Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Saturday, April 04, 2009
  Victim or "victim"
Stories like this one break my heart. This cake business sounds like a truly heartfelt little outfit. But I have a difficult time believing that a city employee who has had a side business out of his home for decades can play naive about health regulations and permits.
The Cake Man was told to put the mixer down and step away from the flour — no more wedding cakes until he complies with a state health law.

You see, Pulcaro and his wife, Rosalie, both 69, bake and design cakes inside their Doreen Street home kitchen. Pulcaro started the "hobby" at age 18 when he organized a 25th wedding anniversary party for his parents.

Short on money, his aunt told him "Make one yourself," so he did. That night, two family members asked him to bake their wedding cakes.

He hired a helper when he married Rosalie 49 years ago. They even baked their own wedding cake — a cherry-nut cake "with vanilla frosting and royal blue and pink roses," Pulcaro quipped.

"He still remembers," Rosalie said, smiling.

She bakes the cakes, Pulcaro designs them, about a dozen per year for family, friends and friends of friends. The Cake Man has built up a reputation as one of the best around.
As someone who deals with food handling regulations, permits, inspections, etc... I suspect that Pittsfield's Health Department quietly turned a blind eye to the "dozen" cakes a year. Considering that these cakes might sell for several hundreds of dollars each, we are not exactly talking about a hobby. I have a sinking feeling that the health department is the least of this guy's potential problems if an IRS agent reads The Eagle.

If you want to play the game, you need to play by the rules.

UPDATE: Per Larry's comment, you really need to check out the Topix thread with the article to see just how unhinged small city politics can get. You've got people calling for the head of the Mayor and the Health Inspector over a legitimate requirement for a health permit. Yikes.
Did you see all the Topix comments following the story in the Eagle? Clearly most of the respondents don't have much of an idea about how which city department goes after health issues, and which enforces drug laws, but oh my, what consternation!

Of course the main reason given for letting unlicensed businesses continue operating is that there have been no problems for 50 years. But let one person get fool poisoning and the same nabobs will be calling for City Hall heads to roll.

And they will blame the mayor. They always do that you know, blame the mayor, no matter what happens.
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