The California legislature finally did something right! Bill AB1616 which is now law as of January 1, 2013 . This is a cottage industry law that allows certain homemade baked goods to be sold to the public. The basis of the law exempts private homes from being defined as a food facility with the state of California and much of the regulations that go with that definition. You will still need the proper permits for your business. See bill AB1616 for details. cdph.ca.gov is a good place the start.
There are several types of home baked goods that are legal to produce in your home. I will focus on one. Jams, Jellies and Preserves. One of the main reasons jams, jellies and preserves are allowed is because they are shelf stable and biologically safe due to the high sugar content and high packing temperature.
For those of you that are looking to start a home based business in California I would seriously consider this for several reasons.
First, If you have a gas or electric stove top in your house, you can produce this product.
Second, California offers an abundance of fruit varieties, packing houses and farmers markets every where in the state.
Third, Farmers markets are not only a great place to find fruit vendors, but also a great place to sell your product.
Fourth, Low start up cost. What other type of business could you get the proper permits and produce several cases of product and sell at a farmers market for $500.00 or possible less
Fifth. Profit. A reasonable cost estimate per 8 oz. jar of jam is $2.50 that you can sell for $6.00 to $7.00. As you produce more and purchase larger quantities of jars, fruit, sugar and pectin, your cost will begin to go down increasing your profit even more.
Sixth, You have a local company “California Ingredients” that can provide you the pectin and other ingredients you will need a long with the technical knowledge to get you started right.
There are sales caps in the law. I would not worry about that. If you are making enough to break the sales cap, then you are ready for the next step anyways.
If you are interested in this opportunity I would encourage you to read bill AB1616 in it’s entirety. As always feel free to contact us with any and all questions pertaining to jam production. We are here to help.