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cottage food community


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, the allowed foods list is now fairly comprehensive.

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


The only “retail stores” that can sell your products are grocery stores and restaurants. Restaurants may also 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.

The law is not clear about online sales. If online sales are allowed, they likely need to be fulfilled in-person, either via pickup or delivery. Contact the ag dept for more clarification.

Allowed Foods

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

The only syrups allowed are maple and sorghum syrup. Syrups and honey cannot be sold in stores or restaurants, and they must contain at least 75% of product from your own trees or hives.

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


There is no sales limit

Your kitchen may only have one oven or double oven.


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


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)


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Does noodles fall under the rule? I know they last without refrigeration for quite some time. If I can, can I infuse them with herbs and veggies such as spinach if the shelf life stays the same?

I’ve started making my own jams/preserves/pie fillings/ ketchup and butters

How would one go about selling these? I see cottage laws in Ohio allow for home produced products. Do I need the kitchen inspected?

So I’m going to be starting my own cottage industry, I know you can’t sell to coffee shops. If I were to move up to home bakery is that possible in any way? I wasn’t sure with all the labeling how that would work with stuff being put in a display case.
Selling my baked goods in a coffee shop is something I’ve always wanted to do but is it possible with out being an “official bakery”?

Am I aloud to sell fish food from my property to people who stop and feed the fish at the river across from my property

    As long as you buy commercially-produced fish food, it shouldn’t be too difficult to resell. You may need a resellers permit, though you may not need any permits… try calling the ag dept to see if they know.

    It’s quite possible that that could be considered a cottage food, but I’m really not sure. I’d recommend you call the ag dept.

Hi I’m thinking about starting a business at home which I will sell my signature salads and wraps it will be made by the order and it will also be pick up and delivery options. Is this allowed? Do I need any kind of permits?

What is the syrup definition ? Is fruit syrup allowed ? Would unset jams be allowed to have syrup labels on them?

    Only maple syrup and sweet sorghum syrup are allowed. Syrups that contain anything else are not allowed, but if your “syrup” can classify as a non-PHF jam or jelly, it should be allowed. The rules are complex, and considering that you probably have a borderline product, I’d recommend you contact the ag dept to determine if it would be allowed. If your product is classified as a jam, then I don’t think you can label it as a syrup.

    That’s fairly common, and technically illegal. There are many stories about police shutting down kids’ lemonade stands (including one today, in fact), but most kids wouldn’t have any trouble running such a stand in their front yard.

A friend wishes me to make her wedding cake in Sept. but she will be paying me for it. One cake recipe does require frozen strawberries and the frosting is buttercream but she also wants there to be white chocolate covered strawberries around the base of the cake, is there a problem with producing any of these items from a home kitchen? I am a little confused by previous comments that I have read.

    There could be problems with it, especially if the wedding venue is not allowed to serve homemade food. If the venue is okay with it, and this is a one-time thing, it would honestly probably be easiest to just move forward without trying to make sure everything’s legal. If you do want to be as legal as possible, look into becoming a home bakery, or producing the cake in a commercial kitchen.

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