Bake sale online vs in person?

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by JulieB, May 16, 2017.

  1. JulieB

    JulieB New Member

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    I'm having a bake sale and was wondering if setting
    up an online order form for pre-orders would be worth the time?
    I find there are simple web forms out there
    that total up your selections on the same page.
    Or, should I do all transactions in person.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2017
    JulieB, May 16, 2017
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  2. JulieB

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    Unless you already have a popular website to advertise on, I would suggest doing it all in person.
    Especially if this is a one time thing. If it's something you plan to do on a regular basis, then looking into an online structure would probably work.
     
    ChesterV, May 18, 2017
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  3. JulieB

    JulieB New Member

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    Thanks Chester, that makes sense. This might turn into a regular thing, depending on results.
     
    JulieB, May 18, 2017
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  4. JulieB

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Check with your state to determine if you can legally sell food from your home and online. In most states it is explicitly prohibited by legislation. Some states allow for marketing of foods produced in a home kitchen, but explicitly prohibit the actual sell of food online and/or delivery of food through any type of mail service. Some allow for sell online, but delivery must be made locally in person.

    To limit the risk of food poisoning, nearly every state enacted cottage food laws that regulate the sell of food produced in a home kitchen.

    States require food safety certification to ensure products are made in accordance with safe food standards.

    Legislation limits the types of foods to only those with a very low risk of dangerous bacteria growth. Foods produced and sold from a home kitchen must be in compliance with federal guidelines for food safety. That means all foods with a water activity of 0.85 or greater and a ph between 4.6 -7.5 are prohibited. Baked goods, including cakes, pies, pastries, containing any type of cream, custard, cream cheese, or meringue filling, icing, frosting are banned as a potentially hazardous food.

    Some states like California require both an inspection of your kitchen and a business license.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jun 23, 2017
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  5. JulieB

    Margot Howe Active Member

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    So, what did you decide to do with this online business? Did you proceed with it or did you give up on it? In RI we have to have a food safe kitchen. It includes drains in the floor, water temps like you describe and I know nothing of the ph. Not something I can do in a home. However, entrepreneurs have created a kitchen that you can rent by the day, week or month to produce food for sale. I have a caramel recipe that wants marketing. I just don't think I have the 'right stuff' to take it on.
     
    Margot Howe, Aug 17, 2017
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  6. JulieB

    RedShoe Well-Known Member

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    Ca has two Cottage Food Operation Permits, one requiring inspection and one that does not. I have the latter, Permit A. Both require a license, but not inspection. As long as she's licensed, she can have a bake sale. I have the often. And according to the extremely prosperous pop up restaurants on Instagram, permit and license be damned! (trust, that burns my buns that they're so popular while throwing regulation in the face of all of us trying to do it the right way!)
     
    RedShoe, Aug 30, 2017
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  7. JulieB

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    It's not just a bake sale, it's what you're selling and how you sell it. Even with a CFO license nearly all states have restrictions on online sales. Some states even prohibit advertising online. When I lived in Texas the laws there were very restrictive. Absolutely no onlines; no third party sells. No shipping of products. You cannot hold bake sales. You can only sell at government licensed venues (e.g., license farmers market).

    In the state of California you can advertise and accept payment online but delivery of the food item must be made in person.

    In California a CFO cannot ship products and you cannot engage in interstate sells. Interstate sells means you've crossed over into interstate commerce, which is controlled by federal laws.

    Requirements vary by county. The state advises applicants to check with their local governments to ensure that they are in compliance with local regulations as well as state law.

    The county I live in requires a kitchen inspection. CFO's are also subject to inspection at any time in the event of any complaint or notification about a possible health issue.

    Once you obtain a CFO license in this county you have to notify the county's environmental health department of any product modification or addition, any changes in the operation, any changes in the method of delivery – – whether or not the product is actually ever sold, consigned, or simply given away for free.

    There's also a separate planning and zoning department authorization you have to obtain as well.

    The food and wine industry are at the heart of our local economy. Which in turn drives the tourist economy throughout the entire Northern California wine country. People come from all over the world specifically for the wine and food here. The county can't risk a major food illness outbreak by either a CFO, restaurant, or food producer. So the standards and restrictions here are much higher than other counties. Even the restaurant inspections in this county far exceed state standards. But on the plus side the restaurants here are very clean.

    The only way for anyone to know what they need to do to implement online sales of baked goods is to check with their local and state government. Aside from each jurisdiction developing their own regulations, regulations are modified/changed over time.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 30, 2017
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  8. JulieB

    RedShoe Well-Known Member

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    Trust, i'm not arguing the regs of CFO permits, I spent months doing the research before i got mine. I was simply saying not all CFO permits require inspection. And as long as she has it (meaning she knows what she can and can't sell and how) she can have a bake sale.

    I advertise my bake sales a couple weeks in advance on social media and word of mouth, let people know they can pre-order from my set menu, invoice them through Square and deliver on the day.

    Then again, we're having a dialogue about a post from 3 months ago for someone who hasn't been in the forum since this post and may or may not even live in the US to need a CFO permit... so....
     
    RedShoe, Aug 30, 2017
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  9. JulieB

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I agree the regulations are just so onerous in my county I simply cannot deal with it. So when people ask me to bake I explain that I cannot legally sell them anything. But as a friend if they want to drop off some ingredients, then I'm more than happy to bake it.

    There's a huge destination wedding industry where I live. I actually live on an historic wine estate that is a wedding venue. It's owned by a friend of mine. So I have a front row view of the wedding industry.

    There certainly is a lot of opportunity for cake event bakers in this area. But seriously I cannot deal with the regulations.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 30, 2017
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  10. JulieB

    RedShoe Well-Known Member

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    They're obnoxious, ridiculous and amazingly easy to circumvent... ;) After spending quite a bit of time on the phone with our local office, i was basically told that they don't check back on you unless someone complains. I know of a local home baker that's found the success that i want, but has no CFO permit on record and does everything that you're not supposed to. Am i going to report her? Hell nah! Make your money!
     
    RedShoe, Aug 30, 2017
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    Norcalbaker59 likes this.
  11. JulieB

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Yes for the most part they don't check up on you. And if it's a word of mouth business you're generally pretty safe. I know people who work at it without license.

    But part of me feels that it's not fair to bakers like you who have actually gone through that onerous process to get your permit/license to be a lega businessl. I never completed the process, but I invested considerable time toward the initial effort. So I can imagine how much time you spent making yourself legal. So It just seems wrong for those who don't have a license to be out there competing against you for business.

    Because your legal you're protected too. A year or so ago authorities down around Fresno conducted a sting operation against CFO's. They went online and ordered a bunch of food products. When the food was delivered and money exchange they arrested the individuals.

    Those that were arrested accepted a plea bargain to a fine and one years probation. One individual refuse to except the plea bargain. She was headed towards trial. They said if she was convicted not only would she face a fine but could serve up to one year in jail. Highly unlikely a judge would sentence her to a year in jail. But wow, what a hassle for all involved.

    With all the murderers, drug dealers, and burglars running around, you'd think the police would have far important things to do than round up a bunch CFOs for selling a darn cupcake!
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 30, 2017
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