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cottage food community


The “Colorado Cottage Foods Act” began in 2012 and was amended in 2013. In 2015, two amendments passed (SB 15-085 & HB 15-1102) and went into effect on August 5th, 2015. One amendment increased the sales limit from $5,000 to $10,000 per product, and the other added more allowed foods, including pickles.

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 allows producers to sell an unlimited amount of food, as long as they keep creating different products.


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.

Once the health department creates rules for the new amendment, some types of acidified foods (like pickled vegetables) will be allowed.

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


Sales are limited to $10,000 per product
Although the producer can make no more than $10,000 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.


Food handler course

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

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.


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 11/26/2015

In addition to the labeling requirements, a sign must be displayed at the point of sale with this statement: “This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection. This product is not intended for resale.”

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

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


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



Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South C-1
Denver, CO 80246
Law Dates
March 2012
SB 12-048
April 2013
SB 13-1158
August 2015
SB 15-085
August 2015
HB 15-1102
This page was last updated on


I am interested in starting a business canning fruit/berry pie filling and wanted to find out if this is allowed under the jams, jellies and preserves. If not, how do I go about adding it to the cottage food list? It has a two year shelf life and does not require refrigeration. Thank you!

Hello! I have had my cottage foods bakery for the last two years (love it!). I have been offered a potential opportunity to sell my baked goods in a storefront. I know that this would NOT be covered under the Cottage Foods Act and I would need to obtain a Retail Food License. However my question is this – if I obtain the retail food license and prepare my baked goods (only the ones I would be selling at that retail location) in their commercial kitchen may I still sell them under my established Cottage Foods COMPANY NAME or would I have to start an entirely new business, name and everything for that location? I would love to keep my company name / logo, etc. for BOTH. My wish to to have both a retail side as well as maintain my home kitchen Cottage Foods business. Not sure if I could tie two different types of corporations to one business. I hope my question makes sense – hard to clarify in an email. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to our inquiries. Huge help in navigating this area!!!

    Congratulations on your business success! Your question makes perfect sense, and I simply don’t know the answer. I’ve thought about the likelihoods, and in Colorado’s case, I could see it going either way. You can call the health dept to determine what they will allow.

    If they don’t allow you to use the same business name, I’d suggest you try to use this to your advantage. You could create a similar name that allows customers to automatically make the connection, but you could also use everything you’ve learned in the past two years to create a fresh brand. Oftentimes, names and brands that work well in a farmers market don’t work as well on a shelf. When you are not sitting behind your product to vouch for it, your branding is (almost) everything.

    Thank you so much, David! Great insight. Again I so appreciate all the information you provide. You make navigating the Cottage Foods world much less daunting. :-)

Wow! Thanks for doing this. I did read through ALL the posts before asking my questions.
1. If a realtor wanted to buy a dozen cakepops for an open house, can he? What if a realty company wanted to buy 50 for a staff event? They are not retail stores.
2. If a friend at a school wanted to buy a dozen cakepops for a school event, could she? What is a school itself wanted to buy 50 for an event? They are not retail stores.
3. You spoke of a mobile cart falling under different rules, but I am considering having one for convenience only, not for roadside or your normal use of these carts. I just think they’re cute and would sta
nd out at Farmer’s markets and craft fairs and I could pull it behind my car already set up. Would this not be allowed?
4. Can a mom buy a dozen from me for her daughter’s birthday party?
5. Can anyone buy a dozen from me as a gift for someone else?
6. Can someone from my church buy a 100 from me for an event?
I guess my point is, as long as I am selling to an individual, in person, direct sale, it wouldn’t matter if I sold them 10 or 100, I don’t know how they intend to use them for what purpose. Is it my responsibility to find out and what if they don’t use them for that purpose. I would of course have each one individually labeled.

    1. Yes, as long as they are not reselling your products, it should be fine.
    2. Probably not. Schools have very strict guidelines for where they can source the food that’s offered on their premises.
    3. If you’re just using it in place of (or in addition to) a table at an event, that should be fine.
    4. Yes
    5. Yes
    6. Yes, as long as they are not reselling them at the event.
    To some extent, you can’t know if someone goes off and resells your products, but usually resellers will continually buy batch orders, and that kind of business arrangement is prohibited under this law. If you are aware that an individual is buying with the intent to resell, you should inform them that it’s not allowed.

    Ashley, I had the same idea! I called around and found out that if all cooking and food prep is done in the person’s home, it’s allowed. It’s considered an in home service. Maybe we could brainstorm together?

    Lindsey, aren’t you referring to a personal chef business, where you are preparing food in another person’s home? I think that Ashley was hoping to use her own kitchen to prepare the meals.

I’m curious about selling online, I just moved here from Florida and I have a very large customer base back home. Am I not allowed to sell and ship to different states?

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