Cut The Red Tape, An Anonymous Baker’s Story

Today we feature the personal story of a stay-at-home mom who loved to bake. This is her story in her own words. She has chosen to remain anonymous.

“I was a stay-at-home mom for years and home-schooled my three sons.
During that time, I sold baked goods and candy from my home to supplement
our income. I really enjoyed baking for others – and especially being
able to earn an income from it. Baking could be done in the evenings
after school or even during the night, in the comfort of my own home, with
my children there with me. There were no childcare costs, additional
work-wear costs, or other expenses associated with having a job outside
the home. It really was an ideal setup for me.

Then I received “The Letter” from the local health department. In order
to continue my business, I would need to invest a substantial amount of
money into building a commercial kitchen in which to process my orders.
Obviously, being a one-regular-income family of 5, we could not afford
this expense. My business brought in enough money to help make ends meet
and afford a few extras like the occasional meal out, but it was not
profitable enough to justify borrowing the money required to build a
commercial kitchen…so I had to give it up.

Shortly after, I was offered a full-time job where I had worked before.
My sons were old enough that I felt led to accept the job and re-enter the
working world. People still call (almost 3 years later) to see if they
can order baked goods for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc., but I
have to turn them down.

If I had been shut down for reasons of unsanitary conditions or that my
products had made people sick, I could understand. But being closed
simply because I don’t have enough sinks and because I use my kitchen to
cook for my family seems harsh. If people who know me want me to bake
something in my kitchen and let them pay for it, it seems that it should
be legal. I have never forced my products on anyone – I have only
fulfilled requests.

I really think that a Cottage Food Law would help others in situations
like mine. Not only would it benefit the family by having additional
income, it could also help to stimulate the economy. Each of those bakers
that are earning extra income would also be paying extra income taxes and
spending that extra income, whether to buy more supplies and equipment for
the business or to help with other expenses, such as a car or vacation.
Others may just need that little bit extra to keep from falling behind.

Whatever the situation, selling baked goods from home to people who ask
you to make them should not be an illegal enterprise in Kentucky. It
should be not only allowed, but applauded. We are honest, hard-working
people trying to make better lives for our families.”

By: Anonymous Baker, Kentucky

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