Monday, January 14, 2013

Selling home-baked goods now legalized

Highlights from Tara Duggan's article in the SF Chronicle:

When a commercial kitchen wasn't available, that took a slice out of Patricia Kline's pie business.  Now she can bake at home. 

Photo: Russell Yip, The Chronicle

...Patricia Kline's miniature pies have been featured in O magazine and the Wall Street Journal, yet she has struggled to pay the $25 hourly rental required for commercial kitchen space...
"...Finding a (commercial) kitchen, number one, and being able to keep it is really a barrier to entry," Kline said. "It's put a lid on my business..." 
...Kline is one of many Bay Area entrepreneurs eager to take advantage of AB1616, also called the Cottage Food Bill. It allows producers of certain nonperishable foods, which don't require refrigeration, to forgo commercial kitchens and prepare the food at home... 
"...Food production, or the food business in general, have been pretty good gateways, especially with women, to enter the business world," said California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles. "With the economy being the way it is, people have more time to do things like that and could really use the extra cash..." 
...Other Bay Area counties, including Alameda, Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo and Contra Costa, are slowly making permits available, meaning that entrepreneurs who get permits in those counties can start preparing foods like nuts and nut butters, crackers, popcorn, dried pasta, dried herbs and seeds, flours, certain candies and coffee.
Also included in the new law are tortillas, churros and other baked goods that aren't made with meat, cream or custard. In general, the foods allowed are ones that are nonperishable and don't inherently pose a risk of food-borne illness...


San Francisco just began offering permits to cottage food entrepreneurs such as Kline. 
Photo: Russell Yip, The Chronicle

...Amber Gillespie of Sacramento has applied for her health permit and is checking into zoning requirements before she starts her cake decorating business in her home... 
"I have two young children, which makes it financially difficult to get out of the house anyway, but a commercial kitchen is astronomical to start up," said Gillespie...

Tara Duggan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: tduggan@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @taraduggan

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You can read this entire article and more at the San Francisco Chronicle HERE

Mike Gatto is the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the California State Assembly.  He represents the cities of Burbank, Glendale, La Canada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater Village, and portions of the Hollywood Hills and East Hollywood.   www.asm.ca.gov/gatto  

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