Opening a cake business can be daunting. You will inevitably be embroiled in the local food laws and regulations in setting up a cake business, especially when running your business from home. But to make it easier for you, we have broken down the important things you need to keep in mind so you can finally open your dream cake business.
Table of Contents
- 1 Understanding Cottage Food Law
- 2 Obtaining Licenses, Certifications and Health Documents
- 3 Food laws and regulations FAQs
- 4 Conclusion
Understanding Cottage Food Law
Cottage food laws are laws that govern low-risk foods for sale created at home. Baked goods typically fall under low-risk foods. Others include canned goods, pickled goods, and candies. As a small business owner, you would want to know what cottage food laws apply to you.
Depending on your local council’s cottage food law, it can put limitations to what you can produce and how much you can earn. Some states in the US even impose a cap on the revenues and where you can sell your homemade baked goods. It also differs from one place to another. For instance, you might be able to sell your baked goods legally to one state but might not be able to go to a neighboring state’s farmers market to do that. This is why you need to do your research first.
Obtaining Licenses, Certifications and Health Documents
Once you have conferred with your local council and determined that you are permitted to open a cake business in your home, it’s time to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications. Make a list of the documents needed by your local council. Again, this will depend on where you are located. There are some states that don’t require any certification or business license while there are others that have a long list of requirements.
Consider the Layout of Your Kitchen
One of the things that authorities will check when opening a home bakery is your kitchen’s layout. They might also have some specifications on what you should have in your kitchen. Typically, it might include adding more sinks to accommodate more of your baking tools. A separate area for preparation and food storage might also be required and this should be away from your personal preparation area that you use for everyday cooking.
Your local council might also require the installation of a sprinkler system for safety purposes and make necessary updates when it comes to the kitchen’s ventilation system. That might require adding more vents or hoods.
Check your local council if you need to take food safety courses first. Your local government might have ongoing food safety courses that you can join to learn more about the proper ways of handling food, how to store food properly and how you can prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen. This can also include learning how to pack and deliver baked goods properly.
Some states and countries may also require getting a health inspection. A health officer might visit your home to inspect and assess your kitchen and equipment. They will also check your storage area as well as the sanitation methods that you have in place. If you already have some ingredients ready, they can check them and see if they are stored properly. This is why it’s important to know proper storage to prevent inevitable food spoilage.
Food laws and regulations FAQs
How much does it cost to open a cake business?
The costs of opening a cake business depend on a few factors such as your kitchen, equipment, ingredients, insurance and license fees. If your kitchen is fully equipped, you might not need to spend that much. However, if you are lacking in necessary tools or the health officers have added things to include in your kitchen, you might need to spend more money on new equipment and tools.
Insurance is also an important addition to your business. Although baked goods are considered low-risk products, you would want to get insurance to protect yourself from possible lawsuits. Some countries and states might also require getting general liability insurance for small business owners.
How can you start getting clients for your cake business?
You can start with your circle. Sell to family, friends or neighbors first. Take lots of photos of your products and videos of you preparing the cakes. Use that as your marketing tool. You can create a business social media page where you post quality photos of your cakes and interesting videos detailing the baking process.
What are the safety practices in making a cake?
Start with your kitchen. Make sure all surfaces are clean. Invest in the best cleaning products and don’t be lax in keeping the kitchen clean before, during and after baking.
For yourself, you would want to practice maximum personal hygiene. Wear an apron, gloves and hair net when baking. Wash your hands thoroughly as well.
Following food laws and regulations for a cake business is just the start. It’s up to you to enforce your own strict rules in baking cakes and running your business so you can last long in this industry. What’s your experience with food laws and regulations? Share with us.