Baker's bill

A new cottage industry bill has been proposed by Sen. Aaron Ford that would allow for home cooks, bakers and farmers to sell products without becoming a commercial kitchen. The bill, referred to as the Baker’s Bill, would permit home cooks to sell baked goods and dried teas. The Baker’s Bill will be sponsored by Ford in this year’s legislative session.

“A cottage industry law would allow opportunities for community-based food production in which small business entrepreneurs could test out their best ideas for artisan or locally-based food,” said Quest Lakes, task force facilitator for the Healthy Communities Coalition. “In other words, people can formalize and grow their businesses with minimal start-up investment. … Cottage industries can also expand the healthy local food available to rural customers who may be far from large grocery stores.”

Neighboring states, including California, have cottage industry laws that allow for “non-potentially hazardous foods,” according to the Sustainable Economics Law Center. These foods are “unlikely to grow harmful bacteria or other toxic microorganisms at room temperature,” including dried fruit, dried pasta, herb blends, candy, and baked goods without fruit or meat filling. Some items, like jams and preserves, are also permitted but must abide by local regulations.