Is Food Made in a Cottage Law Home Kitchen Safe?

Grandma holding a cakeThere seems to be a misconception about the safety of food made on a home kitchen under the Cottage Food Laws. I want to demonstrate the scrutiny that many states use in issuing the permits for the home bakers. I just went and took a look at the requirements for a permit to bake under the Cottage Food Laws recently passed in the state of Washington. I can honestly tell you that the oversight of those bakers surpasses what is required of many other food establishments around the country. Don’t believe me, well, let’s take a closer look at the permit application.

The Application Packet

The cover page for the application packet for a cottage food law permit in the state of Washington gives the reason the state passed these laws.

 

The Cottage Food law recognizes the fact that many small, value-added food processors do not have ready or affordable access to commercial kitchens that are licensed for food processing, and that the home kitchen can be an affordable alternative to leasing a certified commercial kitchen.

Many other states are on the same page as the cottage food laws sweep the country. Here is a look at some of the information needed to actually get a permit in Washington. [Read more…]

Cottage Food Laws Require Certification in Some States

Cottage food laws have been criticized because there is the perception that the food  might be unsafe.  Many states require training or certification. I just saw a notice for cottage bakers in Colorado. There is an all day training coming up. Here is the notice I found:

The Colorado Cottage Foods Act does require the producers to be certified in safe food handling and processing. An approved certification class is the ServSafe Managers’ Training offered in northeast Colorado by Colorado State University Extension and Northeast Colorado Health Department.

A ServSafe Managers’ Training is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 17, at the Fairgrounds Community Building in Yuma. It begins with registration at 7:45 a.m. The day-long training concludes with the certification exam from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The certification is good for five years.

The training covers safe food sources, personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing, and food temperature controls. Training cost is $95 if paid by Aug. 20 and includes a ServSafe manual, lunch, breaks, and the certification exam. After Aug. 20, registration is $120.

Individuals need to register as soon as possible so they can receive the ServSafe manual and read it before the class. For additional information about this new law or to register for the Sept. 17 training, call Yuma County Extension at (970) 332-4151 or Morgan County Extension at (970) 542-3544.

If you are from Colorado and had not seen that notice, you should get in on the early registration.That however is not really the point of this blog. When I had my catering company, my [Read more…]

How to Start a Business

Make MoneyStarting a business is on the minds of literally over a million people. Don’t believe me – check for yourself. I just did the research and discovered that last month alone 1,500,000 searched for information on how to start a business. If you have been reading my blog, you know I frequently talk about that here. Today I want to talk about the reality of starting a small business. The word to pay attention to in that sentence is “starting”. So let me be clear, this does not apply to taking over a successful business, that is totally different.

By definition, begin is the term used to explain start. Begin is defined as “to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action”. Let’s take a look at that. When you are at the beginning and planning part of anything, most of us see a best case scenario. After all, who wants to go to all the trouble starting a business with disappointing returns.

The reality of it is that in the first year, you are at the earliest part of your business. Very few business are over night successes. It simply takes time to build a successful business. There is [Read more…]

How to Sell Baked Goods Under Cottage Food Laws

How to sell the baked goods you make at home is a question on a lot of peoples mind. Cottage Food Laws open the door to making money baking at home, but that is just the beginning. There are obstacles for every business, and one of the biggest challenges is how to sell your product. If you are operating under the cottage food laws, you probably are not going to have a designated sales person. Face it, in the beginning, just like any small business you get to wear all the hats.

I introduced you to Anna-Marie in my last post. She mentioned is that one of the hurtles she has [Read more…]

Cottage Food Law Baker Doing What It Takes

Anna-MarieWilliamsCottage 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 [Read more…]

Dessert Recipes for Every Occassion

dessert recipesDo cookbooks shout out to you? If you are like me, those tantalizing pictures are irresistible. A long time ago  I realized I was becoming much like  my mother. She always read recipe books.  I have to admit at a younger age I thought that would be so boring. Little did I know that while I was wasting my time reading mysteries, she was stocking her recipe box with delightful things to make. I did  not connect the dots that all the good things that came out of her kitchen were a direct result of the time she spent with her recipe books.If you can identify with that, check out this book.

It is called “Wild Sugar Desserts” by Skye Craig and Lyndell Miller. As I was reading through this book, not only did I fall in love with the pictures of the desserts and  all the recipes, but with the personality of it’s authors. Just as sugar is a main ingredient in some of the dessets, Skye and Lyndell’s passion for baking is infused throughout the entire book, cover to cover.  For example, on the back cover, this quote [Read more…]

Cottage Food Law Bakers Can Learn Lessons From Food Truck Vendors

Baking for profit can be challenging. One if the things that can affect your bottom line is the ability to predict how much product you will be able to sell in any given day. I have to tell you that in the beginning, it is trial and error. That means there may be product that you will not be able to sell.

Accepting that there is a learning curve will make your life easier. Planning what to do with that product should just be part of your business plan. Many of the food trucks have arrangements set up with churches, food pantries, and food kitchens that feed the poor and homeless. It is a win win situation. Truth be told, you will receive more than you give for sure. Just do your homework and set up your donation channel from the beginning.

Things you should include in your business plan

This may sound like way more than you need, but I have told you all along that if you are going to start a business, no matter how [Read more…]

A Food Truck is a Rising New Trend

Food TruckHave you heard of the food truck industry? If you live in a city, you probably have seen them, they are often on many corners at lunch time. Food trucks are estimated to be three million strong and growing rapidly. It has the attention of companies large and small. Not only are the food trucks providing breakfast, lunch, dinner and more to employees, companies are seeing the advantage of providing products that the food trucks need as well. Apple has come up with an app for their iPad to facilitate payment processing. Cities all over the country are approving ordinances to meet the demand. They realize that more business means more income generation for the city. Entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity because of the relatively low cost of entry into the food business market and the flexibility it offers.

So why is this such a big deal, and what may it have to do with any of us? I was just doing a little brainstorming. [Read more…]

Add WordPress to Baking and Get A Recipe for Success

RecipeIf WordPress is a foreign term to you, this is your lucky day. Last time, I told you that part of setting up an efficient sales and marketing channel was going to require an online presence. You may have heard others say that you don’t really have to bother, you can set up a Facebook Fan Page or a  Pinterest board and be good to go. To be sure those are valuable tools, but at the end of the day, you don’t have control over those accounts, they could be shut down at any time for any reason and you have no recourse. Do you really want someone else to have that much control over the business you work so hard to build?

There are other blogging platforms available, but WordPress is by far the fastest growing website tool around. It powers over 65,000,000 websites as of Dec 2011. The best part is it is free! That is not to say there is not any cost involved, but it can be very minimal. You want to build your site using WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. There are a lot of reasons, but the main reason is that you can actually do business using the .org version.

With WordPress, all the programing language is already done for you. There are things called themes that make your site look the way you want. Lots are free, and there are also “premium” themes that offer more features for a fee. Themes can be changed, so your decision does not tie you to that theme forever after. There are also plugins that can add so many functions to your site, many are free, you just click to download.

Five compelling reasons you need a website

To be honest, there are more reasons you need a website, but five just sounded like a good number.

  1. It gives credibility to your business
  2. It allows you to reach a lot of people
  3. You can make money
  4. You can establish your expertise
  5. You can showcase your products
  6. It makes it easy for people to get in touch with you
  7. People get to know you

Okay, I got a little carried away, but you have to admit, all those are important reasons. When you are running a small business, especially if it is home based, getting people to respect your credibility is tough. If they walk into your storefront, there is no doubt [Read more…]

Make Money Baking at Home Thanks to Cottage Food Laws

I am going to make this post an introduction to my site. If you have been here before, the latest information is right under this post. I want to give my new visitors an overview of what I am doing here. If you are new, Welcome, please spend some time looking around. If you want specific information, simply use the search box to the right of this post.

Cottage food laws have opened the door for you to start your baking business. Today is a dream come true for many bakers around the country who have yearned for the opportunity to make money at home baking. Unfortunately, simply baking well is not the only ingredient to building a successful business. If you have spent any time at all here, you know I have talked about taking the steps to set up your business.

That link is just one of many articles I have written about running a business. After you set up your business, then you have to start getting the word out. Social Media makes it affordable for all of us to spread the word that we are open for business. If you are working from home, it is a challenge to make others aware that your specialty items are now readily available to the world. Are your pies always requested for the church pot lucks? Does everyone at the office hint that your cookies are the perfect addition to any office party? Selling your products is critical to any business.

You see, those links are articles here on my site that give you really critical information if you are thinking of starting a business. I invite you to spend some time just looking at things already here to help you start your business. I am also going to encourage you to follow the information on how to build your website. It might seem funny that a website that talks about how to make money baking would cover using WordPress. I have to tell you that the purpose of my site is about how to make money from home [Read more…]