Today, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have cottage food programs, which allow residents to sell baked goods and other shelf-stable, non-potentially hazardous foods directly to consumers.
Washington, DC had enacted passed a cottage food law so restrictive that by 2018 there were only 3 registered cottage food producers. IJ worked with entrepreneurs across the District to expand allowed venues, raise the revenue cap and streamline the registration process.
IJ and a coalition of home bakers worked to pass a bill that eliminated Albuquerque’s ban on selling homemade foods, the permit requirement across the state, and the requirement that foods may only be sold at farmers markets and events, allowing sales from home, online, and by mail delivery.
With help from IJ, South Carolina greatly expanded the types of shelf-stable foods that can be sold and legalized selling cottage food products at grocery stores and other retail outlets.
However, California requires cities and counties that expressly opted in and passed ordinances authorizing “microenterprise home kitchen operations.” As of March 2022, MEHKO permits are available in the following:
- Alameda County
- Imperial County
- Riverside County
- San Diego County
- San Mateo County
- Santa Barbara County
- Solano County