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Oklahoma Legislature Considering Home Baker's Bill

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A bill in the state legislature would allow home bakers to sell their homemade cakes, cupcakes and cookies for profit. A bill in the state legislature would allow home bakers to sell their homemade cakes, cupcakes and cookies for profit.
The bill has certain restrictions. You can't make more than $20,000 a year on your baked goods and pets are not allowed. The bill has certain restrictions. You can't make more than $20,000 a year on your baked goods and pets are not allowed.
All Things Cakes gives lessons in cake decorating. All Things Cakes gives lessons in cake decorating.

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Oklahoma's home bakers are keeping a close eye on a bill making its way through the state capitol.  It would allow anyone to make and sell baked goods out of their home kitchen.

"I like to cook and bake from scratch," said Jennifer Bengel, who lives in Tulsa.

Jennifer Bengel is not a professional. She does all of her work from home and takes lessons at a Tulsa cake decorating shop.

"It's fun, more than anything, it's fun for me," Bengel said.

But a bill in the state legislature could turn her dough into cash. It would allow home bakers to sell their homemade cakes, cupcakes and cookies for profit.

"I would love, love it if I could possibly do that," said Kim Dinelli, a Tulsa resident.

The bill has certain restrictions. You couldn't make more than $20,000 a year on your baked goods and pets are not allowed.

"Pretty much I've always worked outside of the home and as my kids are getting older I would like to be home with them and this would be a great opportunity," Dinelli said.

Supporters point out that if the bill passed, each home would have to be licensed and the health department would conduct inspections to make sure the kitchen is safe.

But the owner of Merritt's Bakery takes issue with the bill. He says, "Commercial businesses spend a lot of time and money to make sure their kitchens are safe. I would hate to see health department regulations weakened to make it easier to afford a safe kitchen."

"You know, I can see both sides, certainly," said Janette Stenstrom, with All Things Cake.

Stenstrom says it's a delicate issue. She'd like to see her friends make money from their homemade specialties, but admits the health department would need to take an active role.

"You know, I just think that the proper regulations have to be in place," Stenstrom said.

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