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waitingtocook 01-29-2010 04:05 PM

Selling your bread?
Hey folks,

I am lucky enough to be starting a business, with a commercial kitchen, and am also lucky enough to have my (pride and joy) wood fired oven at home.
I have been baking bread for a while now in my oven, and am very pleased with the results, and have even had some requests to purchase my bread.

Now, as my oven and kitchen are in 2 separate places (albeit less than 2 km down the road), I would love to be able to make/store/proof my dough in my commercial kitchen, then transport it to bake in my oven, then back to sell in my business. I deliberately built my oven larger than usual, planning for this.

My question relates to the legalities of part of the process being at home, not in a registered kitchen.

I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience doing something similar, making bread at home and selling it somewhere. I'm thinking there must be permits out there allowing people to do so and sell at farmer's markets etc?

Im in Melbourne, Australia, so any local advice would we great, but my understanding of the Food and Safety code tells me that it (should) be enforced consistently nation wide, so any Aussie's who might have some knowledge to pass on would be great.

And hey, even anyone from anywhere else, I'm sure the same issues bob up everywhere, so please, no thought is too small or too insignificant.

I don't plan to bake every day, but hopefully attract customers for a once a week, freshly baked, "bread day". I am so excited about the possibility of selling that which I have produced.

Thanks in advance, look forward to hearing any thoughts,

brokencookie 01-29-2010 04:23 PM

Re: Selling your bread?
In the US the food codes vary from county to county. Most have a lot of things in common. The biggest difference is in what they choose to inforce. I have a trailer that I converted to a commercial jam making facility. I had to have 3 seperate certifications to sell. In addition, if I go somewhere and give out samples, I have to have an additional inspection. My guess would be that anywhere you have food (at home or in the commercial kitchen), it must be certified.

Best of Luck

vintagemx0 01-29-2010 10:22 PM

Re: Selling your bread?
In the US, that would probably be a real gray area due to many factors. You're not really mass-producing, just doing small lots. In the US, when an appliance is used commercially, it has to be certified by an accredited NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) organization. This is a third-party laboratory who will assess that the appliance conforms with accepted standards and methods. In the case of food-related appliances, much of the evaluation would center around the issue of sanitation. However, at bread-baking temperatures, there is probably not too much concern.

I would suggest to think through the entire process (including transport), document it, and then try to sell the idea to your local officials. Go in "armed for bear", but hold it in reserve and wait for them to ask more information.

Good luck!

heliman 01-29-2010 11:36 PM

Re: Selling your bread?
People obviously make and sell bread on a small scale for the local church fete and schools for fundraising etc so perhaps there is a cut off point at which something stops being a cottage inductry and becomes a commercial venture. On what sort of scale are you looking at selling your bread?


heliman 01-29-2010 11:44 PM

Re: Selling your bread?
Just found this info (US focus) which suggests:
Depending upon what state you live in, it may not be possible to do this (eg. in Florida a commercial kitchen may not be connected to a domicile.)

Your kitchen will have to be able to pass regular inspection by the health department.

You have to get a business license and register the name of your business with the state.

If you plan on having employees, you will have other legal bases to cover.
How do I start an at home bakery business? - Yahoo! Answers


waitingtocook 01-30-2010 12:10 AM

Re: Selling your bread?
Thanks for the reply folks,

I am currently dealing with the local council in regards to the business set up, and the bureaucratic nightmare that it is proving to be! I can just imagine their response to my bread idea...."You want to do what?!!!!!"

I am lucky enough that my home where my oven is is in a different council to my business, and that council seems to be a lot more understanding and open to such ideas. Seeing as how I am only 'cooking' the product off site, and I can guarantee that the transport step is not an issue.... hmmmm we'll have to wait and see...

I will investigate cottage industries to see just exactly what that means.

heliman 01-30-2010 02:21 AM

Re: Selling your bread?
Yes, I worked for a couple of local councils (in a former life) so understand your frustration. It seems that anything related to food automatically gets 10 x more complicated....

Given the complexity of this matter - would it not be better to get an official legal opinion? Oz is soooo regulated and it is a real minefield for the likes of us.

Good luck with the project - it sounds really exciting.


waitingtocook 01-31-2010 12:57 PM

Re: Selling your bread?

you are certainly right about things getting alot more complicated when food is involved.

I'd love to be able to get a legal opinion, if only I knew who to give one, I've been through all of the food act with a fine tooth comb, but there are so many grey areas that it just seems that so much is left to people at local level to make a decision on, based on very vague guidelines.

If anyone knows of such a 'food lawyer' in Melbourne, I would love to know.


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