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Topic: Selling food/baked goods at a craft fair?  (Read 14949 times)
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littlebiskit
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« on: April 07, 2008 11:16:54 AM »

I was suddenly struck with a business idea last week, and am now dead set on bringing it to fruition.  But I'm searching everywhere for answers, and not coming up with many.

I want to sell things pretty much only at craft fairs and possibly an Etsy shop.  I figure I'll need a tax ID# at the very least.  I'm located in Minnesota, and so far haven't gotten much help from the email I sent requesting info from the Dept. of Health, but I'm wondering if I need to work from a commercial kitchen, if I need liability insurance, that sort of thing.

(I actually already called my insurance guy, just in case.)

Also, how do you go about finding a commercial kitchen to rent, if I need one?  Are large church kitchens usually certified?  I suppse I could just call around.  I really want to do this, but I'm trying to be smart about it.  Any help or resources you guys could offer would be great!
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I am walking 12 hours straight for my local Relay For Life event.  [a href="http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY11MW?px=16690269&pg=personal&fr_id=30095"]Please support me![/a href] I'm only 40% to my goal! =0(
ninamarie80@aol.com
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008 11:37:28 AM »

Hi All--

My first post, but I'm addicted! especially to the clothing boards--Anyway, you could see about renting a restaurant out at night or when they're closed. There is a lady who makes cookies or some baked goods out of a pizza restaurant when they're not open.

Good Luck!

Nina
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embroiderywitch
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2008 09:02:43 AM »

This question is right up my alley. My husband and I ran a traveling concession business for 5 years and here is what we know to be true.

Yes, you have to have a health department certificate in order to make food to sell. Call them and find out who your health inspector is. He can tell you what is required for your state. A health certificate can be very expensive. Ours was 300.00 a year, and if you go to another state, usually have to buy a temp certificate and be reinspected. They can inspect you at anytime,so you have to be ready.He will also tell you what is required in the way of a kitchen. Alot of people rent space at churches, and other resturants when they are closed.
You cannot get your own kitchen certified if you have kids or pets. At least in Kansas you can't.

Yes, you have to have liability insurance. Some shows can require up to 1/2Millon dollars worth of coverage.
Check with your insurance person and see if they will cover your liability. Mine ran 60.00 a month for a seasonal
business.

Check to see what kind of labeling is required. If you are selling packaged goods, you usually are required to
have a front label with- what it is-weight or content-and at least your town and state. On the back you will need an ingredients label.

We have a trailer that has been modified to be certified as a professional kitchen. It has a 3-bay sink and a hand wash station. We ran a sweets business so all of my equiment was moveable. We did cinnamon roasted nuts, homemade fudge, shaved ice(snowcones) and espresso coffee drinks.
I made muffins and baked goods to go with the coffee.

This business was closed in December 2007 due to the high cost of gas and the high cost of event fees.Food vendors can expect to pay 100.00-600.00 per event weekend (depending on the size of the event), and you will have to have extra electrical which can cost 50.00-100.00 more.

If I can help you any further or if you might be interested in any of my equipment- drop me an e-mail

Colleen Mills
digitalgoddess1958@yahoo.com
Kansas
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CraftyChef
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008 10:50:23 AM »

In Minnesota, even if you want to do up dry spice mixes, you need a commercial kitchen. You cannot store food for the production in your home, either, so you need commercial storage also.

Plus, you need to get your foods tested so you can produce nutrition labels.

Churches or community center kitchens will turn their backs on you. If you produce a food and "something happens", the owner of the kitchen can be sued even if it's all your fault. There's also something about a commercial production, no matter how small, in a church that clashes with their tax status. Many of those church kitchens aren't certified. If someone lives on the property, it can be considered a residential kitchen. It's all very complicated. And totally stupid.
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littlebiskit
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008 11:08:53 AM »

Yeah, that's kind of the vibe I'd been getting, thank you, CraftyChef.  So I guess my little venture is on the back burner unless I can think of a way to get a kitchen.  I definitely don't have the start-up money for one at this point.

That's very sad.

=0(
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I am walking 12 hours straight for my local Relay For Life event.  [a href="http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY11MW?px=16690269&pg=personal&fr_id=30095"]Please support me![/a href] I'm only 40% to my goal! =0(
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