Maryland passed a very restrictive cottage food law (SB 550) in 2012, which limited sales to farmers markets and public events. Then from 2018 – 2020, three amendments significantly improved the law. In 2018, HB 1106 allowed other in-person, direct sales in the state, including mail order sales. In 2019, SB 290 allowed sales at […]
Washington D.C. started allowing homemade food sales in 2013, with the passage of the “Cottage Food Amendment Act of 2013” (B20-0168). In 2017, the health department added many rules (DCMR Title 25-K), which made it much more complicated and expensive to start a cottage food business. In 2020, the law significantly improved via two amendments. […]
For Barry Sherman and his life partner, Scott, their cookie business is about a lot more than the cookies!
Since 2018, Barry and Scott have run their eco-friendly and socially-conscious cookie business, Urban Bakers, in Tampa Bay, FL.
Initially they started from home due to Scott being diagnosed with early onset of Parkinson’s Disease, but they quickly expanded to a commercial kitchen.
Their dense quarter-pound cookies are very unique. They come individually-wrapped in compostable bags with compostable labels, and the quality of the ingredients is top-notch. They also come in a variety of flavors, including root beer float, piña colada, and spicy dark chocolate chili.
In addition to operating their business as sustainably as possible, they also give back by donating a portion of each sale to a different charity each month.
Barry talks about the triumphs, challenges, and surprises of running a high-end drop cookie business, and what he’s learned along the way.
It all started with the wrong baking pan. Back in 2014, Nicole Pomije couldn’t find a cookie sheet in her home kitchen, so she made her chocolate chip cookies in a mini muffin tin instead.
And with that, the idea for The Cookie Cups was born: cookies that look like mini cupcakes. Nicole started her business out of her home kitchen in 2015, and she has now expanded into two brick-and-mortar storefronts near Minneapolis, MN.
Although it might seem like Nicole’s unique idea set her up for success, it’s more likely that her many years of marketing, PR, and management experience played a much larger role.
While the cookie-in-cupcake-form is still at the core of her business, Nicole has now expanded well beyond selling cookies. She’s managed to put all kinds of food items into mini cupcake form, such as tacos, mac & cheese, pizza, etc. She now caters events, hosts birthday parties, teaches cooking classes, and has most recently created at-home baking kits in response to the pandemic.
Nicole talks about the importance of sharing your story, managing time, starting simple, building a local following, and constantly being willing to try new things.
These days, Dough Boy Donuts is a popular gourmet donut shop that is bustling with customers and employees, but it all started from very humble beginnings.
In 2014, Melvin Roberson used Texas’ cottage food law to start his donut business from his home kitchen. A year later, he expanded to a food truck, and eventually, to a brick-and-mortar location in Fort Worth, TX (now relocated to Burleson, TX).
Melvin has faced plenty of obstacles along the way, including negative customers, family feuds, and a failed Kickstarter campaign.
But through perseverance, sacrifice, and plenty of hard work, he has built a loyal customer base that keep coming back for one of his unique signature donuts, like the Sriracha Maple Bacon or The Last Call.
Melvin’s has a tremendous amount of experience in the food industry… before building a successful food business through three different stages (from home, food truck, storefront), he held just about every food service position available, ultimately managing hundreds of employees as the kitchen manager at a popular steakhouse.
Wyoming has the best cottage food and food freedom law in the United States. They passed the Wyoming Food Freedom Act in 2015 (HB 56), making them the first state to eliminate most regulations on local homemade food sales. Unlike most states, Wyoming residents can sell ANY kind of food, as long as it does […]
Kevin Martino started his cottage food business, Chef Kev’s Specialty Foods, when California created its cottage food law in 2013. He wholesales flavored peanuts to a number of breweries and hardware stores in Concord, CA, and also sells online.
Kevin was actually one of the first cottage food business owners that I ever met, and it’s cool to see how far he has come with his business over the years.
Kevin talks about what he’s learned through producing and wholesaling spicy peanuts, how he’s grown his business so far, and what he’s planning for in the future. I also share my insight on why an LLC might not be the right fit for him at this point.
Sonia Chang never planned to start a food business, but now she has two of them!
Sonia lives in Pasadena, CA and runs a granola cottage food business called Cali Granola (formerly named Chef Sonia’s Granola By The Handful). After successfully selling her granola for a couple years, she purchased and operated My Sweet Cupcake, a popular cupcakery.
She has sold her granola in over two dozen stores and has used a variety of marketing strategies to build her businesses, such as her “leap frog” and “flavor profile” techniques.
Her journey is filled with many unexpected surprises, but every step of the way, her service-based approach and collaborative spirit have carried her forward.
Utah has two laws that allow for the sale of homemade food. This page is for Utah’s cottage food law, which has existed since 2007. Utah also has a newer food freedom law, which is much easier to setup and allows many more types of food items, but is more restricted in other ways. If […]
Have you ever dreamed of opening a brick and mortar bakery someday?
So did Diana, the owner of I Love Pie in Carmichael, CA. But she never thought her dream would come true so soon!
After selling at the farmers market for a year and a half, her pie business grew so much that she expanded into her own commercial kitchen and storefront. And now, just 6 months later, she is planning to open a second location!
On paper, it looked like a recipe for failure: selling a common food item (regular fruit pies) in a highly competitive and health-conscious market, all while juggling a full-time job.
So how did she do it? Why was she so successful? Ultimately, you will see that it wasn’t the product, or the market, but rather, Diana herself, that made all the difference.
West Virginia has one of the best cottage food laws in the country. For many years, they had very specific and restrictive laws which only allowed a few types of food items to be sold at farmers markets. Then in 2018, they passed a new law which expanded the allowed foods list but still restricted […]
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Maryland allows farmers to get a special On-Farm Home Processing License to sell certain types of homemade food. However, most people use Maryland’s cottage food law (which does not require a permit or training from the health department) to sell their homemade food. This older law is useful for farmers who: Want to sell food products […]
Creole Soul believes that everyone can be a great cook! Our flavors are rooted and grounded in Louisiana Culture. Our products are crafted to make every meal a delight. Our services are designed to make hospitality easy. Creole Soul’s product line continues to grow. Our first seasoning was blended for marinading meats for our BBQ […]
Arizona has one of the most successful cottage food programs of any state, with over 6,100 businesses registered as of May 2017. This success is in large part because Arizona has a very good cottage food law, and it continually gets supported and promoted by the health department. They have an excellent website that explains their cottage food law, […]
The California Homemade Food Act (also known as “AB 1616”) passed in California on September 21st, 2012 and went into effect on January 1st, 2013. The law is setup as a two-tier system, meaning that there are different levels of homemade food producers, depending on who they sell to. “Class A” cottage food operations can only […]
Ohio’s cottage food law does not require any licensing from the ag department, and there is no sales limit, but the law limits producers in other ways. Rather than allowing all direct sales, operations can only sell their items at specific types of venues, which does include a couple indirect (wholesale) channels, like selling to a […]
Maine has had their “home food manufacturing” law in place since 1980, and it is still being used today. Although this law was created long before modern cottage food laws became popular, it is quite flexible and allows producers to sell many types of homemade food. To sell homemade food, producers need to get a […]
Massachusetts developed its law for “residential kitchens” in 2000, well before cottage food laws became common. Residential kitchens are considered “food establishments” (like their commercial counterparts), so it is harder to start a home food business in MA than it is in other states. However, there are fewer restrictions: there is no sales limit, and […]
Oregon’s laws for domestic kitchens are not the easiest when it comes to getting licensed, but they give producers a lot of freedom once they are setup. However, there are some strict requirements, like never allowing pets in the producer’s home. Those who want an easier setup and fewer requirements (but more restrictions) can use Oregon’s […]
Tennessee has updated their laws to exempt basic home-based food processors from a license and kitchen inspection. However, they still allow home-based food businesses under the domestic kitchen law, which allows indirect sales to restaurants and retail stores. A domestic kitchen is much more difficult to setup, requiring training, permits, plans, and a home inspection. Domestic kitchens are […]
Etta Mae Gourmet is a home-based “craft jammery” specializing in artisan jams and preserves. The jams are prepared in small batches using locally sourced fruit. You can taste the difference! We can make personalized jams for your next wedding, party or event. Our jams have won awards at the 2014 California State Fair, 2014 Orange […]
The Spice Whisperer makes custom spice rubs and seasoning blends for cooking. Current blends available: Bitchin’ Beef Passionate Pig Bodacious Bird Seductive Seafood Sultry Citrus Sinfully Citrus
Pennsylvania is a bit different than other states in that it doesn’t have laws specific to cottage food operations, but the Department of Agriculture simply allows “limited food establishments” that meet specific guidelines. The application process is lengthy, but limited food establishments have a lot of flexibility once they’re setup. Unlike other states, in Pennsylvania, there are many similarities between the […]
Although Ohio has a good cottage food law, it has another law which allows home bakers to sell perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes and cream pies. Home bakeries can also use the cottage food law to sell certain non-baked products, though those sales would need to adhere to that law’s stricter rules. Home bakeries must be […]
Unlike most states, Iowa allows home bakers to sell perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes, cream pies, and cakes with cream fillings. “Home Food Establishments” can sell their baked goods at any venue, but they are limited to $20,000 of sales per year. An annual license and inspection are required. In addition to this law, Iowa […]
Unlike almost every other state, Virginia allows people to operate very unrestricted food businesses out of their homes. Their food laws are very different than most states, written in such a way that there is not any distinction between a food business that uses a commercial kitchen versus a home kitchen. Instead, the distinction is provided by […]
Fallbrook’s Famous™ Avocado Fudge is an entirely new and better way to enjoy a classic American confection. Fresh, ripe local avocados are used instead of butter for a healthier fat content and a smoothness and creaminess found nowhere else. No greasy aftertaste, just full, robust flavor and character. It doesn’t taste like avocados, but it’s […]
Established 2003 making soaps, lotions and general natural body care using refined oils and butters, adding bulk herbs, essential oils, candles and canned jellies, butters and preserves. Visit in person, website or call; all questions are welcomed. Teaching at Old Salem and on-site too about Herbs, all natural care and offering products Tuesday through Saturday. […]
Louisiana’s cottage food law (Act 542) was started in 2013 and amended in 2014. The amendment (HB 1270) greatly increased the number of foods allowed, and it also increased the amount of regulations CFOs must follow. There is a sales limit of $20,000 per year. Unlike every other law, Louisiana imposes specific restrictions on preparers of breads, cakes, cookies, […]
Small Batch Bagels… All hand made!!! No store front, CFO (Cottage Foods Operations) Made from my Home Kitchen… For now :)
White House Goodies started as a concept to create products produced from our land. The first try was a Christmas Basket given to friends and family. Then California passed the Cottage Food Legislation allowing us to produce certain products in our home kitchen and we went to work. Some of our products are home grown. […]
Los Angeles | Sweet Beginnings embodies my authentic passion and love for family, friends and food — especially desserts. After spending more than 25 years collecting and sampling new recipes, it wasn’t long before I launched “Sweet Beginnings”. I love creating memorable experiences for people through my baking. I started my venture with a booth […]
The laws for those with a Homestead License in New Hampshire are much more lenient than a homestead food operation, as they allow operators to sell at any venue with no limitation for how much they can sell. However, there is a significant application process that will take some time. Aside from the $225 cost, […]
North Carolina is unlike any other state, in that it has a food program for home processors, yet it does not have laws in place to allow them. Other states have specific laws in place that override the federal laws that prohibit home-based food sales, but since North Carolina has no such laws, technically their […]
Rhode Island essentially has no cottage food laws, because the law they do have is limited to a very select group of individuals. Producing food from home is only available to farmers that sell over $2,500 of agricultural products throughout the year. This excludes most of the small producers that cottage food laws are usually […]