While the province is providing more support for home-based food businesses, those who work outside the home say they are feeling left out.
The support from the Ontario government is coming in the form of a new how-to guide to help entrepreneurs get started as well as some regulatory changes for what are considered low-risk home-prepared foods.
"I understand trying to help everyone, but they've kind of left us in the dust," said Sarah Wheartly, the owner of Mama D's Delicious Eats in Kitchener. "Because they don't have the overhead that we have they can charge less, so it's frustrating."
She adds that her bakery has only started to bounce back after a rough 2020. Wheartly had to let all her staff go, and has been able to hire some help after opening the brick and mortar store of February 2020.
"We had to jump through so many hoops," she said. "We had to get all of these inspections. We had to pay all these fees and all these different things."
Wheartly says it took around eight months to open their doors after they signed the lease that cost around $100,000.
"It just kind of feels like we've been kicked while we're down," said Julie Greguol, co-owner of Refined Sugar Cakes & Sweets in Breslau.
Geguoul says the support is unfair, since low-risk foods are baked goods that don't require refrigeration, and the home-owned businesses are also exempt from certain regulatory requirements like food handling certifications.
"These new regulations allow them to skirt around that and do this baking or cooking and food production from their home kitchen," she said.
Neha Allim is a teen who makes products out of a separate kitchen in her home for Quarantine Cupcakes Kitchener.
"I went over all the guidelines and made sure the kitchen downstairs was following all of them," she said. "I think for people who are actually putting in the effort and making sure they are doing everything right, I think it is pretty fair."
Local bakers say this new support is all about timing and are worried it doesn't mean they will lose any customers.
"Let the businesses get back on their feet," said Greguoul. "This seems like the silliest time to introduce it."