Perry Signs for Cupcakes

Categories: Food News

cupcake2.jpg
Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty it's free at last.
Don't ever underestimate the power of pissed-off bakers. Gov. Rick Perry knows. That's why he signed Senate Bill 81 last week. (Because no candidate wants chocolate cake with thick butter cream icing thrown at his campaign bus in Iowa.)

The new law allows home bakers around the state to peddle their wares legitimately. There are a few restrictions, but it's really all good. What matters is the little guy won this time. And since this little guy in particular makes cookies, cakes and pies, we actually all win.

"This has always been a small-business issue as well as a food-safety issue for me," said state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, who sponsored the home baker portion of the bill. "Job creation is wealth creation. I'm proud to be part of the food freedom movement and hopefully my amendment will result in thousands of new jobs for Texan families and small businesses."

Don't pre-heat just yet though. The law doesn't go into effect until September 1. In the meantime, check out the Texas Baker's Bill Facebook page, which continues to be the best stomping grounds for discussions that cover all the angles.

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11 comments
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Peg
Peg

you bet your sweet cupcake!  It's finally time for the little guy to win. It was an awesome ride too! I participated in 2009 and 2011!  We all know cupcakes are not for throwing, but I'm figuring icing in the gas tank, not so great! LOL

Amy S.
Amy S.

This is an extremely limited bill. The cap on sales is a lower amount than could sustain any sort of physical location (let alone pay much income to the cook), and because they don't get the steepest bulk purchasing discounts, they're prices will probably be on the higher side. But it is a way for a person to inexpensively test the market with their product, and perhaps grow it to where they become tenants and employers. They cannot sell (but can market) their goods over the internet, farmers market, church event, flea markets or any other form of indirect sales - only can only sell the goods from their home. But if they can get to where they have good sales, with lower capital startup costs, they might just be able to start a business.

For the record, I was for this bill, but was hoping for an expanded one allowing for sales of non-baked goods in small farmer's markets, flea markets and church events. It got scaled back in the legislative season, but I still supported the bill as a form of small business incubation.

sanderw
sanderw

I would hesitate to label this bill "all good." There are serious food safety and small business consequences that can't be ignored.

I realize this is the blog and not the news part of the Observer, but labeling the dropping of regulations as "all good" and saying "we all win" is an opinion, not the facts.

Peg
Peg

Again, I'd like to point out, as I did earlier, don't think that the lack of inclusion of health standards in the bill means that we WONT do it.  Those of us who started with this movement in the 2009 legislature have already planned to take the course or courses required for food safety.  I'm tired of being treated (not necessarily that you did this) as if I'm completely stupid when it comes to food safety and healthy environment to prepare food in.  I have a 27-year track record in my own personal kitchen of not making anyone sick, including those I have cooked potentially hazardous food for.   The bill may still need some tweaking, but what hasn't been tweaked by the Texas Legislature will be tweaked by those of us serious who were serious enough about this bill to put our names on the line when we fought for it.  Basically, the ability to advertise and continue to build my business to the next level, is all I needed.

I see your side too, and trust me, there are some concerns on our part, but... sometimes you have to win the battles before you can win the war.  Texas Legislature meets again in 2013.   There's more fight for the homebaker, like the parts that weren't included in the bill. 

And just to put another twist on the whole thing, there will be people who might not comply with the bill the way it is written.  I sometimes drive a few miles over the speed limit.  But we were serious enough to come out of the pantry and say we want a law, at least give us credit for wanting to be legitimate.  Rep Kolkhorst might have wanted less involvement, and that's her thing, but I'm thankful for a law that will allow me to grow and do what I need to do to be able to do what I love.  Texas can't legislate everything.  Seriously though, if they did and determined that home kitchens were so very unsafe, can you imagine the money that would be made for licensing of everyone who ever thought they wanted to cook from their home kitchen?  And the lemonade stands that kids set up would be a thing of the past. 

Just my opinion.

Danielslauren
Danielslauren

Well, yes, it's opinion. As is your opinion that there are "serious food safety and small business consequence." Your passion/hate for this new law runneth over (per your comments on the previous article too). So, what gives? Do you own a small bakery? 

sanderw
sanderw

No, I don't own a small bakery, though I've visited more than my fair share of them. I've tried to keep my comments very factual, apologies if it came out as hate. I have a food safety certification and am in favor of clean, safe, regulated kitchens and the struggling proprietors who run them.

My point with the comment on this page was that the article is absolutely taking a position w/o even a nod to the legitimate counter argument. I know it's intended to be a fun and light-hearted article, but there's also a broader context here that I feel was missed. Frankly, this bill is more of a anti-regulation stand than anything to do with food. Perry signed this for the same reason he vetoed the texting while driving bill.

sanderw
sanderw

There are a lot of people that think that that broccoli analogy should also be applied to medicines and buildings -- both things I hope we could agree that the average buyer doesn't have the knowledge or ability to properly evaluate the safety of. I disagree that the standards for food commercially sold should be relaxed.

Also, I don't think your point about the cupcake takes into account the icing. And a cupcake is nothing without icing. :)

Danielslauren
Danielslauren

True that the rep that sponsored the bill is borderline libertarian. If you read her comments, she ain't shy about the fact that she wants as little gov't involvement as possible in anything. So, yes, you're right, it could be taken the vein of "anti-regulation." 

But, this is what I don't get the most when I read your comments on this issue and my question for you:  it's like broccoli at the grocery store -- if you don't like it, then don't buy it. If you think you'll get sick from a home made cup cake, then why not just pass on it instead of creating a regulation that doesn't allow anyone to buy it? 

(For the record, it's pretty much impossible to get sick from a cupcake because there isn't a high enough level of water content for bacteria to grow. Which I'm pretty sure defines non hazardous goods.)

Sanders Kaufman
Sanders Kaufman

This is great news for illegal immigrants who have to work off-the-books.Now they can work from home, taking business away from legitimate shops that pay their taxes, and are subject to health and safety laws.

Peg
Peg

Legitimate shops have always competed with the home baker. This will be nothing new.  That would include the illegal immigrants who bake from home and sell.   Truth be told, we legal citizens just wanted an opportunity to be legalized so we could grow to the next level.  Economy or not, it doesn't make good business sense to go so far into debt to start a business you haven't had a chance to prove works for you, knowing that you'll not be out of debt for several years to come.  As for the health and safety laws, don't think that just because it's not in the law, those of us who wanted the law wont be taking those matters into our own hands. Most of us plan to get at the very least a food handler's license, the very serious of us plan to get the manager's food handler's license.  Our concern is and always has been to not ever make anyone sick from our kitchens.  So, I don't know whose kitchen you eat from but it seems the general concensus is that if you aren't "certified" your home kitchen is contaminated.  

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