Start Your Home-Based Baking Business!
By Quincella Geiger
Do you have a dessert or pastry that receives rave reviews every time you make it? Have
you ever wondered if your product would be successful on the market? Are you in need of
additional income or a getaway from your current job?
A favorite product that you've made time and time again, could be the answer to your
questions and your financial dilemma. You could be holding the recipe for the next million
dollar pastry. Generally, repeated compliments from mixed audiences, suggest that your
product has market potential. Restaurants, cafés, sandwich shops, caterers, hotels, local
retail shoppers, online shoppers, etc. are looking for new products; and quality products
are always in demand.
Now, before you begin selling those wonderful baked goods, there are essential things
that you must put in place to make your business legal. While there are many important
steps to starting your home-based baking business, I've decided to focus on the two most
important that will lay a great foundation for a successful home business.
The first step in setting up your home baking business is finding out if you will be
able to acquire the necessary licenses and permits to operate the business. Before
continuing with this step, I should tell you that you will not be allowed/licensed to
prepare food for commercial sales from your personal kitchen (the kitchen used to prepare
your personal meals). You will be required to setup a separate kitchen for the business.
It is my understanding that every state in the U.S. enforces this regulation/health code
in addition to others. Your local governing agencies... business license office, zoning
department and department of agriculture/health can answer any questions you have
concerning regulations and preparation of work space as they pertain to your area.
Keep in mind, not all cities, counties and states have the same ordinances, regulations
and codes. For example: ordinances in your city or county might prohibit the operation of
food businesses in the home, OR, the location of your home might fall in a restricted zone
for home-based food businesses. Invest a little time and effort in a few phone calls or
in-person visits to these offices.
Once you have a "YES" response that will allow you to set up a home food business, the
next steps are: choosing a room or area of your home for baking, getting estimates for
renovations, pricing equipment (only what's necessary for startup), creating a much needed
startup budget and writing a business plan (even if brief, for your personal use only).
Because many questions have been asked concerning the difficulty in setting up a home
baking business according to codes and regulations, I felt it necessary to briefly discuss
the subject from an experienced point of view. The level of difficulty in setting up your
home business is, more often than not, minimal in comparison to opening a bakery in a
commercial location. The amount of work to be done will vary, for each person, depending
on the current condition of the designated work space. If the chosen work space has no
electrical wiring, plumbing, finished walls or covered floors, of course, your startup
cost will be more than it would be if some of these things were already in place. To make
an informed decision, you must first determine the actual cost of renovation. Don't leave
out any cost, not matter how small. It can negatively impact the bottom line.