Talk with others about the cottage food industry in California
- April 30, 2015 at 5:18 pm #17841
I’m getting a little confused reading the posts regarding a CFO kitchen. Here’s my situation: I am unable to use my home kitchen to produce my products (baked goods, chocolates and confections). I am currently having an external kitchen built on my property. The kitchen will contain ALL commerically rated equipment – ovens, walk in refrigerator / freeezer, 3-basin sinks, extractor fans with fire suppression, etc. I already have my permits from the city to build the kitchen and have my CPU to have a CFO kitchen on my property. Here’s where my confusion begins. In a post that I read you indicated to someone that cottage foods may NOT be prepared in a commecial kitchen. Am I now going to have to apply for a commercial kitchen permit?
Thank you – I’m really confused.May 1, 2015 at 1:34 am #17852
As far as I know, you can only use your residential home kitchen. The kitchen needs to be in your home, and I think that’s the primary requirement. If your external kitchen is on your property, but separate from your home, then I don’t think you can use the cottage food law. If the kitchen is in your basement, it may be possible.
Although a commercial kitchen has commercial appliances, there are many more codes and requirements one must adhere to before it can be a commercial kitchen. Most importantly, it must be registered and regularly inspected by the health dept. So unless you’re going through that expense and complicated process, then you wouldn’t actually be building a commercial kitchen.
Unlike some other states, CA doesn’t actually have any restrictions on what equipment you can use. You can run a CFO by using commercial equipment.
However, your mention of a walk-in refrigerator makes it sound like you business is beyond the scale of what a CFO is intended for. A CFO is supposed to be a startup, until it can afford to go commercial. If you already have the permits for this kitchen, it might not be that much more effort to go completely commercial, and it might be best for you so that you don’t have to worry about the restrictions of the cottage food law.July 18, 2016 at 9:49 pm #34156
I’m interested in getting a CFO license but I work out of my home kitchen.
From what I’m reading, you are not required to have a commercial kitchen with a CFO license? Does your private kitchen get inspected prior receiving a license?
Thanks in advance for answering my questions! I’m doing my research and it’s a lot of information.July 20, 2016 at 1:03 am #34173
Getting a CFO license means that you can ONLY use your home kitchen. You do not need to get your kitchen inspected unless you want to sell indirectly (via a third party, like a store). http://forrager.com/law/california/January 18, 2017 at 8:01 am #37398
I have a question. I recently applied for a cottage license in California, my house is in the country, the county denied me my license because of canal water but I do have a 30K filteration system on my house to clean the water. Is there a new law in California that does not allow this? ThanksMarch 3, 2017 at 2:27 pm #37601
Michelle, I’m not surprised that they wouldn’t allow canal water. Usually private water allowances are in regards to underground wells that are not in proximity to animals, waste, etc. Private wells are allowed after they have been tested. Perhaps you could offer to have your water tested, though they might still not allow it because there are too many variables at play. Just because the canal water is good today doesn’t mean it won’t be significantly different six months from now. I assume (though I don’t know for sure) that the tests on well water are done before any filtration has taken place.March 21, 2017 at 10:01 pm #37736
I currently roast coffee beans in my garage. The process for roasting coffee does not seem to be something anyone could do in their kitchen. The cleanup would be pretty extensive within the home. I understand how all the other products listed for a CFO would be made in a home kitchen. But would a coffee roasting business be required to be done in a kitchen versus a garage?April 28, 2017 at 9:52 am #37970
Paul, I know that some people roast coffee beans in their oven, but I don’t know how most people do it. It is possible to have your kitchen extend to other parts of the home (that aren’t sleeping areas), but I don’t know if a garage would be allowed. Assuming you’re in CA, you should talk with your environmental health dept about what they will allow.
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