Jan 1, 2013
The new California law was signed by Governor Jerry Brown to allow Californians to make foods and baked goods at home and sell them to stores, restaurants and directly to the public.
Assembly Bill 1616 clears the way for a statewide cottage food industry and alternative source of income for California residents by letting entrepreneurs skip the costly leasing of certified commercial kitchens before selling their homemade foods.
The list of approved products includes non-hazardous foods like bread, muffins, cakes, fruit pies, jams, jellies, honey, empanadas, dried nuts, granola, dry cereal, popcorn, waffle cones, chocolate covered non-perishables, roasted coffee, dried herbs, dried tea, dried fruit, candy and other goods that do not contain cream or meat, which spoil.
Introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), AB 1616 still requires homemade food producers to complete a food processor course, label their goods and be subject to inspections and registrations with county health departments.
Allowing the sale of homemade food aims to serve as as a financial boost to home bakers as well as to local governments that will gain tax revenues.
Most of the public has expressed excitement at the prospect of buying fresh, healthy homemade foods where they live.
The California Homemade Food Act was written to help small businesses and individual entrepreneurs produce and sell homemade foods under a simpler streamlined regulatory structure.
Grandmas, Abuelitas, Nannas and Memaws especially love the new California cottage food law. Giant food manufacturing corporations do not, however.