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Thursday, February 2, 2012

I've been CAKE BLOCKED! Welcome to my blog!

Hi!  My name is Jennifer and yes, I have been CAKE BLOCKED!!!  (More on that in a minute).  First, a little about me.  My husband is a teacher, middle school in fact.  I'm still not sure how he does it.  I have two sweet boys...okay, most of the time they're sweet...sometimes MONSTROUS.  But aren't they adorable?!?!  Nicholas is 8 and in 2nd grade, Cullen is 3 and stays at home with me every day of the week.  Well, until he goes to pre-k next year.  I decided to stay at home with my kids when Cullen was born.  Gas prices were $4 a gallon, I was driving almost an hour each way to and from work.  Plus, my paycheck would barely cover the expense of daycare.  So, we took a pay cut, changed our lifestyle, sold our second car, and I decided to stay at home.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being at home every day for my kids, but some days I wish I had a car, or some conversation that didn't include legos, cars, and Caillou.      

I am a hobby baker with a passion for more!  I absolutely love to bake, love to create new desserts, and love to watch baking shows on tv.  And I spend hours on my laptop looking for cake inspirations, editing my cake pictures, and doing research on cake stuff-sounds technical, I know.  I am self-taught...no classes at all.  I do think that skills are genetic.  You see, my Grandma was an amazing baker and created beautiful cakes.  And then there's my Mom-  I think she took a Wilton class back in the day, but she is amazing!  She taught me how to make buttercream roses when I was little (although I'm not sure I could make one now, lol).  She made my oldest brother's wedding cake almost 20 years ago, and I still remember what it tasted like!  One day I'll find a picture of it to post for you.

So, on to cakes... My love for baking was increasing with each birthday cake made for my kids.  (Side note:  I LOVE to throw parties!  If you've ever been to one of my kids parties, you know how crazy I get.  And yes, I've already planned out parties for the boys and their birthdays are not until July and September.)  Each year was bigger and better than the last, which led to friends asking for cakes for their kids, and then their friends, and so on and so on. And, well,  Sweet Dreams Cakery was born (well, not that easy, but you get the idea). Orders were flooding my inbox and my skills were getting better with each cake.  It was a win win situation...or so I thought.  In the state of GA, like many others, you are not allowed to sell baked goods from your home.  You must use a commercial kitchen, separate from your main kitchen.  Seriously?  I mean, food is probably more safe coming out of my kitchen, than some commercial ones, but whatever.  How did I find this out you ask?  I received a phone call one morning from the Dept of Agriculture.  I was too scared to talk to the guy, so the hubs called for me.  Turns out he was very nice and helpful.  Someone had reported an unlicensed bakery to the Health Dept.  And whoever it was, went straight to the top, and minutes after they received notice, I was contacted.    NICE!  And so I have officially been CAKE BLOCKED!!! They offered suggestions for me to convert our kitchen, get a mobile unit, use a shared kitchen, or open a storefront.  Unfortunately, the quickest solution, the garage conversion is a no go from the Water Dept.  

Since October, I have contacted banks, done countless hours of research, and have set my goals for my future business.  It seems that I keep coming up short.  There is a petition in the state of GA to pass a Cottage Food Law allowing bakers like myself to be able to sell items baked from their home.  Please check it out and sign!  The more signatures, the better.  But for now, I'm just trying to spread the word and hopefully gain support from viewers across the globe.  I love what I do.  I love to watch the reactions when people see my cakes.  I would love it even more if I could jump over these hurdles. 

5 comments:

  1. Wow Jennifer! I had no idea that you were having to deal with this! How frustrating. Where can the petition be found at? I would love to sign it for you...your cakes are amazing and your creativity does not need to be "blocked"!

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  2. Thanks Bri! It's terribly frustrating. Here's the link... http://www.change.org/petitions/georgia-state-legislature-enact-a-cottage-food-law-in-the-state-of-georgia

    I know this will all be worth it in the end. :)

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  3. Jennifer, you do such beautiful work. Can I sign; since I live out of state. Keep up the beautiful work.
    B:)
    Through Christ, all things are possible. Lift it up to Him.

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  4. Hey billie! yes, you can definitely sign...the more signatures, the better!!! And thank you for your sweet words.

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