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Home Cooking Business

If you’ve been wondering how to start a food business from home, you’ve come to the right place. A home cooking business is a fantastic idea for anyone who loves to cook, has embraced a specific diet, or who is the first person everyone thinks of when they need special cakes, cookies, confections, and other items.

There are many cooking business ideas from home that can be fun and profitable for you. Especially if you live in an area where the services you offer are in high demand. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you learn about the local laws concerning how to start a food business from home and any permits, licensing, and inspections you might need to get started before you begin.

Ideas to Consider for a Home Cooking Business

Homemade food is big business right now.  People lead busy lives. They want the benefit of homemade food but lack the time, and sometimes knowledge, required to prepare them. You can meet an important need in your community while bringing income into your home. Excellent ideas to consider include the following:

Of course, these aren’t the only options to consider. You could also choose to specialize in one specific thing, like flavored honey, gourmet apple sauce, preserves, jellies, jams, pickles, etc. The key is to find items that you are able to make from your home, that are cost-effective (and profitable) to sell, and that you have an audience for within your community. Below we will discuss various cottage food business ideas for 2021 and how you might get started bringing your home cooking business to life in the months ahead.

Food Business Ideas 2021

The pandemic has sparked ideas for many cottage food businesses. As more people seek new ways to earn money while being home with children who can’t attend normal classrooms and daycare centers due to COVID-19 restrictions and requirements, the idea of selling food from home is going strong and gaining new traction among people across the country.

There are many cooking business ideas to consider. However, you will need to check with the laws in your state to learn whether there are specific restrictions on what you can or cannot prepare in a home kitchen, any type of licensing you may be required to obtain, and permits your state or city may require in order for you to turn your online food business ideas into reality. Also, note that some states may allow you to prepare food to sell in your home but may not allow you to use the internet to sell the food. This means you may have to seek more innovative ideas for a food business that works within the constructs of laws in your state or become involved in the political process on the local and state level to effect changes that will make your food business ideas in 2021 achievable.

Whether your head is brimming with street food business ideas that involve fusions of multiple cuisines or you have other flavorful food ideas to sell from home, now is the perfect time to explore your options and turn your ideas into cash for your family. The good news is that more states are “softening” to the idea of cottage food businesses and allowing fewer restrictions and greater autonomy for these types of businesses. Unfortunately, not all states are evolving at the same pace to make this trend more commonplace. Find out the regulations in your state and work to make changes if your state isn’t quite ready for your food business ideas.

Permit to Sell Food from Home

Do you need a permit to sell food from home? In most U.S. states, the answer is yes. You will need a permit of some sort to sell food from home. Some states, though, have stricter requirements and restrictions and make you jump through far more hoops when seeking a food permit application. If you’re wondering how to get a permit to sell food from home, one of the best places to begin is your local health department. While there are some food operations that do not need permits, most cottage food businesses that operate from a home will require some sort of permit.

Class A Food Permit in California

Since there are only a few food operations that do not need permits in California, it is best to focus on finding out which permits you’ll need to operate a food business from your home. Most businesses will require a specific permit to sell food from home in California. You will start with a Class A permit California food application before moving on to other types of permits or licenses you may require. For instance, a home baking business may also require a business license in addition to the class A permit and food handling permits for yourself and any employees the business has.

In Florida, cottage food businesses do not require licenses or permits. This means you do not need a permit to sell food from home in Florida, provided you meet the other criteria established by the state. Among food operations that do not need permits in Florida are most home-based food operations.

Texas is in a similar situation to Florida. While cottage food businesses do need food handling permits, they are not required to obtain a permit to sell food from home in Texas. Additionally, there are quite a few food operations that do not need permits in Texas – at least not to operate.

Do I Need a License to Sell Food from My Home?

You may be wondering; do you need a license to sell baked goods from home? In most states, you will need some sort of permit or license to sell food from home. That means the next thing you need to know is how to get a license to sell food from home in your state. Unfortunately, there are 50 different states with 50 different laws concerning cottage food. That means there isn’t a one-size-fits-all guide for how to get a license to sell food in your state.

If you’re not sure where to begin, your local health department might be an excellent resource for cottage food laws in your city as well as your state. For instance, you will need to have a cottage food license in Los Angeles to sell food from home. If you sell baked goods from your home, you may need a home bakery license in California as well as a business license to operate the home bakery. For many people in the cottage food industry in the state, the answer to “Do I need a license to sell homemade food in California?” is “Yes.” But that isn’t always the case. Honestly, it depends on the types of food you wish to prepare and sell in your home.

“Do I need a license to sell food from my home in Florida?” It’s a good question to ask if you live in Florida. So is, “Do I need a license to sell homemade food in Florida?” Cottage food businesses in the state of Florida do not require licensing or permits as long as their gross sales do not exceed $250,000 per year. This means you don’t need a home bakery license in Florida, nor do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in Florida.

Do you need a license to sell food from home in Illinois? The short answer is yes. Whether your home kitchen is operating under Cottage Food Law or Cupcake Law in Illinois you are required to obtain a home kitchen license from the state.

Starting a Food Business Checklist

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to starting a food business. That is why you need a starting a food business checklist to follow. These are a few of the “can’t miss” items you’ll want to include in your checklist to make sure you don’t miss important details or information when starting your own cottage food business in any state.

Then, all that remains is to spread the word about your business and get to work making food for the masses from your home kitchen.

Launch or grow your home-based cooking business with product ideas, information on regulations, and business advice for food entrepreneurs.

Heather Brookshire

The Cake Whisperer


My business would not be the same without my Castiron website! It is an easy setup with lots of customization and tons of support! I am so glad I set up my shop last year before the holidays — it really helped increase my sales!

Amanda McMonigle

The Whimsical Cookie


Castiron provides me a professional site to my customers increasing my credibility and value while giving me the tools to effectively market and manage my business in an easy, user-friendly manner.

Kim Sims

Wesley's Treats Hallie's Sweets


Castiron has made my cottage bakery shine, and my business easy to manage. As a platform they care about my business as much as I do.

Katie Maschoff

Mill City Cooking Company


Before Castiron, I was taking orders really manually, through emails or texts or Facebook. Now I can send customers straight to my website, and I don’t have to worry about missing any details.

Daniella Smith

Oso Good Clean Eats


I couldn't run my business without the Castiron platform. It made it so easy to get my shop up and running — it truly removed a massive barrier to me getting started!

Ali Serpe

Kultured Kombucha


I realized that the barrier of having to DM or text me to order was holding a lot of potential customers back.

Now that I have a professional website and a simple ecommerce checkout, I'm seeing a huge increase in new customers and they appreciate how easy Castiron makes ordering.

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The Best Fit for Your Food Business

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.

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