Last week, on September 16th, 2021, California’s governor signed AB 1144, a cottage food bill that will improve California’s cottage food law.
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!
Running a successful custom cake business is a lot of work. Running a popular Etsy shop is also a lot of work. And taking care of young kids full-time is definitely a lot of work.
Meet April Spencer, who has managed to do all three AT THE SAME TIME!
April is a cake decorator and sugar artist who lives in Harrod, OH and sells impressive custom cakes and lollipops with her cottage food business, Spencer’s Sugar Shop.
In addition to running a very successful custom cake business from home, April also rented a commercial kitchen to sell her custom lollipops on Etsy and ship them across the nation. She’s currently put the Etsy business on pause due to the mass influx of weddings recently, but at one point she was shipping out over 30 custom lollipop orders per week!
As if running two businesses and a young family weren’t enough, April also manages to put a strong focus on her social media presence, and she now has thousands of social media followers.
How does she do it all? Nobody knows for sure, but listen in and learn how she went from knowing NOTHING about cake decorating to becoming one of the most popular bakers in her area in just a few short years.
It all started with a Facebook page. Back in 2018, Beverly Clutter decided to start showcasing her decorated cookies on social media, but she had no idea that it would soon turn into a business!
Beverly lives in Fairmont, WV and sells custom decorated sugar cookies, cakes, and other baked goods with her cottage food business, WV Cookie Jar.
At the recent national cottage food conference, Beverly earned the top spot on the leaderboard as the most active attendee (out of 900+ attendees), and her submissions into the photo contest were equally impressive.
Whether it is posting on social media, being hyper engaged at a conference, or teaching decorating classes to her local community, Beverly consistently puts herself (and her business) out there and focuses on serving others.
The result? A successful side business that has grown organically, brings her plenty of joy and freedom, and provides her family with some extra income.
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.
When starting a cottage food operation, you may have to get your home kitchen inspected. Learn about some of the things you should check before an inspection.
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.
Cottage food operations often get frustrated by health departments, who can be slow, uncommunicative, and sometimes downright unfriendly. Do health departments really dislike the cottage food industry as much as people think they do?