Odessa Dow Laboratory, 1923, Courtesy of Shorpy

Good news, everyone!  After waiting on pins and needles for a few weeks, on Friday, with a stroke of a pen, the Governor made the Cottage or Homemade Food Act official.  It’s now LEGAL to sell jams, baked goods, etc., from our HOME kitchens.

This law eliminates many of the barriers for small producers and is the building block to a truly local food movement.  Means we can bake our cakes and sell them, too! This is a huge step for homesteaders and a local food and cottage economy.

How sweet it is!

From the LA Times

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will allow Californians to make certain foods and baked goods at home and then sell them to stores, restaurants and directly to consumers.

On Friday, Brown signed AB 1616, which supporters say will create a lucrative cottage food industry in the state and serve as an alternative source of income for residents.

Now, wannabe entrepreneuers can skip the expensive step of leasing certified commercial kitchens before selling their home-prepared confections. The list of approved products include “non-potentially hazardous food” such as bread, fruit pies, jams, honey, dried nuts and other goods that don’t involve cream or meat ingredients.

Read full article

Nutty Fig has a great write up on

How to Start a Food Business in California With the Cottage Food Law

Why this great law got passed

Across the U.S., states are recognizing that the high cost of starting a food business as well as inaccessibility to kitchens complying with the laws are preventing many a micro-entrepreneur from getting started on a budget or running a small food business to supplement their income.

Read full article

Now we can do something will all those extra zucchinis growing in the garden!  What does this mean for you, will you now start your own home business because of this new law?

 :: Resources  ::

Cottage Food Law Bill Language

Cottage Food Laws in other States



  1. Natalie, the Chickenblogger says:

    Celebrating all weekend!
    We were certainly thinking of you
    when we heard the news.

  2. G. says:

    Great! Unfortunately, I highly doubt it will happen here (in my state), where almost everything is illegal, a sad truth. Then again, ya never know.

  3. Heather says:

    Yay! I have been working on some delicious low-sugar baked goods but have been limited because I do not have the funds to rent a commercial kitchen. This will open up some huge opportunities for me.

  4. Ruth says:

    I wish Hawaii was progressive as California. For many, because of their pride in their reputation and products, home kitchens are much cleaner and sanitary than so called commercial institutions. The generational and ethnic handed down recipes cannot be duplicated by mass production and there is nothng like meeting the actual grower and chef at farmer’s markets when you are buying artisan goods. Because we are smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it speaks volumes as to food security. We need more of this legislation across our nation and especially in our island state.

  5. David the Good says:

    That is excellent news. Here in FL we got our own law along these lines last year. I find it very disturbing that our food supply is so heavily regulated by government on behalf of large corporations… I pray the laws keep loosening so I wouldn’t have to worry about jail time if I sold goat milk to a neighbor.

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