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cottage food community

Colorado

The “Colorado Cottage Foods Act” began in 2012 and was amended in 2013. A new amendment passed in 2015 (SB 15-085) which will go into effect on August 5th, 2015. The amendment will increase the sales limit to $10,000 per product and will allow a CFO to be registered as an LLC.

The law restricts producers to direct sales only, but no license or permit from the health department is required. However, producers must take a training course before they can start selling.

One thing that differentiates Colorado from other states is that rather than limiting overall sales per year, they limit the sales of each product.  This is interesting in that it essentially allows producers to sell an unlimited amount of food, as long as they keep creating different products.  Colorado is also different in that they allow products to be made in other kitchens beyond the producer’s home kitchen.

Selling

Only direct sales to consumers are allowed.  The law is not specific enough to include or exclude internet sales.  It is up to the interpretation of producers to determine whether or not they are doing direct sales to consumers.

Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

Here’s the official list of allowed foods. Jalapenos jellies/preserves, pumpkin butter, and jams/jellies with low sugar are likely not allowed. Whole eggs may only be sold under certain conditions, including a 250 dozen per-month limit.

Only "non-potentially hazardous" foods are allowed, but certain non-PHFs may not be allowed. Most foods that don't need to be refrigerated (foods without meat, cheese, etc.) are considered non-potentially hazardous. Learn more

Limitations

Limitations
Sales are limited to $5,000 per product
Although the producer can make no more than $5,000 of net revenue per year from a product, product variants are considered different products. For instance, strawberry jelly and grape jelly are two different products.This limit will increase to $10,000 per product on August 5th, 2015.

Business

Food handler course

Every cottage food producer must take a food handler training course, which can be taken online for $10 – $15 at statefoodsafety.com.

If you would prefer to take a course in-person, the CSU Extension’s Food Safety Works program offers classes around the state which usually cost between $5 and $30. You can contact your local health department to learn about the upcoming courses in your area.

Cottage food operations are not required to collect state sales tax, but they may be required to collect local sales taxes. To see if this could apply to you, check out this page and click on “View Local Sales Tax Rates”. Even if your county does require sales tax, you may still get an exemption because you’re selling food that won’t be consumed on your premises. But you need to check with your city and/or county about that.

Cottage food operations must operate as a sole-proprietorship (on August 5th, 2015, CFOs will also be able to operate as LLCs).

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection and that may also process common food allergens such as tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, milk, fish, and crustacean shellfish. This product is not intended for resale."


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, CO 73531


Phone: (123) 456-7890


Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), butter (cream, salt), semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extract, alcohol, sugar), baking soda, salt (salt, calcium silicate)


Produced on 8/1/2015


Alternatively, an email address can be substituted for a phone number.

The address on the label should be the location where the product was made.

Workplace

Beyond their home kitchen, a producer can also make their products at other private, public, or commercial kitchens.

Resources

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Comments

I want to start a small salsa business is the covered under the new cottage food law? If not what do I need to do to get legal so I can start the business?

Hi. I have a question regarding setting up an Etsy.com store to sell my decorated sugar cookies. I see others on Etsy selling sugar cookies and shipping them via UPS or USPS which means they are shipping to other states as well as local customers. Each order would be custom -not a mail order situation. Do you know if this is allowed under Cottage? If not – do you know what type of license I would need to obtain to legally do this? Thanks so much.

Does anybody have a good resource as to where I could get the proper labels printed? I don’t need anything fancy, just one close enough to the sample label given…any help is appreciated!

    Most CFOs print their own labels, using some Avery labels and their software for design. There are also a ton of online label companies out there, like VistaPrint, and although many CFOs do use one of those, it’s usually not necessary for a startup business.

I am looking into selling homemade herbal tinctures and salves from my home. Is this something that falls under the cottage food law and would it be allowed ?

    I don’t think those fall under the cottage food law. You should call the health dept to discuss the laws for creating and selling medical and health-related products.

My friends and I want to set up a small bake sale in Boulder. We don’t have permits or training. We were just going to make some homemade pastries at our houses with little ingredient labels. Is it illegal to do this? Would we get in any kind of trouble?

If I have a dairy goat can I use the milk from my goat to make caramels and fudge to sell under the cottage food Law?

    I don’t know, but I highly doubt it. You will likely need to get your milk from a commercial source. You can call the health dept for more clarification.

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