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Cottage Food Laws California

Did you know that home-based food entrepreneurs are sometimes called “cottage cooks?” It’s true, and there are all kinds of cottage cooks making artisan products right in their own homes, especially in California. Look out for foods that make your tastebuds sing! Besides crafting unique goods, there is a serious side of the business in starting out as a cottage cook that you need to be aware of, before starting a home-based enterprise. It’s all about laws and permits.

There are certain laws that you need to follow when starting your own food business in California. You may be asking yourself, “what permits do I need to sell food in California?” In finding out about these laws, the goal is to be able to learn how to sell food from home legally. The last thing you want to do is put together artisan home-cooked goods that you can’t even sell because you don’t have the right home bakery license California. Let’s explore the cottage food laws California, so that you can start your own business in many aspects of tasty foods. That includes anything from baking to pickling and cooking, or just about anything you want to sell food-wise.

The California Homemade Food Act

The laws surrounding cottage cooks came into being in 2013, when Governor Brown signed a law into place that stipulated the rules about selling foods from home. The California Homemade Food Act allowed certain types of “cottage foods” to be made and sold out of people’s houses. They called someone who did this to be considered a Cottage Food Operator (CFO). The goal of the law is to make sure people are following all the laws and regulations set forth by the local Health Department in the state, and in places like selling food from home Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, or in many other smaller towns.

The kitchen of each home cook needs to be the central location for prepping, packaging, and handling of foods. All of the kitchen equipment needs to be in one place with other rooms in the home only being used for storage purposes.

A List of State-Approved Foods

There is also a specific list of approved foods that people can make as a Cottage Food Operator. This cottage food laws California list includes things like baked goods, candy, dried or freeze-dried fruits, frosting without eggs, honey, nut butters, and vinegars. The goal of specifying certain foods is that these are the ones least likely to grow bacteria and toxins. The California Department of Health is the one responsible for coming up with this list each year.

Two Types of Cottage Food Operators

Class A and Class B are the two types of Cottage Food Operators. Class A can sell directly to the consumer, but can market their goods at bake sales, farm stands, festivals, or farmers markets. They will need a Class A cottage food permit California to operate legally.

Class B requires a Class B cottage food permit to sell not only directly to the public, but can also put their foods in a variety of places, such as grocery stores, specialty shops, and food trucks. It’s a slight difference, but does require to be registered as one or the other with the Health Department.

Help Your Food Business Grow

Once you figure out how to register your business with all the proper permits as a Cottage Food Operator, it’s time to set up your website. One way to help with the process of selling, keeping track of inventories, and building your business is with Cottage Cook Software from Castiron. We’re a free service to sign up for that can truly launch your home-based food business with ease. Having a strong digital presence is a must-have for any type of business in this industry. Castiron will help you stand out from an oversaturated marketplace by making you more appealing to consumers. It will help you run your brand better, since it allows you to show off your products, connect with customers, and manage the sales you have.

Build a Custom, Unique Shopping Website

Don’t worry if your skills are better put to use in the kitchen than on the computer. All of our software is intuitive and easy to use. If you’ve been on social media, you can set up a Castiron system for your cottage food brand. Grab your part of the local food industry in California that’s bringing in billions of dollars each year. The great news is that Castiron will get you on the road to having your dream cottage food business.

If you have any questions about how to sign up and use our Castiron software, send us a message today. We’re more than happy for our team to answer any questions or concerns that you may have before you get started.

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