City ordinance allows home baking for sales

The Vandalia City Council last week approved an ordinance that will allow a local woman to continue selling baked goods and giving the proceeds to local charities.
The council approved a home kitchen and cottage food operations that allows the city to issue a license for such operations.
That license can be issued once the applicant receives certification from the Fayette County Health Department and complies with all county and state health regulations.
The council approved that ordinance during its teleconference meeting after hearing from LaNette Heselton.
Heselton told aldermen, “I just started this home cupcake business, mostly just because I love to bake, partially because a lot of my friends’ orders were getting canceled due to COVID.
“I have a full-time job, so it wasn’t the money that I needed, so I decided to just give back to initially three charities, but as my cupcake business grew, I added a fourth charity.
Heselton said that when she attempted to gain recertification for food safety and make sure she was meeting all requirements, “I was told that somebody had turned me in, and I would need to stop.”
She said that she offered to give up 100 percent of her profit, after already having donated cupcake to “frontline workers” (health care employees and a number of law enforcement agencies).
“I was told, even at that point, I could not do it, that I would have to find a storefront,” Heselton said.
“So, I did inquire about multiple storefronts,” she said. “And, unfortunately, it was going to cost me a lot of money.
"It was going to take the money that I was donating back to the charities.
“At that point, it would be no use doing it, because I wasn’t doing it for the money.
"So, that’s when I contacted my alderman to see if we could get this cupcake law, which I didn’t even know existed prior to that path, to help people,” Heselton said.
She said that she was already in the process of getting her food sanitation license free this year.
“I just wanted to be able to give back to the community and to these four charities,” Heselton said.
“I wouldn’t mind paying any kind of licensing fees, just to be able to do that to continue this, plus I do make cupcakes for kids in the community whose parents can’t afford like cakes or fancy thing for their birthday and I was told I couldn’t even do that.
“I just can’t sit back while a kid doesn’t have cupcake for their birthday,” Heselton said.
Mayor Rick Gottman said that after talking to Heselton, “I talked to other cupcake makers and they didn’t know about this law, either.
“Anything we can do to help a business, I think, is what we need to be doing,” he said.

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