The “Colorado Cottage Foods Act” began in 2012 and was recently amended in 2013. 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.
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.
Jalapenos jellies/preserves, pumpkin butter, and jams/jellies with low sugar are not allowed. Whole eggs may only be sold under certain conditions, including a 250 dozen per-month limit.
Every cottage food producer must take a food handler training course. This can be a course from CSU Extension’s Food Safety Works program, or something similar. Courses from the CSU Extension program occur regularly around the state and 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.
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 8/21/2014
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.
Beyond their home kitchen, a producer can also make their products at other private, public, or commercial kitchens.