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Let Them Eat (My) Cake

This petition had 7,040 supporters


Tell New Jersey to allow moms like me to sell tasty treats to our neighbors

My name is Heather Russinko and I am a single mom raising a 13-year-old boy. I’m also an entrepreneur with a plan. I want to turn my talent for baking into a home-based small business. The only problem is, New Jersey is one of just two states that completely forbids this harmless and common business. New Jersey is regulating home bakers as if we’re operating a Hostess factory! It’s time for New Jersey to catch up with the rest of the country.

For me, it all started with a cake for my son’s 4th birthday. It was so popular with both kids and parents that I instantly became the go-to baker for school activities. Every working parent knows the disappointment that comes with having to miss presentations and recitals because of work, but baking has been a way for me to stay involved as a parent while holding a fulltime job.

Over the past few years, cake pops have become my specialty. When friends and neighbors started offering to pay me for my cake pops I realized that my “hobby” could be the key to building a better life for my son and me. If I could launch a real business, maybe I could earn enough to be able to send my son to college—something I likely couldn’t afford otherwise.

My story is not unique. Some people start baking because physical limitations or childcare responsibilities make it difficult to work away from home. Some have been the victims of layoffs, scraping together gigs to get by. Others are retirees, looking to supplement their fixed income and stay active. Regardless of the reason, people across the country have realized that home baking allows them to use their talents to earn extra income. Home baking is the way to get started right away without having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on professional equipment and commercial kitchen space.

It also makes sense for customers. Home bakers have the flexibility to make small batches of goods and cater to food allergies and dietary restrictions. People who live far from traditional bakeries can buy locally. Who doesn’t want the option of a home-baked treat on demand?

The solution to New Jersey’s ban is a piece of cake—or a cake pop in my case. Legislation being considered in the New Jersey Legislature would legalize the limited sale of home-baked goods that do not require refrigeration—like cookies, cupcakes and my cake pops.  This legislation is popular, with one exception. A lone senator, Joseph Vitale, is blocking the senate version of the bill from moving out of his committee. Hundreds of home bakers across the state have joined together to form a coalition committed to getting this bill passed, but we need all the support we can get.

You can help me and home bakers across the Garden State claim our slice of the American Dream and provide a better life for our families. Please sign this message to Senator Vitale and Senate President Stephen Sweeney asking them to support the New Jersey home bakers bill and let home-based entrepreneurs get to work serving delicious baked goods to our friends and neighbors. 

Learn more about our campaign at http://www.njhomebakersbill.org/



Today: Heather Russinko with the Institute for Justice is counting on you

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