Update as of 8 PM June 27

The CA Homemade Food Act just passed unanimously out of the Senate Health Committee!

What does this mean?  Means that we have the RIGHT to sell jams & baked goods without a certified kitchen.

Latest media coverage

KABC News: Bill would turn homemade food into legal industry

KCET: California’s Cottage Food

According to Sustainable Economic Law Center

“There are 32 US states that allow the sale of homemade, non-potentially hazardous food and several states with grassroots efforts underway to implement similar laws. Click here to download an overview of cottage food laws in other states.”

What is a “Cottage Food Law” and why should homesteaders be interested?

Cottage food laws, sometimes referred to as “baker’s bills,” are laws that allow people to make certain foods in their own home kitchen and then sell them on a small scale, typically directly to consumers and at farmer’s markets. Cottage food laws allow individuals who are interested in starting their own food business get started developing a customer base and raising some of the money required to further develop their business. Removing the significant financial and logistical barrier of having a commercial kitchen makes starting one’s own food business more accessible and more feasible for a greater number of people. It also gives consumers more access to a greater variety of home-cooked, artisan and other unique foods at their farmers’ market or right in their neighborhood.

Cottage Food Laws typically allow only foods that are often classified as “non-potentially hazardous foods” in state and federal laws. While the specific foods that are allowed or not allowed in each state vary somewhat, this list below includes most foods that are allowed under cottage food laws in at least some states:

o baked goods (but with no cream, custard or meat fillings)

o jams and jellies and other preserves with a pH of 4.6 or less

o granola and other dry cereal

o popcorn

o waffle cones and pizzelles

o nut mixes

o chocolate covered non-perishables (such as nuts and dried fruit) and other candy

o roasted coffee

o dry baking mixes

o herb blends

o dried tea

o dried fruit

o honey

Courtesy: Cottage Food Law – supporters of AB 1616, the California Homemade Food Act


Home Chef Revival: CA Prepares to Legalize Homemade Food

Free Jam: Time to End CA’s Law Against Selling Homemade Food

Cottage Food Law Update in other States

Homebased Baking Cottage Food Laws



  1. Nebraska Dave says:

    Anais, in the list of 32 states with Cottage Food Laws, Nebraska was not on the list. I’m not sure about what that means because we have farmer’s markets that sell all kinds of foods. However, I must say that it’s mostly unprocessed food fresh from the gardens. I have seen breads and jellies. I don’t think that in Nebraska farmer’s market means organic or even locally grown. There’s no way that we here can have tomatoes grown locally yet but they are already in the roadside stands. I suspect they truck them in from Missouri or Colorado.

    I hope things work out favorable for the front porch stand. Have a great Californian day. Heat index here 110 degrees today.

  2. elaine nieves says:

    Glad that you are back and keeping us informed of the goings on at the homestead. It’s great that you got an Energy Start refrigerater donated to your family. That will help you expand your front porch business I guess. It also looks like you have been canning and making preserves by the above photo. Can you give us any recipes for some of those lovely preserves? Yum! Stay cool as you can with this hot weather.

  3. Victoria says:

    Excellent news! Where does it go from here?

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      Senate Appropriations committee and then full Senate vote… then off to the governor for signing

      • Victoria says:

        Sounds like we are getting close. I wonder how soon after the governor signs it that we can start selling? I am so anxious for this to pass.

  4. Backdoor Kitchen says:

    Congratulations! It’s such a cost effective way to sell your baked goods and other prepared food items without the hefty overhead cost. Years ago, I had my kitchen “registered” here in PA as a “home food processor”.

    Just some tips for PA folks would be to make yourself very familiar with your state’s food codes, and guidelines, so that when the inspector shows up you will not be caught off guard. Through research I have learned that there are approved ways I can sanitize and clean without using chemicals. Ways I can use cloth towels appropriately, instead of wasting paper towels. Of course you don’t need all the big equipment, like a ventilation hood if you have a screened window or screened door, and they aren’t expecting you to have everything stainless steel, or have tiled floors-unless you plan on catering or selling other types of food.

    Good Luck with all your endeavors!

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