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Custom/Specialty Cake Shops


BROWNSUGA
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Look at the very top of this whole eGullet page. On the top right side you'll see "Imagegullet". Click on that. We down load our photos into imagegullet and then choose the IMG box (it's dirrectly above where you type by the bold, Italic, Underline, Font options) and cut and paste our image thru the IMG box. Your images must be under 640 pixels to load, so you may have to edit your photo down.

We have a whole Technical Forum that's located on our main page, it's toward the bottom of the page (maybe 3/4's of the way down). If you look in there, there is a huge thread on how to post photos with really easy to follow pictures that make loading photos very easy.

I have tons more questions about this topic. and your work, I'm temporarily very busy with blogging but I will return to this thread asap.

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  • 1 month later...

With all of this caketalk going on, I figured that I'd bump this thread back up just in case anyone was looking for information that was previously discussed or if someone wanted to add any advice, tips, suggestions, etc. for those who are looking to get into the business of creating custom/specialty cakes. :biggrin:

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With all of this caketalk going on, I figured that I'd bump this thread back up just in case anyone was looking for information that was previously discussed or if someone wanted to add any advice, tips, suggestions, etc. for those who are looking to get into the business of creating custom/specialty cakes.  :biggrin:

Thanks for bringing this back up to the top, Brownsuga! I'm a brand-newby -- just discovered eGullet this week and am already completely addicted. I'm a passionate home baker and have toyed with the idea of creating my own business, but I make too much money at my day job! :blink: Until the mortgage is paid off and the kids are through college, I will continue to satisfy my need to bake by making birthday cakes for each of my co-workers, kids, family members..... basically, anyone who will let me. I go into heavy pastry mode around the holidays and am so inspired by this site that I'm already planning the menu for Christmas 2005.......

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I'm going to slowly build some word of mouth buzz through my friends and coworkers.  If things go well, I will plan to form my business next summer.  I plan to start off with a home-based business (forming my own corporation, getting abusiness license, getting my kitchen certified, etc.) and hopefully that will generate enough business to evenually look for a small commercial kitchen and someone to finance me.  But I'm taking baby steps.  I make sure to take good photographs of everything I make, which will eventually be posted on my soon-to-be revamped website.

I'm new to this site as well (my first post was today) and I'm thrilled to see this thread pop up. My question is specifically to Sherri ...have you looked into getting your kitchen certified? Is there somewhere I can go that provides information on state regulations etc? I am in NJ, recently bought a house and the kitchen will definitely be regutted ...we're talking dark wood paneling walls, yellow linoleum from the 60s etc... :blink::biggrin:

I would love to hear more experiences along this line as it's something I have considered for quite a while now.

Thanks in advance

JeAnne

Xander: How exactly do you make cereal?

Buffy: Ah. You put the box near the milk. I saw it on the Food Channel.

-BtVS

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I am in New Jersey as well. From what I understand, you are not allowed to bake from home. :sad: I havent actually checked into the rules. If you find anything out, can you please post it here.

Edited by BROWNSUGA (log)
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With all of this caketalk going on, I figured that I'd bump this thread back up just in case anyone was looking for information that was previously discussed or if someone wanted to add any advice, tips, suggestions, etc. for those who are looking to get into the business of creating custom/specialty cakes.   :biggrin:

Thanks for bringing this back up to the top, Brownsuga! I'm a brand-newby -- just discovered eGullet this week and am already completely addicted. I'm a passionate home baker and have toyed with the idea of creating my own business, but I make too much money at my day job! :blink: Until the mortgage is paid off and the kids are through college, I will continue to satisfy my need to bake by making birthday cakes for each of my co-workers, kids, family members..... basically, anyone who will let me. I go into heavy pastry mode around the holidays and am so inspired by this site that I'm already planning the menu for Christmas 2005.......

I know exactly what you mean. I am not going to give up the dream. One day....one day!! :biggrin:

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I am in New Jersey as well.  From what I understand, you are not allowed to bake from home.  :sad:  I havent actually checked into the rules.  If you find anything out, can you please post it here.

Oh I know you definitely cannot do it from a home kitchen...I was just wondering if there was a way to turn a home kitchen into a licensed kitchen. :biggrin:

Where are you in NJ?

I've done the whole baking on the down low, but I would really love to know if there are options apart from buying a commercial place or renting a commercial kitchen?

Xander: How exactly do you make cereal?

Buffy: Ah. You put the box near the milk. I saw it on the Food Channel.

-BtVS

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I am in Burlington County. :biggrin: I am going to try to find the information, but I recall hearing that licensed in home kitchens werent acceptable. Dont quote me! :biggrin: I guess it wouldnt hurt for either one of us to find out, huh? :biggrin: Like you, I want to know my options as well.

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I'm in CT - and was always under the impression that home bakeries were not allowed. One of my instructors finally encouraged me to call the Department of Health in my town, and lo and behold, it is!!!!!!!

We remodeled our basement, and I now do custom cakes. My hours are by appointment only, as my zoning department said traffic has to be the exception rather than the rule. In CT, I am licensed by both my town and the State Department of Consumer Protection. The town issues a food license, the state issues a bakery license.

I left a 20 year career in Accounting when I became obsessed with cakes!!

It can be done, but yes... being the baker, decorator, shopper, clean up crew, merchandiser, advertiser... etc. gets tiring. I'm not complaining, 9 months in business and I'm doing well.

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I'm in CT - and was always under the impression that home bakeries were not allowed.  One of my instructors finally encouraged me to call the Department of Health in my town, and lo and behold, it is!!!!!!!

We remodeled our basement, and I now do custom cakes. My hours are by appointment only, as my zoning department said traffic has to be the exception rather than the rule.  In CT, I am licensed by both my town and the State Department of Consumer Protection. The town issues a food license, the state issues a bakery license.

I left a 20 year career in Accounting when I became obsessed with cakes!!

It can be done, but yes... being the baker, decorator, shopper, clean up crew, merchandiser, advertiser... etc. gets tiring.  I'm not complaining, 9 months in business and I'm doing well.

Diane - Thank you so much for the information and congratulations on your success!! I will definitely have to do a little more homework and see what I can do about making this happen :)

Xander: How exactly do you make cereal?

Buffy: Ah. You put the box near the milk. I saw it on the Food Channel.

-BtVS

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well, I'm not sure what to suggest as far as 'what route to take' since I certainly never imagined I would be doing this full time when I took my first Wilton class! or when I quit my job, for that matter! :biggrin:

Shortly after my first Wilton class, I became obsessed with looking at cakes, dreaming about cakes... eating cakes! I started teaching Wilton, and found I really enjoyed that.

Then, when I quit my job, it was actually to become a Family and Consumer Science teacher (Home Ec when I was in school) - figured I would combine my love of cooking, baking and sewing with my enjoyment of teaching... had to get up to speed, though, so I enrolled in a culinary program to take a few classes that were required. THEN, I attended the teacher orientation program, and realized FACS was a whole lot more than Home Ec ever was, and I wasn't interested in being a teacher afterall! Yikes! I quit my job.... now what?

So I continued with the culinary program, and one instructor suggested that I call the Health Department, and if I was afraid of opening up a can of worms, to approach them like this "Hi - I'm a student in the culinary program at... and I have to write a paper about towns that surround me and if they allow home based businesses that involve food, for example either catering or decorated cakes?".... but what did I do? I called and just flat out asked. And surprisingly, many towns around me do NOT allow it, but thankfully my town does!

I asked the inspector to come out before I spent one cent, showed him tentative plans that I had (I worked with another instructor on the design of my shop) - talked about what would be required of me, and what wouldn't (they didn't require a 3 bay sink, for example), THEN I called the state agency that would be issuing my bakery license, and discussed what my town and I talked about. I wanted to be sure one agency would agree with the other (again, before I spent any money!)

Throughout the process, I consulted with both, I asked questions if I had concerns, I kept them updated on my progress. (The state inspector did his inspection when he came in, but we actually talked more about changing careers in our 40's!)

The process started the end of May 2004, my cabinets were delayed, my counters were delayed, my flooring had to be rescheduled because of the cabinets... my electrical had to be upgraded in some instances and changed in others. Believe me when I say I went non-stop the entire summer! My original plan was to be complete and open before the semester started again, but that didn't happen. I officially opened mid - September.

As far as the business end of things, I have cake buddies around the country that have shared their experiences and knowledge with me, talked me thru different scenarios, helped me organize receipts for tax time (this former Accountant hired a CPA for the actual filing of the taxes, I wasn't about to take on that project too!) - and I continue to learn something new every day. My DH is a great sounding board, although my friends often have better advice!

I've met some great people, made new friends, and learned that not everyone is courteous enough to call and say "you know, I won't be putting that deposit in the mail after all, but thanks for your time". I've also learned that people run late... and I hate that! If they tell me they'll be here at noon, I don't want to be kept waiting until 2 pm!

My only regret is that I didn't ask sooner... cause I might have quit my former day job years ago!

Diane

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