Starting a Cottage Food Business - Help Needed!

Can someone outline the steps to start a business using cottage food law? I understand that is the key to cookie business.

Julia, in one of your blogs, you stated: "I will take a two-pronged approach with this blog. The first will consist of the mechanics and the second will be mindset.

The mechanics part will include technical and practical information and advice on how to build a successful cottage sweets business, such as how to create a clear vision for the kind of a business (volume) you wish to generate, how to build a costing model for your products, basic business planning, licensing, food safety, branding, and more.

The second prong, which is mindset, is my strongest area of expertise and carries just as much weight as the mechanics, if not more. It's aimed at helping you achieve the attitude of a winning entrepreneur."  

Where can i find the more details of the two components you state as your guiding principles and advice.

Thank you!

Original Post

Hi, again, @Vartouhi. You seem to have at least two questions here. I'll try to tackle each one.

1) Can someone outline the steps to starting a business using cottage food law? I understand that is the key to cookie business.

First, cottage food law only applies to starting operations out of one's home, that aren't as regulated as commercial operations in licensed, regulated standalone brick-and-mortar establishments. I wouldn't necessarily say that starting a cottage food operation is "key to cookie business", as I started a bakery without ever having a cottage food operation. I started by renting space in a licensed kitchen, and, then, less than a year later, I bought my own bakery. So there are many ways to enter the bakery business and to be successful. Certainly a cottage food operation is the least costly and risky way to start out, as you don't have to invest to the same extent in infrastructure, licensing, etc. Yet, cottage food operations are often restricted in the types of products they can sell, and where. Commercial operations aren't subject to the same restrictions because they undergo health department inspections and other licensing hurdles on a more regular basis. So there are tradeoffs to any approach. If you think you want to operate out of your home, some great ways to learn about cottage food laws, which differ widely by state, include: (1) check out this site (http://forrager.com/laws/), (2) google "cottage food law" for your state (your state should have its own site on the topic), and (3) contact your local health department.

2) Julia, in one of your blogs, you stated: "I will take a two-pronged approach with this blog. The first will consist of the mechanics and the second will be mindset . . ."

Actually, I did not write any of what you quoted. It was written by a former contributor to our site, who started (but never finished) her business of baking blog series. The best place to find all she wrote is under "The Business of Cookies" section of our blog (http://cookieconnection.juliau...-business-of-cookies). You'll find other useful business articles there, written by others, but none written by me.

@Vartouhi  - hi! I'm going through the process of getting a Cottage Food certification and business license myself. If I can just say, is not that easy at least not in Georgia, where I live.  Like Julia said goggle "Cottage Food Program" for your state, or go to the Department of Agriculture site for your state, as that's where this program falls under. 

The requirements vary from state to state. Some states are more strict than others... GA seems to be on the strict category. 

Here's a really good FB group to join - The Foodpreneur Institute - https://www.facebook.com/foodpreneurinstitute/ The group was created by 3-4 Cottage Food operators to teach bakers how to obtain the certification and share relevant info about the industry, as well as some regulations across the US. 

This webinar also gives you a good in-depth overview of what the requirements are -- but remember, requirements vary from state-to-state -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb29UPDI708

Hope this helps and much success!

Linda Velez-Reblando posted:

@Vartouhi  - hi! I'm going through the process of getting a Cottage Food certification and business license myself. If I can just say, is not that easy at least not in Georgia, where I live.  Like Julia said goggle "Cottage Food Program" for your state, or go to the Department of Agriculture site for your state, as that's where this program falls under. 

The requirements vary from state to state. Some states are more strict than others... GA seems to be on the strict category. 

Here's a really good FB group to join - The Foodpreneur Institute - https://www.facebook.com/foodpreneurinstitute/ The group was created by 3-4 Cottage Food operators to teach bakers how to obtain the certification and share relevant info about the industry, as well as some regulations across the US. 

This webinar also gives you a good in-depth overview of what the requirements are -- but remember, requirements vary from state-to-state -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb29UPDI708

Hope this helps and much success!

Thanks for sharing these great links!

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Tamala's CookieCynthia Munson Langguth
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