Selling homemade cookies, cakes and other products became easier in Oregon in 2016. That’s when a residential food establishment law took effect, allowing entrepreneurs to sell up to $20,000 in food produced in residential kitchens with no license or inspection. The only startup requirement is completion of food handlers training. Home-based business owners who want more flexibility can apply for the Oregon Domestic Kitchen program or, if they grow their own ingredients, the Oregon Farm Direct program.
Oregon cottage food types
Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Unlicensed homemade food producers in Oregon may sell baked goods like breads and cookies, along with candy, honey, pastries, granola and other snacks. The Forrager Cottage Food Community provides a more detailed list of allowable Oregon cottage foods…
Oregon 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.
Oregon raw milk
Prior to 2014, Oregon farmers could sell unpasteurized milk as long as they did not talk about it. An advertising ban on the legal product meant they could not post fliers at local health food stores or list prices on their own websites. Following a First Amendment lawsuit from the Institute for Justice, the director of Oregon’s Department of Agriculture issued a directive ordering state personnel not to enforce the advertising ban. Oregon lawmakers officially repealed the ban in May 2015. Read more about the Institute for Justice lawsuit…
Oregon 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.
Tell your Oregon story
Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Oregon? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here…
Support Oregon legislation
Help expand cottage food laws in Oregon 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…
Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky |Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
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.