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Ohio

Ohio’s cottage food law does not require any licensing from the ag department, and there is no sales limit, but the law limits producers in other ways. Rather than allowing all direct sales, operations can only sell their items at specific types of venues, which does include a couple indirect (wholesale) channels, like selling to a restaurant. Also, Ohio is very specific about what types of food an operation can make. After being expanded in 2009 and 2016, the allowed foods list is now fairly comprehensive.

Ohio also has a law for home bakeries that want to sell perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes and cream pies.

Selling

The only “retail stores” that can sell your products are grocery stores and restaurants. Restaurants can use your products in their food items.

“Events” must be government-organized festivals or celebrations that do not last longer than seven consecutive days. You cannot sell your products at privately-sponsored events, like craft fairs or flea markets.

In addition to farmers markets, you can sell at farm markets and farm product auctions.

Interstate sales are not allowed, but shipping within the state is allowed.

Allowed Foods

If you want to sell perishable baked goods, you can become a home bakery.

Doughnuts must be baked and unfilled.

Although you cannot dry your own fruits and vegetables, you can incorporate commercially-dried produce into items like soup mixes and granola.

Honey can be flavored, and at least 75% of the honey must come from your own hives.

The only syrups allowed are maple and sorghum syrup. Syrups cannot be sold in stores or restaurants, and at least 75% of the syrup must come from your own trees. You can also produce and sell maple sugar.

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
There is no sales limit

Your kitchen may only have one oven or double oven.

Business

No license from the ag department is required, but there may be other local requirements, like a business license.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product is home produced." (10-point type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, OH 73531


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)


NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


If the business name is listed in a local telephone directory, the street address may be omitted or replaced with a PO box.

If a nutritional claim is made on the label, a nutrition facts panel must be included.

Labeling Info & Sample

Labeling Laws (ORC 3715.023)

Resources

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Comments

I was wondering if I can buy frozen pies at the store, decorate the tops , and bake them in my oven to sell them as homemade

Hello,

I know the OH law prohibits sauces but how do we sell sauces including producing in bulk? Is home based acceptable or no?

Thanks,
HP

Sorry if this has been asked already, but I know that a home bakery license requires that your home be pet free. Does cottage food have a similar requirement in Ohio even though a license isn’t required? Trying to figure out if I need to rent commercial space to sell baked goods (cookies, brownies, etc) at a farmer’s market. Thank you for your time!

Hi David, in Ohio for an home-based business operating an online ecommerce website selling dried/blended variations of tea, am I correct in understanding that I can’t sell to states outside of Ohio? What’s required for me to do so? Thanks!

    UPDATE EDIT: If a commercial kitchen is required:
    – Would the business need to be registered at the commercial kitchen or can it be at my home?
    – Is the kitchen required just for packaging, meaning I’m able to do everything else from my home?
    – Am I then able to sell to customers online from domestically outside of Ohio?

    Correct, you can only sell in-state if you use your home kitchen. If using a commercial kitchen and getting licensed with the health dept, you can sell to other states, but your home wouldn’t be involved in the business at all (it would be registered at the commercial kitchen and supplies would be stored there).

    Hey David, thanks for the reply. One more question: If tea is packaged into tins/pouches by a wholesaler and shipped to me for labeling/packaging before I ship it out to customers, am I able to do this out of my own home and ship to outside states? I would not be handling the tea/blends itself, just applying stickers and packaging it. What license/laws do I need to be aware of?

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