OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business
  Re: (...)
While thinking about starting to sell some homemade goodies under Florida's "Cottage-Food" law, I am finding out that there are more things to consider than just the recipes to select and the prices to charge.

For example: it only costs $20 to rent a space in the local farmers market, but that's every week, which would add up to $1040 per year. On top of that, each vendor must bring his own fire extinguisher (regardless of what's being sold - it's just a county requirement) and 10x10, fire-resistant tent/canopy. That's $130 I'd be spending right at the beginning.

Liability insurance is also required, but it's okay to use the liability coverage of homeowners insurance. Still, if someone were not to read the ingredient list on something and then have an allergic reaction, that could be a big problem for the homeowners policy, etc. That means it would be better to have a separate policy for the business (as small as the business may be). That's $400-600 per year.

For that matter, since many people, nowadays, will sue someone just because they can, it's also probably a good idea to get an LLC. That's $155.

Finally, I would have to make an initial purchase of ingredients to get started, as well as decent materials for packaging things to be sold.

By the time it's all added up, I'd need about $2200 (maybe a little more, just in case) to get everything going.

Overall, that's not bad for starting a business, but the nature of a cottage-food business is such that it is only allowed gross sales of $15000 per year (at least in Florida) and I'd be starting while still unemployed.

Thus, I'm thinking about trying to raise that starting amount through a crowdfunding site such as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.

Do any of you have any suggestions for any of this, whether getting started, in general, or crowdfunding in particular?
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business by labradors (While thinking about...)
Mutual of Omaha (is that the one with the Moose/elk?) was the only insurance covering personal chefs in 2000 for my business and the price wasn't prohibitive. I didn't get an LLC.

I wish I had some good suggestions for you, but I just don't. I hope someone has done more digging and come up with something to help.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business by cjs (Mutual of Omaha (is ...)
Labs, do you know what products you would like to make to sell at the farmer's market? I think for getting started, I would consider asking another vendor at the farmer's market to share space until you know what products are going to be popular. And be sure to offer samples.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business by Mare749 (Labs, do you know wh...)
So far, considering biscotti, pizzelles, "English muffin" bread and Popcorn bread.

Shall definitely have samples. Interesting: the way this law works, samples have to be prepared and packaged at home, too. You can't just break up a pizzelle or cut up cubes of the bread at the market.

Shall have to ask if they allow sharing spaces and if anyone would be willing. Thanks.

Any ideas on using crowdfunding to help get things started?
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business by labradors (So far, considering ...)
Labs, have you checked with your current insurance provider about an umbrella policy? Might be cheaper than buying business insurance. I've bought a couple of things through Kickstarter and my impression is that the stuff has to have a product with broad appeal. To put it inelegantly, donating to you would not do me any good. Not offense intended, as I wish you tremendous success. Something to consider is the life of the goods you are trying to sell. Will they keep for the buyer? Biscotti is a great idea if no one else is selling. Pizelles sound gound as I assume they don't need reheating and could be eaten cold as the customer browses the event. Not familiar with popcorn bread. How would you sample the English muffin bread, wouldn't it lose something if not warm?

I am curious as to why you picked these four items. Are they low cost to make and have high markup potential? Biscotti have always seemed to be labor intensive to me. There are now real sweets, on purpose? Do you make jerky?
  Re: Re: OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business by Cubangirl (Labs, have you check...)
Those items just happen to be things I've made before, have been popular with many people and are not too common.

As for the popcorn bread, check out the following threads:


Jerky isn't allowed.

The reason for keeping the insurance separate from the current homeowners insurance is so that it's not connected to the house in any way, in case someone gets lawsuit happy.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business by labradors (Those items just hap...)
Labs, an umbrella policy is excess insurance. You have to have a basic liability policy before you can buy an umbrella.
"He who sups with the devil should have a. long spoon".
  Re: Re: OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business by Old Bay (Labs, an umbrella po...)
Either way I don't want it connected to the house.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business by labradors (Either way I don't w...)
Here's what's allowed (copied and pasted from Florida's cottage-food brochure):

Loaf breads, rolls, biscuits
Cakes, pastries and cookies
Candies and confections
Jams, jellies and preserves
Fruit pies and dried fruits
Dry herbs, seasonings and mixtures
Homemade pasta
Cereals, trail mixes and granola
Coated or uncoated nuts
Vinegar and flavored vinegars
Popcorn, popcorn balls

Since candies would require me to collect sales tax, I'm going to hold off on my caramels, for now, and am planning on concentrating on breads.

Pies would also be good, especially this time of year, but my usual pies wouldn't be allowed, since they require refrigeration, so do any of you have any ideas (and recipes) for great pies that could be kept at room temperature?

Any other ideas?

If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: OT: Starting a Cottage-Food business by labradors (Here's what's allowe...)
I wonder if Bill and Jane's Sour Cherry Pie would work. It is a great pie and it's made with alcohol and no dairy.
Keep your mind wide open.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)