As I've mentioned in previous posts, the pandemic has left me underemployed since mid-March. I write about restaurants and travel for publications that depend on those sectors for ad revenue, so my writing career is mostly on hold due to curtailed freelance budgets. I'm incredibly fortunate that my paralegal gig has been unaffected, along with Mike's job and our benefits. However, I can't continue to keep my work life in limbo while I wait for the media industry to rebound.
So I've started a bakery: Tangled Up In Food Bakes.
Minnesota has a cottage food law that allows small-scale producers to sell certain homemade products (including baked goods) after meeting a few requirements, like completing a food safety training course, registering with the state, and labeling products with the ingredients and allergens. This means that I was able to start my bakery with a shoestring budget and some pro bono website work from Mike.
I'm keeping things simple to start, with a short menu of muffins, cookies, and a chocolate cake. I'm focusing on what I'm best at: baking everyday treats from scratch, the sorts of things that your grandma makes or that your coworker brings to the office potluck.
If you'd like to learn more, you can check out my menu and the ordering process at my Tangled Up In Food Bakes website, and keep up-to-date by following my bakery Instagram account. Only Twin Cities metro orders for now (unless you want to take a road trip!) since under the cottage food law I'm not allowed to ship my products.
As with everything about freelance/self-employed life, I'm not sure where this will lead, but I'm excited to give it a try.