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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.

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.

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)


Ohio Department of Agriculture
800-282-1955 ext 4366
Law Dates
November 2001
ORC 3715.01, 3715.023, 3717.22
June 2009
OAC 901:3-20
This page was last updated on


David, can I also ask for an example of what is required? If I said these 6 ingredients make up my item (in order by weight) what does the label NEED to say? Sugar, white morsels, Butter, Marshmallow, condensed Milk, Vanilla Extract.

If sugar is the main ingredient and part of the other igredients, do you list it each time for each ingredient? Thanks.

    You need to include all ingredients: for instance, butter may include salt and marshmallows include a ton of ingredients. You can condense ingredients as much as you want to, depending on what you know. Sometimes it’s easier to keep them separated and just list out subingredients. Usually when you choose to list subingredients, you would list all subingredients of an item, even if one of them is duplicated elsewhere in the list. For something like salt, you don’t need to list it next to butter and can make an estimation and put it at the end of the list.

Can I coat bacon in sugar, wrap it around a wine stick (skinny bread stick), cook it fully and sell it under the cottage food law?
Could this pass as the Home Bakery Law?

Do you need to put every ingredient from every product that makes up your food item on the label or are you allowed to just use the name of the product such as – white morsels, marshmallow, butter, etc.? My label needs to remain small enough to fit on the product.

    Yes, every ingredient and sub-ingredient must be listed on the label. If you look at a candy bar, you can see that a lot of ingredients can fit on a small label! If your product is truly tiny and you don’t want to put it in bigger packaging, you can consider attaching a tag containing the label. Or you can call the ag dept and ask if it would be okay to print the ingredient list on separate sheets and hand it to your customers.

    One more question about labels. I believe I read it needs to be 10pt font. True? Is a particular font type required?

    That just refers to the size of font… it needs to be at least 10pt to be easily readable. It doesn’t matter which font you use as long as it’s readable.

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