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I am new to site and thought I would ask if anyone is from Illinois, and working as a cottage baker? I am running into confusion. The cottage law says only farmers' markets up to $36,000, but my county passed a cupcake law (home baked goods ordinance) allowing just $1,000 a month from home.

I am wondering if anyone is familiar with Kendall County in regards to this? When I called, one person told me I cannot do both the farmers' market and home baking; then the city said they did not think I could bake from home at all. Health department said there is definite confusion.

Anyone familiar with Illinois and can give me guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Have a SWEET day!


Last edited by Julia M. Usher
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Sounds like the government agencies there need to coordinate and get their message straight. Sorry to hear about the bureaucracy there, but, unfortunately, I encountered tons of conflicting information when trying to start my non-home-based business in Missouri. It's hard to find anyone accountable for anything. Good luck!

Yes it is ridiculous!  Hate to get going only to find out later I can't do even though the county passed the bill.  It seems the city has more authority over the state or county.  Just want to bake!

I replied about this on your other post. I truly think Illinois does this on purpose to avoid the whole issue. If you look on Etsy there are quite a few cookie bakers in Illinois and I'll bet most, if not all, of them are not legal. When I don't see a statement saying their cookies are baked in a licensed kitchen (or whatever the correct wording is) I wonder about it.

I want to add that I'm NOT saying every cookie decorator in Illinois isn't legal. I'm sure there are many. I'm just saying that it's difficult to become legal and figuring out all the mumbo jumbo and there are some out there selling that may think they are legal as well. I don't want to offend anyone.

Last edited by Joanie

I agree to this Joanie!  It is just that no one gets the same answer so they don't know who to listen to!  Illinois is definitely one of the most challenging and sad to see politics of it get in the way of someone's passion!

I lived in Kendall county most of my life.   I ran into the same thing and eventually (out of frustration) moved forward another direction.  Now residing in another county in Illinois with strong community support... much of which is from the health department I'm l'm crossing my t's and dotting my i's.  An official qualified home baker for farmers markets.  While living in Kendall one avenue I considered and researched was renting a kitchen (ie: high school home economics classroom, VFW etc.) They are certified kitchens required to pass inspections by the health department that sits there in Yorkville Il. The problem I ran into was the cost.  With other fee's in starting up it wasn't reasonable.  Might be an avenue for you to pursue...I'd researched it bout' 15 years ago.  Good Luck to you.

I just got a call from our city and apparently since Kendall County has now passed the home baked goods Ordinance the city opted not to pass their own, and follow the county's so they told me I can proceed with $1000 in sales from home or $36,000 a year at farmers markets and craft events.  So, it is something!

Cookie Lovin Mom posted:

I just got a call from our city and apparently since Kendall County has now passed the home baked goods Ordinance the city opted not to pass their own, and follow the county's so they told me I can proceed with $1000 in sales from home or $36,000 a year at farmers markets and craft events.  So, it is something!

Good news!

Though it strikes me as a bit bizarre that there's such a different allowance for at-home sales versus farmer's markets sales - with all the stuff coming from the same kitchen, I don't know how one distribution channel (home) would present more health risk (presuming health risk is one primary reason they limit those sales). Though maybe they're more worried about increased customer traffic in a residential zone and the impact that might have on neighbors . . . would be interesting to understand the logic that goes into crafting these ordinances.

There is a discrepancy with farmers market from what state says you can actually combine and do both farmer's market and home baked goods to combine into total sales of $48,000 however county health department says they are two separate entities so you would have to have two separate names, etc. 

This is good news - at least you can move forward with something.  Although it is strange how Kendall is within a 1/2 hour drive time for me and the regulations can be so constrictive to that of LaSalle.

It is but each county is now passing their "cupcake law" and many of counties are passing them.  Perhaps check to see if yours has passed it yet.  I know many have passed it in this past year!  The farmers market is Illinois but the home baked aspect is only by county if they pass the ordinance.

I live in Dupage County IL. I just came across this thread. I am following. Hopefully more will give input. I have called this morning the Il Dept of Health. He told me already what I knew and did not have a lot of info. He directed be to another number. Yes, Illinois passed the cottage, but each county decides about the Cupcake Law. Sounds like DuPage did not pass the cupcake law. I have left a message wit the West Chicago Dept of Health Regional office. I will update what I hear. Very frustrating that this information is so hard to get. Are all these bakers on Etsy and Instagram I see not concerned about this.????

I found after extensive research, Illinois allows in farmers markets only as a state as you found @Cookie Majors.  However it appears only about 7 counties have passed cupcake law.  My county is one that has but I had to also check with city who gave me ok.  It is hard to get info and took quite a bit of research.  It is frustrating because there are cookieds in neighboring towns selling who are not supposed to be per no cupcake law.  Best I found-do it because you love it first and pursue and do not give us.  You can certainly propose cupcake law in your county as the originator was just a young girl and she got her county to pass it.  There are a lot on Etsy and Instagram sadly but best I can say, for your own peace, focus on doing your best and not about them.  In time they will be discovered. 

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