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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.

Small Is Beautiful with Eric Sorensen

Eric Sorensen’s home bakery business may be small, but that doesn’t mean it’s insignificant!

Eric lives in Pullman, WA and sells homemade bread, bagels, and pretzels with his cottage food business, Clumsy Crow Baking.

Unlike most bakers, Eric doesn’t sell throughout the year, or even throughout the summer. Instead, he takes frequent sailing trips for a month at a time, and only boots up the baking business when he’s back home. And when he returns, his customers are ready!

He started selling his bread back in 2017, and grew his customer base by selling at winter markets. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, he switched to selling solely from his driveway, and he hasn’t looked back. He simply puts the bread on his driveway for customers to pickup, and then heads back inside to take a nap!

In addition to being an avid baker, Eric is also an avid learner. In this episode he shares many resources for learning about home baking, and also shares many cost-saving hacks for running a home bakery without going into debt.

He is also an advocate for local grain economies, and shares what he is doing to help get great, sustainable bread into more people’s hands.

Washington HB 1258

Tried to allow microenterprise home kitchen operations, similar to California and Utah. It would have let people run mini-restaurants from home, albeit with a lot of restrictions.

2020 Cottage Food Industry Recap

2020 was not just a year full of changes for the nation and world.

It was also a year which changed the cottage food industry… sometimes for the worse, but mostly for the better.

There were a number of important storylines this year, and surprisingly, many of them were not pandemic-related.

In this year-end recap, I’ll give my take on the major events of 2020 that related to the cottage food industry.

Washington

Washington is one of the most difficult states for starting a cottage food operation. It is very complicated to get a cottage food permit… almost as complex as setting up a commercial food business. And yet, Washington’s cottage food law is fairly limited, only allowing $25,000 of sales per year, prohibiting indirect sales (to restaurants,… [read more]

Clumsy Crow Baking

Clumsy Crow Baking is a home-based microbakery turning local grains into artisan breads, hand-shaped bagels and soft German pretzels. I use mostly home equipment and sell directly to customers from my Pullman home under the Washington State Cottage Food Act. I sell bread subscriptions. It’s like a bread club or Community Supported Bakery: You subscribe… [read more]