Home-Based Food Businesses Thrive in California

| 9/2/2016 10:07:00 AM

Tiffanys Kitchen display at a California farmers market

Whether your food product is gluten free, loaf of bread made with organic wheat, or chocolate carefully crafted with organic cacao, more culinary entrepreneurs than ever before are launching their food product business from their home kitchens thanks to their state’s “cottage food law.” Forrager.com offers an easy-to-grasp snapshot of the movement, capturing both the laws passed and number of enterprises popping up across the United States.

As I wrote about in earlier posts about the opportunities possible with cottage food laws on the books in nearly every state in the country, depending on where you live, you might just be a farmers’ market away from testing out that recipe your friends or family say is the “best they’ve ever tasted.”

Farmers’ markets, as it turns out, are one of the primary direct-to-your-customer sales venues approved in every state and for good reason. You’ll learn quickly if you have a food product with wide market appeal.

This explosion of interest in launching food product enterprises from home kitchens is especially true in California, thanks, in part, to their unique two-tier cottage food law. During our recent visit to San Diego, we didn’t have to search very hard at the many farmers’ markets for thriving cottage food operators.

Officially called the California Homemade Food Act, California’s cottage food law is among the more progressive in the country in terms of encouraging entrepreneurs to get their business going. As explained previously, the cottage food laws only pertain to “non-potentially hazardous” food products. Currently, a “Class A” cottage food operation in California can only sell directly to consumers, but it has minimal regulations (completing a registration and self-certification checklist, plus food processor course) and no home kitchen inspection.

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