Saturday, September 17, 2011

Making Money from Homemade Food & Cottage Laws

My family and friends know I started canning fruit and my famous spaghetti sauce last fall. To me it is so relaxing and fun. I love peeling the fruit, cooking it and having the house smell wonderful all day. Last year I tried my own spiced peach recipe as you can no longer buy them in most stores. As a kid we always had spiced peaches for Thanksgiving and Christmas so I had to make them.

This year I got my peaches and then had trouble locating my canning supplies. By the time I got them the peaches were too ripe to can. So a friend suggested I make preserves instead. So I did. And the results are mouth watering. Then my friend came over and showed me how to do some really neat preserves like Blackberry pepperflake.  This stuff is rapidly disappearing!

My friends family had previously owned a restaurant where they sold homemade jelly and preserves. While we were canning she kept saying what a shame it was we couldn't restart it.

So I investigated and was shocked to find out that Ohio is a cottage food state. That means that we can make jelly, jam, popcorn, granola bars etc and non perishable baked goods without a license.  The biggest catch is we can only sell it in the state of Ohio. I immediately called my friend and she was estatic. Even though she has always lived in Ohio she had no idea it was a cottage food state. Currently there are 24 states that have similar cottage food laws. However there are explicit rules on what is prohibited such as salsa, vegetables or anything that is low acid.

With the holidays approaching I think its a good time to try it out and see how it goes. The great thing about a home food business is the start up cost is very low.  For the cost of some fruit, sugar, jars and pectin we can give it a go.

I am hoping to try some new recipes this weekend. I am lucky that I live close to an orchard that has the best apples, pears, peaches, figs etc.

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