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Debbie Utley-Gates

  • It’s very common for recipes to need to be adjusted when scaling. I don’t know why scientifically, but ask anyone who tried to scale their recipe for commercial production, and you’ll hear a similar story.
    That being said, it doesn’t seem like you’re scaling it that much, so I’d recommend borrowing someone’s larger ceramic pot and trying it out.…[Read more]

  • Hi Rachel! You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself! :) You will get there. And thanks for the kind words!

  • Thanks Roberto! Jessie accidentally responded to your message via email (which came to me). Here’s her response:

    Hi Roberto, thank you so much for your response to my post. Italy is a place I’ve always dreamed about visiting. I should’ve been born there because I love all the cuisine, culture, landscape, etc.

    I so appreciate your feedback on my…[Read more]

  • David Crabill replied to the topic Potato Chips in the forum Nevada 1 month, 3 weeks ago

    I think it’s going to depend on what county you live in. I know that some counties would definitely allow potato chips. But since it’s not explicitly written into the law, maybe not all will. You’d need to reach out to your health dept to check.

  • For the fruit blossoms, I don’t know but I doubt it. For the second, it probably depends on your county. Some counties will be very strict and will say no to anything that’s not on the official state list of allowed foods. Either way, I recommend that you contact your local environmental health dept for clarification on whether you can make these items.

  • They mean 70 proof alcohol that’s flavored with those (and only those) items. Here are the categories:
    Apple * Apricot * Blackberry * Blueberry * Cherry * Chocolate * Clove *
    Cinnamon * Cranberry * Grapefruit * Lemon * Lime * Orange * Peach * Pear
    * Pineapple * Pomegranate * Raspberry * Strawberry * and Vanilla

    You wouldn’t be able to use the…[Read more]

  • I honestly don’t have enough experience with candy making to answer you question. Have you tried going to a local candy shop and asking? I bet they’d be happy to help!

  • Food trucks are kind of in a class of their own. In the case of a retail store, the shop owner has the proper licenses and insurance and they are allowed to sell your products themselves. Likewise, a permitted food truck owner would be able to sell your products from their truck. You also could hop on their truck and sell them yourself. But for…[Read more]

  • I would only recommend crowdfunding or fundraising once you have a sizable customer base and a successful business. Typically, raising money is used to take a business to the next level (commercial kitchen, food truck, brick and mortar, etc). But when starting out, a few hundred dollars (or less) is all you need. Try going back and watching my mini…[Read more]

  • Hi Johnathan, it’s typical to feel overwhelmed when starting out. I don’t think you need a business partner at this stage.

    Try not to get stuck on branding or being worried about something going wrong. Yes, starting a business comes with its challenges, but it’s hard to predict them. Usually the most successful entrepreneurs are those who put…[Read more]

  • It depends on your county/city. If they require business licenses, usually they require them for any type of food business. The only way to know for sure is to contact the dept that administers business licenses.

  • David Crabill replied to the topic Fermented in the forum Virginia 4 months, 1 week ago

    As far as I know, fermented foods are not allowed under VA’s basic cottage food law. However, you can sell up to $3k of acidified foods, including pickles (non-traditional) and hot sauce.

    You MIGHT be able to use VA’s home food processing law to sell more than that, but I’m not sure how many ag dept allow home food processing operations.

    And you…[Read more]

  • I can’t remember… do they ask for a NAICS code?

    If so, then it depends on your business, but most cottage foods businesses would use either code 445291 (Baked Goods Stores) or 445292 (Confectionary and Nut Stores).

    Here’s the link:

  • There’s still no information on the ag dept’s webpage that says you can or can’t sell homemade extracts. I’d recommend reaching out to them and they will likely have an answer:

  • David Crabill replied to the topic LLC in the forum New York 6 months ago

    Hi Jonathan, I don’t typically recommend getting an LLC unless you are hiring employees that you don’t know well. You will likely need to get FLIP insurance to sell at events and fairs, and that is the lowest cost insurance option I’m aware of.

  • Yes they should be allowed. You just want to make sure they are thoroughly baked and don’t have too much moisture that could cause spoilage. If your product is fine to leave at room temperature for 24 hours, then it’s a nonperishable food. Perishable foods should be refrigerated within 2 hours.

  • David Crabill replied to the topic Home kitchen in the forum Michigan 7 months, 4 weeks ago

    Yes it can. However, it’s usually very complex and expensive to do this. Only recommended if you already have a very successful business.

  • From my reading of their guide, I’d say that it’s unlikely that extracts are allowed. There are definitely restrictions on selling most anything that is flavored with alcohol (except candy which can contain 5% or less). However, they don’t clearly state that an extract is prohibited. My guess is that to sell an extract, you’d need a separate…[Read more]

  • I haven’t seen anything that clearly states that you can’t sell these things from home (although it is pretty clear that you couldn’t sell cut fruit that is covered in chocolate or caramel). Ultimately, it might be up to your local health dept official to decide, based on their interpretation of the law. Marcia, could you let us know where you’re…[Read more]

  • That’s awesome! An amazing opportunity for sure. Unfortunately you won’t be able to use your home kitchen to produce the cupcakes. But you’re in the fortunate position of having a commercial kitchen at your disposal! Come to an agreement with the restaurant owner, perhaps using the kitchen in off hours. You will need to get a permit from the…[Read more]

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