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Rising From The Ashes with Scot & Christine Steenson

Scot & Christine Steenson have one of the craziest startup stories that you’ll ever hear!

They used to live in Paradise, CA, and as you may know, their entire town was destroyed back in 2018’s Camp Fire, which was California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire in history.

Scot & Christine now live in Forest Ranch, CA and sell roasted coffee with their cottage food business, Road Roaster Coffee Company.

After losing their home and nearly all of their physical possessions, they had to start over. And that’s exactly what they did!

Christine had long dreamed of opening a coffee shop. So they decided to try it. After all, why not? They literally had nothing else to lose.

And as you’ll see, they actually had a whole lot to gain! Their coffee business quickly took off and they have been going pedal to the metal ever since.

With almost $50,000 of sales last year, they are one of the most successful cottage food businesses in California.

In this episode, you’ll hear how they created a very unique brand that flies in the face of traditional coffee marketing, and how their mission driven approach has allowed them to become very involved in their local community.

You’ll also learn what it really means to be living in paradise.

California SB 972

Would remove the sales limits for both the cottage food and MEHKO laws. Would also remove the production limits for MEHKOs. Would also allow mobile food facilities to operate under the MEHKO law.

2021 Cottage Food Bills

2021 is a fresh start in so many ways, but as always, a new year means a new round of cottage food bills!

And what a big round it is! At least one-third of states are actively working on improving their cottage food law this year.

I actually can’t remember a year when there were this many cottage food amendments on the table. It reminds me of nearly a decade ago, when states were busy creating their initial cottage food laws.

In all likelihood, the pandemic, and the resulting surge of interest in cottage foods, is part of the push to improve the laws in many states.

California

California passed their first cottage food law (AB 1616 – The California Homemade Food Act) in 2012, and it went into effect on January 1st, 2013. The law was amended in 2013 (AB 1252) and 2021 (AB 1144 & AB 831). California has two classes of cottage food operations (CFOs): Class A & Class B…. [read more]

California Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation

In 2018, California passed a new type of bill (AB 626), which allows for “microenterprise home kitchen operations” (MEHKOs). The law went into effect on January 1st, 2019. Under this first-of-its-kind law, home cooks can start micro-restaurants from home and sell virtually any kind of food. This varies greatly with most cottage food laws that… [read more]

2021 Recap: A Record Year for the Cottage Food Industry

WOW… what a year it has been for our growing cottage food industry!

As I wrote about last year, the pandemic really highlighted the need for people to be able to sell their homemade food.

And in 2021, states responded in a BIG way! This year, more states improved their laws for selling homemade food than in any other year in history.

Top Business Tips For Cottage Food Entrepreneurs

In this special 50th episode of The Forrager Podcast, we hear from the experts!

All of the guests on this episode run Facebook groups that support cottage food entrepreneurs. In total, the owners of these Facebook groups represent over 125,000 members!

On this episode, each guest shares a quick tip that they have for someone starting or growing a cottage food business.

Facebook groups are the glue that holds the cottage food industry together. They are fantastic resources for entrepreneurs to find support and connect with each other.

Those who run these Facebook groups spend a lot of time supporting and maintaining their groups, oftentimes behind the scenes and without compensation.

This episode not only contains tons of valuable advice for cottage food business owners, but also recognizes many of the individuals that help support the growing cottage food industry.

California AB 831

Requires CFOs to include key labeling info on public advertisements.

How To Sell French Macarons Online with Anthony Rosemond

Anthony Rosemond, along with his wife Yami, live in Phelan, CA and sell French macarons online with their bakery, Pastreez.

Back in 2017, Anthony and Yami wanted to move from France to California, and they applied for an investor visa to do it. However, they only had three months to prove that they had a successful business on their hands!

As graduates of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris, and they started by selling French pastries at farmers markets in Southern California, and quickly learned that they should focus on macarons.

From there they transitioned to selling macarons online and delivering them nationwide, and eventually built their own commercial kitchen. Now they sell hundreds of macarons each day, and they have amassed 113,000 Instagram followers!

While Yami has focused on the baking and production side of the bakery, Anthony has focused on the business and marketing side of things. He has become an expert in ecommerce, SEO, email marketing, social media, etc.

In this episode, you will learn their formula for success, which involves listening to customers, creating a great customer experience, constantly trying new things, and focusing on what’s working well.

Do Whatever It Takes with Whitney Singletary

Most people would have given up by now. But Whitney Singletary will do whatever it takes to turn her vision into a reality, no matter what stands in her way!

Whitney lives in Berkeley, CA and sells nut-flavored cookies with her cottage food business, Nuttin’ Butter Cookies.

While other bakeries avoid nuts due to allergen concerns, Whitney has done the opposite by focusing on customers who love nuts! Her cookies are very unique and feature 14 different types of nuts.

Whitney started by selling at events in her area, but she really grew her business once she started selling from her driveway five days a week.

She became so successful that she moved into a storefront in 2019, only to have the pandemic force her back into her driveway a few months later!

Despite facing many obstacles along the way, Whitney has persisted to prove to her two kids that a single mom can follow her dreams and run a successful bakery!

Family, Freedom, & Pie with Kourtney Rojas

In 2011, Kourtney had romantic ideas about starting a pie business and selling at the local farmers market. But life (jobs, family, kids, etc) got in the way and it wasn’t until 2019 that her dream became reality.

Kourtney Rojas lives in Anaheim, CA and sells fruit pies, chess pies, and other pastries with her cottage food business, With Love, From Scratch.

After 8 years of selling pies sporadically to family and friends, she finally decided to turn her pie hobby into a real business. She entered a pie contest, started posting high-quality photos on Instagram, and she’s never looked back!

After only two years, she has amassed over 3,000 followers on Instagram, and she now sells over 100 pies per week!

As a stay-at-home mom, she has learned how to say “no” and turn down opportunities that aren’t a good fit for her.

Having a home business has given Kourtney the freedom to adapt her work life to her family, not the other way around. But she’s also not afraid to admit that finding the right balance between the two is often a struggle.

Although her business journey has required flexibility, patience, and constant learning, Kourtney explains why it has unfolded in exactly the right way.

Launching A Keto Bakery From Home with Sari Stevenson

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.

Crushing It With Caramel Corn with Kathy Sing

Kathy Sing started her caramel corn business 7 years ago, thinking it would just be a fun hobby for about a year or so.

Well, here we are 7 years later, and Kathy’s Kernels in Visalia, CA is definitely not a hobby. Kathy is busier than ever, and she did almost $50k of sales last year!

Kathy’s treats would sell very well at farmers markets and local events, but unlike most cottage food entrepreneurs, she skipped over those and went straight into selling through retail stores.

After just one year, she was already selling in 15 stores!

How did she do it? What does it feel like to make $50k worth of treats from home? Kathy breaks it all down for us in this episode.

California AB 1144

Allows CFOs to ship and fulfill orders with a 3rd party delivery service. Also increases the sales limit to $75k for Class A CFOs, and $150k for Class B CFOs. Also specifies that the sales limit can increase annually to adjust for inflation. Also removes the requirement that Class B CFOs need special permission to… [read more]

Selling Custom Macarons From Home with Nicole Barry

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.

Selling Spicy Peanuts in Breweries with Kevin Martino

Kevin Martino started his cottage food business, Chef Kev’s Specialty Foods, when California created its cottage food law in 2013. He wholesales flavored peanuts to a number of breweries and hardware stores in Concord, CA, and also sells online.

Kevin was actually one of the first cottage food business owners that I ever met, and it’s cool to see how far he has come with his business over the years.

Kevin talks about what he’s learned through producing and wholesaling spicy peanuts, how he’s grown his business so far, and what he’s planning for in the future. I also share my insight on why an LLC might not be the right fit for him at this point.

Wholesale Strategies That Work with Sonia Chang

Sonia Chang never planned to start a food business, but now she has two of them!

Sonia lives in Pasadena, CA and runs a granola cottage food business called Cali Granola (formerly named Chef Sonia’s Granola By The Handful). After successfully selling her granola for a couple years, she purchased and operated My Sweet Cupcake, a popular cupcakery.

She has sold her granola in over two dozen stores and has used a variety of marketing strategies to build her businesses, such as her “leap frog” and “flavor profile” techniques.

Her journey is filled with many unexpected surprises, but every step of the way, her service-based approach and collaborative spirit have carried her forward.

From Home Kitchen to Pie Shop in Under 2 Years with Diana Shockley

Have you ever dreamed of opening a brick and mortar bakery someday?

So did Diana, the owner of I Love Pie in Carmichael, CA. But she never thought her dream would come true so soon!

After selling at the farmers market for a year and a half, her pie business grew so much that she expanded into her own commercial kitchen and storefront. And now, just 6 months later, she is planning to open a second location!

On paper, it looked like a recipe for failure: selling a common food item (regular fruit pies) in a highly competitive and health-conscious market, all while juggling a full-time job.

So how did she do it? Why was she so successful? Ultimately, you will see that it wasn’t the product, or the market, but rather, Diana herself, that made all the difference.

How To Start A Cottage Food Business From Your Home Kitchen

If you are thinking of selling your homemade food, then this episode is for you!

For this inaugural episode of The Forrager Podcast, I decided to give you a crash course on the first things you need to know to start a cottage food business.

You’ll learn about the cottage food industry and better understand how you can legally start a food business from your home kitchen.

You will also hear about my own journey in starting a cottage food business, what I learned along the way, and why I started this podcast.

Sweet and Dazzling

Sweet and Dazzling is a homebased bakery specializing in fresh natural ingredients. However, if you have diet restrictions such as gluten, sugar or dairy free you can still enjoy homemade baked goods from our bakery. If you have a sweet tooth for simple flavored sweets baked with joy, Sweet and Dazzling is the bakery you’ve… [read more]

Crabill Candy

This family recipe has passed down from my grandfather, and it is made with high-quality ingredients like Guittard chocolate, Tillamook butter, and pure vanilla extract. I sell my fudge seasonally around the holidays. Due to California’s cottage food law restrictions, I can only  sell my fudge locally to those in the Sacramento area. I live… [read more]

Sally’s Handcrafted Confections

My life long dream of making cookies, cupcakes and cake pops for my friends and family and wanting to expand out to own my own business. I would like to share my creations with you for your gift or event. I have obtained a Home cottage permit to keep the cost down so I can… [read more]

Brigadeiro Bee

We make Brigadeiros: Irresistible Brazilian Fudge Truffles.

Whittier Coffee Roasters

Third-wave coffee is obsessed with taste and transparency. More than simply revealing the country of origin, customers are talking elevation, micro-lots, and artisan blends, while paying real respect to the farmers who grow and process the beans. Whittier Coffee Roasters is where third-wave coffee and our community come together as a force of nature. At… [read more]

Sweet and Divine by Emmaline

About the Baker Emily has always loved baking. A defining moment was getting the blue ribbon in high school for her chocolate cake. Another was leaving the hubbub of family and friends to make her own wedding cake. She started baking professionally in 2011 and has learned a lot of lessons from the kitchen since then. Being… [read more]

Happy Kitchen

If you have been valiantly saying ‘no’ to all those treats you see at Whole Foods, the donuts in the break room, or cake on your birthday, then my friends, you are my heroes. Come with me as Life Just Got Sweet! Happy Kitchen purposes to provide an alternative to the sugar-laden, wheat flour based… [read more]

Etta Mae Gourmet

Etta Mae Gourmet is a home-based “craft jammery” specializing in artisan jams and preserves. The jams are prepared in small batches using locally sourced fruit. You can taste the difference! We can make personalized jams for your next wedding, party or event.  Our jams have won awards at the 2014 California State Fair, 2014 Orange… [read more]

The Spice Whisperer

The Spice Whisperer makes custom spice rubs and seasoning blends for cooking.  Current blends available: Bitchin’ Beef Passionate Pig Bodacious Bird Seductive Seafood Sultry Citrus Sinfully Citrus

Alameda Fruit Co.

Homemade preserves and marmalades using the seasonal produce grown on the island of Alameda, California.

Ela’s Sweet Treats

Licensed HOME BASED bakery specializing in custom, MADE TO ORDER treats delivered to your event location. Please call to discuss your event.  Everything is made to order close to your event date. We do not have stock on hand for daily sales. We make cupcake, cake pops, custom cookies and cakes. Cupcakes, cookies and cake… [read more]

Light and Healthy Desserts

Light and Healthy Desserts is a Cottage Food Operation Class A permitted artisanal bakery located in Irvine, Orange County, CA.  We follow the natural, fresh, whole-food, and clean-eating concept, allowing you to enjoy desserts guilt-free! Our gourmet healthy desserts are handcrafted in small batches using fresh, natural, wholesome, and premium-quality ingredients. We use fiber-rich whole… [read more]

Rasayana Coffee

Path (Ayana) of Essence (Rasa) Rasayana is more than just a name, it is the purpose behind us roasting every batch of coffee. We carefully select the beans, roast each personal batch completely by hand using centuries old techniques and hand deliver them so, your order arrives perfectly fresh and utterly artisan By believing coffee beans should… [read more]

Hello Sweetie Pies

Hello Sweetie Pies are made to order in a Cottage Food Operator permitted home kitchen and can be picked up or delivered only in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.Please contact us directly for custom baked goods. Our pies and other baked goods make the perfect addition to a dessert bar at your next wedding, shower,… [read more]

Bouquet Chocolates and Confections

Bouquet Chocolates and Confections www.bouquetchocolates.com We are dedicated chocolatiers making a one of a kind floral petit fours. The product is patent pending status with the USPTO as of 1/5/2015. The chocolate floral petit fours are customized by the customer, so the customer controls the flavors, fillings, design and presentation. Truly a decadent treat for… [read more]

East Bay Cakes

Custom and Specialty Cakes, By Order Only Cupcakes, Truffles, CakePops, Push Up Cake Pops, Cookies, Puddings,Tea Parties & Dessert Bars Fun and fanciful cakes, where flavor, texture and decadent yumminess reign supreme! East Bay Cakes bakes custom one-of-a-kind cakes just for you and for all occasions, such as Birthdays, Weddings, Quinceanera, Anniversaries, Graduations, Baby Showers and… [read more]

I Hella Heart Sugar

Kitchen science and gooey love got married and had delicious little home-made, oven fresh children. It’s called I Hella Heart Sugar. Let us take you back to the time when you came home after school and had a nice warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie while watching He-Man or She-Ra (if you watched both we won’t… [read more]

Grace Fellowship Church

Grace Fellowship Church has for many years given away in excess of 10,000 cups of Hot Chocolate to visitors of the Christmas Light Show and to the Police that guide the traffic each night. It is not unusual to have more than 20,000 visitors at any one time touring the show in addition to thousands… [read more]

A Treat for Everyone

A Treat for Everyone is a San Diego home-based bakery that is passionate about creating made-from-scratch goods for customers with various dietary needs. Our mission is in our name: we seek to create a treat that everyone can enjoy. All of our treats are deliciously made from wholesome ingredients without gluten, dairy, eggs, and soy. We… [read more]

AvoFudge Fallbrook’s Famous Avocado Fudge

Fallbrook’s Famous™ Avocado Fudge is an entirely new and better way to enjoy a classic American confection. Fresh, ripe local avocados are used instead of butter for a healthier fat content and a smoothness and creaminess found nowhere else. No greasy aftertaste, just full, robust flavor and character. It doesn’t taste like avocados, but it’s… [read more]

24 Bakery

24 Bakery is based out of Campbell, CA. We are at Japantown’s Farmers Market in San Jose on Sundays from 8 am- 12 pm. www.facebook/24bakery Twitter: @24_bakery Instagram: 24_bakery Pinterest: 24 Bakery

Yes She Cans

I make delicious homemade jam using fresh fruit from farmers markets and farmers directly.

Sam’s Patisserie

: Artisan viennoiseries, breads, tarts, cookies, and cakes crafted from sustainably grown ingredients. Hi there! I’m Sam, the baker & owner. I’m a newly minted cottage food baker (as of March of this year). I love food and have been cooking in the kitchen since I was 5, believe it or not. I opened Sam’s… [read more]

Huck’s Hollow Farm Homemade Goods

Huck’s Hollow Farm is a small homestead farm in Penn Valley, CA.  The owners are Theresa, Jim and Josh Huck.  We believe in clean, organic foods and are against factory farming.  We raise our own meats and veggies, enjoying the healthy lifestyle it gives us.  We are animal lovers and have four dogs, seven sheep,… [read more]

Shepherd’s Table

Shepherd’s Table is a Sacramento based Catering business. We specialize in making locally grown foods more accessible to everybody, at a fraction of the price of fast food and grocery stores. This promotes fresher food and a way to help your local economy. We Cater to many different needs, such as Birthday Parties, to Weddings… [read more]

Presidential Sweets

A homemade bakery specializing in French Macarons offering many different flavors and custom shapes or images too. Also provides custom designed cakes and cupcakes at reasonable prices.

Macabees Macarons

macabees is a home-based french macaron bakery in san diego, ca, specializing in unique flavors and presentations. each macaron is handmade to order by owner & baker, Phoebe Pascasio. #macabeesmacarons @macabeesmacarons on instagram facebook.com/macabeesmacarons

The Cinnamon Spoon

The Cinnamon Spoon really started because of our friends and family, who couldn’t get enough of our fresh homemade granola and granola bars.  We try to have something for everyone!  Whether you are looking for decadently sweet granola for a dessert, or a no-sugar option for breakfast… and of course we also offer everything in between!  Vegan,… [read more]

Smashbakes

I’m constantly thinking in sweets. I’ve been a baker since I was a child and have only fell more in love with it as I’ve gotten older. I’m a self-taught baker, learning everything I know from my family, books and lots of baking experiments. I believe this gives me a creative edge. Not constrained by classic flavors… [read more]

California Cottage Food Law Podcast

Real Food Real Talk interviewed a number of the key players surrounding the cottage food law in California. Their podcast, Home Cooking Your Way To Your Own Food Business, does a good job of summarizing the progress of the cottage food industry in that state.

The Bagels are Coming

Small Batch Bagels… All hand made!!! No store front, CFO (Cottage Foods Operations) Made from my Home Kitchen… For now :)

Hana Lulu’s Candy

Hana Lulu’s Coconut candy is like that found on the road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii — crisp, crunchy thin strips of coconut with Hawaiian cane sugar. We sell two varieties, natural and cinnamon flavor. More like the texture of a potato chip, this candy is hard to find anywhere other than the roadside stands… [read more]

Cheryl’s Caramels

Cheryl’s Caramels offers amazing home made, hand cut and individually wrapped caramel candy in 9 unique and delicious flavors! You can find me in beuatiful San Diego County every Thursday at downtown Oceanside’s Sunset Market on Thursday evenings from 5 to 9 pm, and at the Welk Resort’s Certified Farmer’s Market in Escondido every Monday… [read more]

Wicked Slow Foods

We create foods made of responsibly grown and dietary restriction-friendly ingredients for families across California. Many of our items are gluten-free, most are vegan, and the rest are vegetarian. We only use organic ingredients and we work with local farms to bring you responsibly grown, locally crafted goods. Our menu includes Vegan Gluten-free Sandwich Bread,… [read more]

Raf’s European Delights

House of the original Belgian Squares!!! Our love for baked goods and sweets in combination with the approval of the Cottage Food Law were the main drivers for starting our own home-based European style bakery. Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RafEuropeanDelights

The Gluten Free Wife Bakery

100% Gluten Free Custom cakes, cookies, sweet breads, and more!  Trained in cake decorating so you can have a delicious custom order to fit your event.

Holly Pops

My name is Holly Castleman. I am the owner/operator of Holly Pops and I am operating from the County of Santa Clara since 2013. Over the years, baking has always been a passion of mine.  Cake pops started out as a hobby to make “Thank You” gifts for my husband’s clients as well as birthday… [read more]

White House Goodies

White House Goodies started as a concept to create products produced from our land. The first try was a Christmas Basket given to friends and family. Then California passed the Cottage Food Legislation allowing us to produce certain products in our home kitchen and we went to work. Some of our products are home grown…. [read more]

Dimple’s Sweetery | Cakes by Raya Najjar

Order delicious cakes for any occasion!  We cater weddings, birthdays, Quincenaneras, graduations, fund raising events, baby showers, bridal shower, engagements, corporate events, black tie events, and many others. We focus on the richness of flavor rather than the sweetness.  We believe that taste is everything when it comes to cakes and cupcakes, but we don’t… [read more]

Sweet Beginnings

Los Angeles | Sweet Beginnings embodies my authentic passion and love for family, friends and food — especially desserts. After spending more than 25 years collecting and sampling new recipes, it wasn’t long before I launched “Sweet Beginnings”. I love creating memorable experiences for people through my baking. I started my venture with a booth… [read more]

California AB 1252

Allowed all Class A & B operations to do direct sales anywhere within the state, rather than just their own county. It also required Class A operations to list their county on product labels.

Yum For All (gluten-free bakery)

Yum For All bakery creates gluten-free treats that are so good, everyone loves them… so there’s no need to buy separate treats for people with dietary restrictions! In addition to individual orders, we also run a cookie subscription service for local businesses. What better way to make work a little sweeter than with fresh-baked cookies… [read more]

Kate’s Cakery

We proudly specialize in unique gourmet cupcake flavors and gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and Paleo varieties of cupcakes and other treats. See our website for our latest menu!

Bunny’s Golden Brittle

Hello, my name is Sylvia Johnson. I am the master of Bunny’s Golden Brittle. I specialize in scrumptious candy brittle, made up with fresh roasted nuts, creamy butter, and real vanilla, and a variety of flavors: almond, peanut, pecan, cashew, and mixed fruit. Order yours today!

California AB 1616

Initial cottage food law which created two classes of cottage food operations (CFOs). Class A can sell directly at most venues, whereas Class B can also sell indirectly through stores, restaurants, etc. A Class B permit is more expensive and requires a kitchen inspection. All CFOs can sell from a specific list of non-perishable items,… [read more]