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Q: I am a 19-year-old college student, and I want to open my own bakery. How do I find out what certificates I need as determined by New York state law? Where do I get guidance in this specific area of foodservice?
-A. James, Brooklyn, NY
A: Whether your passion is cakes, pies, or pastries, you’ll find that starting your own bakery is one of the easiest paths to entrepreneurship. A good place to start when looking for guidance about the baking business, or any business for that matter, is an industry association or refer to a trade journal.
Start with the BCA, formerly the Black Culinarian Alliance (www.blackculinar ians.com). It is a nationwide nonprofit focused on educating and advancing minorities interested in careers in hospitality and food service. The BCA is based in New York City and should be able to provide you with information regarding licensing and certification in New York.
An Internet resource worth looking into is BakingBusiness.com, which provides baking industry news and resources. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page and click on the links to career development and job center. You’ll find information on certificate programs and training resources.
Are you interested in owning a franchise? It can make starting a baking business much easier. By purchasing a franchise, you can sell baked goods that have instant name recognition and obtain training and ongoing support to help you succeed.