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Interesting: Cottage-food laws - labradors - 12-29-2014

Are any of you familiar with the so-called "cottage-food" laws?

Prior to my going to Honduras, I had considered trying to sell some of my caramels and other treats, but Florida law prohibited the use of a residential/home kitchen for cooking items for sale (except for things like church bake sales). Now, however, things have changed.

In 2011, Florida passed the "cottage-food" law, that (with some limitations) allows "non-potentially hazardous foods" (e.g. cakes, cookies and candies but not salsas, jerky or cheeses) to be cooked in a home kitchen and sold to the public.

Other states have similar laws now, as well, with varying degrees of limitations.

This could be a way to earn extra money or to begin a business without the usual hassles (at least not until you take it beyond the "cottage" level to the commercial level.

What do you guys know about this and have any of you tried it, yet?

Re: Interesting: Cottage-food laws - BarbaraS - 12-29-2014

Well Labs, I always wanted to start my line of pecans, and some of you have had them, but when I researched the process of selling to the public, the "Safe Serve" law and that education came up. It's not hard to get "Safe Serve" certified, but I have two cats and NJ would not allow my kitchen to get certified for selling any baked/cooked goods to the public because of them.

Then I researched commercial kitchens that have been certified for rent and really came up with a huge dilemma on how to proceed and where to go. In essence, they were booked and expensive. I do not have a business model to go by, either. I would have to ask the help of a local University that has a cooking school to help me with that. It could be a Senior project for them and it would educate me as well.

It's still a dream of mine, but there are obstacles and success is not guaranteed.


Re: Interesting: Cottage-food laws - labradors - 12-29-2014

Unfortunately, THIS for New Jersey, Barbara.

Re: Interesting: Cottage-food laws - Mare749 - 12-29-2014

Labs, one of the young ladies that is a niece to my brother's new wife (in Florida) has been doing this for quite a few years now. She ran into problems with food service rules a few years back and had to start renting commercial kitchen space in order to stay in business. I haven't seen her since the rules have changed again, so don't know if she is back to doing it at home or not. She used to cater Red Hat Tea parties in Winter Park, and provide the desserts for office catering during holidays. It was very much a part-time thing for her though as she was a college student at the time.

She started out working in a coffee shop on Park Ave. in Winter Park and the owner let her sell her goodies. She made things like chocolate dipped fruits and petit fours, put them into little serving cups and set them in plastic bags with a ribbon tie and a tag with her name. They were really cute and terribly overpriced and people snapped up every last one of them.

Re: Interesting: Cottage-food laws - cjs - 12-30-2014

I must say every few years I've made something and the idea begins to germinate.....but, after all the rules and regulations for when I was a personal chef I would quickly put the ideas on the back burner.

But, must admit, the idea still intrigues me every once in a while.

If you pursue this I would love to hear/read a running commentary on how you do,.

Re: Interesting: Cottage-food laws - BarbaraS - 12-30-2014

So Labs,if I read this correctly, I can make those nuts in my own kitchen and sell them as long as I state on a placard at the POS that my kitchen is not subjected to regulation and inspection by the DOH. Really? That's interesting.