I need to start work on the online shop, so that’s been added to the list of “TO DO’s” starting today. As soon as I get my health dept. license, I’ll be able to start selling the cookies and funding the business – so I need a storefront! I still need to research and set prices, create content, figure out the shipping and tax. Squarespace has a pretty easy to use tool, so we’ll see how it goes gathering the info and photos necessary to illustrate the goods (goodies?) :)

I have good photos, but I don’t have great product photos, just the stuff I’ve snapped off as I work, so I asked Harry’s help today to set up a photo booth / table so I can have a static background with lights and bounce boards set up for quick and easy product photos.  These next few weeks, I’ll work on putting together cookie “orders” and he’s going to work on gathering the necessary photography tools so I can get better photos for the online shop!


I have not been inside the co-op kitchen all week – it feels weird to be home so much, but I must say LaLa’s pretty happy about it. When she misses me, she’ll try to sit on my lap when I’m working on the blog. It funny and cute for about two minutes then it just turns into a frustrating experience for both of us… 

She’s completely in the way, her head up on the edge of the desk, blocking the keyboard, my knees akimbo and I’m either up on my tippy toes so I can keep her centered and flat or holding her in some way – usually my hand is tucked under her to keep her from slipping off. Which makes it REALLY hard to type!  She’s a Maltese mix so her fur is super soft and smooth – one little move and she starts slipping off and then starts scrambling to stay on which distracts me which turns into a five minute dog / lap rearrangement… 

LaLa - walkies - last snow of the year - Bogus Basin, ID

LaLa - walkies - last snow of the year - Bogus Basin, ID


When she’s on my lap, in order to continue to type, I have to hunch over her with my elbows up in the air so I don’t squish her with my arms. And the whole time she’s fussing and wiggling around and sighing loudly – so unhappy that my attention is not 100% on her cute fluffy little self. After about 10 minutes we’ve both had enough and off she goes – huffy and annoyed as hell - to go lay in the hallway where it’s peaceful and not so lumpy and slippery!



More Docs. Required…

Jerry the inspector from CDHD called today. A typo sent the e-mail he wrote on the 24th into someone else’s inbox, so he was calling to follow up. I was wondering what happened to my application… We got the e-mail address issue squared away and then he talked me through the next set of hoops necessary to secure my health dept. permit. 

I still need to jump through three more:

1.    Approval of Process Methods – The CDHD Needs a copy of the Operational Plan Review and then Jerry’s going to come over and watch me create cookies. 

2.    Labels (Approved – see below!) 

3.    Quality Assurance Program (see the section on page 3 regarding “Food Processing Plants”). This is a BIG one – unfortunately, this requirement is going to take some time to complete. There is WAY too much to track here in the blog, so I’ll create a separate HACCP Plan document which I’ll post once it’s complete and approved. 




Since the Idaho food law is based almost wholly on the FDA’s food code, I looked up the FDA’s label requirements. 

10 Minutes Later - Based on the FDA’s site it looks like I’ll need to add / update the following:

Add Net Weight to front / main label area
Add street address 
Update Ingredients / remove the “vanilla or” part
Update “Contains” statement
Nutrition Labeling

½ HOUR LATER:  THE UPDATED LABEL – Jerry also had two small changes (fixed) – so I’m good to go!

3:30 PM – working on the HACCP Plan – ahhh (shiver) horrible, horrible paperwork!  I am overwhelmed with this one!  There doesn’t seem to be any concrete examples I can use to create this thing, so instead of wasting time making something up, whole cloth, I’m taking a break from this and moving to something I can wrap my brain around.  These documents will have to wait until I can get some help from a professional – I’ll ask the WBC for help after the meeting on 4/8. 



Shipping is the first requirement for setting up the Squarespace shopping page, so I just finished the first pass of the shipping research. It’s all pretty expensive, and the best option depends if you are shipping local (less than 150 miles) or further out as well as how many days it’ll take. For flat rate boxes ONLY, it looks like FedEx has the best local prices and USPS has the best price / time combo since they do it in 2 days instead of 3!  

Expensive shipping is ANOTHER reason I know that this kind of high quality baked goods business will thrive locally – if you WANT fancy cookies, you can order them on etsy.com (which I LOVE, by the way – no dis intended!) and pay $20 or more to ship them, or you can order them from someone locally: Bake Local / Eat Local / Support Our Community

FedEx    Extra Large    Express Saver    Local (150 Miles)    3    $24.50 
FedEx    Extra Large    Express Saver    Local (150 Miles)    3    $24.50 
FedEx    Extra Large    Express Saver    Regional (151-600 miles)    3    $26.75 
FedEx    Extra Large    Express Saver    National (601-plus miles)    3    $37.25 
FedEx    Extra Large    Express Saver    National (601-plus miles)    3    $37.25 
FedEx    Large    Express Saver    Local (150 Miles)    3    $15.00 
FedEx    Large    Express Saver    Local (150 Miles)    3    $15.00 
FedEx    Large    Express Saver    Regional (151-600 miles)    3    $16.50 
FedEx    Large    Express Saver    Regional (151-600 miles)    3    $16.50 
USPS    Large    Priority Mail Flat Rate    US Domestic    2    $17.45 
FedEx    Large    Express Saver    National (601-plus miles)    3    $18.50 
FedEx    Large    Express Saver    National (601-plus miles)    3    $18.50 
FedEx    Medium    Express Saver    Local (150 Miles)    3    $10.50 
FedEx    Medium    Express Saver    Regional (151-600 miles)    3    $11.75 
USPS    Medium    Priority Mail Flat Rate    US Domestic    2    $12.25 
USPS    Medium    Priority Mail Flat Rate    US Domestic    2    $12.35 
UPS Ground    Medium    UPS Ground    US Domestic    2    $12.78 
FedEx    Medium    Express Saver    National (601-plus miles)    3    $13.75 
USPS    Medium    Priority Mail Flat Rate    US Domestic    2    $17.45 
USPS    Medium    Priority Mail Express Flat Rate    US Domestic    2    $45.00 
USPS    Medium    Priority Mail Express Flat Rate    US Domestic    2    $45.00 
FedEx    Small    Express Saver    Local (150 Miles)    3    $8.50 
FedEx    Small    Express Saver    Regional (151-600 miles)    3    $9.50 
FedEx    Small    Express Saver    National (601-plus miles)    3    $10.50 



Harry’s been digging around looking for stuff we can use for the photo set up. It’s amazing how much stuff there is to grab from!  So far we've got two small white canvases in lightweight frames. I purchased them at the Ross in LA a while back -  I always buy art supplies when I see them at a good price, so they've been on the shelf waiting to be put to good use. Harry’s going to test them to see if they will work as light filters and if not he’ll try them as light reflectors.  
He also grabbed the two skinny speaker stands out of the closet that I got at the thrift store a month ago - specifically to use as nice sturdy based stands to clip lights to. We have a camera and a tripod but still need lights and some nice smooth background material as well as props and the cookies themselves. 

It’s coming together, but we've got a ways to go.