Reply to "Hello There, Cookie Enthusiasts!"

Sweethart Baking Experiment posted:
Sweet Prodigy - Christine posted:

Hi, Kimberly! I'm from Ontario, Canada too. I consider myself more of an artist than a baker.  Your story is very interesting and I'm curious about how you set up a licensed food business in your home. I'm guessing your house is zoned for commercial use and you have a commercial kitchen? Besides being cost prohibitive, I've always thought it was next to impossible to set up a licensed, commercial food business out of one's house in Ontario. Can you please let me know how you manage to do this? 

Hey Christine! No, I just have a regular home kitchen, actually, and I live in a residential area - I just need to make sure I follow the guidelines set for things like food temperatures (every fridge and freezer has to have a thermometer) and to make sure I use a sanitizer (200ppm bleach to water, basically), have atleast a double or triple sink, and there is all sorts of little things the health inspector looks at twice per year. I am considered low to medium risk because I do cakes, cookies, etc. It would be different if I sold meats, canned goods, etc. but it all varies from county to county. The only commercial equipment I have is my 20qt mixer and a sheet rack. The rest is just a regular kitchen set up!

I also have my business insurance, of course - it covers everything including the Farmers Market and any shows that I do throughout the year. And I am a registered business.

I am quite a small business - I provide cookies to about four different local businesses and I schedule a pick up time for customers to come to my house and pick up their orders.

You should look into it! I'm not sure where in Ontario you live, but I know the rules are different depending on your area (I'm in Huron County).

Thanks for the info. I always though that it was provincial regulations that prohibited the use of a residential kitchen for commercial use, and that municipal regions/counties were governed by these laws, regardless of where you are in Ontario. I guess I was wrong. That said, you are very lucky that your local health department allows you to operate out of your home kitchen. I live closer to Toronto and around here (Toronto, Peel, Durham, York, Halton, Hamilton-Wentworth, etc.) if the health inspector were to come to your residential kitchen, it would be to shut you down. (Although they will usually only come if there is a complaint.) Fortunately, there is also a place in Mississauga called, The Cake Collective, which is a health inspected commercial kitchen rental space for bakers.

 Right now, I do not have a lot of buyers for my cookies and cupcakes (just admirers with shallow pockets ) and I am still working on honing my skills (when I can find the time) to become proficient enough to sell professionally or to even teach this wonderful - and delicious - craft.