Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Pretty soon, the weird lady who lives next door can legally sell you her pumpkin bread…

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Food service, readers. Is there a better business? Not only do you create and serve food to sustain the masses, but you make money in the process. As someone who formerly worked in restaurants, and as someone who currently spends a lot of time eating at restaurants, I’m a fan of the food service industry. I think it’s important for me to let everyone know that when it comes to bakeries, I am absolutely in love.

Much like Shakira, my hips don’t lie, and these hips will tell you all about the chocolate cake, the cupcakes with butter cream icing, and all those delightful and buttery shortbread cookies that I’ve consumed in the past week. (Yeah, I said week. I know it’s only Wednesday, and when you take into account that I’ve had the flu and pretty much didn’t eat at all on Tuesday, it’s pretty impressive how many baked goods I’ve been able to down so far. You say gluttony, I say accomplishment.) However, my sugar consuming may be coming to a halt soon. The governor has basically signed a law that let’s little old lady hoarders bake bugs into cookies and then sell them.

According to NewsOK.com:

Fallin signed the Home Bakery Act on Monday. The Oklahoma House approved the legislation without opposition in March. The state Senate passed the bill last week.

The measure allows home food establishments that earn less than $20,000 a year and produce baked goods for sale that do not contain meat or fresh fruit to operate without a food preparation license.

The bill’s author, state Rep. Dustin Roberts of Durant, says small home baking operations do not need to follow the same rigorous standards as commercial kitchens and other food establishments that serve foods that might be highly harmful to the public.

They are really going to let people bake bundt cakes in their sketchy-ass houses and sell them? That’s going to end well. I know how low health department standards are and just what they’ll take as “clean.” (Can I get a witness as to the worthlessness of the Cleveland County food handler’s card?) The “rigorous standards” we hold commercial kitchens to are totally attainable if you have a dishwasher and a bottle of 409 under your sink.

I can see how this may potentially facilitate a lot of bake sells or cake walks in the future, but I worked in food service too long to think this is a good idea. Of course, I could be making a mountain out of a molehill. I have a tendency to do that, and this tendency is probably the number one reason why Patrick keeps me on staff. But I’ve also seen enough episodes of Hoarders to know that this can only end in heartache.

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Comments

  1. I know a lady who feeds her small dogs on the kitchen counter. She also cooks things like cookies or cakes that she brings to work. I will not eat a damned thing anyone cooks at home if it isn’t inspected or licensed by the health department. Screw that, man.

  2. Excellent op-ed piece, Marisa!

    I guess I’m done buying baked goods at the farmer’s market. I’ll never be able to tell whether it was prepared in an inspected kitchen or an uninspected one.

    • Home baked goods were never “legally” sold at farmers markets. Now, they can be sold directly to consumers, but must contain labeling that explicitly says “NOT PREPARED IN A COMMERCIAL KITCHEN”. If you can read, then you can make an informed decision on your purchase. I’ve had some excellent home baked goodness, but also wouldn’t touch a thing from many people’s nasty kitchens. It’s all up to the consumer.

      And, Marisa, try telling owners of commercial kitchens that the Health Department doesn’t impose rigorous/expensive (often arbitrary) standards on their facilities. I mean, really, does a three wash sink make all the difference in the world versus a two wash sink? It does in price…

  3. You realize that you are also referring to a majority of stay at home moms that bake birthday cakes/cookies and sell to friends/family/word-of-mouth to help support their family? You realize that most professional bakers got their start by baking at home? Many home bakers go on to open bakeries. You realize you would rather have a cake from these people than the cakes that get shipped frozen to Wal-Mart and coated with a bucket of icing that contains ingredients we can’t pronounce? Home bakers are not new.

  4. FYI – this is in regards to all of those fondant-laden “sculpted” cakes that have become all the rage recently that the lady next door started making to supplement her income. Which is fine. Personally I say give me a sheet cake from Homeland slathered in buttercream frosting with gigantic blobs of flowers on the corners.

  5. I never buy stuff cooked at home. I know a lady who feeds her small dogs on her kitchen counter, then makes sandwiches on the same counter where the dogs ate. I’m not interested in getting cooties.

    • Dude one more word about my grandma and it will be on! Those dogs are clean, I know it for a fact, I’ve seen them licking themselves to get that way!

  6. I think this is great! If you don’t want to buy pumpkin bread from the crazy cat lady….then don’t. It requires a bit of common sense, but I think the world could use more of that.

  7. How many cupcakes can you sell to stay under that $20 grand threshold?

    I did a kitchen remodel for a friend some time back and had eaten many of her goodies over the years. While tearing out their old kitchen I saw things that I should still be in therapy to get over.

    • Not very many, have you seen the price of cupcakes?? Even 7-11 cupcakes are expensive…And they sell everything for 99 cents

  8. Does it really make sense to be concerned about some percentage of home bakers being unregulated when none of our state’s dentists get inspected?

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