Whether it’s putting a smile on an ill child’s face, delivering a stunning floral wedding cake, or contacting state legislators to change the law, Kathy Cherie is always baking a difference in her community.
Kathy lives in Elk Grove Village, IL and has operated her cottage food business, Cake Du Jour, for nearly 40 years. Her business is somewhat under-the-table, except that her health department has known about it for decades.
Kathy would love to help the next generation of bakers in Illinois do what she could not: run a home bakery legally. Her county (Cook) still doesn’t allow home kitchen operations, so she continues to advocate for a statewide law.
Although she loves baking for all occasions, she especially loves donating “dream cakes” through the charity Icing Smiles, where she gets to support families with a critically ill child. She has made over 20 dream cakes so far.
In addition to her charitable and legal efforts, Kathy talks about making photorealistic sugar flowers (her specialty), gives pricing advice for custom cakes, and shares tips on how cake decorators can improve their skills.
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.
Erica Smith, who works for the Institute for Justice, is a major advocate for the cottage food industry. She and her team have worked with dozens of cottage food businesses to spearhead many of the recent cottage food and food freedom law improvements across the country.
I wanted Erica to shed some light on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting cottage food businesses and what steps people can potentially take to improve their situation.
Many states’ restrictions are preventing cottage food producers from adapting their businesses in a safe way right now, and Erica came to me with the idea that this current situation could actually help spawn some improvements in many states’ laws.
In addition to that, Erica discusses the current law changes (including Wyoming’s greatly improved law), what they have worked on in the past, which states they’re targeting in the future, and why this industry is so important.
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.
North Dakota’s food freedom law regresses into a good cottage food law, after the state health department created new rules and limits.
If you want to learn more about your state’s cottage food law, or better understand how this site was made, this post will give you ideas for how to research and update a law on Forrager.
California’s new law (AB 626) has some lofty goals, but some of the bill language will keep it from making much of an impact. Cottage food bills have made some mistakes over and over again, preventing them from achieving their full potential.
If you want to start a home food business, there are a number of potential limitations that you should be aware of. Learn about the different limitations that states may include in their cottage food laws.
Many states limit the amount of homemade food that you can sell. Learn about why sales limits exist, how they’re enforced, and why they shouldn’t stop your food business from taking off.
In most states, you can only sell certain types of homemade food. Most cottage food laws only allow nonperishable food items, but some states allow almost all types of food, while other states are very restrictive. Learn about what types of homemade food products you can sell under your cottage food law.
Nearly all states require a label on cottage food products, and there are many things to consider when creating labels for your home food business.
When starting a home food business, it’s usually a good idea to take some form of food safety training, and it’s often required. Learn about the three most common types of food safety training.
When starting a home food business, you will likely need to deal with the health or ag department. Learn about what you should be aware of when contacting these departments.
I had a simple goal: sell my homemade chocolate fudge at the farmers market this summer. How complicated could it be? Turns out that if the government has anything to say about it, the answer is “very complicated”. My experience is just one simple example of why cottage food laws can make a huge difference in a community.
Wyoming has tested the waters of food freedom for a year. Are people using their food freedom law, and if so, is it negatively impacting the public health? Is this the future of the cottage food movement?
Democracy is essential to the freedom to earn a livelihood by selling homemade food products.
Do you wonder if your homemade food item would sell well? Are your sales lower than you would like? Learn about one of the common food startup mistakes that can prevent your business from taking off.
People often wonder if the cottage food laws are too limiting. Should they use it to start their homemade food business? Is it worth their time?
Live in a state with no cottage food law? Get one passed. If your state law is limited, you’ll need to amend an existing cottage food law. Here’s how.