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Selling Homemade Food in Texas

Things keep getting better and better for homemade food producers in Texas. The state legalized the sale of nonperishable homemade foods in 2012 and loosened restrictions with amendments to the law in 2013 and 2019. Now, food entrepreneurs can sell homemade products almost anywhere, including to online buyers within state limits. Sales are prohibited at restaurants and retail outlets. 

Texas cottage food types

Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Cottage food producers in Texas may sell directly to customers from their homes and most other venues. Allowable items include breads, candies, condiments, dry goods, pastries, jams, jellies, snacks and eggs. Read additional details about Texas rules from Forrager Cottage Food Community… 

Texas lemonade stands

Kids in Texas no longer have to worry about the police shutting down their lemonade stands. Under a Texas Lemonade Stand Law that passed with bipartisan support in 2019, cities and counties cannot require a license or permit for any occasional business operated by a minor. 

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.

Texas 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 Texas story

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

Support Texas legislation

Help expand cottage food laws in Texas 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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