Tamara Ketchian of Orange, CT sells gluten-free vegan granola and shares how she’s gone from stay-at-home mom to starting a cottage food bakery to now scaling her business with a commercial kitchen
Robert & Paula Grosz of Murray, KY share how they built a thriving jam & jelly business that allowed them to quit their jobs by focusing on quality, listening to customers, and scaling their business
Alisa Woods of Des Moines, IA shares how she promotes her home bakery by networking with others, getting TV spots, building Instagram followers, competing in state fairs, and living in the moment
Lee Thomas runs a legal home BBQ business in San Leandro, CA and shares how he leveraged his political connections to help legalize MEHKOs (micro-enterprise home kitchen operations) in his county
Fawzeya Owda of Norwood, OH shares her unique journey from home bakery to commercial kitchen when her Palestinian-inspired cheesecake allowed her to build her own American Dream to support her family
Juno Rosales shares the incredible story of how she built an international brand by selling her frozen desserts from home in the Philippines before adding a second location in Los Angeles, CA
Twins Heather & Corrie Miracle of Fairfax, VA share the backstory that led them to create their extremely popular Facebook group about marketing for sugar cookiers and other cottage food entrepreneurs
Jenny Berg of Bend, OR started baking sourdough bread during the pandemic and shares how she turned her new hobby into a home business that has finally given her a sense of fulfillment in her work.
Gary Knight of Gardnerville, NV sells beautiful hand-decorated chocolates that he learned to make while overcoming his alcohol addiction and recovering from a traumatic brain injury.
Annette Conrad of Mequon, WI shares how she massively scaled her home-based custom decorated cookie business by building a team, optimizing systems, and selling to event planners and corporate clients.
Sahar Shomali of Los Angeles, CA shares how she went from being a pastry chef at top-end restaurants to running her own home bakery by rediscovering the bread from her childhood in Iran.
Connie & Rick Martin of Charleston, WV share how they built a successful business by discovering a very unique product, accruing 15 wholesale accounts, and constantly networking and asking for help.
Cassie Menchhofer of Celina, OH shares how she took her business to the next level by building an FDA-approved manufacturing facility to sell her dried soup, baking, and spice mixes across the country.
Sarah Thongnopneua lives in San Anselmo, CA and shares how she grew her “bouCAKES” (floral cupcake bouquets) business from her home kitchen into a commercial kitchen & won a Food Network competition.
Jill Baethge from Plano, TX shares how she grew her unique chocolate candy piñata business into a national brand by creating products for Michaels stores across the nation.
Amie Anderson & Jamie Krake live in Ypsilanti, MI and share how their cafe failure spawned a successful home-based donut delivery business that’s spread joy to their community and uplifted their lives.
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.
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.
Whitney Singletary of Berkeley, CA shares many of the obstacles she faced to build a successful nut-flavored cookie business from her driveway and eventually grow into a brick-and-mortar storefront.
Daniela Zographos of Anderson, SC shares how she niched down to only selling custom-decorated cake pops, which made her home bakery even more successful and gave her more time to spend with her kids.
It is the last of 17 cottage food initiatives that have passed in 2021 (the most of any year, by far).
This amendment was long overdue, as California had not amended their law since 2013!
But did I ever think I would be the one spearheading CA’s next cottage food law improvement? Definitely not!
Kourtney Rojas of Anaheim, CA shares her long, organic journey into creating a successful home pie business that helps support her family and gave her the freedom to quit her job.
Anne Reist of Holladay, UT sells eyepopping hand-painted couverture chocolates and shares how she organically grew her business to the point of building a commercial kitchen into her home.
Nathan & Nicole Parchman of O’Fallon, IL share how they produce and sell over 200 jars of salsa and pickles each week, and have grown from farmers market to wholesale to brick-and-mortar storefront.
Debbie George of Gilbert, AZ shares how she sold over 10,000 homemade custom cookies in her first year of business by going all-in, networking with other businesses, and focusing on B2B sales.
Kathy Sing from Visalia, CA shares how she sold almost $50k of homemade caramel corn, toffee, and other treats in a single year by wholesaling through retail stores.
Jeremy Davis from Charlotte, MI runs a lucrative custom-decorated cake business from home while working a full-time job, taking care of his kids, and occasionally appearing on national television.
Jennifer Knox from Nevada, IA makes unique spice blends in her at-home commercial kitchen and shares how she built a fanbase of loyal customers through fearless branding and quality ingredients.
Lisa Petrizzi-Geller from Berkley, MA shares what she’s learned from selling thousands of homemade & custom-decorated cake pops, chocolate-covered Oreos, and other treats at tons of events.
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.
Recently I was asked to briefly describe how COVID-19 has impacted the cottage food industry this year. Here’s what I wrote:
“The pandemic has impacted everyone differently, but it has impacted everyone. Some cottage food businesses have shut down temporarily or permanently, while just as many others have seen their sales skyrocket. More cottage food businesses started this year than any other by far, and overall, the pandemic has caused a huge surge of interest in this industry.”
That’s a very simplified view of what has been a crazy and complex year.
In this post, I’ll dig into some of the major trends and story lines that impacted the cottage food industry in 2020.
Nicole Pomije of Minneapolis, MN shares how she infused her marketing skills into a unique cookie concept to grow a home food business into two brick-and-mortar storefronts in just a few years.
Noel Martinez of Pittsburgh, PA sells Cuban-inspired, diet-specific, homemade baked goods. He shares some of the successes and struggles of growing his new business while working two part-time jobs.
Tina Karnath from Saginaw, MI owns a plethora of cookie cutters and decorates hundreds of custom-designed cookies each week. She talks about pricing, resources, and what she’s learned over the years.
Kevin Martino, owner of Chef Kev’s Specialty Foods in Concord, CA, talks about wholesaling homemade flavored peanuts to breweries, how he’s grown his business, and his plans for the future.
David Kaminer of Denver, CO talks about running a lucrative home bakery, how 15 years of experience in food service influenced his business, and why he only sells one type of product: sourdough bread.
Erica Smith from the Institute for Justice sheds light on how the coronavirus pandemic affects cottage food businesses, which laws they’ve worked on recently, and how people can improve their laws.