All across the United States, people are making food at home to sell in their communities. Together, they form a small but growing industry—the homemade or “cottage food” industry. The movement fits within a larger trend toward healthy eating and responsible sourcing, as consumers take greater interest in where their food comes from and who makes it. Many states have legalized the sale of shelf-stable homemade foods in recent years. Wyoming has gone further, adopting a Food Freedom Act in 2015 that allows the sale of nearly all types of homemade foods. The law became even stronger in 2017, 2020 and 2021 with additional reforms.
Today, Wyoming is the best state for selling homemade food.
|Grades For Homemade Food Laws||Wyoming|
|Food Varieties Grade||A+|
|Sales and Venue Restrictions Grade||A|
|Regulatory Burdens Grade||B+|
Wyoming Homemade food types
|What Shelf-Stable Foods Can I Sell in Wyoming?||No restrictions|
|Can I Sell Refrigerated Baked Goods in Wyoming?||Yes|
|Can I Sell Meat in Wyoming?||Yes|
|Can I Sell Acidified or Pickled Foods in Wyoming?||Yes|
|Can I Sell Low-Acid Canned Goods in Wyoming?||Yes|
|Can I Sell Fermented Foods in Wyoming?||Yes|
Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Wyoming cottage food producers may sell shelf-stable foods and foods that require refrigeration. The original Food Freedom Act excluded the sale of all meat products except certain poultry items, but the 2021 expansion allows the sale of homemade food and drink to the maximum extent allowed by federal law. Homemade food producers also may sell additional meat products like beef or poultry within the state as long as the products are made from inspected meats. For example, a person could buy beef from the supermarket, cook it at home, and sell cheeseburgers or tacos. Egg producers with fewer than 3,000 hens may sell their eggs to consumers and retailers without having to inspect or grade the eggs.
Wyoming Homemade food venues
|Sales and Venue Restrictions||Wyoming|
|Annual Sales Cap||$250,000|
|Where Can I Sell Homemade Food Direct to Consumers in Wyoming?||No restrictions|
|Can I Sell Homemade Food to Retail Outlets Like Restaurants and Grocery Stores?||Yes|
Prior to the 2020 reform, Wyoming homemade food producers could sell their goods directly to the end consumer, but not in retail outlets like grocery stores and coffee shops. Sales could occur in person at farmers’ markets, roadside stands and homes, or online with mail-order delivery. Now, Wyoming homemade food producers may sell their goods in nearly all venues, including retail outlets. The only restriction is a $250,000 annual sales cap.
Getting started in Wyoming
|Inspections Required Before Starting||No|
|Are Local Ordinances Preempted or Overridden?||No|
|License, Permit or Registration Required||No|
|Recipe Approval or Lab Testing Required||No|
|Food Handler Training Required||No|
Launching a homemade food business in Wyoming is easy. The state does not require a home inspection, training, or licensing. All a person needs is a home kitchen and entrepreneurial spirit.
Wyoming Homemade food labels
Wyoming homemade food producers must clearly indicate that their products are homemade and not government inspected or licensed. The state does not require labels for cottage food sold directly to the end consumer. Wyoming homemade food producers who sell their products at retail outlets must include the following disclaimer: “This food was made in a home kitchen, is not regulated or inspected and may contain allergens.”
Wyoming 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. Since Wyoming’s Food Freedom Law took effect in 2015, there has not been a single outbreak of foodborne illness from food sold under the law.
- 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. Within the first five years of Wyoming’s Food Freedom Law, the number of farmers’ markets in the state—a proxy used to measure homemade food businesses—has soared by nearly 70%.
- 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.
Wyoming 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 Wyoming story
Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Wyoming? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here…
Support Wyoming legislation
Help expand cottage food laws in Wyoming 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 | 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 | Washington, D.C. | 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.