Revolutionary Paideia had the pleasure of interviewing Santresa Glass, owner of Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC, about Georgia’s new Cottage Food Regulation. She was asked questions about her small business and how the new Cottage Food Regulation impacts her small business. Below you will find the details of this interview.
1. Please describe your small business and what goods and/or services you offer.
Sure, and let me first start by saying thank you for the extension of an opportunity to shed a little more light on small business, specifically in the dessert industry as well as the currently implemented (as of September 2012) Cottage Food Regulation. I am the owner of Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC, a small, delivery only sweets boutique in Atlanta, GA that encompasses the “farm to batter approach.” I specialize in individual portioned cheesecakes, chocolate covered strawberries, traditional and wine infused cupcakes as well as dessert tables and candy buffets. We are committed to environmentally friendly business practices, from our natural brown boxes/packaging that are uncoated with fibers used from the Sustainable Forestry Initiatives lumber to our eco-friendly labels, printer ink, office supplies and more. Baking “green” affects more than just the cost of our scratch made goods. Our cupcakes and cheesecakes have a deeper, more defined flavor because of the use of local, fresh, and organic ingredients (when available). Our vessels and displays on our dessert tables are also purchased locally and offer a variety of recycled and upcyled jars, bottles, cake stands, and the like.
2. What is your understanding of what the Cottage Food Regulation does?
First, let me give credit to home baker, Sara Rylander, for pioneering and advocating for a Cottage Food Regulation in the state of Georgia. There IS power in social media. The Cottage Food Regulation allows for individuals to make baked goods such as cakes, pastries, jams, breads, and other confections (please reference links below for specific goods) inside of their home kitchens. Upon review of the registration application and passing of a preoperational inspection, individuals will then be licensed for food sales operations only. There are some variances from county to county in the state of Georgia; however, everyone must submit an application for review as well as pass the inspection of their home kitchen.
3. What impact, if any, will the Cottage Food Regulation have on your small business?
The Cottage Food Regulation has a profound impact on my small, delivery only sweets boutique. First, let me start with the bottom line. Renting commercial kitchen space is expensive overhead, yet necessary for business licensing as well as food and safety hazards for my clients. I have to continue to rent commercial kitchen space because I sell individual portioned cheesecakes and chocolate covered strawberries; however, one of the benefits of the Cottage Food Regulation is the ability for the home baker to become an entrepreneur or for the individuals that are always preparing the baked goods for family and school functions to become small business owners. Outgoing funds that were formerly delegated towards rental fees can be dedicated towards the purchase of more ingredients for recipe testing and home kitchen equipment that enhances their baking needs.
4. What advice can you give to those wishing to start a small business and those who have existing small businesses about becoming successful and staying successful?
Passion and education are essential elements in starting a small business within any respective industry. Yes, one is to do what he or she loves; however, in wanting the money to follow, hard work, consistency, and growth become necessary. Being successful is an ultimate goal of small business entrepreneurs. I have coined an R & B approach to business. R- Refresh old clients with new and innovative flavors and/or dessert table construction and B- Build relationships with old clients and seek others with new consumers, build your entrepreneurial empire, build up other small business owners with support, and build through the local community by giving back.
Santresa Glass can be found below at the listed social media locations, and be sure to gain more knowledge about Georgia’s new Cottage Food Regulation from the links listed after her social media locations:
Resourceful Links on Cottage Food Regulation in Georgia
Georgia’s Pioneer Sara Rylander
Sara Rylander’s Story
Starting a Cottage Food Business
Rules of Cottage Food Regulations
Cottage Food: Frequently Asked Question
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison