Nicole Barry is a classically-trained French pastry chef and an expert macaron maker. But after working long hours in 5-star hotels and restaurants, Nicole and her husband started a family, and she wanted to stay at home with the kids.
In 2016, Nicole started Bake Toujours, a cottage food business in Pasadena, CA which allowed her to take her skills to the farmers market. She built a customer base and generated a decent side income, even though she could only work 3 hours per day while her kids were in school.
Nicole’s macarons really stand out. Her Instagram feed showcases so many different flavors, color swirls, decorations, and custom shapes: unicorns, rainbows, strawberries, foxes, flowers, and even Eeyore!
In 2019, she took her skills to YouTube, where she posts amazingly high-quality videos and tutorials. Within a year, she accrued over 10k subscribers, with over 150k views on her most popular video!
Nicole now lives in Portland, OR, and she has put her cottage food business on hold while she focuses on her growing YouTube audience.
In this episode, Nicole shares many tips on making and selling macarons, as well as her transition from prestigious restaurants to farmers markets to YouTube.
Wyoming has the best cottage food and food freedom law in the United States. They passed the Wyoming Food Freedom Act in 2015 (HB 56), making them the first state to eliminate most regulations on local homemade food sales. Unlike most states, Wyoming residents can sell ANY kind of food, as long as it does […]
The Home Bakery Act of 2013 (HB 1094), which was amended in 2017 (SB 508), is one of the most restrictive cottage food laws in the United States. Producers can only sell certain types of baked goods, and sales are limited to $20,000 per year. However, unlike most cottage food laws, this law does allow some […]
In 2014, Illinois passed an amendment to their previous “cottage food operations” law, which allows “home kitchen operations” (PA 098-0643 aka HB 5354). This specialized law is only for bakers, and unfortunately, it is not available in many counties across the state. Before anyone can use this law, their county must create an ordinance to allow it, […]
New York’s law for home food processors comes with some restrictions, but for those who fall within the law’s requirements, it is fairly easy and inexpensive to start a home food business. Homemade food can be sold directly from home and at events (like farmers markets), but it cannot be sold indirectly through stores and […]
Florida passed an amendment (HB 1233) to their cottage food law in 2017, which allowed internet sales and raised the sales limit to $50,000. Florida now has a very good cottage food law, especially considering that it is very easy for a producer to start selling: no license, inspection, or training from the ag department […]
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 Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act (HB 181), which became law in 2018. Utah also has a cottage food law, which allows sales at more venues. Utah’s law closely follows 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 […]
What is it like to run a home bakery for 17 years? That is what Lauren Cortesi shares with us on this episode.
Lauren lives in Pennsylvania and started Bella’s Desserts in 2003. In addition to running her cottage food business, she occasionally teaches classes on starting a home baking business.
Lauren talks about the ups and downs of being a home baker, how a famous baker transformed her business, and why she has never wanted to open a brick and mortar bakery.
North Dakota’s path to a cottage food law resembles a roller coaster ride, but not necessarily a fun one. Prior to 2017, the state did not have a cottage food law, but local health departments still allowed certain types of non-perishable foods to be sold at farmers markets, roadside stands, and some public events. Each […]
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 […]
Maryland passed a very restrictive cottage food law (SB 550) in 2012, which limited sales to farmers markets and public events. In 2018, an amendment (HB 1106) passed to allow other in-person, direct sales in the state, including mail order sales. In 2019, an amendment (SB 290) passed to allow sales at retail stores and […]
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 […]
Arkansas created a cottage food law in 2011 (Act 72), and it was amended in 2017 (Act 399) and 2019 (Act 775). This law is somewhat limited, since it restricts allowed food to non-PHF foods in five categories (baked goods, candy, jams/jellies, fruit butters, and chocolate-covered fruit), and only allows direct sales from home and […]
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 […]
Alabama created a cottage food law (SB 159) in 2014. Previously, this state only allowed homemade food sales at farmers markets. This cottage food law is relatively restrictive. It allows direct, in-person sales of many non-perishable food items. Cottage food operators must take a food safety training course and are limited to $20,000 of sales per year. […]
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.
Wisconsin is a lucky state. That is because Lisa Kivirist, a co-author of Homemade For Sale, lives there, and without her dedication and rallying others’ support, it is quite possible that the below allowance for selling homemade baked goods would not exist. Wisconsin tried to change their law for many years, but they were always […]
After many years of consistent effort, Connecticut finally created a usable cottage food law (PA 18-141 or SB 193) that went into effect on October 1st, 2018. Before then, only farmers could sell homemade food. Farmers can still use the Residential Farm law to sell certain types of canned goods. This law allows the direct […]
Illinois has two different laws in place that allow the sale of homemade food. This page covers the older law, which is for “cottage food operations”. The newer law is for “home kitchen operations,” which you should use if you want to sell baked goods outside of farmers markets. Aside from being able to sell outside of farmers […]
Arizona has one of the most successful cottage food programs of any state, with over 6,100 businesses registered as of May 2017. This success is in large part because Arizona has a very good cottage food law, and it continually gets supported and promoted by the health department. They have an excellent website that explains their cottage food law, […]
The “Colorado Cottage Foods Act” began in 2012 and was amended in 2013, 2015, and 2016 (read about the history of the act). 2016’s amendment (SB 16-058) added all non-PHF foods to the approved list (including pickled items) and enabled internet sales within the state. The current law restricts producers to direct sales only, but no license from […]
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.
The California Homemade Food Act (also known as “AB 1616”) passed in California on September 21st, 2012 and went into effect on January 1st, 2013. The law is setup as a two-tier system, meaning that there are different levels of homemade food producers, depending on who they sell to. “Class A” cottage food operations can only […]
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 […]
Maine has had their “home food manufacturing” law in place since 1980, and it is still being used today. Although this law was created long before modern cottage food laws became popular, it is quite flexible and allows producers to sell many types of homemade food. To sell homemade food, producers need to get a […]
South Carolina’s cottage food laws are very basic and are intended to get someone started before opening a full-scale commercial operation. They only allow operators to make baked goods and candy, which is more restrictive than most other states. However, the main limitation is that they only allow $15,000 of sales per year. Sales must […]
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 to start a home food business in MA than it is in other states. However, there are fewer restrictions: there is no sales limit, and […]
Nevada’s cottage food law (SB 206) allows many different types of food products to be sold, but it is restricted in most other ways. Cottage food operators must make all of their sales in-person, and they are limited to $35,000 of sales per year. There are four health districts that register cottage food operations in the […]
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. […]
Montana’s new cottage food bill (HB 478) went into effect on October 1, 2015. This law is a major leap forward, allowing all forms of in-person sales within the state. Prior to this cottage food law, Montana only allowed some types of homemade goods to be sold at farmers markets. Cottage food operators need to register with their local […]
Oregon’s new cottage food law (SB 320) went into effect on January 1st, 2016, which makes starting a cottage food operation much easier. Although the new law comes with many more restrictions, those who want more flexibility can still get a Domestic Kitchen license. Also, Oregon’s Farm Direct Bill allows farmers and growers to bypass many requirements. Starting […]
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 […]
Prior to 2013, Mississippi only allowed sales of homemade food at farmers markets, but they passed a new cottage food bill (SB 2553) that year to allow in-person sales at other venues as well. However, individuals can now sell only $35,000 of homemade food per year. Fortunately, many types of food products are allowed, and it’s very […]
Minnesota passed a new law in 2015 (SF 5) which greatly improves their former cottage food law, which used to be one of the most restrictive in the nation. Cottage food operations can now sell most types of non-potentially hazardous foods from home and at some local markets, and they can sell up to $18,000 of […]
Washington is probably the most difficult state for someone to get started as a cottage food operator. The application for a cottage food permit is very long, and it requires the applicant to complete many of the steps a full food processor would have to complete. Most states that require cottage food operators to jump […]
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 […]
Kansas does not appear to have any official law governing the sale of homemade foods, but the Department of Agriculture does allow most non-potentially hazardous foods to be sold at farmers markets and events, without needing a license from them. There are very few requirements to adhere to, and there is no sales limit, but products […]
Unlike most states, Iowa allows home bakers to sell perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes, cream pies, and cakes with cream fillings. “Home Food Establishments” can sell their baked goods at any venue, but they are limited to $20,000 of sales per year. An annual license and inspection are required. In addition to this law, Iowa […]
Iowa has two different laws for home cooks, depending on what they want to make. Producers that sell only non-potentially hazardous food products do not need any license or permit from the health department, but they can only sell at home or at farmers markets. There are no sales limitations, and the labeling requirements are […]
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 […]
Virginia allows producers to make certain types of food from home without needing a license or inspection from the ag department. The information on this page only pertains to operations that do not get their home kitchen inspected. If you want to make more types of food or to sell in more venues, you can […]
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 […]
New Mexico’s cottage food requirements are the most complicated of any state. Although they place no limit on the amount of product the processor can sell, and they allow processors to sell a fair number of goods, the application process is not much easier than what a regular food processor would need to go through. […]
Louisiana’s cottage food law (Act 542) was started in 2013 and amended in 2014. The amendment (HB 1270) greatly increased the number of foods allowed, and it also increased the amount of regulations CFOs must follow. There is a sales limit of $20,000 per year. Unlike every other law, Louisiana imposes specific restrictions on preparers of breads, cakes, cookies, […]
Washington D.C. passed the “Cottage Food Amendment Act of 2013” (B20-0168) at the end of 2013. The law allows cottage food operations to make a wide variety of food, but unfortunately they are only allowed to sell at farmers markets and other public events. Furthermore, CFOs are limited to $25,000 per year of sales.
Michigan’s cottage food laws are somewhat limited, but many people use them and they are still one of the most active cottage food states. Many types of foods are allowed. Fortunately, there is no need to obtain a license, which makes it very easy to start a cottage food business. However, the laws are still […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Indiana’s laws are restrictive in that sales are only allowed at farmers markets and roadside stands. Aside from that, however, the laws are quite lenient. They allow for any food below a certain pH value or water activity level, which basically allows nearly any kind of non-potentially hazardous food. There is no registration, fees, or […]