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Is it possible to open a home based bakery in Poland?


applekaren 6 | 3
13 Feb 2011 #1
I'm a cake decorator and would like to take orders from home as I used to do in the USA. My husband is Polish and I'm waiting for Karta Pobytu (so, let's supposed I get it, just so I know what to do with my cakes :)) So, is there such a thing as home based business (bakery in my case) in Poland? Do I need any food handling license? If yes, where do I get it? Do I have to register it as a small (tiny lol)company?

Thanks in advance...

I forgot to mention that I know very little Polish, so my husband would help me with all the paper work and translations until I'm able to communicate by myself. I'm hoping this won't be a problem to get approved in anything...
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
14 Feb 2011 #2
Do I need any food handling license? If yes, where do I get it?

Not sure about the need for a licence for you personally - I don't think there's any requirement, though.

You'll need to deal with Sanepid - and crucially, meet their requirements. There are very strict requirements for food production in Poland - and they are notoriously fussy. Certainly, you should evaulate if it's worth the hassle of dealing with food inspectors for a small business.

Yes, you'll have to register as a business.
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #3
Do I need any food handling license? If yes, where do I get it?

Yes. As Delphi said, Sanepid.

Do I have to register it as a small (tiny lol)company?

Sadly yes. If you do it without registering you may well get away with it, but in a small town it wouldn't be advisable.

Good luck, anyway.
inkrakow 1 | 98
14 Feb 2011 #4
Do I have to register it as a small (tiny lol)company?

Yes, all businesses dealing with food have to be registered and operate out of approved premises. These differ depending on whether you're using pre-prepared products or preparing food from scratch, but the Sanepid website says that domestic kitchens do not satisfy the requirements, even though the EU regulations specifically allow for this option. For some friends of mine who run a small wine bar where they also prepare food the requirements included 2 entrances (one for food/wine deliveries and another for the clients), tiling of the walls, washable floors, separate sinks for washing hands, utensils and preparing fruit/vegetables, an industrial standard dishwasher (with a certificate) and a separate sink for rinsing dirty dishes located in a separate area, a HACCP assessment showing the production route and packaging and storage that is certified for food use. If you plan on using fresh eggs you need a steriliser set up in a separate room for sterilising them (otherwise you can buy pasteurised eggs in cartons). If you plan to transport food you need to have an approved vehicle (refrigerated, if the food is perishable) and facilities and procedures for cleaning it, as well as a separate area for washing out the containers used for transport if they're reusable. You may also have to keep samples of your food for a certain amount of time. Every year you also need to get your water supply tested (600zl) and have a Karta Zdrowia for anyone handling food.

Forget about getting any useful information out of Sanepid - they are there to inspect you, not to help set you up so that they have less work. You will need to get a specialist architect to do the design which is then submitted for approval. You can't start doing business until your premises have been approved.

One way around this might be to set yourself up as a cake decorating consultant and travel to people's houses to do the work there, but you'd have to check!
George8600 10 | 636
14 Feb 2011 #5
home based bakery

$50 says this is the bakery a month later....
rybnik 18 | 1,461
14 Feb 2011 #6
Yes, all businesses dealing with food have to be registered and operate out of approved premises.

WOW! I'm curious if these regs were in place during the PRL days.
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #7
There were plenty of regulations then, but officials were 'persuadable'.
rybnik 18 | 1,461
14 Feb 2011 #8
is the post-PRL Sanepid just as able to be pursuaded?
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
14 Feb 2011 #9
Do I have to register it as a small (tiny lol)company?

Just do it. You'll be successful if you stick to it and don't bail. Businesses fail because the owners lack commitment.
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #10
is the post-PRL Sanepid just as able to be pursuaded?

Maybe if you know somebody very well. I can think of at least one guy, not Polish, who has a food business in Warsaw that's entirely unregistered, but he's very, very careful.
inkrakow 1 | 98
14 Feb 2011 #11
is the post-PRL Sanepid just as able to be pursuaded?

I suspect that things were much easier to 'arrange' with the pre-PRL Sanepid, but this one is much more careful. Many of these rules come out of over-zealous interpretation of the EU Food Hygiene regulations.

Maybe if you know somebody very well. I can think of at least one guy, not Polish, who has a food business in Warsaw that's entirely unregistered, but he's very, very careful.

All it takes is one nosey neighbour to report you and you could have serious problems.
terri 1 | 1,664
14 Feb 2011 #12
Why not go to all the cake shops in the town and ask them if you could work for them decorating cakes. Take with you examples of your work.

Starting your own business without knowing the market in a town is dangerous. If you work for someone first, you get a feel for the market and even for the prices charged.
OP applekaren 6 | 3
15 Feb 2011 #13
Thank you all for the answers. They gave me an overview of the situation and lots to think about. lol

Why not go to all the cake shops in the town and ask them if you could work for them decorating cakes. Take with you examples of your work.

We thought about it, but my Polish is still close to zero, so I don't know if I can find a generous soul that would hire me and let me make their cakes in their place with almost no communication lol Unless I could find a cake shop where somebody speaks a little of English. Doing it from home (or my registered and licensed place) would be easier because my husband would be responsible for taking the orders, and I would just make the cakes based on his translation until I'm able to talk to the clients by myself. As for the cake shops, my husband could not be with me the whole time lol

We'll see... as I said, lots to think about... Thank you so much for the tips!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
15 Feb 2011 #14
Doing it from home (or my registered and licensed place) would be easier because my husband would be responsible for taking the orders

Hmm, where are you living? It might be possible for you to find someone with a kitchen that's not being used 100% of the time?


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