Angela Awunor of Glenn Dale, MD shares how she moved her thriving custom cake business from a commercial kitchen into her home, and how she maintains work-life balance with two full-time careers
Denae Spiering of Bridgeville, DE shares how she realized her long-time dream of building a brick-and-mortar bakery despite life getting in the way and pausing her cottage food business for many years
In this very special 100th episode, previous guests come back on to share an update of what’s changed since they were last on the show, what’s surprised them, and what they’ve learned along the way
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
Janna Newcomb Walworth of Choctaw, OK has rapidly grown her cottage food business selling freeze dried candy, fruits, veggies, etc, and shares why she doesn’t think this trend will end anytime soon
Christina Marquez of Antioch, IL shares how she built a cottage food bakery amidst many life challenges by following her passion, caring deeply about her customers, and focusing on serving others
Lisa Kivirist of Browntown, WI shares an update on the past, present, and future of the cottage food and food freedom movements, and how she’s helping support them with many different resources
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.
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.
Sari Kimbell of Fort Collins, CO shares tons of advice about growing a food business, including pricing, choosing products, branding, selling wholesale, scaling up, find a commissary kitchen, and more.
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.
In this special 50th episode of The Forrager Podcast, hear from 16 Facebook group owners who share some of their best tips about starting and growing a cottage food business.
Shelley Erickson of Big Lake, MN shares how she became the leader of the cottage food movement in her state, by improving her state’s cottage food law and starting a cottage food association.
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!
Justina Rucinski from Burlington, IA shares how she resurrected her custom cookie business after being sexually assaulted by a supposed client, and how her experience impacted the cottage food industry.
After a 12 year battle, New Jersey finally has a cottage food law! They are the last state to create one, and they will be the last state to get the “pending” status on Forrager’s map.
Although the new cottage food rules passed on July 12th, they will not take effect until the rules get published by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL).
In other words, this law isn’t usable just yet. And once the law gets published (likely by mid-September), it’s not entirely clear how long it will take for the health department to start approving permits.
With over half of the states working on improving their cottage food law, 2021 already has been the biggest year ever for cottage food developments. New Jersey’s law is a big fat cherry on top of all of that!
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.
Jennifer Lopez (Paducah, KY) & Emily Blattel (Scott City, MO) are amazing cake artists and discuss many facets of running a custom cake business, including marketing, partnerships, and startup advice.
Whether it’s putting a smile on an ill child’s face, or contacting state legislators to change the law, Kathy Cherie from Elk Grove Village, IL is always baking a difference in her community.
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 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.
David Crabill talks about how to start a cottage food business from your home kitchen by using your state’s cottage food law, and how to validate your product idea with paying customers.
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.