The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking for sale outside

Sapphire baker's picture
Sapphire baker

Baking for sale outside

I was just told by a Florida Department of Agriculture (health regulations) representative that they do not allow any cooking or baking outside.  Has anyone seen this situation in real life?  Are there no cooking or baking sytems out-of-doors in Florida or other states?


My idea was to proceed through the bread preparation process and load a wood-fired oven, putting on a baking show a few times each week outdoors on a restaurant patio.

Crider's picture

Ask the health person to cite the law so you can look it up. Sometimes, they don't know what they're asserting. If your request is seen as unusual they simply say, "No."

Royall Clark's picture
Royall Clark

Question. Do they sell briquettes in Florida? It would seem to me if they are, then it is must be legal to cook outdoors since you can't use them indoors! I may be wrong, but I think there is more pollutants when burning briquettes than wood!

If you follow through with your idea, keep your fire "healthy" so you don't make lots of smoke to attract attention!



Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

I think the key word here is "Baking for SALE" the people that moniter restraurants for health and safety have a responsibility to keep the public safe.  I am not in Florida or the food service industry so I don't know the rules.

Your best bet is to talk with the people that regulate and inforce these rules.  Explain what you want to do and ask for suggestions on how you can bake for sale outside and still be within regulations.

Good luck

verminiusrex's picture

Like someone else said, look up exactly what the law is. I'm willing to bet there are codes for preparing hot foods for sale in an outdoor environment, if it applies to baked goods is beyond me. 

An option would be to do most of your baking earlier in the day elsewhere and have them for sale, but do your demo baking to draw in the customers to buy the prepackaged breads. Bread straight from the oven would be too hot to sell right away. 

flournwater's picture

 According to the Florida Aggricultural Department, the outdoor cooking is regulated but it is not prohibited.  When I talked to them I was told that the formal guidelines, available on request, explained the rules for those types of activities in the Sate of Florida.

Sapphire baker, check your mail  -  I'll send you a copy.


sagharbormo's picture

I would be interested in seeing the rules too.

Over a year ago in our small town, (p. 2,500) our local weekly carried a photo of some mean anti-immigrant blokes, carrying signs like "Deport the hund" "Arrest the Illegals," "Swine Go Home" etc. picketing at the shape-up site daylaborers gather at our RR station. I was so ashamed and incensed at the mean tone used against these hard working, wonderful daylaborers. I showed up the next day with bread & a jug of coffee at lunchtime. Then I began bringing stuff so they could make sandwiches. About 2 wks later, a photo appeared in our paper of me with loaves of bread at the RR station and the next day the Minimen were back with their ugly signs. But a funny thing happened, many other bakers began showing up with lunch so we were able to take days to bring food and I no longer needed to show up every day. The Minimen ran out  of steam of course, but we have not missed a day, except Sundays, for over one year now.

The police were called a couple of times with complaints we were blocking egress; that we were selling food, that we were littering, etc. The police told us we were in our rights to continue legally as the reports were false. About 3 months ago, the health department inspector showed up & told us it was illegal to dispense food without a license in our county and we had to get one to continue. One of our volunteers, an elderly lady, told the young health inspector off, telling her she would have to arrest her and then arrest the next day after getting out of jail. (These bakers are an impassioned lot, not likely to give up so easily after so much experience baking!) The inspector came back a few days later & the fellow volunteering that day gave her a similar what-for, telling her how ridiculous it was to believe the county might have prevented the Sermon on the Mount, with a Nazarene handing out loaves and fishes and doubtlessly loitering too against county regulations.

The Minimen & the county health inspector have not returned & we still carry on. Our town for the most part are glad the daylaborers are here as most elderly homeowners found it very difficult to hire a licensed landscaper $45. and hour or a handyman $60. an hr when they could hire one of these honest, hard working immigrants $15 or 20. an hr. Now even high school kids charge $15 to 20. an hr.

And the town's bakers are better bakers now. So my advice is to keep on keeping on & let the inspectors inspect the hindmost. --mo


flournwater's picture

Check your mailbox ...

rubens's picture


My name is John. My wife and I just started selling baked good in an outdoor martket in Florida. We would really like to start baking at our stand. I read in an earlier post that you may have information from the Florida Aggricultural Department on outdoor baking guidelines. WOuld you please send us a copy of any information regarding this. I would like to be armed with as much information as I can before I contact them.

Thank you very much,


Jack Hodges's picture
Jack Hodges

This guy just spent the winter in the Tampa, FL.  Obviously, making and selling Pizza at various locations, including a number of weekend "markets".  I heard about him at the Tarpon Springs Saturday Morning Farmers Market.

cookingwithdenay's picture

I am aware of a baker who built an outdoor oven in Carrboro, North Carolina where the North Carolina Department of Agriculture regulates the production of home-based food processing for sale to the public. I taught a home foods processing course in NC and the owner was one of my students. He has photos of the "oven build" on his website. Scroll down and take a peek at his bakery start-up. I know this is not allowed in most states and in the states that do allow it, you'll really need to dig to find out who regulates everything. Michigan will allow you to put a commercial kitchen in your basement, but you must have a separate entrance (it depends on the county) and follow strict firecodes/laws; a few other states allow this too, but not FL. It is so strange, every individual state, county, city, township etc is different, no conformity at all.

cliffgarz's picture

Hi I am interested in doing something similar with my pizzas.  There is nothing like what I have in this area,  I have several friends over and we sit around making and eating pizzas and then i'll fire off some breads.  I would like to be able to do this commercially once the deck i am building is complete.  I would not have and "dine in" it strictly to start would be cash and carry show I just let it gather steam by word of mouth?  Should I go to the health department and ask questions I just don't want to stir things up for something that may go nowhere.   Right now I do this for my friends and for fun.  My idea and oven can be seen at