I’m Going Crackers
I’m still hoping to have my lavash crackers for sale this year—if not for Thanksgiving, then before Christmas.
Every day I spend my time trying to have a better understanding of what it really takes to bake a cracker and sell it. As I wrote in my first blog in this series, dealing with government agencies isn’t easy. However, it’s better to work with them than against them. It’s important to have everything in place and start kosher rather than fail your first inspection. As the saying goes, it’s important to make a good first impression. The consequences of a closed-down business can be hard to overcome. So, I’m doing it the right way.
Over the last four months, I’ve been looking for a shared kitchen where I could bake my crackers. I visited several kitchens of this type, but couldn’t make it happen. I couldn’t see myself cooking in any of these places, as their level of sanitation didn’t suit my expectations, and probably wouldn’t meet those of the authorities, either. I believe these situations occur because authorities don’t have sufficient manpower to inspect these kitchens on a regular basis. The sad and aggravating part is that kitchens take advantage of this situation and don’t care. Like many other things, shared kitchens are nothing but a moneymaker. If they were to keep their site neat and clean, they probably would have to increase their expenses, meaning making less money.
The one place that did meet my standards wasn’t a shared kitchen—it was a place that sells preordered meals. Though I liked the place and the owner, they didn’t have the kind of license that would allow them to share their kitchen.
My next thought was to turn an existing, tiny place into a kitchen and also have it serve as a store. That was when I met the director of the North Georgia district for the GA Department of Agriculture. It only took me one phone call to realize that I was talking with a knowledgeable and experienced individual who genuinely cared about the person on the other end of the line. This was someone who might be able to help me find a solution. I quickly started to believe that my dream would come true.
Thanks to Mr. Brown, I now know about Home Based Business licenses—this is not a Cottage License. It appears that when you have more than one kitchen in your home, you can designate one of the kitchens for business. Wait! Let’s make sure we’re clear: You also have to have a separate entrance to this kitchen so an inspector wouldn’t walk through any of your living or sleeping areas. Also, you need to have a two-basin sink and a separate sink for hand washing. With the exception of the sink, I could apply for this license.
Mr. Brown kindly emailed me all the paperwork that I would need to complete to apply for this kind of license. He even went the extra mile and took me step-by-step through the process. Now, just so you understand, my home is not even in his district. He was merely a super nice person.
To make a long story short, today, after paying the plumber to install a new sink, and thanks to Mr. Brown, I submitted my completed application to the Georgia Department of Agriculture for a Food Sales Establishment license.
Like I always say, I’m a dreamer who does everything to make my dreams come true.
Do you, or did you ever have a dream where you worked yourself to death to make it come true?