Let Them Eat Cake: Officials OK Home Bakeries 

Richmond's home bakers are safe from the city after all.

More than two weeks ago, local bread baker Mark McIntyre was visited by a city “SWAT team,” as he put it, and then told by a state inspector that Richmond law forbids food-based businesses from operating out of a home.

But it turns out the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was confused. City residents may legally run baking businesses out of their homes — but not catering operations.

Here's where the confusion happened, according to an e-mail from the city's planning director, Rachel Flynn, which was provided to Style Weekly by watchdog blogger C. Wayne Taylor.

The city got an anonymous complaint about McIntyre's Norwood Cottage Bakery on Feb. 5. Five days later the city sent a multidepartmental team to check it. The team told McIntyre his bakery was allowed in a residential area, but that he needed a business license and a certificate of zoning compliance — which McIntyre now has.

As far as health inspections go, bakeries are in the jurisdiction of the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Home bakers (along with candy and jam makers) occupy a particular corner of state law that allows them to sell their goods from their homes or at farmers' markets without being subject to state inspection.

Other home-based food producers must be inspected by the state agriculture department to make sure they're complying with food safety guidelines, says department spokeswoman Elaine Lidholm. With good reason, she says: “Probably 99 percent of us do not want cat hair in our cheese.”


Latest in News and Features


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Email Bombardment For Richmond's Homeless

    Email Bombardment For Richmond's Homeless

    Read the list of demands being sent to city officials and local media.
    • Nov 25, 2020
  • The Case for Cannabis

    The Case for Cannabis

    With Democrats in power, legalization of marijuana has become a reality. What does a new study say about how it might play out?
    • Nov 24, 2020
  • Mystery Man

    Mystery Man

    Midlothian transplant Josh Pachter is an editor to mystery writers around the world.
    • Nov 24, 2020
  • COMMENTARY: Slow Change

    COMMENTARY: Slow Change

    This year’s City Council elections may seem like a lost opportunity.
    • Nov 17, 2020
  • More »

Copyright © 2020 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation