Resources to Start a Cottage Food Business


General Info on Cottage Food




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    • Cristina Dagdagan on December 18, 2013 at 9:49 am
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    I’m planning on selling my Adobo Marinade Sauce at Farmer’s Market here in Oceanside. Will that be a taxable or non-taxable item? Also, my Adobo Sauce is canning and does not need refrigeration. Can that be considered under the Cottage Food category?

    1. Canned items are not permitted under the Cottage Food Law but require a special license/permit from the Health Department and must be done in an inspected kitchen. Check with your Farmer’s Market Manager to see what would be required on their part and if they have an opening for you. Food is generally non-taxable in CA unless it is prepared to be consumed on site.

    • vianey on April 23, 2014 at 1:23 pm
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    I’m planning to make cakes in my home per order for example weddings, quickness etc. Can this be ok and qualified for cottage food license?

    1. Yes, cakes are permitted foods under the cottage food permit; however, you will need to make sure your frostings or icings can be approved, too. Some are permissable, some not. See our post on Frostings

    • David on February 17, 2015 at 4:36 am
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    Please ask the webmaster to update this page to either include the words for the acronym CFO or have him please remove CFO.

    I can guess what the acronym stands for yet I can not find the words on this page

    Maybe is CFO was changed to CFB (Cottage Food Business) all work be as it should be.

    Thank you,


    1. Thank you. We have defined the term CFO on the page as Cottage Food Operation. Note though that some people also use CFO to mean Cottage Food Operator.

    • tasty creations on May 24, 2015 at 8:35 pm
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    what about home made salsa and enchalada sauce.
    who can pack it !
    W want to get in in a store

    1. Salsas and sauces are NOT on the CA approved list for Cottage Foods. You would need to rent a commercial kitchen which is licensed for canning.

    • AURELIO on May 30, 2015 at 12:08 pm
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    Hello, I want to sell Birria de res tacos a Beef stew like Mexican dish I want to sell it at fare booths and also in weddings or birthday parties at the park or customers yard but don’t know how to start . Will it qualify for Cottage food category? if not what what should be my next step. Thanks.

    1. No meat products are on their CA approves cottage food list. Contact your county health department for appropriate permits.

    • Summer King on July 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm
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    Are Tamales included in the cottage food license? Lumpia, And pancid?

    1. FRUIT tamales are approved, but not lumpia or pancid.

    • julie aston on May 16, 2016 at 4:34 pm
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    A friend and myself would like to be partners in a cottage food business using my kitchen. You are allowed one “employee” … however is it possible to structure business as 2 equal partners??

    Also, would a Bar that includes nut butters and dried fruit but are not cooked and need to be refrigerated because of nut butters be approved???

    • Mark Baranowski on March 12, 2017 at 5:05 am
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    Food Handler ANSI Training only $7.00!

  1. I have opened a Organic Farm Stand in Valley Center, I also have a cottage kitchen. I am interested in supporting other cottage kitchens with their sales. Is there a list of providers?

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