Hey Virginia: Hands Off Those Cake Pops

Photo courtesy of Kelly Phillips

by Kerry Dougherty

There’s a reason Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s approval rating in the latest Mason-Dixon Poll perches at a lofty 58 percent in this once-blue state, despite Republicans losing control of the legislature in November’s election.

Youngkin gets it.

On X, he wrote:

“We’re going to fix this, Virginia will always be the best place to live, work, and bake cake pops!”

Like everyone else who heard about Kelly Phillips’ cake pop conflict, the governor immediately saw this for what it was: one more example of government overreach, punishing an enterprising Richmond woman with a small business for no good reason or public benefit.

According to The Virginia Mercury, cake pops are Ms. Phillips’ side hustle. Her day job is as a manager in a financial planning firm. But what began simply as irresistible treats she made for birthday parties and baby showers grew into a little cottage business.

Phillips now sells her gorgeously decorated confections mostly at craft fairs. If Richmond regulators have their way, she’ll have to stop.

Virginia’s stringent food safety regulations, designed to protect folks from unsanitary practices, make exceptions for small craft bakeries. But ridiculous regs, such as the one that allows these homemade goodies to be sold at farmer’s markets but not craft fairs make absolutely no sense.

“What is the difference between a farmers market and a craft show?” Phillips asked The Mercury.

Gee, I don’t know. A roof?

Phillips also ran afoul of Virginia’s nonsensical online marketing regulations when she advertised her pops on Facebook and Instagram. She uses social media to let her cake pop fans know where they can find her delectables on a stick.

How exactly can anyone operate a business without social media in 2024?

K.P.’s Kake Pops would be legal if Phillips had a permit from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, but to qualify she’d have to remodel her home to close off her kitchen.

“To add hinged doors or walls in order to have that would cost me more than I would make making cake pops for the next five years,” she told The Mercury.

Why is it that government factotums often seem incapable of applying common sense to enforcement?

Youngkin can win the hearts of small business folks if he’s able to stop imperious state apparatchiks from stomping all over the cutest little cake pops in the commonwealth.

Get ’em, governor!

Republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed and Unedited.