Do you have a signature item that everyone tells you that you should sell?

Have you dreamed about opening your own small food business but don't know where to start? 

With the newly approved California Homemade Food Act (AB1616)
entrepreneurs may use their home kitchens to launch a small food
businesses.  Items that are approved under this law include: 

  • Baked goods, without cream, custard, or meat fillings, such as breads, biscuits, churros, cookies, pastries, and tortillas
  • Candy, such as brittle and toffee
  • Chocolate covered nonperishable foods, such as nuts and dried fruits
  • Dried fruit
  • Dried pasta
  • Dry baking mixes
  • Fruit pies, fruit empanadas, and fruit tamales
  • Granola, cereals, and trail mixes
  • Herb blends and dried mole paste
  • Honey and sweet sorghum syrup
  • Jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butter that comply with the standard described in Part 150 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  To learn more, click on this link
  • Nut mixes and nut butters
  • Popcorn
  • Vinegar and mustard
  • Roasted coffee and dried tea
  • Waffle cones and pizelles
  • Cotton candy
  • Candied apples
  • Confections such as salted caramel, fudge, marshmallow bars, chocolate covered marshmallow, nuts, and hard candy, or any combination thereof
  • Buttercream frosting, buttercream icing, buttercream fondant, and gum paste that do not contain eggs, cream, or cream cheese
  • Dried or dehydrated vegetables
  • Dried vegetarian-based soup mixes
  • Vegetable and potato chips
  • Ground chocolate
  • Seasoned salts
  • Flat icing
  • Marshmallows that do not contain eggs
  • Popcorn balls
  • Dried grain mixes
  • Fried or baked donuts or waffles

And, you have to follow some rules.  As a general overview, you must obtain a cottage food operation permit from your local Department of Environmental Health.  To obtain a permit you must complete and submit the appropriate paperwork and obtain a food handler card within 90 days of receiving your permit.  That paperwork, which varies by county, may include:

  • A cottage food application
  • A self certification check list
  • A list of item(s) that you want to make and the ingredients list(s)
  • A sample of your label(s)
  • Your registered area(s)  (This is the portion of your home kitchen used for preparation, packaging, storage or handling food products, ingredients etc.)
  • Home canning and jarring certification (only applies to those whose product is canned or jarred.

This website is dedicated to bringing you up-to-date and helpful information for your cottage food business.  Ready to go?  Click to the next page titled, "Where to Start?"

homemade chocolate
Homemade energy bar
homemade fudge


homemade ginger cookies
Start Up
a Food Business
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