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Possible code changes could impact Maricopa County home businesses

CAVE CREEK, Ariz. — After years of baking sweet treats for family and friends, Shana Fischer teamed up with a business partner and decided to launch Brilliant Sky Bakery last year.

But, she couldn’t just turn on the oven and start baking.

“It was pretty difficult,” Fischer said. “There are a lot of steps to take, and there should be because you’re talking about public consumption.”

Fischer and her partner, Melissa Thompson, had to form a limited liability company and get food handlers cards before the city could issue them a permit to run a bakery out of their kitchen.

Customers place their orders online, and Brilliant Sky ships across the country and delivers in the Phoenix metro area.

“This is our favorite time of year,” Fischer said. “We do a lot of business with PR firms and advertising agencies who want to send holiday gifts.”

But, there are some customers that Brilliant Sky Bakery cannot reach. A standing Maricopa County code bans private home bakeries from selling their products to retailers like grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants.

The county health board is now considering allowing people to sell homemade goods to retailers, but only if they do not use their home kitchens and instead set up a separate cooking area in their homes. The idea is to allow small businesses to sell their products without the expense of a full commercial kitchen, but Fischer said she’s not sold on the idea.

“If I were to have to do that, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’d get a return on the investment,” she said. “Just because you build something doesn’t mean people will come to it.”

For now, she continues to fulfill holiday orders.