A surprising thing is happening across America; many foodies are trying their hand at baking from home to not only make extra income but sell delicious food products in their community. Today food crafters have more options when it comes to selling their specialty foods, and consumers are seeking out the unusual to compliment their daily meals. Visit any food cooperative, farmers market, or street food festival and you are bound to run across pickled okra, Plumhoney ®, chocolate truffle cupcakes and hot pepper cheese bread.
The new trend is to buy local, from local vendors enjoying foods that literally come from the vendor’s kitchen to your dining table. The owner of the Turtle Box Bakery, Abraham Palmer of Carrboro, North Carolina not only mills some of his own wheat; he is working diligently to make a difference in the community by introducing consumers to how products are made from the ground up.
There are home-based bakers like Lilian Chavira, of Gellocake in Okemos, Michigan, who crafted a special kitchen in her basement, so she could create a bakery business operated solely from home. These food crafters have no intention of operating a traditional bakery and prefer to build a loyal group of customers that will purchase their baked goods and spread support via word of mouth.
One of the easiest food businesses to start is a small bakery. They are potentially low risk and depending on where you sell your goods, products can easily be moved from kitchen to customer.
The top 10 states that have cottage food laws, not only permitting but promoting home-based baking and food processing include:
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
One of the first cottage food laws documented involved the state of Oregon with a 20 year history in the home food processing business and since 2009 the number of states creating "cottage food laws" as doubled. No doubt the struggling U.S. economy has played a pivotal part in motivating the increased interest in small food processing and home-based baking. It is something foodies can do from their home kitchen, allowing them to work around family obligations.
It should be pointed out that making a profit from a home-based bakery or home food processing business will not be easy. All too often food crafters assume that "if they make it, customers will come." Not so, developing any type of business, home-based or otherwise is challenging and involves that four letter work many wish to ignore; work.
There are few state records on how many home-based bakers and food processors there are across the nation, but one thing is for sure, as long as there is a market for unique specialty food products and fresh homemade baked goods there will be food crafters flexing their creative juices to make that next gourmet treat.