Want to sell your homemade food but worry that the law won’t let you? Check out Forrager, an online clearinghouse for information on how home cooks and bakers can have their cake and sell it, too. Forrager focuses on “cottage food”: salable fare that’s been processed in a household kitchen. Staying on top of cottage food laws in the United States is challenging because the rules regarding the types of products allowed, acceptable sale venues (such as farmers markets), and required labeling vary greatly from state to state.
A basic Forrager membership is free and includes access to state forums where entrepreneurs can share start-up hints, tax advice and much more. Forrager members can also connect with customers by plotting their businesses on an interactive U.S. map. Click on any map marker to learn about that business, and click on any state for a rundown of its cottage food laws.
Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, where her beats include DIY and Green Transportation. She's an avid cyclist and has never met a vegetable she didn't like.
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