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Hi my name is Vikki. I have ran my own home baking business for several years and thought that I would help others find their feet in both home baking and in running their own business. I have loved everything about starting my own business and all the decisions that I have had to make along the way. Being in charge of it all has been great and I intend to share my experiences with you.
I therefore decided to start a blog about my home baking experiences. Including Recipes and ideas. New flavours and old.
I have always loved baking ever since childhood. I remember making cheese scones with my Grandma. Her Christmas cakes were the best. My interest grew and at university I studied Food Science. I loved inventing recipes and changing them to suit myself.
Once my children were at school, I needed to find an outlet for my baking and at the same time, bring in an extra income. After hosting a home baking stall at a local charity garden party I realised there was a ready made market for home baked goods and set up my own business.
For those of you interested in setting up the same type of business. This was the process I followed
1. Registered with HMRC as self employed, using the HMRC website at https://online.hmrc.gov.uk
2. Registered Online for Tax Returns – using the same HMRC website as above.
3. Contacted the Environmental Health Department using the details and links provided on the local council website. This was to allow me to obtain a suitable hygiene rating that would allow me to bake goods at home which I could sell to the public. A visit to my home was arranged to assess the suitability of my kitchen and even though this is just a normal kitchen in a family home, with no special or industrial cleaning equipment, I achieved an impressive rating of 4 by simply following the same basic rules that you would use everyday to keep your home clean and tidy.
4. Found an outlet for my business by making enquiries to local groups, societies, farmers markets etc. I discovered that there was a regular weekend market held locally, and they agreed that I could have a stall there (for a fee of course !).
5. Contacted Insurance companies and arranged public liability cover. I also informed the providers of my home insurance to ensure that this would not affect the existing policy. Fortunately the value of stock that I required and which was being stored in my home meant that there was no impact to the premiums I was having to pay.
6. Sourced suppliers of packaging , ingredients etc. Wherever possible try to use local suppliers. The response is quicker and should you need to place an urgent request, it means that, if needed, you can travel to their warehouse to pick up any items.
7. Enrolled on cake decorating courses and chocolatier courses to enhance my existing skills.
I really enjoyed starting my own business from baking during the week and selling my stock from the stall each Sunday. I loved the whole process of starting my own business. Over time I built up my reputation for producing quality baked goods, with regular customers placing orders. I even supplied some coffee shops and tea dances with cakes.
As time went on my prices changed and customers accepted it with ease. At the end of the day they were buying a homemade product not a mass produced item. I have been at the market for at least 7 years and decided I wanted to do more. My children were all at school full time and I had time on my hands.
I decided to write a blog , going online and trying my hand at writing recipe books etc. Get my ideas out there and see how it goes. This is my first step into writing and I am doing it from the heart. I love baking and my family are my best and worst critiques. I value there input. I am expanding my website to include my blog. Sharing recipes and ideas as I go. Even getting my products in to outlets such as farm shops , coffee shops and other outlets. Lots to think about and develop. Lots of research needed and with my blog I can keep you up to date. I am quite excited about this move from market stall to other avenues and looking forward to what the future brings.