I am getting info together to start baking under the cottage law and even looking at the domestic kitchen laws for TN. I make desserts that have cream cheese icings and fillings (more concentrated at Thanksgiving and Christmas), but I just found cream cheese is considered potentially hazardous. I know I would need to have or rent a commercial kitchen to produce it, but I’m not sure I can just rent a kitchen to produce and sell without notifying someone somewhere about it. How does that work exactly? Do you have to have a special license and tell the city/state dept/etc where you are renting and producing? Also, if I rent a kitchen to produce the item, can I store it at my home kitchen and sell from there?
(BTW, my friend owns a local restaurant that is only open Thur-Sun and I have chatted with him about potentially renting.)
Usually you have to talk to the health dept about getting licensed. There is a lot of paperwork and plans you need to fill out to start a commercial food business, and there may be some training required as well. The letter of the law typically states that food cannot be stored at home, but I know that health depts are lenient about that sometimes.