Easy to start, created specifically for local, handmade food: Castiron’s food business management platform is built to help you grow. Create an online store for your business, sell where and how your customers want to buy, and look professional without being technical.
Food entrepreneurs, this is your moment. Your community is more and more conscious about what they buy and where it is from. They want food made with love. With ingredients they can pronounce. And they want to support their community while doing it.
Castiron is the best fit for your food business because we're not a one-size-fits-all tool. Selling local food is different from pre-packaged warehouse products. Whether you sell cooking classes, need local pick up, utilize pre-sales to plan inventory, or need a fully custom order form — we got you.
No code required. Add products, upload your logo, share your story, and link to your social profiles from your flexible store. We'll handle the tech so you can focus on growing your food business.
Never track down a payment or oversell products again. Real-time inventory tracking and secure payment processing make life easier for you and your customers, and our order form builder makes managing custom requests a breeze.
With our marketing tools, your email marketing can go on autopilot. We make it easy to promote your latest products, announce custom order availability, and stay connected with customers.
Before even entertaining the thought of selling food from home, you must consider the legalities of the endeavor. “Can I sell food from home?” isn’t always a simple question to answer. Each state has its own laws to determine whether you’re allowed to sell home-based food items. The determination of whether you’re permitted to sell homemade food falls under what’s known as cottage food laws. Before launch, you should learn how to get a permit to sell from home to legally distribute homemade foods.
Although there are some food operations that do not need permits, most states require some sort of regulations regarding food sales. For starters, cottage food refers to homemade items being sold directly from the cook. Traditionally, the individual prepares the cottage food in an unlicensed and non-commercial kitchen. You can’t label any homemade food item as “cottage food.” The food must meet certain pre-requisites to fall under cottage food laws. For example, according to the Florida’s Division of Food Safety, cottage food must not be time or temperature controlled for safety reasons. In essence, no type of harmful toxins or pathogens can form in the food if exposed to extreme heat or cold. Foods that can’t be served raw also fall into this category. Uncooked meats, cut fruits, and cut vegetables usually can’t be labeled cottage foods. Examples of items traditionally regulated under cottage food laws include:
Many of the top names in the food industry got their start making delicious dishes out of their homes. According to Investopedia, Debbie Fields, Martha Stewart, and Paul Newman all launched their businesses from home kitchens. Starting out small in a home kitchen allows the cook to test out products before investing a significant amount of money in a larger operation.
Keep in mind that a permit to sell from home may not be required by your state, but local governments may request one. Head to any municipal office to ask do you need a license to sell baked goods and other cottage food items. At a minimum, you may need to apply for a food handlers permit. To get a food handlers permit, you will need to take a brief course that covers food safety. The course will also discuss food labeling rules. For instance, many states require all homemade food items be labeled as such. Sellers must provide the labels to inform consumers that the products have not been inspected. To legally sell food made in a home kitchen, you must also review where you can market the items. Legally, you may not be permitted to stock retail locations with homemade wares. Instead, you can sell the food directly to the consumer or through farmers' markets.
To learn how to make money selling food from home, conduct market research while evaluating the legalities of the enterprise. Estimate any costs associated with running your home-based business. At launch, you’ll need to pay upfront fees like the total cottage food license cost. Without a valid permit, you may receive a fine for selling food from home. Fines can undermine your profits and put your new business in jeopardy. Instead of trying to operate without the proper permits, get a license to sell food from home before opening.
Any cottage food laws are always state-specific. In most cases, a state’s Division of Food Safety or Department of Agriculture makes a determination over what’s acceptable for retail sale. To protect consumers, government bodies will restrict what’s allowed to forgo food inspections. Keep in mind that cottage food laws are subject to change at any time. The following are among the most popular states with cottage food laws:
Can you sell food from home in Georgia? Yes, and all cottage food sales are managed by Georgia’s Department of Agriculture. The law permits the sale of items such as breads, pastries, popcorn, nuts, trail mixes, cakes, popcorn, and cotton candy. A Georgia cottage food license isn’t required, but sellers must limit the locations of their retail sales. Under the regulations, the products may not be distributed or sold wholesale. Sellers can’t cross state lines either under the current mandates. Online orders are allowed, but can only take place within state lines. Sellers in Georgia can also advertise through non-profit events.
Under Georgia state law, all cottage food sellers must complete a training course provided by the American National Standards Institute. The accredited course will cover the basics of handling food safely.
Selling food from home in Texas involves the distribution of products that don’t require time or temperature control. One question often asked by residents is, “Do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in Texas?” The answer is no, since baked goods will fall under what’s considered cottage food by the state. Additional cottage foods permitted in Texas are candy, popcorn, dry cereals, nuts, unroasted nut butters, pickled fruits and vegetables, canned vegetables, mustard, and roasted coffee.
Another query often asked is “What permits do I need to sell food in Texas?” As long as you’re only selling cottage food items, you’re exempt from permit and inspection requirements, according to the Texas Health and Human Services. Although a permit isn’t required by the agency, the government will keep a record of any complaints against a cottage food provider.
Additional regulations involve how the food is sold. In Texas, cooks aren’t allowed to sell items from their home kitchens online or by mail order. Wholesale distribution is also prohibited.
Can you sell food from home in Wisconsin? Yes, however, the state of Wisconsin allows the sale of a limited number of products. Wisconsin permits homemade pickled fruits and vegetables, applesauce, salsas, baked goods, jams and jellies, and sauerkraut under their cottage food regulations. Currently, any other items require you to fill out a Wisconsin food license application. No items that require refrigeration can be sold in Wisconsin home kitchens.
Food operations that do not need permits Florida based, include anyone who sells items that don’t become a health hazard due to temperature changes. Cottage food sellers in Florida have the option to advertise through websites, mail order, and directly to consumers.
What is cottage food in Florida? Cottage food in Florida will include nuts, jams and jellies, popcorn and popcorn balls, trail mix, cereals, baked desserts, and breads. Items must be properly labeled and certain foods can’t be distributed wholesale.
Do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in California? A home based food business California area requires a permit before any sales can be made. California maintains an active list of permitted food items and asks home kitchens to confirm that they are in compliance with state rules. Foods allowed include baked goods, nuts, candy, coffee, jellies, protein powder mixes, vinegars, and mustards. Any type of perishable food product like meats, eggs, custards, cooked vegetables, and raw fruits aren’t permitted under cottage food regulations.
When filing the application, you will have the option to apply for a Class A or Class B permit. With the Class A permit California food application, direct sales are only allowed. Class B permits cover both direct and indirect cottage food sales.
Do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in PA? Pennsylvania does require an application and review before permitting home kitchen items to be sold. Interested parties must fill out an application to operate as Limited Food Establishments. Once approved, sellers can prepare foods in residential kitchens as long as items require no time or temperature control. The state requires a fee for the license and will need to inspect a home kitchen before allowing any cottage food preparation. Before the inspection, a plan will be sent to the applicant on how to confirm the home kitchen meets regulations.
Home kitchen license Illinois regulations include the ability to prepare and sell certain food items at farmers’ markets. Permitted items include fruit jellies and preserves, fruit butters, baked desserts, breads, dried herbs, teas, and coffees. All items must be labeled properly before sale at any farmers’ markets.
With a license to sell food from home in Illinois, more edible products are permitted. Also, the license will allow for the sale of goods outside of farmers’ markets. Currently, no online or mail order sales are mandated in the state. Before selling any food, a food sanitation certificate must be obtained.
Do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in NY? No, in most cases, you may be exempt from licensing requirements if you sell a baked good. Additional items such as jellies and snack mixes are included under the law. To sell these items, apply for a Home Processor Exemption. If approved, you will be allowed to market homemade food at farmers’ markets, craft fairs, online, and direct sales. Products must be packaged ahead of time at home and properly labeled before sale. Both wholesale and retail sales are permitted under the law.
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