October 2014 Update: If you stumbled upon this older post, you’ll be heartened to know that I’m very much in business! The issue of licensing was an interesting one, switching from New York State to my local Tompkins County Health Department. It resulting in a hiatus of about a year, but a far better baking space in a separate commercial kitchen, and many beautiful cakes created from 2014 onwards!
This has been a tough week for me.
I have been operating my at-home bakery business under an exemption from the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets as a “home processor” since April 2006.
After I attested that I was still operating the business this year, I received a call this week to cease operating Emoticakes as a home processor. In January 2013, they changed their policy, prohibiting a home processor from making specialty items such as birthday cakes, per order. Further, they disallow selling directly to consumers from my home. As of this writing, I could still sell at “wholesale marketing or retail agricultural venues, which includes farms, but excludes food stands that are not located on a farm or at an ag-related event.”
At this point, I’m weighing my options. Call it a cake-sabbatical.
If I’m to continue baking the custom cakes I’m known for, I’ll need to either create a wholly separate kitchen in my home (something we don’t have the space for), acquire my own commercial space and have it certified by the health department, or rent space from a certified commercial kitchen.
In the meantime, I hope you find inspiration on this site for your own creations. I hope to be back someday, making more delicious cakes!