Cottage Food Laws are being passed across the US, with 32 states having some version of them signed into law. As you know, I have talked at length about those laws and what that can mean to those wanting to make money baking from home. I am always on the lookout for news about Cottage Bakers, and I recently read a great story about a home based baker in Texas.
Her name is Anna-Marie Williams and she has really done her homework. She is doing so many of the things I talk about here. She is not simply baking a batch of cookies and hoping to find some customers. She has truly started a business, and it is really impressive. So let’s take a look at what Anna-Marie is doing.
Cottage Law Business Building Blocks
Anna-Marie took an very important step in preparation to own a home based business. She started accessing if that type of business was a good fit for her and her family. She knew she liked to bake, liked to sell, and she liked working from home. Next she focused in and did her homework. She knew that she was not interested in baking something that has a lot of fat and sugar. She drew on her past. She had grown up in New York and biscotti was a favorite treat. It fit her bill, it is low in sugar and fat, people love it, and it is the perfect compliment to coffee, tea, and wine. Talk about a product that works in so many markets.
She has jumped into the task of getting the word out. She donates her biscotti to auctions and fund raisers. She has made and distributes business cards and learned early that paying for advertising is costly, and in the end, not all that effective. She is a wise business woman, and has decided that word or mouth is her best method of getting the word out.
She has not jumped right in and purchased commercial equipment, she is truly working in her home kitchen. She is going to build her business slowly and avoid debt. That in no way means she is not serious about her business. It is not just a hobby. She has found attractive packaging that certainly gives her products a professional appearance. She has had a logo developed and invested in professional labels that just take the labeling requirement to the next level. When you are dealing with food, you have to be aware that all packaging has to be food safe.
In addition to that, she has built a website that certainly puts a business face on her business. For sure you should take a look at her website.
Check out Anna-Maries Bakery
I have been in contact with Anna-Marie and she has graciously agreed to do some guest blogging here. I am really excited to give you the opportunity to hear directly from her about the stumbling blocks as well as what is working well for her.
I can tell you just from the conversations I have had with her so far, all of us have a job to do if we want this to work well for everyone. We all need to get the word out. Put information on your Facebook, Tweet it out far and wide, share links to my website, link to her website, tell everyone you know. We need to pull back the curtain and make Cottage baking an everyday term so that everyone gets comfortable about purchasing our products. We have our work cut out for us, but hey, if anyone had told me twelve years ago when I was struggling to add the licensed commercial kitchen to my home that Cottage Food Laws were on the horizon, I would never have believed it. I know we can do it if we all work together. If you have questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section.
I have not yet asked Anna-Marie this, but I am going to try and persuade her to do a webinar with me. Leaving a comment might help convince her.