I’ve been getting a few emails from folks asking about updates on the Cottage Food Bill that has gone into effect the first of the year.

Here’s a recent article from Business Week

California’s Newest Business Craze: Homemade Food

Granola makers, homemade vinegar producers, and other foodies in California have cause to rejoice today. As of Jan. 1, a new state law allows people who make food at home to sell it to restaurants and grocery stores.

Leave it to California to upend decades of public health consensus that food businesses need commercial licenses to ensure their food is safe and free of harmful contaminants. The California Homemade Food Act creates a new category of food production called a “cottage food operation.”

Read full article


It took awhile, but the City of Pasadena is ready to take applications along with a  “temporary fee” (waiting approval from City Council)


1. Home Occupation License
2. Apply for class A or B

Class A no kitchen inspection for those who sell directly to consumer at an event , farmers market or at your home.  Fee right now is $65/yr as an arrangement with LA county fees

Class B requires kitchen inspection sell to restaurants or other businesses.  Fee $129/yr

(we’ve gone an extra step further and have taken the CA Food Handlers course)

:: Resources ::

Cottage Food Operations

Cottage Food Law

Creating Your California Cottage Food Business – helpful city to city links

Cottage Food Law Update  State by State


Show of hands, how many of you have gotten your Cottage Food permit?


  1. c says:

    So does you new law only allow for value added items or could fresh fruits and veggies also be included?

  2. Victoria says:

    Hello! I haven’t gotten mine as of yet, but I am thinking about it. I live in an unincorporated area of Riverside County and as per usual, they make everything more difficult and more expensive than it needs to be. Our Class A license will cost $72.50 and a Class B will cost $290 per year. Ouch, that is a lot. So we have to crunch some numbers to see which way would be better for us to go. We have shops that would sell our items, but I am having difficulty finding canning jars for a reasonable wholesale price. So selling to shops may not be feasible. Plus we now have to buy a business license from the county, plus one from each city we sell in. This adds up to a lot of money.

    On a side note though, I am wondering about the teas you hold and how you have gotten by without the cottage food bill permits up until now. I am very interested in doing something like this in my home as I play the harp and live in a 1946 cottage. I have loads of ideas for a venture like this, but don’t know how to go about it. Your teas look wonderful and I was curious how you were doing them. I am worried about zoning and so forth as well. I am zoned commercial, but that wont keep people from calling code enforcement on me. Perhaps having people in for tea is no different than having a private party? Anyway, I would appreciate any info you can give me on the teas. Thanks.

  3. Girl Money says:

    “Leave it to California to upend decades of public health consensus that food businesses need commercial licenses to ensure their food is safe and free of harmful contaminants.”

    Ahem… nice try. Now, let’s focus for a minute.

    The above statement would infer that the (expensive) commercial license ensures food is safe and free of harmful contaminants. Was this written by someone already possessing such a license? Might they be feeling a bit threatened? A bit miffed because someone with superior offerings now has access to their clientele?

    I’ve got some absolutely shocking news for you… I’ve personally worked at two establishments possessing such a license, with health inspection grades of “A” proudly displayed on their walls. After seeing their kitchens on a non-inspection day, I ate AT HOME. My hubby installed fire systems in expensive restaurants all over a metropolitan area which shall remain anonymous, and we knew which ones to avoid — and there were many. A food service company supplying the restaurants where I worked would deliver items that obviously had been used as a restroom in their warehouse by something with big ears, whiskers and a long tail.

    Carry on, cottage food pioneers… you’re not only making scrumptious treats, you’re making waves in a formerly very exclusive pond. Rejoice when you get splashed!

  4. Anya says:

    I live in unincorporated Riverside county, the level of testing I’m having to have done is properly making me a wee bit nuts. I have a private well and you can no longer simply pay the county to have water tests run, frequency of testing required is every 3 months, and the guidelines for the “approved” testing is equating for me to $300 a month, regardless of reverse osmosis an UV filters. My water as a result will always be cleaner than city water, yet someone in the city doesn’t have to be tested….. I do wonder how they are so sure the water in the city stays clean in old, rupturing municipal pipes and homes…. those with a simple swivel faucet have a higher chance of contamination than my water does. The rules still need a lot of work. Regardless of that issue I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog.

    I just began my quest for a cottage foods business last month. Its nice that there is finally a way to get a foot in the food production door without an unobtainable loan or massive investment I can’t afford. I moved out of the city to do what you’re doing since I was in the market to purchase a home anyway, and was urban farming a rental with a rather grumpy landlord. Thanks for being so inspiring, if you can do what you’re doing there, my 5 acre project homestead and bakery should honestly be easy.

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