Missouri requires every county to have cottage food laws, but each county has their own separate laws. However, there is currently a bill in place to develop state-wide laws.
Washington is one of the most difficult states for starting a cottage food operation. It is very complicated to get a cottage food permit… almost as complex as setting up a commercial food business. And yet, Washington’s cottage food law is fairly limited, only allowing $35,000 of sales per year, prohibiting indirect sales (to restaurants,… [read more]
North Carolina is unlike any other state, in that it has a food program for home processors, yet it does not have laws in place to allow them. Other states have specific laws in place that override the federal laws that prohibit home-based food sales, but since North Carolina has no such laws, technically their… [read more]
California passed their first cottage food law (AB 1616 – The California Homemade Food Act) in 2012, and it went into effect on January 1st, 2013. The law was amended in 2013 (AB 1252) and 2021 (AB 1144 & AB 831). California has two classes of cottage food operations (CFOs): Class A & Class B…. [read more]
Wisconsin has two avenues for selling homemade food: this ruling, which allows the sale of nonperishable baked goods, and the pickle bill, which allows the sale of some types of canned goods. Under this ruling, home cooks can only sell nonperishable baked goods directly to anyone in the state, and there is no limit on… [read more]
Barbara Williford of DeBerry, TX shares how she built a cottage food bakery with her daughter and grew it into a full-time business by networking with others and giving back to her community
In 2022, Rhode Island passed H 7123, becoming the last state to allow all residents to sell homemade food. Prior to 2022, Rhode Island only had their Farm Home Food Manufacture law, which 99.8% of residents couldn’t use. This law allows anyone (not just farmers) to register as a “cottage food manufacturer”, which costs $65… [read more]
This law is for farmers that sell over $2,500 of agricultural products per year. Non-farmers must use the Cottage Food Manufacture law, and farmers can use both laws. For 20 years (until 2022), this was Rhode Island’s only cottage food law. Under this law, farmers can sell many types of nonperishable products, and there is… [read more]
Missouri has two different laws that allow homemade food sales, which combine to create an overall decent cottage food law. Producers can use both laws, if they’d like. Unlike this law, Missouri’s other cottage food law is not available to everyone in the state. But in the counties that do allow it, it allows producers… [read more]
Unlike most states, Iowa allows home cooks to sell most types of foods, including perishable products. After an update in 2022 (HF 2431), Iowa is the only state to allow products that contain some types of meat and poultry that are purchased. Home food processing establishments can sell their items at any venue, but they… [read more]
Iowa has two different laws for home cooks, which combine to form possibly the best cottage food laws in the nation. Iowa has been allowing sales of homemade food for longer than any other state (since at least the 1980s). The cottage food law (described on this page) allows producers to sell almost all types… [read more]
In 2022, Indiana passed a greatly improved cottage food law (HB 1149). Prior to 2022, producers could only sell at farmers markets and roadside stands. Under the current law, home-based vendors can sell most types of nonperishable foods directly to consumers within the state, including online sales and in-state shipping. There is no sales limit,… [read more]
In 2022, Tennessee passed a food freedom law (HB 813) which entirely replaced their old law. The food freedom law changed non-potentially hazardous to non- time/temperature control for safety (TCS) food. Non-TCS products do not contain meat, poultry, fish, or whole eggs and do not require refrigeration for safety. These food items can be sold… [read more]
South Dakota first passed a cottage food law in 2010, and amended it in 2011, 2020, & 2022. Producers can sell all types of nonperishable foods, plus some types of foods that most states don’t allow: perishable baked goods, home canned goods, pesto, frozen fruit, etc. However, those selling the latter must follow certain requirements…. [read more]
South Carolina first created a cottage food law in 2012, which was amended in 2018 and 2022. Producers can sell both directly to consumers, and indirectly to retail stores. Producers can sell their products online, and can ship them as well. There is no sales limit, and the producer doesn’t need to take a food… [read more]
Beatrice Lattimore from Deland, FL shares how her family moved from the city into the country to start a farm and live off the land, and how she used the cottage food law to sell value-added products.
Kansas has a good cottage food law, even though the rules for selling food are mostly determined by the ag department. Almost all types of nonperishable foods can be sold anywhere directly, including sales in other states. Indirect sales (via restaurants, stores, etc) are not allowed. There are even special rules that allow limited sales… [read more]
For many years, Illinois had one of the most restrictive cottage food laws in the nation. Their first cottage food law in 2012 (SB 0840) only allowed cottage food operations to sell certain items at farmers markets. Even though an amendment in 2018 (HB 3063) removed the sales limit and greatly expanded the list of… [read more]
Jennie Gibson of Jacksonville, FL shares how she built one of the most successful home-based custom-decorated cake pop businesses in the United States despite facing many challenges along the way.
In this special 50th episode of The Forrager Podcast, hear from 16 Facebook group owners who share some of their best tips about starting and growing a cottage food business.
Tracy Mancuso near Medford, OR shares how she built her successful custom cake business from home while raising young kids by leveraging social media and embracing her local community.
For many years, only Kentucky farmers could sell homemade food, leaving it as one of the last states without a basic cottage food law. But that changed in 2018 when the law was amended (HB 263) to make it available to everyone. With this law, home-based processors can make many types of non-perishable foods and… [read more]
North Dakota’s path to a cottage food law resembles a roller coaster ride, but not necessarily a fun one. In 2017, North Dakota passed the country’s second food freedom bill (HB 1433), modeled after Wyoming’s. Since then, the health department tried multiple times to restrict the new law, and were ultimately successful in implementing restrictive… [read more]
For many years, New Mexico had the most complex cottage food law of any state. However, in 2021 they passed the Homemade Food Act (HB 177), which greatly improved their law. Now producers can sell most non-perishable foods directly anywhere in the state, and there is no sales limit. Indirect sales (retail stores, restaurants, etc)… [read more]
Montana first created a cottage food law in 2015, but it was almost entirely replaced in 2021 with the passage of the Montana Local Food Choice Act (SB 199). This “food freedom” law removed almost all restrictions from selling homemade food, and it prevents government agencies from regulating a producer. To sell homemade food, a… [read more]
In 2015, Montana passed their first cottage food bill (HB 478), which is explained on this page. However, they now have a newer law, the Montana Local Food Choice Act (SB 199), also known as their food freedom law. That law almost entirely replaces this one. The only reason someone would use this cottage food… [read more]
Before 2018, New York had a fairly restrictive law. Unlike other states that pass bills to improve their cottage food law, New York’s ag department improved the law themselves by creating rules, first in 2018 and again in 2020. Homemade food can now be sold anywhere within the state, including selling indirectly to stores and… [read more]
For many years, Oklahoma had one of the most restrictive cottage food laws in the United States. However, in 2021, Oklahoma replaced their cottage food law with the Homemade Food Freedom Act (HB 1032), and it is now one of the best laws in the country! Under the food freedom law, producers can sell their… [read more]
Alabama created a cottage food law (SB 159) in 2014. Previously, producers could only sell non-perishable homemade food at farmers markets. In 2021, an amendment (SB 160) greatly expanded the list of allowed foods, removed the sales limit, allowed online sales, and allowed in-state shipping. Alabama allows direct sales of almost any type of non-perishable food,… [read more]
Daniela Zographos of Anderson, SC shares how she niched down to only selling custom-decorated cake pops, which made her home bakery even more successful and gave her more time to spend with her kids.
Arkansas created a cottage food law in 2011 (Act 72), and it was amended three times (2017 Act 399, 2019 Act 775, & 2021 Act 306). However, in 2021, Arkansas replaced their cottage food law with the Food Freedom Act (SB 248), and it is now one of the best laws in the country! Under… [read more]
Minnesota used to have one of the most restrictive cottage food laws in the nation. In 2015, they passed a new law (SF 5) which greatly improved their law, and then they further improved it in 2021 by passing an amendment (SF 958). Cottage food producers can sell almost any type of nonperishable food, but they… [read more]
New Jersey has tried to pass countless cottage food bills, but one senator continues to prevent any of them from passing.
Florida’s cottage food law has improved significantly over time. After passing their first law (HB 7209) in 2011, they have passed three amendments: in 2017 they passed HB 1233, and in 2021 they passed HB 663 & HB 403. Florida now has a good cottage food law, especially since it is very easy for a… [read more]
Arizona created their initial cottage food law in 2011 (HB 2103) and amended it in 2018 (SB 1022) to allow more types of food products. Arizona has one of the most successful cottage food programs of any state, with over 10,000 businesses registered as of 2021. This success is in large part because Arizona has… [read more]
Michigan enacted a cottage food law in 2010 (HB 5280), and then amended it once in 2012 (HB 5130) to increase the sales limit. Many types of non-perishable foods are allowed, and producers can sell directly to consumers at most sales venues. It is very easy to start a cottage food business, since no license… [read more]
Lisa Petrizzi-Geller from Berkley, MA shares what she’s learned from selling thousands of homemade & custom-decorated cake pops, chocolate-covered Oreos, and other treats at tons of events.
Washington D.C. started allowing homemade food sales in 2013, with the passage of the “Cottage Food Amendment Act of 2013” (B20-0168). In 2017, the health department added many rules (DCMR Title 25-K), which made it much more complicated and expensive to start a cottage food business. In 2020, the law significantly improved via two amendments…. [read more]
Becca Aronowitz from Richmond Hill, GA shares everything cake pops (making, pricing, sculpting, decorating, etc), her journey from art teacher to business owner, and some crazy stories along the way.
Patricia Bedford lives in Pflugerville, TX and shares how she’s become a top-ranked bakery in her area, raised $17,000 from a Kickstarter campaign, and is expanding her business to a food truck.
LAW UPDATE Since this page was last updated, Wyoming improved their food freedom law with a new bill (HB 118). As of July 1st, 2021, producers can now sell eggs under the law, and clarifies that there should be as few restrictions as possible for businesses using this law. Wyoming has the best cottage food… [read more]
NEW LAW As of May 5th, 2021, Utah passed a new bill (HB 94) which allows producers to run mini restaurants from their home. It is similar to California’s MEHKO law. Utah has two laws that allow for the sale of homemade food. This page is for Utah’s food freedom law, also known as the… [read more]
Utah has two laws that allow for the sale of homemade food. This page is for Utah’s cottage food law, which has existed since 2007. Utah also has a newer food freedom law, which is much easier to setup and allows many more types of food items, but is more restricted in other ways. If… [read more]
Dawn sells alcohol-infused cupcakes from her home bakery near Atlanta, Georgia, called Delights By Dawn. Dawn talks about scaling, making yourself memorable, and if you should quit your day job.
Lauren Cortesi talks about the realities of running a home bakery for 17 years, how to price products correctly, and the benefits of hiring a business coach. She owns Bella’s Desserts in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is a bit different than other states in that it doesn’t have laws specific to cottage food operations, but the Department of Agriculture simply allows “limited food establishments” that meet specific guidelines. The application process is lengthy, but limited food establishments have a lot of flexibility once they’re setup. Unlike other states, in Pennsylvania, there are many similarities between the… [read more]
Georgia’s cottage food laws are pretty good, though it takes some effort for cottage food operators to get setup initially. Operators must have a business license, take a training course, send in an application, and get their home inspected before they can get their cottage food license. However, once setup, they are not limited to a… [read more]