People love fresh-baked cookies and bread right out of the oven, but selling homemade food online was illegal in Florida until 2017. With support from the Institute for Justice, Florida lawmakers reversed a statewide ban on online sales, while tripling the revenue cap on homemade baked goods to $50,000 per year. Now, Florida home bakers can sell their products at a variety of venues, including to online buyers within the state.
Florida cottage food types
Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Cottage food producers in Florida may sell baked goods like cookies and bread, along with candy, honey, syrup, dry goods, pastries, candied apples, granola and other snacks. Forrager Cottage Food Community provides a more detailed list of authorized Florida cottage foods…
Florida cottage food facts
Myths about cottage food abound. Here are the facts:
- Cottage food is safe. Critics who talk about the risk of food-borne illness give hypothetical examples of what could go wrong because real-world cases are rare or nonexistent.
- Cottage food is local. When neighbors trade with neighbors, money stays in the local economy.
- Cottage food is transparent. People who buy from a cottage food producer know what they get. If they have questions about ingredients, sourcing or safety, they can ask.
- Cottage food creates jobs. Many homemade food producers use their income to provide for their families. Others seek a secondary or supplemental income.
- Cottage food empowers women. IJ cottage food research shows that most cottage food producers are women, and many live in rural areas with limited economic opportunity.
- Cottage food expands consumer choice. Some stores simply don’t sell what you want. This is especially true if you have a gluten-free, peanut-free, halal, kosher or vegan diet. Cottage food fills market gaps, giving consumers more options.
Florida cottage food resources
As part of its Food Freedom Initiative, the Institute for Justice provides a variety of resources for home bakers and other food entrepreneurs. These include:
- Model Food Freedom Act from the Institute for Justice guides activism efforts at state capitols nationwide.
- Flour Power: How Cottage Food Entrepreneurs Are Using Their Home Kitchens to Become Their Own Bosses surveys 775 cottage food producers in 22 states about what their businesses mean to them.
- Ready to Roll highlights nine lessons from the Institute for Justice’s cottage food victory in Wisconsin.
- The Attack on Food Freedom examines the impact of regulations on farmers, chefs, artisans, restaurateurs, food truck operators and others.
Florida vegetable gardens
Homeowners in Miami Shores Village could grow fruits and flowers in their front yards, but municipal code enforcers required Hermine Ricketts and her husband, Tom Carroll, to rip up their vegetable garden in 2013. The couple partnered with the Institute for Justice and fought back in court, butFlorida’s Third District Court of Appeals ruled in 2017 that homeowners do not have a constitutional right to grow vegetables on their property. Fortunately, Florida lawmakers passed 2019 legislation that allows people to grow fruits and vegetables on their own property. Read more…
Tell your Florida story
Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Florida? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here…
Support Florida legislation
Help expand cottage food laws in Florida by teaming with the Institute for Justice. Send an email with your name, background information and availability to get started…
Defending homemade food freedom nationwide
People have a right to earn an honest living without arbitrary and excessive government interference. Since 2013, the Institute for Justice has defended home bakers and chefs as part of its Food Freedom Initiative. Read about IJ’s nationwide food freedom advocacy…
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All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Statutes, regulations, and processes are subject to change at any time, and specific facts and circumstances could alter how they are applied. If you have questions about the regulation of cottage foods in your jurisdiction, we recommend consulting a lawyer who can help you navigate the process.