Open an online store for your cottage food business

Castiron is a software platform purpose-built to help independent food artisans start, build, and grow their businesses.

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Castiron is 100% free for artisans to use. We know how important a professional digital presence is, which is why our platform is free forever. And because we know you’re wondering, we make money when you make money, applying a small transaction fee that’s paid at checkout.

What we do for you

We’ve tailored Castiron to fit the needs of kitchen-based creators who are selling their products to family, friends, and followers through word-of-mouth and social media. After a super fast setup (if you can create a social media profile, you can set up a Castiron shop!), you’ll have a single place to sell, manage orders, and communicate with customers.

Build a Customized Shop

No code required. Add products, upload your logo, share your story, and link to your social profiles from your flexible store.

Make Buying Painless

Never track down a payment or oversell products again. Real-time inventory tracking and secure payment processing make life easier for you and your customers.

Promote Without the Effort

With our magical marketing tools, email and social media marketing are on autopilot. We make it easy to promote your latest products and deals.

Best Selling Cottage Foods

If you're a homemade food artisan, handcrafted culinary chef, or simply a good cook with a great idea for a home-based food service business, then you'll want to know the basics of cottage food laws and just what types of foods can be sold directly from home to consumer.

What are cottage foods?

Cottage industries date back to the early 1800s, before the large scale production of food and consumer goods existed. Items were handcrafted and foods were grown, slaughtered, and/or cooked and sold by local community members.

Today, best selling cottage foods are those food products and dishes that are prepared in someone's home or other non-commercial kitchen location and sold directly to the consumer. Cottage foods are sold from homes, roadside stands, farmer's markets, food trucks, kiosks, fairs, and other such places.

Cottage food laws basics

Cottage food laws by state will and each state has different agencies to make sure cottage food laws are followed to protect the health and safety of the general public. These state agencies include the Department of Agriculture, Departments of Health and Human Services, and local and state business regulatory agencies.

No matter the state you live in, you should become very familiar with how to obtain a cottage food license and a business permit. You will also want to know if your state requires any training or certification in food safety and if there is a requirement to have your home kitchen inspected by the health department.

The cottage food laws by state were put into effect to clarify which foods are safe for preparation and distribution from a non-commercial kitchen, and from which locations cottage foods cannot be sold - such as restaurants and stores.

List of Cottage Foods

The fun part about starting a home-based food service is selecting which cottage foods you will decide to prepare and sell. There is a wide range of low-risk foods that you can cook, bake, smoke, pickle, can, dehydrate, or candied.

Some of the best selling cottage foods are baked goods such as cakes, cookies, pies, and breads. But today, many people have artisan sauces and spreads that can also be safely prepared and sold. Here is a list of cottage foods published by the state of Georgia that are commonly deemed safe for sale from a residential kitchen in most states:

Even more important than what you can sell as a cottage food, is what food items you cannot sell. These include high-risk foods that have the capacity to spoil, decay, or cause food-borne illness if not stored at specific temperatures.

If any of your recipes contain a banned cottage food product, then consider making substitutions to prevent passing foodborne illnesses to the public.

Selling Homemade Food Online

When cooking your foods in a residential kitchen, you'll need to know how to sell food from home legally. For example, what are the requirements for advertising and/or selling homemade food online? LIke any other enterprise worth starting, you will need to do your homework to find out do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in your state.

For certain, you will want to be well organized and let the public know about your business by publishing a cottage food website that describes your food selections, pricing, and any food pick-up or delivery options. While you can certainly post flyers, door hangers, and other advertisements locally, right within your neighborhood, don't stop there.

Almost everyone today finds out about a new business in their community by doing an internet search. You should have a cottage food website built on e-commerce software specifically designed for organizing a cottage food business. This makes it so you can easily and quickly handle the business side of your new launch, so you can focus on preparing and selling your foods.

For example, Castiron is a mobile platform that supports a community of home-based food operators. It contains everything you need to build and grow your home kitchen business. Not only can you easily create your online store to sell homemade foods, it has tools for keeping up with your kitchen inventory, making and tracking sales and deliveries, and important marketing tools to let the world know that you are up and running as a bonafide residential-based kitchen operation.

It is so essential for home chefs to be a part of this larger community, where tips for success are shared - such as how to photograph and post your foods, how to launch a food business, and how to sell food on e-commerce websites like Facebook Marketplace and the Amazon Grocery & Gourmet Food category.

To get all the website tools you need to successfully launch your home-based food business, visit Castiron to launch your culinary business today!

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