The New Bakers Dozen
How about those home cake decorators?

The The Bakers Dozen: How about those home cake decorators?
By Amy on Monday, August 21, 2000 - 03:42 pm: Edit

Mad Baker,
"any one in my area that i find out about , who is doing cakes in their homes and compeat with me , i write a letter to the health department complaining about it .this is turning in to an epidemic , and it should stop"
Are you really concerned about the health and safety of these items? Sounds like you are threatened by them. Customers will keep going to whomever they feel makes a better product. You should not be feeling threatened about home bakers, you should only feel the need to make sure your product is the best available.


By Smarty Party Cakes on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 01:13 pm: Edit

HELP! Im starting a home baking business and could use any advice on how to use advertizing effectively and if anyone knows where i can get a decojet image printer or similar product.
Whadda think of the name!!

By raine on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 05:03 pm: Edit

You can purchase a photo image printer and its supplies through Decopac at

By momoreg on Saturday, August 26, 2000 - 08:43 pm: Edit

I agree with mad baker. The people who've made the effort to have a legal business should not have to compete with housewives who want to make a little extra money. Amy, people don't always go for the better product; often they go for the better price. A real bakery has overhead that a housewife doesn't have, so she can offer a better price, and that is not right.

By Amy on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 07:56 am: Edit

I agree that people go for the better price sometimes. With that said, Almost all of the homebakers I know price higher than bakeries, myself included. So if it is a better price they are looking for, they can find it at the local bakieries. ( at least around here ).


By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 08:27 am: Edit

I'm assuming that you must have all the same overhead except rent, right? Have you had to remodel your kitchen with commercia equip, 3 bay sinks and things of that nature? Do you have seperate cooling for products for the public? I'm very interested in the sanitation requirements of home business. I had some home caterers buying from me until I delivered to them and found that they used the same refers for personal and public foods. Found food sitting out, oh my gosh it was really horrible.I'm not saying that you do this and this this is not the case in comm. places either but I just wonder if there are different standards for the home producer.Can you tell me some of you production and sanitation requirements. Trust me, I'm not ragging on you I'm just interested. Heck I might move to one of these areas when I retire and set up a play kitchen.

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 09:57 am: Edit

I know of a bakery in Portland that is run out of a home. I don't remember the ladies name, but she is chair of the ICES convention in Portland next year. She only does cakes and her bakery is set up in a very large garage type building that is attached to her house, but basically separate. She has triple-sinks, NSF refrigerators, freezers, tables, and shelving, etc.

She said that the toughest part of becoming legal wasn't the health department, but getting past the fact that her house was zoned residential. She needed to ensure that her neighbours wouldn't complain.

By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 05:26 pm: Edit

I bet that was hard, but I bet it was easier to insure. For the life of me I can't figure out how anyone would insure your property and liability out of the house. I may have mentioned this in previous threads but here, properties and halls are requiring liability ins., health permits, and food handlers permits for bakers. This was a result of couple of instances where guest had gotten glass, swallowed a piece of a tooth pick{that was pretty bad}, ill etc. and sued the property,and the property turned to the baker and there was no ins.
Anyway I still won't eat much of anything prepared out of someone's home considering most foodborne illness occures in the home kitchen.

By Cookie baker on Saturday, March 03, 2001 - 08:02 pm: Edit

I live in New York City and you would NOT BELIEVE how many people bake out of their apartments..and you've seen their work on Martha Stewart's show!
As for the posting with regard to a lapse in the health standards for people who bake from home - that's simply not true! Check out the NYC Health Departments violations listing and you'll see how bad the restaurants and shops can be (it's posted online). I've been to an extremely popular bakery in Greenwich Village recently and the OWNER sneezed into her hands and continued to serve WITHOUT WASHING THEM. The license on the wall did not make a difference. That was my last trip there. Oh, and that bakery has also been featured on MSL.
The NYC Department of Health refers home bakers to the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets. According to this division, you DO NOT NEED A LICENSE to bake cookies for WHOLESALE use in NYC.

By stay at home mom on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 04:26 am: Edit

Hello everyone, I too am a cake decorator. I started out doing cakes for my family and took a college course and now make my cakes at college. In my area, I cannot make a cake from home and bring it to school for my childs birthday party but I can purchase one through the local bakery and take it to school. By the way, I worked at this bakery and believe me, my home kitchen was alot cleaner and more sanitary than the three bakerys I have worked in. Two are famous well known places. The cakes I make don't even compare to a bakery cake. A bakery will not do the fine details that I put on my cake and if they did, they really charge for it. Most people come to me because of my art design work. I am not selling them cheap either but they are getting quality work. Also, what is wrong with a cake mix. I personally like the taste of a good box mix. I just made a cake from "scratch" sweet butter, cake flour and all, and I actually like the box mix, although they have reached the 1.89 mark out here. It is almost cheaper to make a cake from scratch. We little home bakers don't buy our supplies wholesale. We have to go and pay supermarket price. So you big bakeries have that advantage. If you big bakeries do a good job, you shouldn't have to worry about the housewives, who stay home and do a cake now and them. There is no competitions. We do a nice job. Like I said, the so call famous bakeries I worked for made my hair stand on ends at time. They did things, I would never do.

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 08:04 am: Edit

Personally I wouldn't consider you as competition, but I don't see why I have to buy a specific equipment, why my location has to be set up according to specific requirements, why I do have to abide to certain rules, why I must pay taxes on what I sell, and on my income, AND WHY YOU SHOULD GET AWAY WITH IT!!!
I am investing my money, my time, my LIFE. I am taking risks, that is what makes your position unfair to all of us who have businesses.
Not the fact that you sell a cake now and then, but the fact that every cake that we don't sell is making it heavier for us regarding our investment.
No anger in my words, just facing the facts.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 01:19 pm: Edit

stayathomemom, nice sympathy getting name, but not here. The only problem with what you do is that if you poison somebody at school the school system can't go after you because you probably don't have enough coverage to pay for 30-35 ill children due to your tainted cake, whereas, they can go after the big super market chain. If you had any sense you would not want to expose yourself to that liability either, no matter how well meaning you might be. Imagine what would happen if you had an incident, you would have no home to stay at mom!
The school system would sell it to repay the victims.
The sponge in a home sink is the filthiest item found in any type of food related establishment.

By TMarta on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 07:34 pm: Edit

Right on, Helene! You said it all.
Don't make me threaten to use language again!

By ImDaChef on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 10:13 pm: Edit

Ok I'll add my .02 here. I started out many years ago making cakes at home. When I was 19 I took a Wilton decorating course at the local department store and had visions of millions of dollars flowing in from all of these fabulous cakes. I invested in an over and a large freezer, but them both in the garage and I'd spend days scratch baking every size, shape, flavor of cake I could think of and just freeze them. It was short lived. I found out that it was illegal to make the cakes from my house and had to move to a commerical kitchen if I wanted to continue. I quit. I love baking and decorating but I hate it at the same time. It's such involved, detailed work...I have much, much respect and very high regards for pastry chefs because I have an idea of what they go through having "touched" upon it. I also decided if I were going to invest money in a kitchen, equipment, insurance, etc., then it would be for a standard kitchen so I could cook my heart out. I personally don't care about those who do sell out of their home, but I do care if someone gets sick because they don't know what they're doing. Wilton doesn't teach saftey/sanitation.

By Yankee on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 11:08 pm: Edit

I too have worked and seen places that are pretty bad. But that's not the point. Just because you have worked at places "that make your hair stand on end (what? no hair nets?)" justifies selling or distributing product from your home without the proper permits. If those places were so bad, why didn't you report them? That's what professionals are supposed to do.

Sorry, some of us have had the proper training and education, not to mention covered the costs for those classes plus permits, fees and insurance. If you had to also, you would not be here whining about not being able to take stuff to your kid's school. Sit through an eight hour sanitation course and then tell us otherwise.

You seem more interested in telling us about how great your stuff is, than worrying about why such health code laws exists in the first place. Besides, if you had your permits, you COULD buy wholesale. Isn't COSTCO cheap enough for you?

Teach you kids how to scratch bake, not eat that box mix crap and fast food, they'll thank you for it long down the road. Please, stay at home.

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