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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

I Need Advice...
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32 posts in this topic

Hi!

I lost my job a week ago. Now I need to look for another one, or?

Everybody is telling me that I should open my own business. That I should open a bakery.

 

 

I'm very good in the gluten and casein free baking. I developed a bread  that can lasts up to week and half covered just in plastic foil and stored on my kitchen counter. Even after the week and half the bread is still soft and edible. Later it will get moldy, but it will stay soft. I sent the sample (bread mix) from it to our friend Love2travel for testing. She sad that it was very good, and that  was gone in two days.  

I also know how to bake Danish cakes and raisin bread- Babka that will last for 3-4 days - they will be soft. You don't need to store them in the fridge or freezer.

I improved my recipe: Simona's gluten free Challah bread (I posted it long time ago on this forum), and the Challah that I'm baking now is 10 times better.

I also know how to make other things that taste and look like the real things (crepes, empanadas, tortillas, pirogues) .

 

In addition to that I can make European gluten and casein free pastry, cookies and cakes. They are also low on sugar.

I will post some pictures later.

 

And now the dilemma part:

How to start business? What to do? Do I just start to bake at home and sell things frozen online? I'm freezing my own pastry for 2-3 months (from one holiday to another), and they are still perfect.

Should I buy a stand at some flee market and sell things there? Would you buy something like this?

Should I ask at the local stores (Whole food, Trade's Joe, Shoprite,, or some café), if they would buy and sell my goods?

I don't have money to open a real bakery, so the options are limited.

Would you even believe to somebody who would tell you that everything is safe to eat (everything is gluten and casein free)? If not, what do I need to do?

Is this even worth it to try?

Please, any advice?

 

P.S.: If  I posted this at the wrong spot, just move it. Thank you

 

 

 

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I think this is a great idea! If you are passionate about baking, the world always needs more gluten free options. First do you have any gluten free bakery in or close to your town. Talk to them they might be helpful. If not try some that are online they could guide you. This is the one where I live.  http://www.gnibakery.com/

They might be able to help you get started. The idea of flea markets and farmers markets are a good options to get started.

​If you have an independent grocery store(not a chain) they are more approachable than the big ones, until you make a name for yourself. 

You might even approach a regular bakery and see if they will give you a separate space to display your goods. 

If I can be of further help let me know.

Good Luck 

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I don't know where you live.  If you live in a bigger city, you might do better because there are more people to buy.  However, in most of the US, if you want to sell in retail (like Whole Foods & sometimes even Farmer's markets/Flea markets) you must use a commercial kitchen.  Sometimes you can get your home kitchen inspected and approved.  Bigger cities have ones you can rent.  You would need to check with your local health department for the rules.

 

Some community colleges have courses on starting a small business.  They help you understand things like taxes - both sales & other taxes business must pay, incorporating, etc.  That might be helpful.  

 

IF you have enough private people/friends that will buy from your home, under the table, you could do that while you are figuring out the legalities.

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The first thing you'll need to do is find out if your state requires that kitchen certification, inspection or whatever rules are in place about that. Then you'll have to sort out the rules about operating a business under a business name, which if you sell outside of to your own friends, you'll need. (I simply needed a sales tax license, to register my name and a local city license in my state but I know this can vary widely.) Other than the sales tax thing, which can be tricky if you're in an area that does state, county and city taxes (which you'll have to adjust and count for differently at every different location you go to out of your own city!) sales tax is easy if it's just a flat state rate. This probably all sounds complicated, but it isn't really after you get yourself wrapped around it. It's the getting settled into it that's difficult.

 

I don't do a business that is food based and eventually decided that doing a separate business tax return every year as well as paying for a business license (even if it was only $30) was silly for me just for the right to DBA. I know do business under my own name, formerly the business name. A sneaky way to still use the business name and no longer worry about all the paperwork and pay for it. Hah! Unfortunately, when it comes to food, we expect to see the name of a business on our packages. It helps instill a certain amount of trust, even if that doesn't make a whole lot of sense when it doesn't change anything about how you would do things.

 

As for local stores, I think it comes down to each different stores policy on locals and local products. I have two local stores I would approach if I were doing something similar, but neither is a large chain. One has only three stores and one has maybe a dozen. The others I know would simply turn me away. I would be prepared if you can get into a store, of even if you can get set up to do the round of farmers markets, flea markets and such, to do samples. Make sure a store would allow that (hopefully they would) mention it on the store's facebook page and give away as much as you can in an afternoon. With the markets, before you get loyal customers you may find they'll be more wiling to buy if they know it doesn't suck first. I can say for certain that I'm always more willing to drop the several dollars it costs for bread if I know it's good than on a new product I'm unsure about.

 

All that said, I think it's a great idea. We need more people starting small businesses who truly care about what is good for us and who make a quality product. I think you should go for it and I hope it goes well!

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I can't post pictures. I tried many times, but the buttons Paste, or Image doesn't work. My computer will just freeze.

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As others have said, it depends on the rules in your state. I know you say you can't afford to open your own bakery, but that would be the best way to go. If there is something in your town for rent that has an oven, you would be good to go. If not, you might try to find a small place for rent, make sure the electrical service is adequate, and then look for used equipment either locally or online.

 

If you decide to go the local grocery route or flea markets and farmers markets, label everything as to ingredients and a large "made by a celiac in a gluten-free kitchen". If any of us saw that on a label, I don't think we would hesitate to buy it.

 

As for taxes, if you sell to grocery stores, they would probably buy from you "for resale", and as long as you have a tax ID, THEY are the ones who have to worry about taxes. All you need to do is keep clear records. Then, if you also sell at flea and farmer's markets, you just charge the appropriate sales tax, fill out the forms and send in any taxes collected at the end of the month. (If you stay in your own town for that you won't have to worry about varying tax rates.)

 

But seriously, when I opened my business, I was scared to death. I figured I would lose my shirt. Eight years later I am still paying the bills. I rent a 1,000 square foot space, and I pay my own utilities, plus of course the taxes and utilities on my house. (I have no mortgage payment, thank God.) And of course, I sell guitars, not food. With guitars it is feast or famine. I will go weeks without selling anything but small stuff - strings and picks and such, and then I'll think, "I'm not going to make it!". Then someone will come in and buy a guitar and an amp, and half an hour later someone needs a banjo. That makes it really hard to look ahead and predict how much money I'll make.

 

But with a bakery, you can pretty much figure after a while, how much you will make each week.

 

They say the first three years of any business, you will lose money, but that hasn't been my experience. Do your research, figure out if there is a market for it, advertise, put on a grand opening so people can sample your wares, and if it all falls into place, you will make it.

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Hi!

I lost my job a week ago. Now I need to look for another one, or?

Everybody is telling me that I should open my own business. That I should open a bakery.

 

 

I'm very good in the gluten and casein free baking. I developed a bread  that can lasts up to week and half covered just in plastic foil and stored on my kitchen counter. Even after the week and half the bread is still soft and edible. Later it will get moldy, but it will stay soft. I sent the sample (bread mix) from it to our friend Love2travel for testing. She sad that it was very good, and that  was gone in two days.  

I also know how to bake Danish cakes and raisin bread- Babka that will last for 3-4 days - they will be soft. You don't need to store them in the fridge or freezer.

I improved my recipe: Simona's gluten free Challah bread (I posted it long time ago on this forum), and the Challah that I'm baking now is 10 times better.

I also know how to make other things that taste and look like the real things (crepes, empanadas, tortillas, pirogues) .

 

In addition to that I can make European gluten and casein free pastry, cookies and cakes. They are also low on sugar.

I will post some pictures later.

 

And now the dilemma part:

How to start business? What to do? Do I just start to bake at home and sell things frozen online? I'm freezing my own pastry for 2-3 months (from one holiday to another), and they are still perfect.

Should I buy a stand at some flee market and sell things there? Would you buy something like this?

Should I ask at the local stores (Whole food, Trade's Joe, Shoprite,, or some café), if they would buy and sell my goods?

I don't have money to open a real bakery, so the options are limited.

Would you even believe to somebody who would tell you that everything is safe to eat (everything is gluten and casein free)? If not, what do I need to do?

Is this even worth it to try?

Please, any advice?

 

P.S.: If  I posted this at the wrong spot, just move it. Thank you

In Nebraska you can go to the Univ. of Neb. to get help starting a food business....you might check out your state University to see if they have that kind of help for new businesses too....

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Thank you for the advice. I live in the USA, in New Jersey, in Union county close to Westfield, Cranford, Union, Linden, or Elizabeth.

It's way to much information to go over. I don't know, if all this is even worth it to try. All that trouble for one slice of cake. :unsure: :unsure: :unsure:

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It seems overwhelming to get started. Believe me I know! But once you have started and get going you realize it isn't as bad as it seems and while it's a lot, it isn't going to bury you. The first thing to do though would be to find out if you even could legally operate a food based business out of your home. If not, while it seems impossible, there are a lot of options out there specifically set up to help and encourage women in business that could help you. You should look into any of those as well as whatever is available at your local universities.

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Addie is right. After you have done your research, you close your eyes, grit your teeth, and take the plunge! And honestly, running your own business is the most satisfying thing you can do. Think about it - you spend at least eight hours a day at your job, and unless you love your job, that is eight hours of your day spent being less than happy. Kind of ruins the REST of the day when you're not in the best of moods because your boss or a co-worker, or the job itself is giving you a hard time.

 

Since I opened my business, even on days when my students don't practice and the guitar repair I am working on doesn't go well, I am truly happier than I've ever been in my life. If I ever had to go back to working a "real" job it would kill me!

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I have been to Farmer's market in our state.  They put a sticker on it saying it was not made in a commercial kitchen.  (I don't know how that stays in compliance with the commercial kitchen law?)  Can you go to a farmer's market and ask a merchant?

 

There is a commercial kitchen rental business going on in states that make it a requirement.

 

Farmer's market and catering business to start seems logical.

 

A friend of ours was a chef for years at a private golf course.  He started getting diagnosed with numerous food allergies/intolerances.  He is know working at a newer concept hospital.  The hospital has been trying to make patients diets healthier and teaching about avoiding food allergens.  There are probably more jobs growing out of more accurate diagnoses of Celiac and other food allergens avoiding diets.  (Cancer patients, MS ~ I have personally seen a woman start gluten free diet as a last resort because she could not afford the medications IMPROVE.  It was a drastic change! she looked 10 years younger, did not limp as much, and her hair grew longer and shinier.)

 

Sometimes life has to push you toward your true calling. ;) 

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I think an important piece needed is getting your products tested and certified Gluten Free.  If you advertise the products gluten free they must meet testing maximums.  I would contact the Certification Companies and ask around.  I would also contact your Small Business Association.  The Government may also have grants available.  

 

Good Luck

 

Colleen

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I agree with Colleen, you really need to be certified. I talked to large gluten-free baker in the Atlanta area who is certified and who supplies products to local grocery stores in their region. Even the employees can not being in gluten in their lunches in order for the bakery to be compliant.

In CA, home-based businesses are now legal as of 2012 or 13. I contemplated doing the same thing, but could not forbid my daughter from eating any forms of gluten in my house. If your kitchen is gluten-free, certified, small business legal, then go for it. Start small. Approach regular bakeries and friends. Minimize any overhead. Make a plan. Make a work-breakdown-structure on a large wall using yellow sticky notes and map out all the necessary steps to meet your goals. It really helps!

We are self-employed (training) and love it!

Good luck!

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I just want to tell you that I already checked long time ago what it means to be certified gluten free bakery. You must send each of your products for testing twice a year ($500,-- each time). Plus the testing company would do the testing on its own too. They would go to any store where your products are sold, and take a samples for testing twice per year (another $500,-- per testing). 

Now, who can afford  that? The small business, just starting, can't compete with something like that. The big company that you are talking about, can.

I would like to at first just to see, if somebody would even buy my goods. My kitchen can't be certified as gluten free, or commercial at the moment.

To rent a big commercial kitchen somewhere is a great idea, but there are two problems: One: who knows how to bake in that thing (temperature of oven, etc.), two: If people used it  before me for gluten things, what I need to do to have my products safe for people with celiac disease?

 

I'm just more and more discouraged about the idea of starting "business". 

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I have a question: If you using in your baking goods things that are already certified, do you really need to have certification of your own? I know that everything is safe, and I wouldn't put anybody's health in jeopardy. And in addition to that, I don't want to get sued.

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If your own kitchen is gluten free, I would opt for that over renting and sharing. EWWW!!!! and omg CC!

 

Also, certified? Who cares? Seriously. It's just a label that doesn't matter. At all. If you can label it as using only certified gluten free ingredients I say good enough. I grill manufacturers on ingredients and practices. Certification is stupid. And heck, you can buy those do it yourself tests and let people know you do that every so often for far less money.

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Welcome to the USA! Got any assets? Umbrella insurance policy? It is sad, but true. Anyone can sue you. The food business is tough. That said, have you considered selling your recipe to a Certified gluten-free baker? Might be worth meeting with them and giving out samples. In the meantime consider selling "under the table" to friends.

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What about writing a cookbook (Laurie, if you care to share some of your experience?)

 

I did run across Mr. Sipps that was looking for products to supply school lunch products.  Perhaps you could find the right company to work with for selling the recipe.  You might be specialized to Kosher products too.

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You got  some  great  replies...all  are  pretty much  on  target.. Do you  belong to a  support  group?  Many  gluten-free  bakers  start  out  selling  at  their  group  meeting...most  would  know  you  & be  willing to  buy... But    state  &  local laws  can be  rough  in some places.How  close  is  the  nearest  gluten-free  bakery? Many  states  loan  small new  business  loans... colleges  too  ....

Starting  a business  is  very  rewarding   but  profits  don't  happen  for  several  years  down the  road.....so  basically it  is  like  being  a  college  student  all over  again...

I  have a friend  who  owns  a  certified  gluten-free  bakery/ pizza shoppe ,  store...It s been  three  years  &    still is in  the  red..$250,000.00  to start  up....The  time  is  about  12  hours  a  day  at least  because  the  cost  of hiring  someone    for  a few  hours  a  day   is  costly  & then  the person  doesn't  always  show  up... this  person  has many  contracts  for  large  amounts  of  bakery items so  the  work load  is  heavy  but  the  money all goes  back in the business  for another  couple of years. This  business supplies  three  states.... SO  if  you  can  survive  without  a  pay check for the  first  couple  of  years      its  all good...

here is  another  suggestion..... selling  to  another  gluten-free  business  & letting them  put  their name  on  your  gluten-free  goods...or  selling to  a  commercial gluten-free  business  who  sells to  colleges,  hospitals, nursing homes ;cookbook is  another  idea..

Do lots  of  research  before  making  your  decision...

 

I  do  have  to  disagree with  one comment.. Being  a business  retired  owner  myself... when  people  who  don't  know of you or  ever  heard  of you  may not  want  to  purchase  without  a  seal  of  approval  from  NCFA, CSA   or  some form  of  safety....

Plus  remember  you will have  to be  fully insured.  Its  a  shame  but  people  just  look for  ways to  sue  another...

Maybe  take  your product  on  a  road  trip   to  already  established  gluten-free  business'  they  maybe  willing to take you on....

Get  an  attorney  in your  town  to  give  you  the  fees that  a  new  business  would  need  to pay up front....

I  for one  would love  to buy  your goodies  ...........

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I was able to upload couple pictures. Plus I have some update to report. I called today my local health department. They told me that it's illegal to sell baked goods from your home. Tomorrow I should call again and speak with somebody about what you need to do in my area, if you would like to open gluten-free bakery. 

Right now I don't even have friends that are on gluten-free diet, so it will be very hard to sell them something. Only, if I will bake with regular flour again. As I see it, I will not open bakery on my own. There is one near me, probably 30 minutes away, that I can check. Maybe ask them, if they can hire me?

I also have another passion which is to knit sweaters, so I was thinking to sell those. I would need just a vendor permit, and I can sell them. No problems. 

 

30wnkvn.jpg 

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well,  let  me tell you  your  goodie  tray  is  beautiful...... let  me  say it  again  beautiful........Your  knitting  is  also  beautiful. And  I do  agree  selling  handmade  clothing  would be  less  hassle for  sure... The  Food  laws  in the US  are  difficult  to  say the  least..

I  still  think if  you  made gluten-free  goodies  for  your  support  group  not  setting  a  price  you  could do that. It  would  be  like  baking  for  friends  , you  don't  charge  but  they  pay  you  under the  tables so to speak...as long  as  you  are  not  asking  for  cash but  they are  so thankful  they  give  you a gift of  cash... not  sure  that  would  earn you a  living!

I do  have  a question   &  you  can reply  to me  pm  if you like. But  the  cream horns  on the  left, is  that  shell  crispy  or  soft?

again  YOU ARE TALENTED......

You need  to  find  a business  where  you  can bake  gluten-free  for them  to up  their  business.....at  their  site.....

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Those horns were little hard to my liking. The longer they stayed filled out, they became softer. I ate them almost all. But in meantime I'm developing dough for apples turnovers which should be in that recipe.  

Here is the picture from that:

 

Thank you for compliments. It feels great to here them.

29nchs6.jpg

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Torture!  I'm tempted to lick the computer screen!  :P

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