Make Money Baking at Home Thanks to Cottage Food Laws

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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…]

Title: Baking Your Way to Success: The Art of Packaging and Labeling under Cottage Food Laws

Picture this: you’ve spent hours kneading, mixing, and baking, and now your home kitchen is a goldmine of scrumptious treats. You’re the Picasso of pastries, the Shakespeare of scones, but there’s one final frontier to conquer before your masterpieces can grace the shelves of local markets – packaging and labeling under cottage food laws. Fear not, for I am your trusty guide on this journey to culinary compliance.


1. It’s a Wrap: The Beauty of Proper Packaging

Like a knight donning his shining armor, your baked goods need a protective barrier to face the world. Under cottage food laws, packaging should be clean, sturdy, and impermeable. Think of it as a fortress for your delicious delights, guarding against contaminants and preserving freshness. Whether you’re using plastic clamshells or cellophane bags, make sure they’re as reliable as a valiant steed.

2. The Art of Labeling: A Tale of Information and Allure

Labeling your home-baked products is where the magic truly lies. It’s where you can weave a story that whisks customers away to a land of indulgence. But remember, even the most enchanting tales must adhere to the rules of the realm. Your label needs to include:

– The name of your product (let your creativity soar like a phoenix, but be clear and concise)
– The ingredients (a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to the source)
– The weight or quantity (a measure of your boundless generosity)
– Your name and address (the humble abode of the creator)
– A disclaimer stating that the product was made in a home kitchen (an honest proclamation to your loyal subjects)

3. Allergen Alerts: Guardian Angels of the Ingredient Kingdom

In the land of culinary delights, allergens can be mischievous tricksters. Unmask them by clearly listing common allergens (such as nuts, dairy, and gluten) on your label. By doing so, you’ll provide a beacon of safety to those navigating the treacherous waters of food allergies.

4. Sealing Your Fate: The Royal Decree of Compliance

Once you’ve adorned your creations with captivating labels and sturdy armor, it’s time to ensure they meet the requirements of your kingdom’s cottage food laws. Reach out to your local health department or regulatory agency for guidance and approval. With their blessing, you’ll be ready to unleash your culinary masterpieces upon the world.


In the realm of home baking, packaging and labeling are the gatekeepers to success. By following cottage food laws and embracing the art of storytelling, you’ll transform your scrumptious creations into a symphony of compliance and allure. Now, go forth and conquer the world, one tantalizing treat at a time!

Quincy Michigan Has a Real Live Super Hero.

Cottage food laws have helped many families generate the income they need for their families. These businesses are often started by entrepreneurs who have a passion to own and run their own business. The laws that have made it possible to sell products baked at home have been a game changer.

But for one husband and wife team in Michigan, they coupled their love of baking with their passion to help other people. Meet Lisa and Jim Tubergan. They own a small cottage food business called “The Shed”. I have told you about many other cottage food bakers, but what is different about Lisa and Jim is the fact that helping others is the primary focus of their business.

The menu at the Shed

This menu board tells the story. When Lisa hears of a family or community need, she takes action. She posts it on their Facebook page to let the community know that they will take orders for their delicious baked goods that are in high demand. Then, they donate all the proceeds to pay for the need. [Read more…]

Cottage Food Law Bakers Turn to Instagram and Find Success

Open for businessIt is not quite enough to be a really good baker to make money doing it., The fact is no matter what your talent or skill is, it probably won’t bring in money if no one knows about it. You have to find a way to get the word out that you are “open for business”. For many folks, myself included, marketing what we do is the hardest part. I think in some way some of us feel like we are bragging, but hey,  look at it this way, if you are gifted with a talent, it is your responsibility to share it and in order to do that, you have to get the word out!

That is what is known as marketing. In the good old days that would require expensive advertising, you know, late night tv ads, yellow pages ads etc. (I realize many of you might not even know what yellow pages are, after all, it was ages ago when we bought one.) Anyway, the great news is that now, social media is the game changer. [Read more…]

Not a Baker? Cottage Food Laws Open the Door for Other Products from Your Kitchen to Grow Your Bank Account.

I have talked a lot about baking for money, but there are other products that will help you raise some dough under cottage food laws. Of course it depends on which state you live in, but allowable products go beyond baked goods that don’t require refrigeration.

If you don’t have your grandma’s famous cookie or cake recipe, no worries, there are plenty of other products to choose from. For example, you might consider one of these: dry goods like baking mixes, soup mixes, dried herbs, coffee, tea, spices seasonings, pasta, or cereal.

But wait, there is more: granola, popcorn, trail mixes, pretzels, dried fruit, Homemade Salsahealth bars, nuts/seeds, crackers. Maybe pastries are your specialty,  fruit pies, fruit tarts, fruit empanadas, or cones.

If none of the above falls in your niche, how about jams, jellies, fruit butters, marmalades, pickles or salsa? As you can see, as the cottage food laws (or even better the food freedom laws) expand, there are more opportunities opening up all the time, you just need to keep in touch with your states laws as they evolve. 

Stay tuned and check back soon. I am going to tell you about some success stories of people who are doing well selling healthy delicious home made  family favorites.


How to Get Orders for Your Home Baked Products Made Under Cottage Food Laws

One of the major stumbling blocks many people have is how and where do I sell my baked goods. For home bakers cottage food laws have opened up doors paving the way for people to make money baking at home. It is a huge breakthrough for people who have dreamed of being able to make money from home doing something they love.

Cheers have gone up throughout the country as almost all of the individual BakeryOpenstates have passed cottage food laws. But, and there always seems to be a “but” that lurks in the shadows, for many, although they are now legally able to sell their baked goods from home, have hit a wall at how to get the word out that they are open for business. There is good news , it is not as hard as it used to be to let people know you are ready and willing to make delicious baked goods for them.  You are now a click away from a sale if you set it up correctly.

Meet Megan

Megan Smith is an entrepreneur who has opened a bakery under the cottage food laws in her state. She loves to bake, and grew up learning how to make delicious baked goods from scratch. When the expansion of the laws made it feasible, she quit her retail job and got to work launching her new business, the “French Creek Cakery” [Read more…]

Does Your State Need Cookie Police?

That is a question that some states are debating. Although states have passed cottage food laws, many still have income caps in place. Mississippi has a $20,000 cap, the third lowest of states with caps. That limit is crippling to cottage food entrepreneurs.

The common arguments include that public health needs protection. No one
disagrees with that premise, however there is no evidence since the inception of cottage food laws that anyone has been made ill by foods sold legally under those laws.

Socia media

In the age of technology, the reality is businesses that do a bad job usually don’t survive. If a home baker has a great product partnered with equally good service, the word will spread and so will their income. Conversely , producing a bad product or service the word will spread and the demise of that business is inevitable.

[Read more…]

Are Farmers Markets Great Venues for Cottage Food Bakers?

It depends, how’s that for a helpful answer? The real answer is like everything in business, you have to do your due diligence. Before we go any farther, I have to say this: cottage food businesses are real businesses, and need to run like one. Sorry for my “soapbox” comment, but if you are going to generate the income you want, you need a plan. In order to generate a plan, you need to know details.

Okay, so if you have read anything about cottage food laws, you probably have seen that many states allow sales at Farmers Markets. The first piece of information you need to know is, does your state allow you to sell your products at local Farmers Markets? 

Bakery Display

If the answer is yes, then it is time to start some boots on the ground research. Like many things in life, not all farmers markets are created equal. You are going to find out how much traffic they have, can you sell your cottage food products at their market. In addition, if they allow cottage bakers, how many other cottage bakers are selling there and what are they selling. Can you get a shaded spot? Do they have electricity?

Can You Compete?

You will have competition, and that is not necessarily a bad thing if the size of the market and their traffic justifies it. That is another piece of the information you need to know when you are researching [Read more…]

Is It Legal to Sell Cakes with Copyrighted Popular Characters?

We all know that kids love movies and books. Many birthdays lists contain things like Lego’s, Mickey or Minnie, Baby Yoda etc. It makes sense then for a baker to want to capitalize on cakes or cookies with images of those characters and many more. I want to warn you that you have to resist the temptation to use those images and more.


Although decorated baked goods with popular well known images like Mickey Mouse are exceedingly popular, it is important to know that many images have the protection of a copyright. Using them without permission from the owner of the copyright is against the law and can get you in trouble.

It can also infringe on a trademark if the image represents a brand that has a trademark. To help explain it, here is what I found from an attorney.
“Trademark protection arises when someone uses a word or design as a brand name. When an ordinary consumer sees the image of Mickey Mouse, for example, he or she probably thinks of Walt Disney. A Mickey Mouse cake probably would lead an ordinary consumer to wonder if the cake was authorized by Walt Disney.”

I know that many of you have seen decorated cakes and cookies with popular images on them. Many bakers may be unaware that they are breaking any law. They might think that they are even helping advertise for the rights owner. In most cases, the rights owner does not see it that way. To them, it is other people profiting from their work without permission to do so.

The good news is it may be possible use copyrighted images. The reality of that is, it will probably come at a cost. You have to contact the rights owner or licensing agent to get details about use of their image. You do need to know that may be quite expensive.

If you absolutely want to use those images, but don’t have the budget to buy the license, you can consider purchasing an edible image, toy or topper. In that case, you might be protected by the first sale law. Here is what one attorney had to say about that: “Probably. In general, a rights owner’s rights end after the first sale is made. So, if you purchased a licensed topper or toy, the licensor generally would have no say in how you used that topper or toy including if you incorporated it in a cake. It would have already been compensated as part of your purchase of the licensed item.”

Since none of us want a lawsuit, it is really important to know the law. Don’t infringe on anyone’s copyright or patent. If you have questions, consult your attorney.

Homemade Food Law Food Producers Battle Bureaucrats

In some states, cottage food laws have evolved. In North Dakota, residents have greatly benefited from their food freedom laws. That all changed at the beginning of 2020. What is very interesting there is, the laws have not changed. What did change was regulations put into place by the North Dakota Health Department.

In 2017, the state legislature passed some of the most lenient cottage food laws allowing many homemade meals to be sold by home bakers. The passage of those laws have created many new jobs across the state. What is important to note is that there have been no food related illness complaints against the cottage food law producers.

Unelected Health Department Officials Oppose the Laws

LawsShortly after the cottage food laws were passed with a large majority, the health department began to greatly limit what cottage laws could permit. They tried for two consecutive years to get changes to the laws passed with no success.

Faced with those failures, the unelected and unrepresentative health department simply acted on its own to pass new regulations that went into effect on January 1, 2020. These regulations severely limit the freedom of the home food producers and failure to comply can result in fines and even jail time.

Determined North Dakotans Take Up a Fight

According to Forbes “The cottage food creators have teamed up with the Institute for Justice to sue the Department in court. Bureaucrats do not get to unilaterally rewrite the law. The role of those in the executive branch is to enforce the laws passed by the Legislature. When legislators refused to change the law to their liking, the Department may not simply go around them. Not only are the regulations illegal, but they are so poorly written that they violate the North Dakota state constitution; the regulators can’t, for example, treat similar foods differently. The cheesecake makers and the cheese pizza makers must be treated the same.”

This battle is one to watch. Cottage food bakers will want to pay attention to the what the courts decide about whether passing those regulations is legal.


Challenging Times Call for Creative Solutions

Alternative marketing can help you combat a slowdown for your business. I read about a cottage baker in Wisconsin who has done just that. His story may inspire you to “bake outside the box” so to speak.

Meet Stephan, he is a cottage baker whose specialty is bread. He had signed up for a winter session of his local farmers market. He had baked his bread in anticipation of opening day . Unfortunately, the market had to close. He had a lot of hard work and ingredients ($$dough$$ in all those loaves.

Getting the word outSocial Media

Stephan had a lot of bread so he decided that he needed to change his plan. In order to get the word out about how people could get his product, he turned to social media.

Since many potential customers had no knowledge of him or the wonderful bread he baked, he decided to first talk about his bread and tell his story so his customers could get to know him.

He let them know he sourced local wheat and milled it himself. He had a great variety of breads to choose from. He even decided to offer his wheat bread for exactly what his ingredient cost was to try and help out those who might be struggling financially. In addition to the above, he offered delivery or pickup.

It worked like a charm, he sold everything by the end of the weekend. Even better, he had expanded his list of customers and many of those have become repeat customers. He is tweaking his marketing materials and and expanding the selections.

By telling his story, as well as offering his homemade wheat bread at cost, he had people spreading the word about his great products. He built a reputation not only for a great product, but for supporting local farmers, and making his product available at an affordable price to those in need. We all know that word of mouth advertising is “gold”, and he can take that to the bank.

I would like to challenge you to look at your business, and figure out how to market your products in a new and different way. Who knows, maybe your local paper will feature a story about you.