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Living Off The Land with Beatrice Lattimore

It all started with a vision of living off the land.

Back in 2016, Beatrice Lattimore moved her family into the countryside to rediscover their roots and start a farm.

What began as five mostly-empty acres in Deland, FL is now a fully-functioning farm with animals, produce, and a cottage food business called Beatz Sweets.

Beatrice uses Florida’s cottage food law to sell value-added products at farmers markets, events, and — most importantly — from the farm itself.

In this episode, she shares what it has taken to make their vision a reality.

Facing Adversity, Embracing Success with Jennie Gibson

Jennie Gibson lives in Jacksonville, FL and sells custom-decorated cake pops with her cottage food business, The Cake Pop Shop.

Jennie already shared some advice on Episode 50, but in this episode, she shares her own incredible cottage food journey.

Simply put, Jennie has one of the most successful home-based cake pop businesses in the entire country!

But her journey started with humble (and unlikely) beginnings, including a bad car accident that left her permanently disabled, and a special needs son that gave her the dose of inspiration that she needed.

However, through hard work and persistence, Jennie has overcome many challenges and built up her cake pop empire over time.

In just over a decade, she has:

  • Landed many large orders of over 1,000 cake pops each
  • Created cake pops for many major organizations, including the NFL & Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Sold elaborate cake pops for $180 per dozen
  • Accrued over 40,000 followers on Instagram

It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s definitely been rewarding. In this episode, you’ll hear about what keeps Jennie going, and what’s she’s learned along the way!

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.

Florida HB 707

Would have allowed micro-restaurants known as “home kitchen operations”.

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.

Florida

Florida’s cottage food law has improved significantly over time. After passing their first law (HB 7209) in 2011, they have passed three amendments: in 2017 they passed HB 1233, and in 2021 they passed HB 663 & HB 403. Florida now has a good cottage food law, especially since it is very easy for a… [read more]

Florida HB 663

The “Home Sweet Home Act” allowed shipping, increased the sales limit to $250k, and allowed cottage food businesses to be setup as an LLC or corporation

Florida HB 403

Prevented local governments from restricting or prohibiting home-based businesses

From Part-time Hobby to Full-time Bakery with Jennifer Jacobs

As a successful TV producer, Jennifer Jacobs never thought she’d run her own business someday. But as coworkers discovered her delicious desserts, her baking hobby started turning into a little business back in 2013.

And now that little home business is booming, with customers sometimes lining up down the street to get her baked goods. Jennifer sells custom cakes, cookie sandwiches, and other baked desserts through her brick-and-mortar bakery, the Wandering Whisk Bakeshop, in Pinellas Park, FL.

Jennifer didn’t start out with a business or culinary school degree, but she did understand how to market her products. As a producer for the Home Shopping Network, she spent countless hours watching the TV hosts sell anything and everything.

But she has marketed her baking business completely organically, without ever paying for ads. She has a large Instagram following and has been showcased locally and nationally in newspapers, magazines, TV shows, and more.

In this episode, Jennifer shares how to grow your cottage food business from part-time hobby to full-time brick-and-mortar without spending a dime on advertising.

How To Start An Eco-Friendly & Socially Responsible Cookie Business with Barry Sherman

For Barry Sherman and his life partner, Scott, their cookie business is about a lot more than the cookies!

Since 2018, Barry and Scott have run their eco-friendly and socially-conscious cookie business, Urban Bakers, in Tampa Bay, FL.

Initially they started from home due to Scott being diagnosed with early onset of Parkinson’s Disease, but they quickly expanded to a commercial kitchen.

Their dense quarter-pound cookies are very unique. They come individually-wrapped in compostable bags with compostable labels, and the quality of the ingredients is top-notch. They also come in a variety of flavors, including root beer float, piña colada, and spicy dark chocolate chili.

In addition to operating their business as sustainably as possible, they also give back by donating a portion of each sale to a different charity each month.

Barry talks about the triumphs, challenges, and surprises of running a high-end drop cookie business, and what he’s learned along the way.

Crystal Bakes

Welcome to Crystal Bakes! I am a girl who simply loves to bake and making people happy. I’m a proud mom of two beautiful kids who started out just wanting to make my kids birthday cake dreams come true, and well here i am loving what i do.

Boca Pastries

It is an online bakery where you feel like eating your grandma’s desserts…

Morning Rose Bakery

Welcome to Morning Rose Bakery! Miami natives now living in Florida’s Space Coast. We’ve always had a passion for baking and finally decided to share our treats with everyone else! All of our products are made in small batches, from scratch, and we only use quality whole ingredients Let us know if there’s anything we… [read more]

Florida HB 1233

Increased the sales limit to $50k and allowed online sales, as long as they were delivered in-person

Amy’s Bakery Delights

Currently my Cottage Business hasn’t started up yet,I am in school right now learning about gourmet baking and should be done by Sept 2016, Also I am working on designing my social page as well as my business webpage and menus and business cards. And then I will start working on my own recipes and… [read more]

Sweet Cravings

My mission is to bring glory to God in all that I do while bringing you fresh, made to order sweet treats made from scratch.

Eat the Spoon

Eat the Spoon is my homemade gift to the public where I incorporate my ohhh soooo good desserts with edible spoons! Future “end” goal is an eclectic coffee/bake shop! :)

Simplelifebakery.com

Fresh, soft, moist and delicious cupcakes & cookies delivered right to your door, it doesn’t get any better than that!

The Sizzlin Spoon, Inc

Herb infused specialty vinegar and dressings, homemade syrups, pies, cakes, breads, baked goods.

Pies On Demand

Welcome to Pies On Demand! Your home for delicious home-baked 9 inch pies and pie pops in Port Saint Lucie Florida!  All pies are made to order. Each pie is$23.50 plus a delivery charge of $3.00and delivered right to your door.  Email piesondemand@yahoo.com or call (772) 285-0549 to place your order. *Now offering delicious custom made thumbprint cookies too! Icing can… [read more]

Muffin Me Happy

Muffin Me Happy is a small organic muffin developer. Our mission is to make breakfast, lunch and dinner fit perfectly in one hand and sometimes in one muffin. Our inspirations come from  the world around us and the local organic seasonal gardens here in Florida. Muffin Me Happy is always changing and developing as a company.

Ugg’s Bakery

Ugg’s Bakery offers specialty bakery treats to those with dietary restrictions. Grain free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, yeast free… problem free! Ugg’s Bakery is a small home-kitchen business that currently operates under the Florida Cottage Law. The dream is to someday have a storefront but for now, we take orders during the week… [read more]

Kristens Cake Kreations

I started my cake business when I decided to also be a stay at home mom. I was a Pastry Chef at 5 star fine dining restaurants in Colorado before starting my family. I have a true passion for making sweets, cakes, cupcakes and anything that is made in the kitchen. I love being able… [read more]

Plain Jane Cakes

Plain Jane Cakes is a home based cupcake business that provides 12 different varieties of cupcakes available for order. $18 per dozen. Specialty cupcakes are available for special order, and any special decorations, etc, may cost extra. Contact Melissa Bellingar for more information 904-557-8335 plainjanecakes@yahoo.com Descriptions below: Red Velvet- classic red cake, cream cheese frosting… [read more]

Florida HB 7209

Initial cottage food law, which allowed producers to directly sell a number of non-perishable foods, and set a $15k sales limit