Grow your cottage food business online

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.

Cottage License

Has your cooking ever been so good that people suggested you sell it to others? With the help of a cottage food license, you can start selling food from your home safely and responsibly!

If you're wondering what is a cottage license, it's a license that allows you to sell potentially non-hazardous foods from your kitchen. These include foods that don't have meat, baked goods without custards and fillings in them, and any foods that can be stored at room temperature without the risk of growing harmful bacteria.

A cottage food permit allows someone to sell these foods from the comfort of their home, and can be beneficial for those looking to start a food operation or business. If you're not looking to sell your items, are a non-profit, or have a lemonade stand, you might fall under a food operation that do not need permits. However, it's important to check with your local or state health department for more detailed information.

For those that do need a cottage license, you might be wondering how long does it take to get a cottage food license? That answer depends on how fast your cottage kitchen license application takes to process, if you submit all associated paperwork on time, and how long it takes you to complete other requirements.

For instance, you must obtain a Department of Health food processor course within 3 months of your permit, depending on your state. Some districts also only issue a cottage certificate if you've been a resident with them for a year or more. 

In short, it does take a couple of months to get your paperwork and application submitted, and even more time depending on the state or district you're looking to obtain your cottage license in.

How Much Does a Cottage License Cost?

Like with any business, there are start-up costs and fees associated with obtaining a cottage license. If you're wondering how much does a cottage food license cost, it all depends on the state or district you're living in, and their associated fees.

One of the biggest and most popular states that allow cottage food is California. The cottage license California cost varies depending on the county approving your license. For instance, a class A food permit California price in Los Angeles County is $118 for registration. In the same state, Orange County costs are quite different. The costs for a cottage food license Orange County has includes:

It's important to ask yourself do I need a cottage food license, but it's also important to know how much you'll have to pay for fees and start-up costs. If you're wondering how much does a cottage food license cost, check with your state and your local district or county health department for a breakdown of costs.

It's never a good idea to simply go without a license or not pay fees, as not having a cottage license while operating a food business can lead to hefty fines and legal trouble.

Cottage Food Law

As mentioned above, if you can't afford a cottage food license, it's best to simply save up enough money to pay for one. If you're wondering how to get around cottage food laws, that will depend on your state and how strict their cottage food law is. 

As of 2021, 49 states and the District of Columbia (better known as Washington D.C.) have some type of regulation when it comes to selling cottage food from your home. The only state that completely bans the sale of any food item regardless of it being potentially non-hazardous is New Jersey.

On the other hand, Wyoming has the most liberating food freedom laws, allowing the sale of virtually any food as long as it is made without meat. However, regardless of your state, there are hefty fines associated with selling food without a permit.

The fine for selling food without a permit Washington state has is $1,000 per day for the violation. In addition, even if you have a cottage food license already, you will still have to keep up with residential kitchen requirements, clean water, and safety requirements or risk your license being revoked and monetary fines.

Cottage Food Laws By State

Cottage food laws by state vary widely, as do associated costs and fees. Below is an overview of some of the most common laws in the following states.

Michigan

Michigan cottage food law states that only non-hazardous food that does not have to be temperature controlled to be preserved can be sold as a cottage food. In addition, Michigan cottage food laws 2021 make it possible for people to sell cottage food without an associated license, fees, or inspections. 

Illinois

Illinois cottage food law went into effect in 2012 and was amended in 2017. It is unique in that qualifying cottage foods must only be sold at local farmers markets and nowhere else.

New York

Cottage food laws NY has are similar to other states in that there are only a limited number of food items one can sell. However, it doesn't put a cap on how much food sales someone can make annually, which is great for business owners.

Minnesota

Laws for cottage food license MN has have changed in the past couple of years. In addition to increasing the annual sales cap to $78,000, people can also sell non-perishable food products without a license.

Florida

Florida cottage food law 2021 is pretty basic in regards to other cottage food laws. However, Florida has one of the highest annual caps on sales at 250,000 dollars annually!

Texas

According to Texas cottage food law shipping foods is prohibited and they can be sold directly to consumers. In addition, a Texas cottage food law certificate is not necessary for selling non-perishable goods to the public.

California

Cottage food license California laws vary per county. However, non-perishable foods are still the staple of cottage food laws.

The cottage food law California list of allowable foods includes:

There are different types of permits in California. A Class A permit California food application must be turned in to the county the resident is selling food in. Class A allows selling only directly to customers. A Class B food permit California issues allows sales to other licensed facilities and direct sales as well.

The fees vary according to the class of permit and county. For instance, the fees for a cottage license Riverside County Class A permit is $145, and $290 for a Class B.

Vending machines, businesses with foods in lobby like coffee and donuts, and non-profit food facilities are just some of the food operations that do not need permits in California, and this might be similar in your own state.

Wisconsin

The cottage food law Wisconsin had was recently amended in 2021 to include all non-perishable baked goods and canned foods, but no other foods. However, cottage food laws here have virtually no regulations on home bakers.

Connecticut

Starting a home-based food business in Connecticut is cheap compared to other states. Connecticut licenses and permits can be obtained by paying a $50 fee to the DCP. Connecticut cottage food laws state the home where food is being prepared must with local zoning laws, and, of course, selling only allowed non-hazardous food items.

Cottage food CT laws were only recently implemented, and are a change form traditional CT farm stand laws that only allowed farmers to sell certain foods from their stands, and not from their homes.

Massachusetts 

If you're wondering can you sell food from home Massachusetts, you can with a cottage license Massachusetts issues. Cottage food Massachusetts allows includes foods that can be safely stored at room temperature, such as jams and jellies and baked goods. The cottage food act Massachusetts has allows for these foods to be sold from a residential property. However, for those looking for a wholesale food license Massachusetts has separate laws.

In 2021, a new Boston cottage food law came into effect to allow home cooks to sell cottage food so long as they had training in food allergens and were ServSafe certified.

Washington

If you're looking at selling homemade food Washington state food laws have you covered. It's fairly simple to obtain a cottage license WA issues. This permit allows people to sell non-perishable foods such as jams, jellies, baked goods, and spices.

Although Washington state commercial kitchen requirements do not apply for residential cottage food, there are still some requirements, such as submitting a floor plan, a list of equipment and sanitation descriptions, and a sales plan along with your application.

The cottage food law in Washington applies for virtually every district. As such, the cottage food law Seattle has would be the same as existing cottage food laws in Washington, including a cap of $25,000 annually on sales.

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