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Selling Homemade Food in Ohio

Selling homemade food is fairly simple in OhioHome-based business owners do not need  permits to get started, and Ohio imposes no cap on annual gross revenue. Ohio’s Pure Food and Drug Law, updated in 2009 and 2016, allows inspectors from the Ohio Department of Agriculture to sample homemade products to ensure proper labeling. 

Ohio cottage food types

Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Unlicensed cottage food producers in Ohio may sell baked goods like breads and cookies, along with candy, honeysyrup, pies, jams, jellies and granola. The Forrager Cottage Food Community provides a more detailed list of allowable Ohio cottage foods… 

Ohio home bakeries

Home-based food producers who want to sell perishable baked goods like cheesecakes and cream pies may apply for a permit under the Ohio Home Bakery Law… 

Ohio 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.

Ohio 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: 

Tell your Ohio story

Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Ohio? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here… 

Support Ohio legislation

Help expand cottage food laws in Ohio 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. 

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