Home cooking cottage industry gets boost from California Legislature

February 28, 2013 by  

Santa Ana residents who are unemployed and finding it hard to find a job, or who simply want to work from home, have an option this year that might not have been feasible last year.

A new state law called the California Homemade Food Act permits certain foods to be prepared at home for commercial sale. Until the law was recently passed, entrepreneurs were required to make their “homemade” product in a commercial kitchen, costing thousands of dollars.

With the new law, foods with low risk of contamination such as breads, candies, cereals, condiments, and jellies may be produced at home. This makes for a nice sideline or it can be the beginning of a whole new career.

Although 32 states permit home-based foods to be sold directly to consumers, California is among the first to allow sales through a third party, such as a store or restaurant.

Whereas getting one’s feet wet in a food-based business before could easily cost $35,000, due to the previous requirement of using a commercial kitchen and the minimum order requirements of such premises, the cost is much lower now.

A course on starting one’s own home-based food business, taught by Caron Ory, who owns Sapere Natural Foods LLC, costs $100 with an additional $15 for materials. A required online food handler class costs $13 and an inspection from the county health departments sets food makers back $75.

Those entrepreneurs who hope to make their dreams come true will probably also want to set aside a little extra money for business card printing and flyer printing to advertise their new enterprise.