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Bill in Texas for legal home bakeries

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
HR Bill 3282

Hearing on Tuesday March 24.

Can anyone comment on this?
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #2 of 51
I found this http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs...f/HB03282I.pdf

I haven't read it completely but I think many states have similar legislation in place.

From what I undertand there has been a substantial grassroots lobbying ffort to get to this point.
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 

worry

I worry that there is little regulation on insurance, santiation etc... very foggy.

What will this do to the mom and pop bakery? Small businesses?

What happens when one of these little house bakers makes people sick with a foodborne illness?
Do they loose their house, do they loose their coverage or do they go to jail?

I think it is very open to interpritaion.

Heck I sure would love to open a bakery out of my house- but if something went wrong.....?????

Just look what happend here in Texas with peanutbutter in a facility that was not inspected. :cry:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #4 of 51
Any of these could be an outcome. Jail would be very doubtful though. Without insurance and having a house as a primary asset there would be danger in losing it. The key there would be the amount of equity in the house and what the house was worth to begin with. Existing homeowners insurance will most likely not cover such a situation. The insurance companies will most likely require an additional policy.

Most products approved for this kind of thing are typically are not considered hazardous, i.e. needing careful attention to refrigeration or kept hot. Consequently the overall risk is considered to be very low.

I don't think this will have a big impact on the small business/mom & pop type operation. I think it will have an initial fairly small impact but over time many of these homebakers will be washed out by the paperwork and tax filings/record keeping stuff. Also many of these folks will be catering to the people who want stuff super cheap; stuff that the mom & pop folks don't need to be bothered with, IMO.
post #5 of 51
In my area alot of people are already doing this...but without the knowledge or consent of the government.

They generally charge ridiculously low prices and their product is not that great as they are lacking in the skill and/or equipment to compete on a professional level.

It hasn't affected my business at all. Not terribly worried about it.

But I totally see what you are saying about health and safety concerns. My insurance for my patisserie is ridiculously low for $2 million dollars in liability insurance and of course replacement cost for theft, fire...or whatever other disaster may befall me. But as soon as I start catering off site or deep frying anything...we're talking a totally different ballgame. I don't even want to know what I'd be paying then!

I did mention to our local health inspector that when I do gluten free baking I bake at home because I can virtually guarantee that my home kitchen is going to be free of any wheat particles...can't guarantee that at the shop no matter how much I clean. She promptly informed me to STOP doing that immediately as my house is not a licensed kitchen and cooking from there and selling the product could land me in a pile of hot water. But you're talking about people actually getting their kitchens licensed so I guess we're talking about two different animals here.

I wonder how much business you'd be able to get for a home bakery. You have no visibility....not necessarily easy to find. Lots of wasted product because you'd have no venue to sell off whatever is left from things you'd bake for orders. You'd have to do ALOT of marketing/advertising. I wonder if you'd really make much money.

I agree with JBD. Those who do try to do this home bakery thing won't last long with all of the retarded paperwork and incidental costs the government demands. It's enough to make me consider taking up drinking on a regular basis!
post #6 of 51
It's true that the home bakeries will low-ball on the prices and attract and cater to the clients who are "birds" (Cheap, cheap, cheap) These typically include church/social groups, schools, offices, and small time caterers.

Like anything else in life, there's pros and cons.....

One the one hand, I'm gratefull for poorly made, sloppy baked goods made with "institutional" ingredients--the worse they are, the better I look.

One of the biggest compliments I ever got was from an elderly oriental couple a few months ago. Loudly discussing between themselves in dialect (which my wife happens to speak...) in front of my display case, one spouse loudly convinced the other not to get a "cheap safeway cake" this year for the birthday party, and rather go for a "good one", the cost was justified.

On the other hand, here in Canada we have a GST (Goods & services tax) which applies to baked goods as well. No one stays a home based baker for long: Either you go bust, get caught in tax problems, or grow out of the home based business.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #7 of 51
Have you heard anything about Texas becoming a home-based bakery? I just talked to a man who is opening an incubator kitchen in Texas for home bakers and food processors...just wondering.

Denay
D. Denay Davis

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D. Denay Davis

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post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 

HB 3282 Dead

The bill is dead for now.

If anyone read it, there was no provision for anything other than items that are baked in an oven and non PHF.
It did however open the door for stripping the cottage law that allows home bakeries with seperate kitchens, commercial equipment and inspections.

Professional kitchen rentals are a good way to go!
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #9 of 51
This is very common in New England, and is allowed in the last 3 states I have lived in this is allowed. that bill was poorly written though, and needed to be reworked.

People doing this in my area are not using cheap ingredients, they actually tend to be making small quantities of non PHF gourmet cookies or brownies with expensive ingredients. To generalize, they also tend to be corporate refugees trying to make a go at their baking hobby. Definitely a niche, and if they have a market, I say go for it.

Not sure what was meant by the "stripping" but as far as a commercial kitchen based in a home, they are no worse than a "professional kitchen" rental. They (at least here) have the same regulations, inspections, etc etc.

I think there is a huge misconception here that people want to be huge and make tons of money. For some people making enough to make ends meet with a better quality of life by working from home is priceless.

*stepping off soapbox*
post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 
Hey, remember I could have started baking out of my home if the bill had passed. So I could have profited for sure.

My point is that there are laws governing food production that protect people as far as they can.
From proper labeling, to sanitation, to quality of equipment-people have died from food born illnesses to mislableing to neglagence.

I can't bring my pets to my restaurant, why should I be able to bake out of my home with my pets?

I don't bake out of my home because the risk is too great if something happened to a client. (broken tooth to food poisoning.) It's too big a risk for me, and I have training and experience.


There are arguments for having home catering and food production but it comes down to health and safety and the lack of regulation and inspection of homes.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #11 of 51
I do not think people should be able to ""Make ends meet"" at the expense of the general publics health..
All this is creating is a field day for ambulance chasing attorneys..
Household kitchens although appearing clean are sometimes not, example, water temp,drying pans and pots with towls, stacking of pans ,pots and utensils, wearing of street clothes in kitchen, dogs or cats, and on and on. Some states would love this because they could charge for permits on a yearly basis and rake in some needed cash. If on a public referendum I would vote it down.:D
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post #12 of 51
Ed, you have listed all things that I have personally witnessed with my own eyes happen in "professional kitchens" - some of them restaurants with many stars - as well as things much, much worse (raw chicken above the salad greens, anyone?) to say that someone poses a greater threat to public health by operating a kitchen out of thier home is pretty laughable.


While the regs are different everywhere, this is what is required in our area
* a mixing valve for water to kitchen to make sure it is the required higher temp
* all the same health codes, which is including not allowing pets into the prep area, inspections, etc.
* insurance

Given that there is one food handler, it could be considered better odds to not get sick, no random hep cases here :)
post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 

Here's my issue

I can't even go into how wrong it is to have an unregulated, unsanitary, private home producing food -for sale to the public.

Yes, while there are issues at many businesses, they are accountable with inspections, insurance and training.

The law that was up here in TX gutted the existing cottage law taking away:
  • commercial grade equipment (ie water heater booster)
  • inspections(unless there was an outbreak),
  • sperate kitchen space from the private home kitchen.
  • no mention requirement of insuance (if you get someone sick or hurt, you can be sued and loose your home, $$$ etc.)
That is what I'm talking about.

Cooking food for friends is a hobby but once it is for sale it is open to regulation that has taken years to formulate-tested and approved- to keep people from dieing from poor labeling, allergins, poisoning and cross contamination.

I don't have a problem with properly equipped, regulated and professionally run home businesses, but this bill was the back door to relaxing what keeps us safe.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #14 of 51
Commercial facilities are properly insured whereas if you or a loved one gets poisoned or sick you will have your medical bills paid etc. Try and get that from private uninsured. Sure you can sue for their house but it will take years .Why look for trouble. It isnt laughable, its true
CHEFED
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post #15 of 51
m brown, it sounds like we are in complete agreement...as I said in my first post- that was a poorly written bill, but I feel there is nothing inherantly wrong with home based, licened kitchen with the proper regs.

Again, Ed, Any licensed business needs the same insurance. Period.

A proprietorship food service owner that is not incorporated has the same chance of losing their house if there was ever an issue of someone getting hurt as someone doing this from their licensed home based business, regarless of whether they carry insurance. As anything but a corporations (sole proprietor, partnership, etc.), if someone can prove gross negligance, kiss everything you own goodbye.


Show me some stats showing that people get sick more often from licensed home based kitchens than freestanding establishments, and you will change my mind. There is nothing magical about a freestanding business that keep people from getting sick, and I see a lot more risk.

One more note... here, it is required that at least one person each "shift" have serve-safe certification. So if it is one person, working out of their home based licensed kitchen, 100% of the employees are serve-safe certified. Sounds pretty good to me :cool:
post #16 of 51
How can anyone show stats, when almost all states dont permit it?
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post #17 of 51
Here is an brief update on the Texas Cottage Law. It died on the legislative floor a couple weeks ago. The group that is supporting the House Bill 3282 are working to get it passed in the next legislative session, 2011.

They even have a website. Texas Cottage Food Law - How to Help

I will try to keep an update going on this site or at least drop in from time to time with an update. I know of one fellow in Houston who just created a lovely incubator kitchen for those who need a commercial facility. This whole process may take a while. :-(
D. Denay Davis

…life is about investing in what you love!
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D. Denay Davis

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post #18 of 51
Amen. I agree completely.
post #19 of 51

I am a home-based baker and I make quite a bit of money, in the upper 1,000's per month on specialty cakes. All by word-of-mouth, around 15 cakes per month, as a side job. All of my customers sign a contract stating they understand I'm a home-based bakery and that I assume no liability or make any guarantees since I'm not regulated. We have full disclosure of our practices to our clients and it is the customers' choice to choose me in the end.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefelle View Post

In my area alot of people are already doing this...but without the knowledge or consent of the government.

They generally charge ridiculously low prices and their product is not that great as they are lacking in the skill and/or equipment to compete on a professional level.

It hasn't affected my business at all. Not terribly worried about it.

But I totally see what you are saying about health and safety concerns. My insurance for my patisserie is ridiculously low for $2 million dollars in liability insurance and of course replacement cost for theft, fire...or whatever other disaster may befall me. But as soon as I start catering off site or deep frying anything...we're talking a totally different ballgame. I don't even want to know what I'd be paying then!

I did mention to our local health inspector that when I do gluten free baking I bake at home because I can virtually guarantee that my home kitchen is going to be free of any wheat particles...can't guarantee that at the shop no matter how much I clean. She promptly informed me to STOP doing that immediately as my house is not a licensed kitchen and cooking from there and selling the product could land me in a pile of hot water. But you're talking about people actually getting their kitchens licensed so I guess we're talking about two different animals here.

I wonder how much business you'd be able to get for a home bakery. You have no visibility....not necessarily easy to find. Lots of wasted product because you'd have no venue to sell off whatever is left from things you'd bake for orders. You'd have to do ALOT of marketing/advertising. I wonder if you'd really make much money.

I agree with JBD. Those who do try to do this home bakery thing won't last long with all of the retarded paperwork and incidental costs the government demands. It's enough to make me consider taking up drinking on a regular basis!
post #20 of 51

I live in Texas and went to culinary school here. When I was in school I supported this proposition thinking I could make some extra money and build up a client list, if only I could make stuff easily from home. Now that I've worked as a professional for 5 years, I realize how misguided it is.

 

I did a little research on states with approved home baking businesses. North Carolina is one; I read their policy online. The home cannot have ANY pets, at any time. That doesn't mean pets who stays outside during the day, or are off limits in the kitchen. None at all. They also have a specific list of foods that can be manufactured for sale from home. But I didn't see anything regarding other health code necessities, like always wearing a hairnet in the home. In short, the law is very vague and doesn't protect the consumer at all. Someone can easily make the home appear legal for an inspection, but there's no way to make sure it stays that way.

 

1. I think health codes are very important to protect consumer health. Someone already mentioned storing raw meat above salad greens, etc. I have to yell at "professional" cooks all day long to properly store and process food, I can't imagine what unregulated home cooks are doing.

 

2. I firmly believe it WILL hurt mom & pop bakeries. Wal-Mart is the #1 grocery in the United States. The majority of America buys its food at Wal-Mart first, other grocery retailers second. It is very hard to convince consumers to make an "extra" trip to buy bread or pastries from a specialty shop (not impossible, but hard), and to justify the cost of those goods when they can get crappy versions cheaply from the grocery store. Now we're going to further dilute that market share by giving them a choice to buy special occasion cakes or goods from Sally Homebaker, who doesn't have to pay overhead or employees or keep inventory.

 

3. Our profession as a whole has been diluted tremendously by pastry/cake hobbyists. I used to have to buy specialty tools (for example, gumpaste flower supplies) from professional sources. Now anyone can trot down to Hobby Lobby and buy a kit for less than $30. Everytime I log onto Craigslist, I type in "cakes" for the "services provided" out of curiosity. There are many homebakers in my area who advertise cakes "for my portfolio". They request money for supplies and then charge fees, like delivery fees, that are not payment for the actual cake making on the surface, getting into vague legal territory. The HD has shut down some of the more blatant ones, but they're still there, making food for public consumption in unregulated spaces.

 

4. I have to pay money for food manager's certification, plus fees for starting a business, plus start up costs to practice my profession. I don't agree that some people can just bypass these steps by a backdoor "get out of jail free" card. They should have to go through the same process and be subject to the same business laws as everyone else. Laws are in place to protect the public AND create a level playing field for everyone. There are several kitchen rental spaces in my town - I'm all for it. They still have to get all the necessary legal paperwork in place for a food business, and it helps someone just starting out tremendously by giving them a health department approved place to work for little cost. Let's focus all the energy and resources on getting more kitchen rentals going, instead of a misguided law to allow home baking.

 

5. Health inspectors are already stretched beyond their means to inspect professional food businesses. It's unrealistic to think Texas can staff a government office - or PAY for it - to handle the crushing load of homebakers who would jump on this. Furthermore, I prefer Texas to use government money to fix other problems in the state - like the fact multiple elementary, middle, and high schools are slated to be shut down in the capital Austin  - rather than create the ENORMOUS burden of regulating potentially thousands of home kitchens.

 

6. Some of us went to culinary school. Some of us just got jobs in a kitchen and worked our way up. But we are all professionals who dedicated ourselves to the culinary profession and work hard to provide customers with great breads, pastries, cakes, and confections. Keep hobbyists and homebakers out of selling goods to the public let the professional pastry chefs do their jobs.

 

Well, I was going to say "there's my 2 cents" but I guess its more like 2 dollars -

post #21 of 51


I take serious offense to your second paragraph.  I charge fair market prices to my customers and am not lacking in the skill and/or equipment to compete on a professional level.  This is a very degrading statement regarding people that you do not even know.

 

As for insurance, I have a reasonable rate for liability insurance and it is easy to get.  

 

Paperwork will get tedious, but when I am providing a wonderful item at a great price for people who cannot afford high commercial bakery prices, and assisting in providing for my family, I say it is all worth it.

 

I do believe that there is enough cake business to go around, and as for advertising, word of mouth has worked for me for 17 years :)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefelle View Post

In my area alot of people are already doing this...but without the knowledge or consent of the government.

They generally charge ridiculously low prices and their product is not that great as they are lacking in the skill and/or equipment to compete on a professional level.

It hasn't affected my business at all. Not terribly worried about it.

But I totally see what you are saying about health and safety concerns. My insurance for my patisserie is ridiculously low for $2 million dollars in liability insurance and of course replacement cost for theft, fire...or whatever other disaster may befall me. But as soon as I start catering off site or deep frying anything...we're talking a totally different ballgame. I don't even want to know what I'd be paying then!

I did mention to our local health inspector that when I do gluten free baking I bake at home because I can virtually guarantee that my home kitchen is going to be free of any wheat particles...can't guarantee that at the shop no matter how much I clean. She promptly informed me to STOP doing that immediately as my house is not a licensed kitchen and cooking from there and selling the product could land me in a pile of hot water. But you're talking about people actually getting their kitchens licensed so I guess we're talking about two different animals here.

I wonder how much business you'd be able to get for a home bakery. You have no visibility....not necessarily easy to find. Lots of wasted product because you'd have no venue to sell off whatever is left from things you'd bake for orders. You'd have to do ALOT of marketing/advertising. I wonder if you'd really make much money.

I agree with JBD. Those who do try to do this home bakery thing won't last long with all of the retarded paperwork and incidental costs the government demands. It's enough to make me consider taking up drinking on a regular basis!


 

post #22 of 51

As of June 1, 2011: The bill is sitting on Texas Gov Perry's desk waiting for signature. It was changed quite a bit from its original version; the current bill allows for sales of non-hazardous goods to be sold ONLY directly from the home to the consumer. NO internet sales, NO farmer's markets, NO wholesale, etc. And it specifies NO REGULATION. It's grossly misrepresented as "The Texas Bakers Bill," when in reality it's directed towards cake hobbyists. I still think it'll create an avalanche of people misrepresenting themselves to sell home baked products over the internet (hello, Etsy), at farmers markets (how many non-professional culinary people ever ask where a product was made?), and wholesale (hopefully the small grocery businesses around here will be smart enough to check credentials). The final version isn't as threatening to professional bakers and pastry chefs as the original was, but it still creates one giant gaping LOOPHOLE for people to abuse.

post #23 of 51

I think the proliferation of farmers markets have been the driving force behind the home-based licensing issue. Just my opinion. Arizona just had a bill signed by the governor to allow for the production of non-perishable candies & confections out of the home. I have yet to see any regulations written on the matter, and a call placed to our local health department (which seems to have no lack of funds) has not been returned. I'll keep this thread posted IF I find anything out.

 

Regardless of where you make your product, you should have insurance (can't get a business license here without it), and a limited liability corporation established to, well, limit your liability. And a Federal EIN and state tax license. Plus an I've already done all the legwork for setting up a business but can't find a commissary kitchen to rent that's less than 15 miles from home. They are in very limited supply here, but I'm still trying. I had a friend agree to let me use his kitchen, so I turned down another offer only to have the friend renege on me at the 11th hour. Some friend.

 

One thing I had to take exception to in this thread is the comment that because you're a home-based baker you're producing an inferior product and under-charging. I do not agree with this mindset. Health department issues aside, I doesn't matter where the product is made. It matters how it's made. I worked briefly for a person who is considered one of the top pastry chefs in this area. I do not care for the cakes or many of the products this person makes. I know many others who agree with me. If people are undercutting the competition, there's not much anyone can do about it. It'll be their loss in the long run anyway.

 

I'm also guessing that if the HD does finally get the regs in place for home-based businesses, they'll be tough to meet and very strict. Historically, that's been their M.O. I welcome that. That's what the taxpayers should expect. Besides, they hired 7 new inspectors in the past year. From what my restaurant friends tell me, the inspections that used to last 30-40 minutes (for a 700 sq. ft. cafe) are now 2 hours long. One friend got written up for a minimal amount of dust that had accumulated around an A/C vent. Guess the inspector couldn't find anything else.

 

Not everyone should get licensed. But they do anyway.

 

post #24 of 51

FWIW, you can look at the latest FDA Food Code 2009 which will provide an idea as to what may be required

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #25 of 51

I finally got a call back from the health department on the Arizona bill allowing for production of non-perishable candies & confections. The guy who called me had NO idea that the bill even existed. He said he'd get back to me.

 

FYI - On the other hand, I have also requested an inspection because I FINALLY found a commercial kitchen to lease for one day a week. I did ask the guy about the procedure on getting licensed, and I will have to get three permits - one for the kitchen and one to hand out samples. As far as I'm concerned, it's just another way for them to get more money. Each permit costs from $165 to $315. One is for a site plan permit, which is the same that you get for opening a restaurant. AND, I also have to get my car approved because it's not an SUV or a truck. That's the third permit. Say whaaaaat????? As long as I can show them the container that I will be transporting the pre-packaged food I'm selling, I will get the permit for my car. And they want to see the samples.

 

I feel I'm drowning in inanity. Not insanity, inanity. It's more relevant.

 

Pete, thanks for the link.

post #26 of 51

I can understand all the back and forth comments re home bakery. Some home bakers are as good as commercial , maybe better.

     But the fact remains if God forbid someone gets sick and it can be traced to you. Without proper insurance you could in reality lose everything. Someone above mentioned they make potential customer sign a contract that if something happens they don't assume liability. 

    I don't care what state your in they will sue and if they can pove negligence your dead they will be able to collect from you, and would most likely also sue the place you purchased your igredients. Example if their was an animal in the house , not enough hot water, flies or bugs, lack of proper refrireration or ventalation. and a host of other things. It's not worth the hastle or future problems

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #27 of 51

chefedb,

You're post shocks me.

 


Edited by panini - 6/11/11 at 7:20am

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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post #28 of 51

I am not for it, however I would sooner see people taking some initative wrather then going on welfare and food stamps which in the long run cost us more.  99% of them wont last anyway.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #29 of 51

I will not purchase any item from any purveyor unless it is delivered in a refrigarated truck, your looking for trouble.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #30 of 51

Absolutely not one difference between baking, catering, having paid guests to the house. Same coolers only no commercial inspectionthe house.

 I had a 4 hr talk with my wife last night and we decided if the bill passes here or they don't do something about the home people we are

out. The aggrivation and the lack of support from the professional community it's not worth it at our age.

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
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