I'm Seeking Advice

Updated on April 09, 2015
S.S. asks from Binghamton, NY
11 answers

Hello All,
My quest today is not about kids but more about becoming my own boss. I'm not selling anything, just seeking some pointers. Even though I went to school for cosmetology and loved it, my true passion has always been baking so I have decided that life is too short not to follow my passions. My question is if I start an at-home baking company do I need my kitchen inspected? I live in New York and I tried looking on the state website and honestly I got a headache from all the non answers I got. If anyone could point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

These are questions you need to ask local authorities, in person or on the phone if necessary. From my VERY limited experience, I say yes. A friend of a friend has a cupcake business and her commercial kitchen gets inspected and she can be shut down if anything is amiss.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Call the health department. Or try to talk to an owner of a small baking company in your area.
I think all foods need to be made in an approved inspected kitchen. (But I'm not in NY)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

It's great that you want to follow your passion! You're smart to do your homework ahead of time.

Most of the people I know who are involved in food prep on their own have a ServSafe certificate. It's not so much about your kitchen being inspected as about being trained yourself: https://www.servsafe.com/home

I'm not sure how regulations vary from state to state, but having your kitchen inspected is more than just having them look at cleanliness. You also need separate sinks for hand washing vs. dishwashing, for example. That will be covered, most likely, in ServSafe. Check with the health department (they inspect restaurants) and also check with the town clerk about what you need in for a business certificate. Zoning issues may apply too.

Beyond that, you need a marketing plan and a good website (as well as a way to drive traffic to it). This is not just a matter of having cute business cards - you need a real plan. That means an advertising/marketing professional. You have to distinguish yourself from other businesses, and determine what niche you will fill (who are your customers? - supermarkets, small independent markets, farm stands, private parties, what?). One baking company in my area got started with a woman setting up shop at the weekly farmer's market from May to October, and making products available for sale at some local farm stands too. She now has a storefront in town. Her specialty happens to be brownies and she has at least 6 different types. At the same markets there was also a bread baking vendor with rolls and loaves of various types. It's good visibility. You might consider that as a starting point just to get your name out there - you have time to get certified before May.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on


This is a copy of the home bakery business law that changed a few years ago where they no longer need inspections or licenses.




You can google your own states laws regarding home bakeries too.

There have been a lot of laws made to cover in home businesses in the past few years. In Oklahoma they don't have to be inspected or licensed or have 2 exits or have 3 sinks or anything. But I don't know where to go find that law. I had a friend on FB who opened her own bakery in her home. I didn't think she was all that clean of a person so I didn't eat anything she made.

She told me about the new laws that have been set up to encourage people to make money so they can stay afloat.

I suggest you call your local vo-tech or community college. They'll have information about this I think. Our vo-tech has a pilot program where they help a business for a year. They help them get licensed and insured and so much other stuff. We used them when I set up my child care business. It really helped when filling out all those papers for insurance and then for payroll.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Good for you for following your passion!

I would call my local health department and schedule a meeting, go in with a list of questions and make sure you get answers to those questions.

Here's what I found when I googled "how to start an in-home bakery in New York"

Reading more - there is a home processing kit


Check into a community college for classes on business administration as well as baking - you might learn things you didn't know!!

Go to another bakery and find out if they are hiring - get in there and realize what it takes to own and operate a business so you can SUCCEED.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

It looks like you have some helpful advice here. I would hope/assume there are inspections and regulations enforced. My daughter in college is a server and she has to have a food handler's permit through the health department.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

It depends on how far into this business you are. Most people start by making things for family and friends. Are you already making a living from this? You can make custom cakes for people and charge them, Im not really sure if you would need to have any kind of license. If you are to the point where you are opening an actual business - then I would start with the board of health in your state, they can probably point you in the right direction. Getting licenses can be costly so its not something I would pursue unless I was already making money.


answers from Washington DC on

sounds like an excellent idea, but do talk to other small bakers first. i know that here in MD any commercially marketed baked goods MUST come from a commercially inspected and licensed kitchen.
people slide around it all the time, of course, church and bake sale fundraisers etc. but if you want to do it sustainably, you'll probably either have to get your own kitchen inspected or rent space in a commercial kitchen. it's kind of a shame- i know a few moms in my local area who wanted to do the same thing and got stymied by the un-do-able expense of needing a wazoo kitchen set-up.



answers from Amarillo on

Food handling is so different from other hobbies/businesses. Your local city might want to inspect the area where you are going to conduct the business like your kitchen. They may have suggestions which would warrant you to move to a commercial kitchen to be in compliance with health/food preparation codes.

Do check with other people in the area that are into the same line of business and see if they would help/mentor you.

Good luck on your choices.

the other S.


answers from Albany on

Pretty sure there's a little known but strictly enforced law in NYS that you have to have a sample of all your baked goods (especially cupcakes) sent to my house for testing. Hehehe.

I don't know the answer here, but I wanted to suggest you contact some of the farmer's markets in your area to see if you could sell there at least to start out. I think the regulations for farmer's markets are different.

Good luck!


For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions