Has anyone ever told you to sell that delicious pound cake? Have friends and family insisted you could be making a mint selling your delicious sugar cookies? If this sounds like you, then you could be baking up profits from your kitchen. All over the country there are countless home-based bakeries delivering heavenly baked goods throughout the community.
There are many responsibilities that go with starting a home-based bakery. You will first need to have a Food Regulatory Specialist/Food Compliance Officer come to your home and inspect it. In most cases the Department of Agriculture is the governing agency that will oversee your compliance inspection. Your kitchen will need to be inspected to assure that it is clean and in proper condition to produce baked goods that are suitable for human consumption. Although a license is not required for a home-based bakery, and a separate kitchen is not needed, you will have to comply with special conditions set down by the Department of Agriculture or your local regulatory agency.
There are currently 11 states that allow home-based bakers to sell their baked goods/candies to the public. The states are: Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia ; all others should check with their local (county) health departments or food safety agencies.
Operating a home-based bakery means finding your niche. Do you cake decorate; make custom cookies or a fabulous dry jerk rub? Years ago when the country was predominately rural there were many home-based bakers and home cooks and bakers sold their jams, preserves and jellies, along with homemade breads, pastries, cakes, pies and cookies.
Three years ago the Raleigh Farmer’s Market asked home-bakers to sell their goods at the Crafters Shed away from the main market area. Today there is a specific area for home-based bakers and the public is flocking to their tables. The baked goods are fresh, delicious and offer a variety not available in grocery stores.
Let there be no mistake, operating a home-based bakery is hard work. It means long hours and a commitment to quality, but for those who take on the challenge it is by far the best job in the whole. You set your own hours, you provide the public with delicious goods that can only be duplicated by you and for those with families they are their when the children get home from school.
The down side of the profession use to be the isolation, but a home-based bakery forum has been created to help bakers stay in touch with one another and support one another building camaraderie among home-based bakers that never existed before.
Baking for a living is an honorable profession, plus Internet access offers many bakers the opportunity to sell their products online. For example, Diane, the owner of Maine’s Cakes and Cookies, has been baking from home for more than five years. She loves what she does and proves the public with incredible baked goods. This is also a wonderful way for those who cook for a living, e.g. personal chef’s to offer their clients a little touch of something fresh from the oven.
The next time someone says, you really should think about selling that pie or cake or cookie. Look into operating a home-based bakery. You never know where the journey will take you and good home-baked goods are like jobs, hard to find.