Filing My County DBA, Liability Insurance, and Twinkie Candles

County office

Having gotten my county DBA (doing business as) paperwork notarized, I walked into the local county’s office after work last Friday only to find that the office was closed.

“It’s only open from Monday to Thursday,” informed a helpful security guard, “From 8 AM to 3 PM.”

Although my teaching contract requires me to work from 7:30 AM to 2:34 PM, I typically go to work at 6 AM and don’t leave until 3-4 PM. Thirty-one prior years of teaching experience have taught me that working longer hours allows me to get a lot done and will minimize the amount of work that I ever have to take home. Since I teach Culinary Arts, part of the reason I need to work long hours is because I have to prep supplies for each group. Recipes have to be printed. Ingredients have to be portioned, covered, date/labeled, and refrigerated. Tools have to be gathered and distributed to each work station.

my Culinary Arts kitchen

Although each student group is responsible for keeping their respective stations clean, at the end of the day I have to clean all of the common areas. Since we’re short two custodians I also have to empty all trash cans.

In addition to my responsibilities in the kitchen, at the start of each school year there are also lots of on-line workshops that I also have to take. Most of these are related to district policies and regulations regarding copyrights, FERPA (Family Education Right to Privacy Act), after hours building security procedures, emergency drill procedures, and duty to report in cases of suspected child abuse or bullying.

Once the school year settles into a routine and I’ve completed my on-line course requirements, my nights, weekends, and holidays are usually free.

Since I haven’t been able to leave work early , I resorted to plan B which was to mail the paperwork to the county clerk in Las Vegas. After writing a check for $25.00 as the processing fee, I sent off my notarized form and am now awaiting confirmation of receipt from the county. Once I have a verified receipt, I will be able to open a bank account on behalf of Tasty-Candles. After the business bank account has been opened, I’ll be able to apply for a business credit card to facilitate on-line purchases. I’ll also be able to set up a Paypal account to process on-line payments.

In the meanwhile, I have started shopping on-line for liability insurance. All businesses that provide goods or services always need insurance because things happen. In the candle making business, the possibility of damage from melting wax and fire is always a problem. Unevenly melting wax could cause a candle to tip over. Foolish customers could light a candle without having thought to put it a heat resistant container under it to catch the melting wax. If someone improperly stored a candle and allowed it to get wet, a lit candle could sputter and on rare occasions explode; sending hot wax flying around the room. Even if the customer was at fault, the sad reality is that we live in a highly litigious society. Just as I maintain $1 million in liability cover as a teacher, I am also seeking a million dollars of coverage for Tasty-Candles.

After work on Friday I received a Twinkies candle mold that I ordered from an Etsy shop. Twinkies were first created by the Continental Baking Company in 1930 as a way of using small cake pans that had only been used on a seasonal basis. During the summer these pans were used to make tiny cakes that were stuffed with strawberries and cream. To make full use of these pans throughout the rest of the year, the company began producing cakes filled with bananas and cream. When banana shipments were temporarily ceased during World War II, the company replaced the banana cream with vanilla cream. Known as Twinkies, the name for this new product was said to have been inspired by a billboard near the company that advertised “Twinkle Toed Shoes.”

Twinkies

Continental Bakery was eventually bought out by Hostess. In 2012, Hostess filed for bankruptcy. As national sales dropped due to a growing trend for more healthy foods, the union’s failure to accommodate the corporate needs to cut expenses resulted in a loss of 18,500 jobs when Hostess went out of business.

Amazingly enough Hostess was able to reorganize and to relaunch its business in 2016. While issues with healthy food trends and an uncooperative labor union drove the company into bankruptcy, foodie nostalgia for an iconic brand coupled with a now more cooperative union allowed the company to successfully relaunch. Hostess now operates baking facilities in Emporia, Kansas, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Georgia. Sadly the bakery in Chicago where Twinkies were first produced was never reopened.

I improvised a Twinkie aroma by blending birthday cake, carrot cake, and vanilla fragrances. After unmolding the candles, I brushed all of them with melted orange-yellow wax to give them the coloring of real Twinkies. The bottoms were also brushed with orange-brown wax.

completed Twinkie candles stored on a baker’s rack

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