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.
In 2019, Justina Rucinski was sexually assaulted in her home in Burlington, IA when a supposed client came to pay for a cookie order. That traumatic event not only forever changed her life, but has also changed cottage food laws around the country.
Justina now lives in San Antonio, TX and continues to sell custom decorated cookies and cakes with her cottage food business, SweetEms.
After her horrific experience, she came very close to shutting down her business. But with massive support from bakers around the world, she has both resurrected it and become one of the most popular cottage food bakers in the United States!
In addition to her business success, Justina has become an advocate for the safety of all home bakers. Because of her story, many states no longer require cottage food producers to put their home address on their product labels.
In this emotional episode, Justina shares how the cottage food community helped lift her out of utter darkness, so that she could once again continue running the business that she loves so much!
Iowa has two different laws for home cooks, both of which predate most modern cottage food laws. Iowa has been allowing sales of homemade food since at least the 1980s. First, Iowa has an exemption that allows producers can sell most types of non-perishable food products from home and at farmers markets, without needing any […]
Unlike most states, Iowa allows home bakers to sell many types of baked goods, including perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes, cream pies, and cakes with cream fillings. Home bakeries can sell their baked goods at any venue, but they are limited to $35,000 of sales per year. An annual license and inspection are required. In […]
As a creative writer and published poet, Jennifer Knox was never in it for the money. But when she made $6,000 in one weekend from selling her salt blends, she knew she was on to something!
Jennifer sells unique, preservative-free spice blends with her business, Saltlickers, which she runs from a commercial kitchen in her home in Nevada, IA.
Jennifer’s branding is fearless and unforgettable. Each of her salt or sugar blends have a creative product name like Das Bigfoot, Queen of Tarts, or Herky Perky.
Although her marketing skills spark people’s interest, it’s the products themselves that keep customers coming back again and again.
After using her home kitchen for many years, Jennifer and her husband converted their basement into a commercial kitchen so that they could sell in retail stores and ship their products nationwide.
And in 2020, although Jennifer’s farmers market closed down due to the pandemic, she used email marketing to stay in touch with her fanbase and keep on selling.
It’s July 1st, 2020, and for the first time in over 7 years, I’ve added a new rank to Forrager’s map. I named it “freedom”, and Wyoming has the honor of being the first state to reach this status!
As of today, Wyoming’s new amendment (HB 84) to their food freedom law takes effect, and it’s a big one. Because although their 2015 law has always been the best food freedom law in the country, truthfully, it still lagged behind some of the best cottage food laws in some ways.