think for those that live in large complexes that they still may have some sense of privacy. People's address's don't always list apartment number, and if it's a secured complex or gated community where you need a key or code, no one can get in without having been given access.

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