Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the California Homemade Food Act

Important:  This is only a summary of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the California Homemade Food Act which was enacted in September 2012.  It should not be considered legal advice.  Please consult an attorney if you have specific questions related to your business.  Also, this information is specifically intended for San Diego County.  Details and requirements may vary slightly in other California counties.

To download a copy of the full text of the bill AB1616 , click here.

When does the law go into effect?
The law went into effect on January 1, 2013. The San Diego County Environmental Health department and California Department of Public health are continuing to work on procedures to implement and enforce the law.  Sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of breaking news and specific details as they are released.

What kinds of food can I make and sell from my home as a Cottage Food Operator? 

Currently the following foods have been approved.  Additional foods may be added by the County over time.  At present, you can make and sell

  • 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 fruit
  • 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
  • Nut mixes and nut butters
  • Popcorn
  • Vinegar and mustard
  • Roasted coffee and dried tea
  • Waffle cones and pizelles

 

What are jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butter that comply with the standard described in Part 150 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations?

You can read the definitions of all these terms at this link.

What is a non-potentially hazardous food?

Non-potentially hazardous foods are foods which are unlikely to grow dangerous microorganisms when held at room temperature.  Generally, they have a low water content (such as baked goods, candies, popcorn, etc.) or  have a high acid or sugar level which inhibits bacterial and other growth (vinegars, honeys, mustards, etc.)  Perishable foods (those that require refrigeration) require different permits from the San Diego Environmental Health department.

Do I have to get a permit from the Health Department?

Yes! There will be two types of permits available.  Class A permits will allow you to sell your foods directly to consumers.  Class B permits will allow you to also sell your products through others, such as stores or restaurants.  Under the present law, you will only be able to sell wholesale (meaning others will retail them for you) within San Diego County, unless San Diego specifically approves cottage food sales across county lines in the future.

How much do permits cost?

Fees vary by county.  Class A permits in San Diego County are $142 per year.  Class B permits are $284 per year in San Diego County.

What are the requirements for a Class A or Class B permit?

Class  A permit holders will need to fill out a county registration form and a “self-certification” form agreeing to certain health safety procedures during food preparation.  Class A permit holders will not need to have their kitchens inspected.  Class B permit holders need to complete the registration form AND a county health permit form.  (See our post on getting through the permit process.)  Class B permit holders will be subject to an initial inspection and annual routine kitchen inspections.  All Cottage Food preparers and packagers will need to pass a food processor’s course within 3 months of getting registered.  Currently, California recognizes several ASNI certified online courses for training.  See list here.  For our comparison of online options check Comparison of Online Trainings.  San Diego also offers classroom options for those who cannot take classes online.  For those classes, see page two on the listings here.

Do I need a food handler’s card if I already have one?

It depends.  If your card is through one of the 3 hr. classroom sessions approved on this formyou probably do not.  If it was taught by the manager of a food institution where you volunteered or worked, that card is only good for that location and you would need to take either an approved online or classroom course. See our post titled Best Value, Least Risk CFO training.

How many employees I can have?

Besides yourself as the cottage food Operator, you may have a family or household member and not more than one (1) full-time employee (who is paid or volunteers).

Is there a limit on how much I can make?

Yes.  The operation cannot make more than $35,000 in gross annual sales in 2013 or more than $45,000 in total sales in 2014.  The cap will be set at $50,000 in 2015 and thereafter. (Remember, gross sales include all the money earned from sales before subtracting expenses.)    The legislature felt that when a cottage food operation was successful beyond those limits it had out-grown it’s “cottage industry” status and was ready for a more traditional business structure.

Can I have pets in my home?

Yes.  However pets and small children are not allowed in the kitchen (or other room) when cottage food products are being prepared, handled, or packaged.

Can I smoke?

Smoking is not allowed around cottage food products, their ingredients or equipment when they are being prepared, handled, or packaged or stored.

Can I advertise?

Yes.

Do I need a business license?

Yes.  Where you get your business license will be determined by where you live.  If you live in an incorporated city (i.e. Vista, Carlsbad, San Diego, Lemon Grove, Santee, Chula Vista, etc.) you will apply to your local city hall.  If you live in an unincorporated area of the county, you will not need a business license.  To see if you live in an unincorporated town or where you should apply, click here.

Do I need to file a fictitious business name?

You may also need to register a fictitious business name if your business does not have your last name (surname) and indicate what you do.  For instance “Tom Jones Bakery” would not need to file a fictitious business name, but “Tom’s Bakery” or “Tom Jones’ Goodies” would need to file for a fictitious business name.  For information in San Diego county, click here.  You can check online to see if anyone else in San Diego county is using the name you would like. (Note: Filing a fictitious business name does not grant exclusive use of the name.) It is recommended that you file in person at any of the county offices.  Filing is valid for five (5) years.

What is liability insurance?  Do I have to have liability insurance?

Liability insurance protects your assets in case you are sued as a result of damage or illness caused by your cottage food operation.  It is not required by law.  However, it is strongly recommended that your business have liability insurance to protect your personal assets.  Home-based businesses are generally not covered by standard homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.  Some establishments (farmer’s markets, retail stores, etc.) may require you to have liability insurance.  This will be discussed in a future blog.

Do I have to pay income tax on money I earn from my cottage food business?

Yes. You should consult with a tax professional for more details.  There may be certain tax advantages to having a home-based business.

Do I have to charge sales tax?

In general, food in California is not taxed. But, if food is served warm and meant to be consumed on premises it IS taxable. If you sell your cottage food directly and most people eat it there (whether it is your home or at a booth at an event), you will need to collect sales tax.  Otherwise, your cottage foods are generally free from sales tax.  For more details, consult an attorney or see this California sales tax guide: http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/pub22.pdf

Does local zoning still apply?

Yes. You should check with your local zoning or planning department to see if there are laws or regulations for home-based businesses. If there are, you may need to get a permit from the city to operate a business from your home, but the city or county cannot deny you a permit as long as your cottage food business complies with rules regarding noise, traffic, or other such concerns that may apply to a home-based business.

Where can I sell my products?

You can sell directly to customers from your home (providing it does not violate local restrictions), at farmers’ markets or community events, and (with the Type B permit) through restaurants, stores or other retail outlets.  Currently, third-party retailers will also have to be in San Diego County, though the county may allow sale in other counties in the future.  Most farmer’s markets and event organizers will have their own policies related to sale of certain foods.  Internet advertising can be done and sales made, but product must be delivered in person.

(Note: If you want to sell at a community event [including a farmer's market] you will need to get a Temporary Food Facility vendor permit from San Diego Department of Environmental Health.  Click here for more information.)

What do I need to include on the label?

The common name of the product and all of the ingredients must be listed on your label, including ingredients of ingredients. In other words, if you use peanut butter as an ingredient, you must list its ingredients.  This can be done by putting them in parentheses immediately after the ingredient.  For example “Ingredients: popcorn, peanut butter (peanuts, oil, salt)”  Ingredients should be listed in order of the greatest amount (by weight) to the least amount used.

The label also must include:

  • the name of the cottage food operation,
  • the permit number and class (A or B)*,
  •  the words “Made in a Home Kitchen” in 12-point type on the product’s primary label,
  • a list of allergens,
  •  the net weight of contents, and
  • where the product was produced.

*Foods produced under Class B permits must also note the name of the county agency which issued the permit.

SDCDEH provides CFO Labeling Requirements on their website.

See our post on Labels: Do Say, Don’t Say

I have more questions. Many more questions. Whom do I contact?

Contact San Diego County Department of Environmental Health with specific questions at (800) 253-9933.  Read the FAQs posted by SDCDEH. State and county health departments are working on preparing the forms, instructions, and guidelines necessary to implement the new law.  Also, you can get our free e-newsletter or sign up for San Diego Cottage Foods blog to keep up with new information.

If you have questions that you think we might be able to answer or questions or comments about San Diego Cottage Foods blog or website, please email info@SDCottageFoods.com  Remember, information on this site is intended only for cottage food operators in San Diego County.  While some information may be applicable statewide, you should consult your local Department of Environmental Health if you are outside of San Diego County.

Additionally, this FAQ is not in any way legal advice.  We do not provide legal advice directly or through the FAQ, blog, or other communications.  You should consult an attorney for specific legal questions.

 

 

72 comments

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  1. Rebecca Starkey

    I would like to bottle and sell my BBQ sauce from my restaurant. Does BBq sauce count for this?

    1. Cottagefoods

      BBQ sauce is not on the approved food list. But, since you have access to a Health Dept. inspected kitchen, you can make and bottle it there. Cottage Foods laws were created to help people start a small business without having to rent a commercial kitchen at the beginning. You are already set to go! Just contact the Health Department for other rules that pertain to bottling and labeling the sauce from your commercial kitchen.

  2. Beverly

    Do I need a sellers permit to sell cookies?

    1. Cottagefoods

      Food is generally nontaxable in CA so it does NOT require a seller’s permit. However, if you heat it and it is to be consumed on premises, it becomes taxable. That shouldn’t be the case though for cookies :)

  3. Amy

    Can I ship my cookies out of the state or out of san diego?

    1. Cottagefoods

      Unfortunately, the state has specified that cottage foods may not be shippped by any means but must be picked up or delivered yourself.

  4. Dustin

    I would like to make and sell my Homemade Beef jerky in the local farmers market, how do I go about making this happen legally?

    1. Cottagefoods

      You would have to do that in a health department-inspected and approved kitchen as beef jerky is not on the approved list for Cottage Foods operations. That means using a “commissary” kitchen — either renting time/space in a commercial kitchen or, some churches/nonprofits have kitchens which are inspected by the health department and might be willing to rent you space. Then you need to get a Temporary Food Facility permit approved by the county Department of Environmental Health.

  5. Ben

    If my friend owns a coffee shop, assuming he allows me, can i sell my bars through his shop?

    1. Cottagefoods

      Yes, if he is approved to sell food items and you have a Class B CFO permit. Would your product be individually wrapped and labeled? Either way is OK (i.e. if you made cake sold by the slice) but he would need to post certain information.

  6. Jessica

    I currently have a class B permit; do we need to renew the permit annually? If so, is the renewal cost $284? Do I need to bring in labels every year?

    1. Cottagefoods

      Yes, permits renew annually for the same cost as the initial permit ($284). If your label hasn’t changed I don’t think you’d need to resubmit, but if you want to expand your product line (add new flavors or products) that is the best time to do it as the cost of reviewing your additional labels will be covered in the renewal fee.

  7. Roger

    I can’t find it again, but I thought I saw one of the posts on this website say that “oil” is not allowed for Cottage Food Operations requirements. My recipe as baked includes canola oil. Is that a problem? This is my primary ingredients list: Flour, sugar, canola oil, eggs, and milk. This is all baked into a “bread”. It can easily go for days safely without being refrigerated. I’d like to get an opinion of if there are any problems in getting approved based on this list.

    1. Cottagefoods

      Oil is fine, baked into your product. Oil or similar products (butter, for instance) used in a nonbaked product (i.e.,frosting) would mean that product would likely not be approved. But cooked into your baked goods, no problem with the oil, eggs, and milk!

  8. Roger

    Yay! That’s where I saw that – on the “frosting” question. That answer makes me happy! :)

    What’s the current turn around for approval once things are filled out, submitted, etc. Is it pretty quick, or is there a delay of days or weeks? This is the government we’re talking about here. :)

    BTW – Great site! Very, very helpful.

    1. Cottagefoods

      Not sure about the current approval time…may depend on Class A or Class B. In Feb, it was immediate if you had everything in place (completed application, Self-Inspection form (Class A) OR 1st half of Health Permit (Class B), your pre-approved sample label, business license, and payment. I believe they now accept debit cards. Save yourself a trip and make sure you have everything filled out. Email them a sample of the label first to be sure it is acceptable. See post Tips for Getting Permitted. And thank you for the encouraging words!

  9. Darla Gliptis

    I am so thrilled to find your website. Do you know if there is any update on making dog cookies?

    1. Cottagefoods

      Dog cookies are not specifically covered by the Homemade Food Act AB1616 so it’s difficult for us to say. In fact, it’s unclear who regulates that in the state.

  10. Richard

    I want to bottle n sell homemade teriyaki sauce n BBQ sauce at the farmers market. Is the cottage food way the way to do that? If not can you point me in the right direction? Plz!

    1. Cottagefoods

      Currently, only mustards and vinegars are approved for making and selling from a home-based kitchen through the Cottage Food law. (You can see the list of CA-state approved foods toward the bottom of our Resources page.) Therefore you would need to rent a commercial, or other Health Department inspected kitchen facility to prepare and package your sauces.

  11. Patricia

    What if i want to sell cakes from my home? The type of cakes that can be sold in a bakery?

    1. Cottagefoods

      Cake itself is fine as long as all the ingredients are baked into it. Cake falls under the “baked goods” category on the approved foods list. The issue can come in with the frosting/icing. See our post on “Avoid Getting Frosted Over Frosting.”

  12. Puja

    I want to start a small home based business of selling food produce. Can I start it my home kitchen?

    1. Cottagefoods

      First check out the Do You Qualify Flow Chart then see if your food is on the CA CFO approved foods list

  13. Puja

    I have another question. Can I sell the bakes cookies containing butter and milk products?

    1. Cottagefoods

      Cookies that are made with butter and milk as ingredients which baked into them qualify as cottage food products which can be made at home and sold with a Class A or B permit.

  14. Ann

    Can I have a partnership?

    1. Cottagefoods

      Good question, Ann! We know of no restrictions on the type of business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, etc.) you choose.

  15. Ann

    If I have a partnership. Would we need to have two cottage food operation registration and who’s name would be have on the CFO owners name?
    Thank you

    1. Cottagefoods

      (I believe) You would just fill out the application with the name of your CFO (company), then under “Owner” list both of your names. Use the address where the food will be made. It will be the same for the Self-Inspection application (if you want a Class A permit). If you want a Class B permit, you will complete the Public Health Permit application, too. It has a place to specify the type of business (sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.) Links to forms can be found on our Resources page.

  16. Roger

    I’m in a rural area and we don’t get mail at our physical address. Instead we get mail at a P.O. Box. Which address goes on the label: Mailing or physical? Or does it matter? I’d rather use the P.O. Box if allowed. I don’t think I saw it called out.

    1. Cottagefoods

      According to the CA Dept. Public Health, the label must include “The name, city, state and zip code of the cottage food operation which produced the cottage food product. If the CFO is not listed in a current telephone directory then a street address must also be declared. (A contact phone number or email address is optional but may be helpful for consumers to contact your business.)” More than likely, the San Diego health department will insist on using the address where the food is made and which is permitted under the application.

  17. Puja

    Can I start a Cottage food business in a rental house??

    1. Cottagefoods

      Yes. Some local jurisdictions may require landlord approval for the business permit, but most do not.

  18. Puja

    Hi Again,

    Many thanks to you for this wonderful site and helping us. One more question

    I want to sell some home made cookies by Class A permit. Do I need a Business License?

    1. Cottagefoods

      It depends on where you live. Unincorporated areas of San Diego do not require business licenses but if you are in San Diego, La Mesa, Escondido, etc. you will need to get one through your local municipality. See the link in Step 2 of the post “Simple Steps to Starting” for business licenses in your town.

      1. Puja

        Hi again,

        Thanks for your reply. I am living in Oceanside and got mixed replies from SanDiego Health department and Local Licensing office. I was told by Oceanside Licensing office that to sell food in Farmers Market, I may not need Business license. But SD Environment and Health department , told me I need to get a Business License from Oceanside. I read your response from one of the questions about the sellers permit where you replied that cookies are non taxable so donot required a sellers permit.
        Now I am confused if the business License and Seller permit are two different permits? What type of permits/ License, I may require in addition to Class A permit.
        Please clarify.

        I have couple of more questions
        a) For Class A permit, Do I need to bring my cookies samples ready with me, in addition to the labels to get a Class A permit?
        b) Can I sell cookies by number rather than by weight?
        c) DO I still need to provide the weight of the product which might be slightly different from each other?

        1. Cottagefoods

          If you live in Oceanside, you need an Oceanside business license. You do not need a CA Seller’s Permit to sell cookies, because they are nontaxable. (The Seller’s Permit is to pay to the state the sales tax collected on taxable items.) You can sell at a Farmer’s Market with a Class A CFO permit, but if you want to provide samples, you need a Class B CFO Permit. Send your sample labels to the Health dept. by email or fax for approval before going to submit your application. They do not want samples of your cookies. (Well, they might, but not for the application :-) Yes, you can sell cookies by count rather than weight in which case you would not need to provide the weight of the product.
          For easy, step by step directions, see our post on Simple Steps to Getting Started and Labels: Do Say, Don’t Say

  19. Liz

    I would like to bottle and sell raw vegetable and fruit juice. Since raw items are not on the approved CFO list does that mean I would have to use a commercial kitchen to prepare and bottle them? I have a feeling that selling raw items may be more complicated than I initially anticipated, but any information you have on the subject would be much appreciated :)

    1. Cottagefoods

      Unless it is listed on the CA CFO approved foods list, the San Diego Health Department is very unlikely to approve it. Sounds like you will need a commercial kitchen for preparation and bottling. We hope to have a post soon on available kitchens to rent.

  20. Puja

    Any suggestion(s) On
    a) Pest control in Cottage food operations?
    b) Any site to order Packaging material?
    c) Any suggestions of ordering raw material like flour, nuts, oils in Bulk?

    1. Cottagefoods

      You might try posting this question on our facebook page to engage other CFOs who may have suggestions! Just search San Diego Cottage Foods on Facebook or use the link on this site.

  21. Lal

    Hi,
    I live in San Diego(Rancho Bernardo) and want to sell home cooked indian vegetarian food(curry). The customer will come and pick up the food from my home. They will eat that at their own place but not in my premises. I understand that I need -
    1) Class A permit.
    2) Fill out a county registration form and a “self-certification” form agreeing to certain health safety procedures during food preparation
    3) Will not need to have my kitchens inspected
    4) A business license from local city hall
    5) Good to have liability insurance

    Is there anything I am missing? One more thing, I don’t see indian curry in the list of saleable items. Does that mean I can not sell it?

    Thanks
    Lal

    1. Cottagefoods

      There are only specific foods which are approved for a Cottage Food license. Indian flat bread (naan) could be made, and you could make a case for samosas (though presently only fruit filled pastries are approved), but curry itself is not on the approved food list. Likely, you will need a commercial kitchen and a caterer’s license. Contact the Health Department for more information.

  22. Tom

    We are beginning the process of opening A CFO. I have a couple of questions.

    1) Once we apply for a Class B permit how long does it take to get someone to come out to inspect our kitchen or is this done prior to submiting the application?

    2) If I have 100 labels to get approved would I send them to the Health Dept to get approved prior to applying for the class B permit? I think the answer is yes from what I read in a prior reponse.

    Thanks!

    Tom

    1. Cottagefoods

      Inspections for Class B permits are scheduled after your application is accepted. It’s unclear right now how LONG after but at least two weeks. In the past, the application was approved quickly if all was in order, and you could begin working while the inspection was pending. San Diego Health Dept. is no longer accepting labels in advance for review. You will submit them with the application. NOTE: The rates of $142 and $284 for A and B permits, respectively, are based on the department’s hourly rate. If you have 100 labels and it takes them more than an hour to review them, you will be charged another $142/hr (or any part of an hour more since they don’t have any provision for partial hours) that is required for full review.

  23. janiece

    Will I need to apply for a temporary food permit…even though I have a class A permit through cottage food products? When I apply for local events and farmers markets?

    1. Cottagefoods

      According to the San Diego County Health Department, “A separate Temporary Food Facility Permit is not required to sell solely your prepackaged and labeled Cottage Food product. However, if any food preparation, sampling or sales of other than your cottage food products will be conducted inside the booth, then a separate Temporary Food Facility Permit will be required.” TFF Permits are $250 annually for multiple events. So… you only need one if you want to provide samples, no matter what Class of permit you have.

  24. Ann Casas

    Hi S.D. Cottage food, can you kindly provide a list of “commisary” kitchens in the area. The item I was looking forward to sell is my favorite salsa. I see it is sadly not on the CFO list and just of curiosity do it see it being approved in the near future?

    1. Cottagefoods

      We will be doing a post on commissary kitchens in the near future. You’re right about salsas not being on the CFO approved list. Due to the processing and acidic environment, salsas and other items such as pickles will not be included in Cottage Foods. Handled improperly, they can cause botulism and other food related disease. Acidified products require a special canning license and approved kitchen.

  25. Gary

    I want to obtain a Class B permit. If I get one, will I be able to sell cheesecake, which is made from eggs, butter, cream cheese, and sour cream.

    1. Cottagefoods

      Whether or not cheesecake would fall under the “baked goods” category is a good question. Definitely not if the sour cream is a topping and not baked into the product. If all the perishable ingredients are baked in, you would likely need to get it tested to determine if it falls within the parameters of non potentially hazardous foods (having a minimum pH and water content). It’s unlikely, though, that a good cheesecake will have a sufficiently low water content.

  26. mike marques

    Hello CFO,

    I am interested in selling a sealed, jarred, homemade salsa which is made with all organic produce. Am I able to go through the CFO process to sell this at local farmer’s markets in San Diego and from restaurants? I do have access to a commercial kitchen if needed, but, would like to start production from my home kitchen. Thank you for your great forum!

  27. Cottagefoods

    Salsas, pickles, tomato sauces and other acidified or canned foods have significantly different federal and state training and licensing requirements and do not qualify under Cottage Food Laws as they pose significant potential hazard. You would need to use a kitchen that has an approved cannery license.

  28. Veronica

    Hi,
    Do you know if there were any restrictions on converting a garage into a CFO ‘kitchen?’ My product is tortillas and the space needed to make them needs to be larger than my kitchen..

    1. Cottagefoods

      The law is designed for (and most of the applications restrict use to) residential kitchens in the home. I believe that many municipalities regulate the business licenses by (among other things) making sure you are NOT remodeling to accommodate a more commercial style kitchen. The idea is to allow people to start small businesses from their homes without much added expense. I don’t believe there is any restriction specifically prohibiting you from converting your garage into a kitchen, but you may have issues with the health department if they inspect for a Class B permit. If it looks like a commercial production kitchen, they may want it to be licensed/inspected as such rather than your residential kitchen.

  29. Brent

    I am going to resale a bottled by manufacturer oil and vinegar product.I have been told I must use a commissary for the storage(for inspection access). Finding a fair price for shelf ,really a commissary required product?I have been told I have to store elsewhere under state and county requirements. Thanks for your help with my question.

    1. Cottagefoods

      Oil and vinegar dressings are not on the approved (or soon to be amended) list of foods allowed under the Cottage Food Law so until oil/vinegar products are, you would need to use a commissary kitchen for storage and repackaging. You can request to have your product added to the list, but the next review will not occur until later in the year.

  30. Scarlen Hernandez

    Hi,
    I’m trying to sell fresh squeezed orange juice at farmers markets, what permits do I need?
    Thank you

    1. Cottagefoods

      Sorry…can’t really help there. Orange juice is not an approved Cottage Food product.

  31. Tina V

    I’m very interested on starting my own home based business and excited because my products are on the approved list including my frosting, now my question is if I donate my baked goods to cottages in Balboa Park and they have them as samples for people to take is that legal??

  32. Amber

    1-what is the registration # to put on the label and how do I get one?
    2-how to pay the fees?,i live in orange county (permit A),is it after I send the application or with the application
    3-what other kind of permits that I need to get to sell my product in a farmer’s market?
    thanks

    1. Cottagefoods

      Your registration number will be the permit number issued by your CA County health department. Each county regulates and issues their own permits. For information re Orange County’s cottage food permits and requirements visit http://ocfoodinfo.com/cottage

  33. sumerle

    Hi, I wanted to start a mobile tea party business for children. I would bring shelf stable pb&j sandwiches, fruit, cookies & choc covered items like pretzels, marshmallows & oreos. I’m wondering what licenses I would need & if class a would be sufficient. Also if I’m using store bought pb&j and other items, do those need to be approved as well or only what I actually bake like the cookies, cupcakes & frosting?

    1. Cottagefoods

      For this type of business, you really need a catering license. Although most of the foods would qualify as non potentially hazardous, fruit and juice are not on the approved CFO foods list. The CFO permits are designed to allow you to make and sell the items whereas the catering permits are specifically designed for your purpose. Good luck in your business! We love entrepreneurs.

  34. Allison

    I have a question regarding the weight requirement for these items. Can it be a quantity instead of weight? I am looking at selling my items by quantity (wrapped individually). Can this be done?

    Thanks,

    Allison

    1. Cottagefoods

      Yes, it can be by weight, volume, or count.

  35. Allison

    Thanks! Another question I have is that because I am using some commercial products in my ingredients (chocolate chips, M&M’s etc, there are many duplications of ingredients in the sub lists of ingredients. Do these items have to be listed multiple times? For example, my brownies include three different types of chocolate chips and they all contain cocoa butter, sugar and vanilla. Do I have to list these items each time under the corresponding chocolate chip ingredients?
    Thanks so much for your help!

  36. Heather

    I live in Vista and have already submitted my application and labels for review. Your FAQ section states that incorporated SD needs a business license but http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/food/pdf/publications_cottagefoodzoning.pdf says that Vista needs a home occupant permit, not a business license. will I need both? I have renters insurance for my apartment, would I need another type of insurance for the business?

    1. Cottagefoods

      Vista requires a business license and a home occupation permit (which is part of the application and no extra charge). You can find both forms on the City of Vista website.
      As for insurance, your renter’s insurance generally will NOT cover your business or products. Sign up to get our new posts… coming up is one on Bsuiness Insurance for CFOs!

  37. Luke Sanders

    My wife and I are working on getting a bakery going, but want to ease into it. As of now, we are baking one day a week. My question is in regards to the “no more than one full-time employee”. Can we have two part-time employees? I am wondering because we hired one lady to help my wife, but a friend kind-of volunteered herself and started helping out as well. She enjoys the work, but I don’t want her to do this for nothing. Neither of the ladies are there all day, and the “volunteer” is usually only there about four hours.

    Also, could our two friends alternate day’s? Like instead of both being there on Friday, one on Thursday, and the other on Friday? That would make it no more than 8hrs paid help a day.

    Thanks!

    1. Cottagefoods

      We are not lawyers but the law says “not more than one full time equivalent employee” which suggests that one person 8 hours a day, 2 people at 4 hrs per day, or even 4 people 2 hours a day should be fine in addition to a household or family member.

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