Business and Economy

Georgia’s New Cottage Food Regulation: An Interview from the Field

Georgia Cottage Food Law

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:

www.twitter.com/magsweethaven

www.facebook.com/magnoliassweethaven

www.pamperedsweettooth.com

Resourceful Links on Cottage Food Regulation in Georgia

Georgia’s Pioneer Sara Rylander

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/stay-home-mom-gets-law-changed-start-cake-business/nSGgX/

Sara Rylander’s Story

http://www.change.org/petitions/georgia-state-legislature-enact-a-cottage-food-law-in-the-state-of-georgia

Starting a Cottage Food Business

http://agr.georgia.gov//Data/Sites/1/media/ag_consumerprotection/cottage_food/files/startingacottagefoodbusinessbrochure.pdf

Rules of Cottage Food Regulations

http://agr.georgia.gov/Data/Sites/1/media/ag_consumerprotection/cottage_food/files/cottagefoodregulations.pdf

Cottage Food: Frequently Asked Question

http://agr.georgia.gov//Data/Sites/1/media/ag_consumerprotection/cottage_food/files/cottagefoodsfaq.pdf

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Choose Your Principles Over Your Paycheck

Don’t let fear of being terminated from your job result in you surrendering your principles.  Some people are willing to capitulate who they are just to keep their paycheck.  While it’s a reality that you need a paycheck to survive, there are other employers who can supply you with a paycheck than the employer who currently does.  I have witnessed too many individuals who will do the wrong things just to be viewed as doing the right things in eyes of their supervisors.  While there is certainly nothing wrong with treating your supervisor with respect, he or she is not your master.

Too many people are allowing themselves to be enslaved by their supervisors.  When one relies too heavily upon capitalist ideology without engaging in critical thinking, the individual will begin to view himself or herself as being powerless at his or her place of employment.  The individual will feel that what one’s supervisor says must be done—no matter how wrong it is.

If your supervisor is mistreating you and/or requiring you to do something that the law safeguards you from, you don’t have to accept what your supervisor is doing to you.  The law is on your side against reckless supervisors who abuse their power.

Stop running around kissing your supervisor’s butt!

When you let someone take advantage of you all of the time, he or she will continue to take advantage of you.  It’s up to you to break this cycle.  People think that when they run around and kiss their supervisor’s butt their supervisor is going to appreciate them more—that’s foolishness!  Wake up!  If you’ve been doing great work for a long time and your supervisor does not already appreciate you, what makes you think kissing his or her butt is going to make him or her appreciate you?

What you say matters.  Therefore, stop calling your supervisor “boss.”  Your supervisor is not your ruler—he or she just gives you a paycheck.  You’re a liberated American who does not have to dance to the tune of your supervisor.  When they made one job, they made another one.  When they made one paycheck, they made another one.  Remember this the next time you find yourself acting all fake around your supervisor.

When you don’t like something that your supervisor says or does, then let him or her know it.  Too many people just fuss about their mistreatment at their jobs at their kitchen tables, but they are unwilling to make the public aware of the injustices that take place in the workplace.  What you say at your kitchen table is not going to matter if it’s not concatenated with meaningful action.

Be willing to give up your supervisor and not your principles.  Principles matter!  If you will allow your supervisor to say and do anything just to keep a paycheck, then you’re making it easy for your employer to exploit you.  People who are principled individuals will not willingly accept exploitation.  They vehemently fight exploitation, especially from those who are in positions of power.

Your values and beliefs that define you are more important than the paycheck you’re currently receiving.  You can get another job.  You didn’t have a job before you got your current one.  While I can understand for those of you who live from paycheck to paycheck can believe that receiving your paycheck is a matter of survival, I encourage you to look for potential employment elsewhere and consider ways you can advance yourself, including furthering your education, to significantly diminish your worries about losing your current job.

Don’t be a prostitute for your employer!

If your supervisor extends a contract to you that has a stipulation in it that tramples your constitutional rights, don’t be a fool and accept that contract as is.  If you’re going to accept the contract, indicate that your signature does not represent a relinquishing of any safeguards guaranteed by the Constitution.  Your life is more valuable than any paycheck.

Of course, I’m not advocating for you to be a reckless person at your job who is rude to everyone for no reason.  However, when your supervisor is not being fair to you, don’t accept this inequity just to keep your paycheck coming in without any problems.  When your supervisor feels like he or she can do anything to you, your paycheck is not safe in the first place.  Therefore, you need to be proactive to not only protect your paycheck but also to protect your principles.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison