UPDATED: We have received an update that the TN DOH is having the local Davidson County Health Department look into Mandy’s Muchies, we’ll update when we receive more information.
Previously: Mandy’s Munchies – Send us your tips!
$50 for a Cheesecake? We did a triple-take, but yes, that’s what the sign says. You might think you’re in some small boutique in New York with over-inflated rent and insurance and employees and all that comes with it to justify those prices – but you’d be wrong. There isn’t even a storefront, there is only an in-home kitchen that isn’t up to code, isn’t regulated by the Health Department, and certainly isn’t covered by any commercial insurance, and nor would the zoning overlay allow such corrections to permit it. The cottage laws are clear and in this case you can judge for yourself. In fact, it’s not the prices that are illegal at Mandy’s Munchies, but maybe the business, itself? Perhaps you’ve seen the post in many East Nashville facebook groups, or even on the listserv:
What exists is a likely illegal business operating out of an East Nashville home – imagine our shock! The items are not properly labeled for sale, either through the commercial regulations or even the much more lax TN cottage food laws. There is no signage that is required, there is nothing but supermarket ingredients and consumer-grade appliances making desserts, breads, and more – and charging way more than should be allowed. Of course, like any “secret” bakery, or home based cook that ‘has the goods’ that the neighbors all want, business is certainly booming! Score one for capitalism, and all the Shelby Hills residents that can now afford the inflated prices:
We were able to locate posts going back several YEARS from Amanda and ‘Mandy’s Munches’ so we assumed at the least they had a business license with the county, or were registered with the Secretary of State – after all at $50 a pop for cheesecakes, and all the immediate responses every post gets, the business mostly likely exceeds (many times over) the small limits that wouldn’t require one. We were (not so) surprised to find out that the Davidson County Clerk’s Office has no business license either for her address, name, or DBA name. The Tennessee Secretary of State also has no registered businesses, either active or inactive under her name, address, or assumed company name.
We attempted to contact Mandy since receiving the first tip about her business, and gave her 30 days to respond or reply or even comment before we published this post, and while many of her customers emailed us, ‘Mandy’ (Amanda Contreras) declined to respond, and removed our request from her Facebook fan page when we asked if she was licensed for either a business or by the health department.
Since she has opted to cook in her home instead of a commercial kitchen (and was ‘smart’ enough to document her cooking process via photos posted online – and there is usually lots of wine involved!) she falls under the TN Cottage laws – which require that there be signage and labeling – neither of which we were able to confirm.
Does this meet current labeling requirements for either the Cottage Law or the Domestic Kitchen Law?
One thing is for sure – Bacon isn’t covered under the current cottage regulations – and yet here it is, being sold by the weight, without proper labeling or meeting any other requirements:
Custom Cakes are specifically not allowed, as they are health department regulated as a catered item, even just one. This single cake which she public states was done for a client, by name, and was a custom cake for which she was paid, makes the health department regulate it as a catered item – cakes are specific in this part of the health code law.
So, East Nashville – what if you found out that your favorite food provider was not licensed or regulated or was selling things outside a covered area, with improper labeling? Would you continue to do business with the person? What if they were not paying any business taxes and were way over the small limit allowed for personal sales? Are they really giving back to the community or just keeping all that tax free income? What would YOU do, East Nashville? Sound off in the comments!