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Selling Baked Goods for extra cash?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Does anyone bake for extra cash? I love baking, and I think I'm pretty good at it, so I t hought that I might try and do like an "at home" bakery type of thing. Just your basic cup cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, candy, etc...

Can you advertise an at home bakery? Are there certain rules and guidelines that you have to follow? I really hope I could get this up and running so I can help get some extra cash in our pockets.
post #2 of 18
Actually you need to check with your health department to see if your city has any special permits that you have to buy.

In the 80's when dd was little and the boys were sick, and I was a single mom, I open a catering/bakery business about 2 years before I open my cafe.

I went around to the local cafe and ask them if they would sell my bakery products out of their business and they did. I made each business a free basket full of my specialities. I had carrot cake, red velvet cake, pecan pie. Then I added other stuff thru out the year.

I also made baskets for each occassion and advertise them in our local paper.

The one thing that i learn is that you have to be unique and offer something that they can't get just anywhere else.

Good Luck.
post #3 of 18
This actually varies from state to state - even city to city.

I'm in a state (KY) that does not allow 'home' bakeries. You have to have a seperate facility to bake in - it can be in your home, but must meet their commercial kitchen guidelines and not be your personal kitchen. I do bake/decorate cakes on the side for family and friends - but I don't advertise.

In OH, they have 'cottage bakery' laws (I think that's what they're called). Which allow in home baking by following certain guidelines. I *think* there's no inspection required - although your city or county H.D. may say otherwise.
post #4 of 18
I have considered this as well, but I would have to have a separate "commercial kitchen", so I never took it too far. I have baked for the holidays for my husband's coworkers...and they considered hiring me for some catering, but I found that once I purchased ingredients and did all of the baking/cooking, my per hour wage was VERY minimal and I did charge more than prebaked goods in the grocery stores. It ended up not being worth it to me, but if you had one or two specific, specialty items and had an outlet, such as a local restaurant, I do think it could be profitable.
post #5 of 18
When I worked we had the "cookie lady" who could come into the strip mall where my office was. She would come once or twice a week. We loved the cookie lady. She did it for years so I assume she was making money. She had a basket with large brownies, cookies, cream cheese brownies. She would carry is around from office to office.
post #6 of 18
I have always wanted to do this too. I have been told that I should, especially when it comes Christmas time and I bake up a storm with cookies, bars, caramel candies and chocolate covered pretzels. I have never looked into, because I figured I would need a commercial kitchen too. Maybe one day I will do it.
post #7 of 18
Where I live you would need to use a commercial kitchen to do it. We sold my husband's bruschetta (he's a chef) at farmer's markets last summer. We were able to do it from our own kitchen, but only because we had it chemically tested and the ph was at a level that doesn't invite a lot of bad organisms, etc. There's enough acidity from the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. I'm pretty sure that for baked goods they are supposed to be in an inspected kitchen (need more than one sink, etc.).

Good luck to you!
post #8 of 18
I too would love to do this too...but I do believe in this state, PA, you do have to have a commercial kitchen! I have actually thought of doing meals from home, baking them off, and then delivering them to homes for dinner (just a really small business). I could cater to working moms who want a home cooked meal brought to their door. But I can't do it that way here.

Plus, you probably have to have business insurance in case someone gets sick. I mean what if you use bad eggs (not knowing it) or contaminated flour or something (who knows wil all of these recalls these days!). Or what if a child is allergic to eggs or peanutbutter and they get really hurt. Someone could sue you! We live in a crazy world, I would just make sure that you have your own back covered!

Things used to be alot simpler didn't they?
post #9 of 18
I have a good friend who does this. Where she lives in Pennsylvania, she is allowed to sell her baked goods at "farm stands' without regulation or inspection. She's a regular at her local farmers' market in the summer, and she also goes to select flea markets. She has also earned a reputation, and people call her at holiday time for certain holiday treats. As far as I know, she doesn't advertise or anything like that.
One of the reasons she's successful (besides yummy baked goods) is that she limits the variety of her wares. On any given day, you'll find only three or four kinds of things for sale at her stand.
She makes good money with this hobby, but the hours are awful. All her baking must be done the day/night before the market, and then she has to sit at the market all day.
Selling your own baked goods can be a great option for you. Just be sure to check the local inspection requirements.
post #10 of 18
If you want to advertise you HAVE to check with your health department. I bake and decorate cakes and I do it by referal. I don't have a permit or a licence (which are both required) and I let all of my clients know that. You should be honest and do only for those you know just in case. I don't think the licences are much you will just have to be inspected too.

Good Luck no matter what you decide.
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