Submitted by Sarah Halterman, owner, Sweet Art Bakery
In a quiet suburban neighborhood in McKinney, Texas, Betty C., a soul-searching housewife decides to follow her new-found passion. In her humble domestic kitchen, she is euphorically mixing her most
prized chocolate chiffon cake, mentally planning the beautiful decorations with which she will adorn this ever so special wedding cake- her first! Her daydream comes to a screeching halt as Tabby, the inquisitive housecat jumps upon the kitchen counter. Pushing him off the counter and restarting the hand mixer, she forges on ahead. After all, the cat didn’t actually lick anything this time, so it’s all good.
Smelling a familiar odor wafting in from the next room, Betty knows her husband’s cigar smoking really bothers their pet parrot, so she agitatedly leaves her workspace to once again remind him of his
oversight. While she’s out of the room, 10 year old Jr. comes in from playing basketball. As he walks past Mom’s batter bowl, he dips his finger in for a satisfyingly long drag through the batter . “Ohhhhh.
Yea! Chocolate Chiffon again – my favorite”.
Returning to the task at hand, Betty is pleased that this is shaping up to be one awesome cake!
True Story? Could be. On June 17, 2011, Governor Rick Perry signed SB 81, the Texas Cottage Food Law,
which goes into effect on September 1, 2011, allowing the previously illegal activity of making and
selling baked goods from one’s home now LEGAL. Read more on SB 81 (section 5&6). Housewives
across the state are rejoicing! I can hear the hand mixers whirring from here.
From a consumer’s perspective, please take into consideration the following health regulations when
comparing a home baker to a licensed bakery.
Unlike a bakery, Home Bakers Under the Cottage Food Law are not required to …
–Hold a Texas Food Manufacturing License
–Hold a local Health Department issued Food Permit (renewed each year … not allowed for home bakers)
–Mandate that every employee holds a basic food handler’s certificate with a minimum of one food
manager on duty per shift.
— Undergo inspection a minimum of twice yearly by the local Health Department (not allowed for home baker)
–Use a grease trap required to help protect the city’s water system
–Have a separate hand wash sink, mop sink, and 3 compartment dishwashing sink
–Have regulated refrigeration and water temperature mandated and inspected.
–Have Scheduled pest control
–Have Liability insurance
You may soon see an abundance of home-based “bakeshops” and “cake studios” popping up in
McKinney, and its likely most of these places will be very low priced. Why? Little to no overhead.
Bakeries all across the state may or may not feel the effects of the influx of hobbyists turned overnight
business owners- time will tell.
TSB readers, what do you think? Feel free to share your opinions below in the Comments section