For Sale: Homemade Products from the Homestead


Inn Serendipity's Cottage Food Products 

Finally, the freedom to earn from our home kitchens.

In 42 states (and counting), home cooks can now sell to their neighbors and community certain "non-hazardous" food products made in their home kitchen, often with very few regulations or governmental entanglements. Chalk it up to the Great Recession, but states from coast to coast have loosened up their laws over the last five years and passed what are known as cottage food laws that allow homeowners to sell to the public either low moisture foods, like breads and cookies, and/or high acid food products, like jams, jellies and pickles. For homesteaders who are already lining the shelves of their root cellar with jams, preserves, pickles and salsa, the cottage food laws make it relatively easy to generate another revenue stream from your produce and diversify your operation. If you operate a farm in Canada, many provinces also allow certain non-hazardous food products made in a farmhouse kitchen to be sold at farmers' markets.

We delve into the details on these laws in our new book, Homemade For Sale, the first authoritative guide to launching a food business from your home kitchen. The book's website has lots of resources and helpful links to get you started and even includes a press release template.  While you should review the latest definitive legal requirements for your state, in our book we devote many pages to the marketing of your product and getting set up as a business, including how to manage your finances and the risk associated with selling food products.   Not all states' cottage food laws are the same and by definition, cottage food laws are a state-by-state issue.  A great source for information on your state's laws and cottage food operators throughout the country is Forrager.

Every cottage food law will address, in some way, four basic questions:

What products can you sell?

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