The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Musings from an almost CFO in CA: So now what?

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joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Musings from an almost CFO in CA: So now what?

OK, so I jumped right in and applied for a permit to become a cottage food organization.  I am excited, no denying that.  I was even the first person in the county (Sonoma, that is) to apply.  The lady in the office says I should be getting my registration permit next week.  So now there's a course to take (food handler), business records to be set up, advertising to be done, pricing to be mulled over and decided upon (yeah, that's a tough one!).  Maybe even a web site.  As I said, I am eager to get started, but this is a solo operation and the details are many.  I would appreciate any bits of wisdom, suggestions, stories of your experiences doing this, etc.  (No, I don't think I'm going the farmer's market route, just individual sales--I'm a type A who applied for a type A permit, that is, direct sales).

Hoping to hear from you,

Joyful 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Cool! Congrats, great to hear! Keep us posted on how it goes. 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Go slow.  Your goal is to bake bread and one needs not a website to do so.  A website and other various related projects are nice but not essential to baking bread.  It is much like gardening, if the first year garden is too big you will likely be discouraged and not all that productive.  Focus on the bread, the recipes and the baking.

Have fun,

Jeff

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Your comments are so welcome.  Just feeling interest and support from fellow TFL'ers is a big boost.  As to going "slow," I appreciate that very much.  I have a base of friends who have enjoyed my breads and  have had encouragement to "go pro," but I still have to keep my perspective.  I'm a "grannie down the street," as one commenter remarked, and I'm not interested in 3 a.m. awakenings 4 or 5 days a week.  But this is what I love to do!

Joyful

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

still a joyful baker in a year then you will have succeeded by anyone's standard.  Bake well and the customers will come and come back - more importantly they will tell others who will also enjoy your baking.   I am so happy for you. 

Have no fear !

janniethebaker's picture
janniethebaker

Hi, Joyful Baker. Congratulations on leaping the bar and getting certified.  Have been trying to do the same in Marin County, but I cannot locate the correct county office to do this.  No information is available.  Can you please tell me the office you worked with in Sonoma, and perhaps their phone number?  Maybe I can get to the local office that way.

 

Many thanks for your information.

Cottage Foods Sandie's picture
Cottage Foods Sandie

Hi Janniethebaker,

Here's the link you need www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/CD/Main/comdev/EHS/food/food.cfm

You would go to your local office for Marin County Environmental Health department and ask for the Community Development Agency people.  Let us know at www.sdcottagefoods.com (or our FB page, San Diego Cottage Foods) how it goes and if you have any issues.  We're out to help all aspiring CA cottage food entrepreneurs!

Cottage Foods Sandie's picture
Cottage Foods Sandie

Happy to hear you've taken the plunge! Me, too :)  And I set up a site to help other aspiring cottage food entrepreneurs do the same. Some of the information is specific to San Diego County but other info is statewide. We'll be featuring some insights on pricing, marketing, packaging, etc. in the near future so check in now and then. We're all looking for ways to help each other succeed! www.sdcottagefoods.com   Looking forward to hearing about your experiences as you build your business! 

Cottage Foods Sandie's picture
Cottage Foods Sandie

if this is a duplicate of the earlier comment, please forgive. Still learning to be a techie

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Isn't TFL great?  Thanks to Cottage Foods Sandie for your entrepreneurial help; I will be sure to check in.  Looks like each county has its own peculiarities.  Jannie, I heard (lecture by Frederick Smith at The Seed Bank in Petaluma about 3 weeks or so ago) that Marin County is pretty liberal (as is S.F. County) in that locals can buy goods made in other counties (we in Sonoma County cannot).  Hope you have luck with the Marin Dept. of Environmental Health (I went to the one in Sonoma County).  There's bound to be someone in the office who's knowledgeable and helpful.  

Thanks dabrownman, for your encouragement; it's so helpful!  You are right that the most important thing is to "bake well" and "have no fear."  I will keep those words in mind!

Joyful