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 […]
New Jersey has tried to pass countless cottage food bills, but one senator continues to prevent any of them from passing.
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 […]
LAW UPDATE In 2021, Indiana passed a new bill (SB 185) that may improve their cottage food law in 2022. This bill creates a working group which is tasked with determining recommendations for cottage food businesses. Most likely, the group’s findings will be used to try to pass a bill in 2022 to improve the […]
Running a successful custom cake business is a lot of work. Running a popular Etsy shop is also a lot of work. And taking care of young kids full-time is definitely a lot of work.
Meet April Spencer, who has managed to do all three AT THE SAME TIME!
April is a cake decorator and sugar artist who lives in Harrod, OH and sells impressive custom cakes and lollipops with her cottage food business, Spencer’s Sugar Shop.
In addition to running a very successful custom cake business from home, April also rented a commercial kitchen to sell her custom lollipops on Etsy and ship them across the nation. She’s currently put the Etsy business on pause due to the mass influx of weddings recently, but at one point she was shipping out over 30 custom lollipop orders per week!
As if running two businesses and a young family weren’t enough, April also manages to put a strong focus on her social media presence, and she now has thousands of social media followers.
How does she do it all? Nobody knows for sure, but listen in and learn how she went from knowing NOTHING about cake decorating to becoming one of the most popular bakers in her area in just a few short years.
Most food businesses go to a lot of effort marketing their products to customers, but not Sari!
Ever since Sari Stevenson opened The Keto Bakery Box in 2018, the demand for her products has been relentless. In that first year, she often had lines of customers waiting at her home to pick up their orders!
She started her business under California’s cottage food law, but she hit the $50,000 sales limit in less than a year, at which point she transitioned from her home kitchen to a commercial kitchen.
She now bakes her products in Costa Mesa, CA and sells most of them through a number of stores in Southern California.
Her secret? She spent many months (and countless test batches) creating keto-friendly baked foods that actually taste great! At the same time, the keto diet was becoming increasingly popular in her area, and nobody else was focused on selling baked goods like hers.
Sari is not only an expert in everything keto, but she is a certified ketogenic living health coach. In this episode, she not only shares her business journey, but also describes some of the common misconceptions of the increasingly popular keto diet trend.
When Safeera Inayath immigrated to the United States from India back in 2010, she had never baked a cake in her life. Now cakes ARE her life, and she has over 10,000 Instagram followers!
Safeera lives in Prior Lake MN, and sells custom cakes, macarons, and other baked goods with her cottage food business, Sugardust & Sprinkles.
Aside from creating amazingly elegant and high-end baked goods, Safeera’s food photos really stand out. Her photography looks truly professional, even though she takes all of her photos with a smartphone.
By investing in photography skills and focusing on Instagram, her business has taken off. Brands and organizations have contacted her with a variety of money-making opportunities, including teaching, promoting a brand’s products, and even designing new products.
South Carolina created a cottage food law in 2012, which was amended in 2018 to remove some limitations. This law for “home-based food production operations” allows an operator to sell nonperishable “candy and baked goods” directly to consumers at most sales venues, like farmers markets, events, and from home. There is no sales limit, but […]
LAW UPDATE Since this page was last updated, Arkansas has passed a food freedom bill (SB 248). As of July 29th, 2021, producers can now sell non-perishable foods almost anywhere within the state, without needing to get licensed by the health or ag department. Arkansas created a cottage food law in 2011 (Act 72), and […]
Iowa has two different laws for home cooks, both of which predate most modern cottage food laws. Iowa has been allowing sales of homemade food since at least the 1980s. First, Iowa has an exemption that allows producers can sell most types of non-perishable food products from home and at farmers markets, without needing any […]
Unlike most states, Iowa allows home bakers to sell many types of baked goods, including perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes, cream pies, and cakes with cream fillings. Home bakeries can sell their baked goods at any venue, but they are limited to $35,000 of sales per year. An annual license and inspection are required. In […]
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 $25,000 of sales per year, prohibiting indirect sales (to restaurants, […]
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. […]
Lauren Inazu isn’t your average 13-year-old girl. When she was 8, she recruited friends to sell and market her lemonade stand, Lauren’s Sweet Treats. In 5th grade, she started a school newspaper. And now, she recently launched a cottage food business.
Lauren lives in St. Louis, MO and sells all sorts of baked goods with her new business, Count It All Joy.
Between school, homework, piano lessons, sports, youth group, clubs, and Bible study, Lauren is somehow finding time to fulfill baking orders. Sometimes she likes to surprise her classmates with that fact: “I think it’s always kind of fun to be like, ‘Oh yeah, I just have to go make four dozen cookies tonight for an order.’ And they’re like, ‘An order?'”
Lauren may be one of the most ambitious and mature 13-year-olds I have ever met, but she is not unique in wanting to make a little dough from her baked goods. Many kids reach out to me to ask if it is legal for them to sell their creations.
In this episode, Lauren shares what she’s learned about legally starting her cottage food business as a 13-year-old, in hopes of inspiring other young entrepreneurs to try it out as well.
These days, Dough Boy Donuts is a popular gourmet donut shop that is bustling with customers and employees, but it all started from very humble beginnings.
In 2014, Melvin Roberson used Texas’ cottage food law to start his donut business from his home kitchen. A year later, he expanded to a food truck, and eventually, to a brick-and-mortar location in Fort Worth, TX (now relocated to Burleson, TX).
Melvin has faced plenty of obstacles along the way, including negative customers, family feuds, and a failed Kickstarter campaign.
But through perseverance, sacrifice, and plenty of hard work, he has built a loyal customer base that keep coming back for one of his unique signature donuts, like the Sriracha Maple Bacon or The Last Call.
Melvin’s has a tremendous amount of experience in the food industry… before building a successful food business through three different stages (from home, food truck, storefront), he held just about every food service position available, ultimately managing hundreds of employees as the kitchen manager at a popular steakhouse.
Cuban-inspired, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, organic, low-carb, allergy-friendly, diet-specific, healthy… Noel’s baked goods are certainly unique!
Noel Martinez runs his highly specialized bakery, Mami’s Bakes, from his home kitchen in Pittsburg, PA.
Noel started baking gluten-free for himself when he was diagnosed with celiac disease 20 years ago. Then he started baking sugar-free and low-carb for his “Mami” (mom), who had diabetes.
After Mami passed away in 2019, Noel finally decided to start selling the baked goods that his family and friends had raved about for years.
He started selling to coworkers, and soon enough, they were keeping him busy with orders every week. They also had no problem paying top dollar ($40 for a coffee cake, anyone?) for his products, even though most of them had no diet-specific needs!
Only 6 months in, Noel is still in the early stages of his business. Despite his consistent sales and enthusiastic customers, there are growing pains as well.
Noel shares a view into the ground floor of a new business, including his process for improving recipes, pricing products, building an email list, attracting raving fans, sourcing ingredients, and finding time to run a side business while working two part-time jobs.
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 […]
LAW UPDATE In 2021, Oklahoma passed a new bill (HB 1032), which will go into effect on November 1st, 2021. This new bill is a massive improvement to Oklahoma’s law! They are going from having one of the worst laws in the country, to having one of the best. Here are some of the most […]
LAW UPDATE Since this page was last updated, New York’s ag department has changed the rules to improve their cottage food law. Most importantly, indirect sales through retail stores are now allowed. Please read the ag department’s website for the current rules. New York’s law for home food processors comes with some restrictions, but for […]
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 […]
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 […]
UPDATE Since this page was last updated, a successful lawsuit in North Dakota has nullified the health department’s controversial rule changes. As of December 10th, 2020, producers can once again fully use North Dakota’s food freedom law. North Dakota’s path to a cottage food law resembles a roller coaster ride, but not necessarily a fun […]
Nebraska passed a bill (LB 304) in 2019 which greatly expanded their cottage food law. Before that, homemade food could only be sold at farmers markets. Producers can sell any type of non-perishable food at farmers markets, public events, from home, and online. For sales outside of farmers markets, producers must complete a food safety […]
Texas passed an amendment (HB 970) to their cottage food law in September 2013, which greatly loosened the restrictions of their original cottage food law (SB 81). In 2019, they passed another amendment (SB 572) which greatly expanded it again. After many attempts to improve the law, Texas now has a good cottage food law. Producers can sell anywhere […]
California’s bill (AB 626) which allows for “microenterprise home kitchen operations” was passed on September 18th, 2018 and went into effect on January 1st, 2019. Although the law is a first-of-its-kind and has been described as a “game-changer”, the reality is that the bill is so severely limited, it is unlikely to make much of […]
West Virginia has one of the best cottage food laws in the country. For many years, they had very specific and restrictive laws which only allowed a few types of food items to be sold at farmers markets. Then in 2018, they passed a new law which expanded the allowed foods list but still restricted […]
Alaska’s cottage food law is fairly flexible, though only direct, in-person sales are allowed, and producers are limited to $25,000 of sales per year. The law allows most non-potentially hazardous foods, including many items that are not allowed in other states, like soda and some types of fruit juices. Some higher-risk products need to be tested to […]
LAW UPDATE Since this page was last updated, Alabama has greatly improved their cottage food law with a new bill (SB 160). As of August 1st, 2021, cottage food producers can now sell most non-perishable foods, and can sell their products online and ship them within the state. Also, the sales limit was removed. Most […]
Hawaii does not have a cottage food law, but it is possible to sell certain types of homemade food at events with a temporary food establishment permit.
LAW UPDATE In 2021, Illinois passed a new cottage food amendment (SB 2007), which will go into effect on January 1st, 2022. The new amendment will be a major improvement to their law, allowing most types of direct sales in the state, including sales from home, events, roadside stands, etc. It will add a paid […]
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.
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 […]
NEW LAW Since this page was last updated, Maine created a new food sovereignty law, which allows some municipalities to remove most restrictions on homemade food. You should check with local officials to see if there is an ordinance that enables this law in your area. Maine has had their “home food manufacturing” law in […]
UPDATE Since this page was last updated, Boston created an ordinance to allow residential kitchens, so now Boston residents can use the cottage food law. Massachusetts developed its law for “residential kitchens” in 2000, well before cottage food laws became common. Residential kitchens are considered “food establishments” (like their commercial counterparts), so it is harder […]
Idaho has allowed for the sale of low-risk homemade foods for years, but is just now codifying their practices into state rules. The new proposed rules were passed in January 2016, and they should become effective by April 2016. However, it is currently possible to directly sell cottage foods, and the below information describes current practices. […]
Oregon’s laws for domestic kitchens are not the easiest when it comes to getting licensed, but they give producers a lot of freedom once they are setup. However, there are some strict requirements, like never allowing pets in the producer’s home. Those who want an easier setup and fewer requirements (but more restrictions) can use Oregon’s […]
In 2012, Tennessee updated their home-based food laws to make it much easier for cooks to sell their homemade food. Although a license or inspection from the ag department is no longer required, producers can only sell in-person at certain venues. However, sellers may still utilize the older domestic kitchen law if they want to sell indirectly […]
Tennessee has updated their laws to exempt basic home-based food processors from a license and kitchen inspection. However, they still allow home-based food businesses under the domestic kitchen law, which allows indirect sales to restaurants and retail stores. A domestic kitchen is much more difficult to setup, requiring training, permits, plans, and a home inspection. Domestic kitchens are […]
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 […]
Although Ohio has a good cottage food law, it has another law which allows home bakers to sell perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes and cream pies. Home bakeries can also use the cottage food law to sell certain non-baked products, though those sales would need to adhere to that law’s stricter rules. Home bakeries must be […]
LAW UPDATE Since this page was last updated, Kansas has changed their law to be less restrictive. Most notably, producers can sell from home, including selling online and shipping products. See this guide for more information. Kansas does not appear to have any official law governing the sale of homemade foods, but the Department of Agriculture […]
Unlike almost every other state, Virginia allows people to operate very unrestricted food businesses out of their homes. Their food laws are very different than most states, written in such a way that there is not any distinction between a food business that uses a commercial kitchen versus a home kitchen. Instead, the distinction is provided by […]
New Hampshire essentially has a two-tier system. For those wishing to sell low quantities of product at farmers markets and from home, there is very little process to get setup, and the details are listed below. For operators wanting to sell more product at any venue, they must apply for a Homestead License, which is […]
The laws for those with a Homestead License in New Hampshire are much more lenient than a homestead food operation, as they allow operators to sell at any venue with no limitation for how much they can sell. However, there is a significant application process that will take some time. Aside from the $225 cost, […]
Vermont was the first state to create laws specifically for home bakers, and they still lead the way as one of the only states to allow almost any food item to be produced and sold from the home. Like most states, Vermont has a specific Home Bakery license for those that only want to sell […]
In 2011, South Dakota created some extra legislation to extend the Home-Processed Foods Law. This allows bakers to sell their food directly from home, and it limits yearly sales to only $5,000. It also doesn’t allow non-baked goods, like jams and preserves, but baked goods do include candy and confections. There is no registration required […]
South Dakota has fairly flexible laws, but processors that want to sell directly out of their home must follow different rules. The laws, which were established in 2010, allow the processor to sell their goods in-person at markets and events. They allow most baked goods, as well as candies and most canned goods. Each product […]
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 […]