The owners are hoping to bake again, but future plans are currently on hold.
"And then over here, for our display case, we'd put it over there," co-owner Josie Boltjes-Johnson said.
A section of 1948 Trading Company in Brandon has framed canvases, but Boltjes-Johnson is picturing something else in the space.
"Just full of baked goods," Boltjes-Johnson said.
The plan was to move the online bakery she runs with her mom from a rented commercial kitchen into this store. The store has a commercial kitchen and would help the online business get to the next level. Recently, the owners had to stop baking because an old law burned them.
"There was a phone call saying what we were doing was illegal and we need to stop," Boltjes-Johnson said.
The cupcakes are infused with alcohol, which bakes out. There is also alcohol in the frosting. We are not talking about enough to get drunk. The two teaspoons mixed in the frosting is enough for one dozen cupcakes. That ends up being a very small, immeasurable amount for each cupcake. Boltjes-Johnson says various regulators in the state gave them to go-ahead to open and said the business didn't need a liquor license. However, a food preparation law actually prohibits them from mixing any "malt or spirituous liquor or compound" that makes the cupcakes "adulterated."
"It's a really outdated law that's on the books. This law is on there from when prohibition was in place," Sioux Falls city council member Christine Erickson said.
Despite its age, the law still holds up. Erickson took an interest in this story after she heard about one of the owner's Facebook posts. She wanted to help and checked with the Department of Public Safety. She found out the owners of Intoxibakes could face a misdemeanor if they continue to sell the cupcakes. She's bringing it up to the rest of the council and hopes to find a solution.
"There needs to be a better way we can help businesses wade through some of those areas of what you have to do to make sure you're following the rules," Erickson said.
Erickson says one solution could be to go through the legislature to update or change the law. However that's kind of tough right now. She says lawmakers have to consider how that could impact other businesses. We're nearing the end of the session, so there's a tight timeline to introduce and possibly approve a bill. Even if lawmakers did approve one, it wouldn't go into effect until July. There would be the possibility for an emergency clause, but Erickson doesn't think baked goods would qualify for that.
The news hits a sour note for Boltjes-Johnson, but she hopes to see her baking business rise again.
"It's really frustrating because we've been working hard and buying things for opening a business and now everything is on pause," Boltjes-Johnson said.
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Retail & Restaurants
It's just two teaspoons of alcohol per one dozen cupcakes, but that's enough to get a local bakery in trouble with the law. Intoxibakes opened in November, and its concept of adult-only, booze-infused baked goods generated a good buzz. Then its owners shut down after getting a notice they were unintentionally breaking the law.