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Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to change the venue for the 2014 “That Takes the Cake!” Sugar Arts Show in Austin to the Austin Community College (ACC) campus at Highland Mall. The new address is 6001 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78752 and the mall’s website is www.highlandmall.com.

Highland Mall brings a number of new perks above and beyond our previous venue. The mall has plenty of free parking, access to public transit bus and MetroRail routes, is just across the highway from the Crowne Plaza (our official hotel for the event), an operational food court, and many upscale design features. The mall was purchased recently by the college and while some stores remain open for business – which we hope will bring in more new visitors than ever before – our event will now be housed in a large open space surrounded by closed stores that are also available for our use, allowing us to make for better noise control for classes, put show cakes in window displays, and other exciting new opportunities to bring you the best show ever.

We’re still going to have our full cake competition, the live demos and on-site competitions, the kids’ decorating area, the raffles, classes, vendors, and everything else that folks have come to love that have made our show one of the biggest in the nation and internationally respected.

We hope to be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with complete information as soon as possible. Thank you for attending our show and for bearing with us during this change. Stay tuned to our blog and social media (Facebook, G+, and Twitter) for updates. And if you use Google calendar, you can add the event here.

We’ve posted a press release about this change here.

 

HB 970 – the updated cottage food law for Texas – was unanimously voted out of Senate committee this morning. The full text of it is here.

Next it moves to a Senate vote, but only if Lt. Governor Dewhurst picks it to be voted upon.

The Texas Baker’s Bill folks provided this information on their Facebook page for what needs to be done next:

To get this bill out of the Senate, do two things:
1. Call or email David Dewhurst, Lt. Governor, and tell him you support HB 970 and want it to be voted on by the Senate and sent to the Governor for signature. (512)463-0001 or http://www.ltgov.state.tx.us/contact.php

2. Call your own Senator (except Deuell or Schwertner; Deuell is the Sponsor, and Schwertner is becoming a Co-Sponsor) and ask them to Co-Sponsor the bill and vote YES on it so that it can become law. Call (512)463-4630 for the Capitol Switchboard and give the operator your zip code; they will be able to connect you with your Senator. You can also email your Senator through their page on the Senate site. http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/Members.htm

If you care about your rights to sell baked goods from your home kitchen, you need to make these phone calls first thing tomorrow during business hours. Typically calls to government officials like this are very quick: tell them what bill you want voted on, they’ll ask you for some details to ensure you’re in the appropriate voting area, and you’re done. If you want to take time to tell them why the bill is important to you, you can, but honestly it just takes a few seconds to make it clear that you want a thing voted for and a handful of people saying so can sway a politician significantly.

So call!

 

A few of our club members went to the 2013 Frosting Creators of San Antonio Day of Sharing on May 5. We had a lovely time with our sister cake club! One of our members, Kimberly Chapman, brought home a blue ribbon for her gummy version of the US flag.

We love introducing people from the cake world to each other and fostering partnerships that help everyone. To that end, our president Kyla Myers took one of Earlene Moore’s tiara molds over to the Simi Cakes booth for some isomalt.

Michelle Galprin helped Kyla get the isomalt into the mold, and below is a photo of Irene Hackbarth (our treasurer), Kyla, Michelle, and Gwen Drake (our historian) working to get the piece out of the mold:

Taking an isomalt tiara out of a mold

Having quality molds and quality isomalt makes decorating easier!

It worked very well, as you can see from this photo later at Earlene’s booth:

isomalt tiara

Such amazing possibilities with these products!

We love our vendor partners and friends, and it was great seeing them at such a lovely event. Thank you to Frosting Creators and everyone involved!

 

We support other states trying to get cottage food laws enacted so more home bakers across the country have the freedom to sell their wares.

We got an update from our friends in Oklahoma the other day with this news about their petition:

Dear Cottage Food Law Supporters,
I wanted to personally thank you all for your continued support! We are almost to 4000 signatures!! I am emailing you all to congratulate YOU! As a result of this petitition and the efforts of Mary Jane Newlon, Representative Roberts of Durant and his co-authors, Governor Fallin signed the Home Bakery Act of 2013 (House Bill 1094) on April 15, 2013. I have enclosed a link for the bill for those who would like to read it in it’s entirity, but here are the highlights:

-Home bakeries may make $20,000 Gross in Sales yearly
-Baked good may not contain fruit or meat (this includes fillings)
-Home bakeries do NOT require a license to operate
-Food must be properly labeled with name and address where it was baked, including the name of the item
-Inlcude label, “Made in a home food establishment not licensed by tthe State Department of Health.”
-Effective November 1, 2013

Link to the House Bill 1094

While this is not a Cottage Food Law as they are designed, this is certainly a step in the right direction. Please note that this bill does NOT included canning or any item outside of baked goods.

Again, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart for the continued support. This is a great step in the right direction for Oklahoma!

Sincerely,

Tina Curtis
Originator of Cottage Food Law Petition

If you are in Oklahoma or have friends who are, please sign/pass this information and petition on.

 

Just got an email via Bake a Wish that there will be a bake sale to benefit West, TX hosted by Austin Bakes. Details and a sign-up form to bake or volunteer can be found here.

poster

 

If you live in Texas and sell cakes out of your home – even occasionally or if you might want to in the future – you need to be aware of House Bill 970 and how it can affect home bakers.

Our club’s own Kelley Masters has been on the forefront of home baker law in Texas for ages. She runs an excellent website resource at http://www.texascottagefoodlaw.com/ and a Facebook page that has regular updates here. She sums up the key elements of the bill on her site this way:


The bill:

  • Expands the list of allowed foods
  • Lets you sell at a location other than your home
  • Prohibits municipalities from outlawing cottage food operations through zoning.

If you can get to the Capitol when the Facebook page lists events, please do. And everyone should call their representative and ask them to support HB970. If you’ve got a personal story to share why this bill would benefit you, be sure to tell them that. There’s a lobby out there trying to keep this bill from passing, so your voice is key to maintaining and expanding your right to sell baked goods from your home. See Kelley’s How to Help section for more ways to get involved and have your voice heard.

 

Capital Confectioners is happy to announce Craftsy as a new sponsor for the “That Takes the Cake” Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition this year! We’ve got an exciting partnership lined up that will involve hands-on demonstrations. More details coming soon, but for now we’d like to help spread word about their current Groupon for 50% off the cost of their excellent video classes: http://www.groupon.com/deals/craftsy-5

 

Our long-time member and good friend LeeAnn of LeeAnn’s Cakes is closing her business and selling off all of her supplies. You can call her at 512-589-5544 to set up an appointment to see what she’s got and get some great deals.

 

Some folks in Oklahoma are trying to get a Cottage Food Law similar to Texas’ passed and are requesting that we spread the word about their petition, so please share this URL and sign it!

http://signon.org/s/Y3L_aD

This is literally about freedom and apple pie!

 

We got a note from Photofrost to let us know about their cake decorating contest, so if any of you are interested, the details are here:

http://photofrost.com/contest/

And of course don’t forget to register to enter a cake in our cake show! You can also enroll for classes online or buy general admission tickets now, all at http://thattakesthecake.org. Our deadline for competition registration is February 19 with no unregistered entries accepted at the door this year, so sign up soon!