Indiana Interpretation Of (Home Based Vendor) Legal

Business By surgery2 Updated 19 Sep 2013 , 1:31pm by ac2steachk

surgery2 Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 2:30am
post #1 of 32

here is the Indiana interpretaton of HBV, obviously Indiana bakers can now sell there products, within certain guidelines of products, just by stepping outside your door with the product. Online, presales, pre phone orders are mentioned as being "ok"

31 replies
overindulged Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 2:34am
post #2 of 32

From what I can understand, you can only sell at farmers markets or roadside stands. No deliveries allowed.

surgery2 Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 2:41am
post #3 of 32

ask your attorney, I did
most of my sales are products and cakes other than wedding cakes anyway

surgery2 Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 2:43am
post #4 of 32

there are ways around the delivery aspect
ask your attorney, I did.
Just make sure its labeled appropriately like its spelled out on the guidelines

overindulged Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 3:07am
post #5 of 32

I'm from Elkhart. icon_smile.gif I'm a hobbyist anyway and in no shape or form ready to sell anything.

But thanks for the info! icon_smile.gif

Lyns082608 Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 3:23am
post #6 of 32

I emailed the ISHD and they sent me the link for the cottage laws and also gave me the name and email for a gentleman at Purdue. I emailed him and asked him about the farmers market and roadside stands since most of my orders are celebration cakes or wedding cakes. (Only 1 wedding cake so far.) He said we are able to sell non-potentially-hazardous products (which *most* cakes fall into, not all, but many) from the home or a roadside stand/farmers market. If anyone wants his email PM me icon_smile.gif

ilucy Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 3:33am
post #7 of 32

Thanks for the info
so that means I can take a order make the cake and put the label on the box and won't get in trouble with anyone
I thought the same way you have to go to a farmers/roadside to sell

CakestyleIN Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 6:13pm
post #8 of 32

Think of the lemonade stand that u set up at the end of your driveway as a kid.. that's a roadside stand on your property. icon_lol.gif

emrldsky Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 2:23pm
post #9 of 32

I think I'm going to still contact the county extension office, ask for their interpretation, and then contact a lawyer. lol

If you're right, and I can make, bake, and sell from home just by making sure I'm delivering outside my house, that changes some things.

And Lyns, thanks for the Purdue contact. I think I'll write an email to him regarding this as well, just to see if he has any further information for my area (which would be his).

tab_stout Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 4:53pm
post #10 of 32

OP , do you mind telling me where you found this document on the web. I tried clicking on the attachment so I can view it better, but it is not working for me.

surgery2 Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 10:58pm
post #11 of 32

Tab_stout............. search "indiana cottage law", then a couple websites have the link

Actually its best to contact your LOCAL health dept, I did and they have the final say in what goes. The different counties just INTERPRET the new law the way they see it. So just check with your local health dept.

tab_stout Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 11:23pm
post #12 of 32

Thanks a bunch. I really appreciate it! At least I now know there still might be a way to eventually sell from the home.

emrldsky Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 9:15pm
post #13 of 32

Ok, I just wanted to follow up since I found some more information.

According to the FAQ found here:, you CANNOT sell from your home, only at a Farmer's Market or Roadside Stand.


30. Can a HBV sell products out of their home? No, we debated this at length, but decided that if we allowed it in the home then we would be allowing cafes and coffee shops to develop from this.

Found on Page 5 of the above pdf.

Also, for more information, you can go to:

I hope that helps!

surgery2 Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 11:34pm
post #14 of 32

So as the health dept told me, step outside your home with the cake/pastry/baked goods....... , walk to your picnic table or other garden table in your yard, and have the buyer pick up the cake there. Its a roadside stand. Just make sure your following the labeling guidelines. But I take orders to two farmers markets i am dealing with.

indydebi Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 2:08am
post #15 of 32

does the purdue guy work for the health dept?

tomsmom245 Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 2:22am
post #16 of 32

Clear as mud to me. Are you supposed to bake and decorate it AT the Farmer's Market or roadside stand too? Why can't the stupid government just spell it out?? All the gray areas are plain ridiculous.

Just to be clear, I don't sell cakes. I play and eat icon_smile.gif If a friend asks for something I will hook them up.

emrldsky Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 2:48am
post #17 of 32
Originally Posted by indydebi

does the purdue guy work for the health dept?

I do not believe so, but part of the extension office for Purdue. However, the Q/A document seems to have answers not just from him, but from someone who was part of writing the bill.

I think it's always most pertinent to check with the county HD where you are BEFORE taking any actions.

I have a feeling that my county would be more strict because of several farmer's markets in the are (at least three locations). One of which does have a licensed bakery as a vendor.

I'm still keeping my baking to hobby and only doing cakes for free. Things just seem too fuzzy to take a chance.

indydebi Posted 20 Feb 2010 , 2:57am
post #18 of 32

Purdue University is instrumental in education and helping with the food industry (Orville Redenbacher was affiliated with Purdue!) but they are not lawmakers, health dept inspectors or law enforcers. I have a high level of respect for their research and scientific methods, but would never go to them as the final source on something like this.

couchpotatocreations Posted 6 Dec 2010 , 3:24pm
post #19 of 32

I was recently visited by my local health inspector because someone in an adjacent county filed a complaint against me under the new law. The inspector was very kind, she found no violations, and clearly stated that I can sell cakes from my home. All I have to do is step outside and my porch is considered a roadside stand. The customer can't come into my home. Unfortunately, this was probably a vendetta from a former bully boss who has a shop and I was her head decorator!! Don't let anyone stop you from taking advantage of this new law. There are those on here who have overhead (aka retail location). They are going to try and discourage you....don't let them. Happy baking and decorating to all!! Hope this has helped someone!

luckylibra Posted 8 Dec 2010 , 2:17am
post #20 of 32

It is amazing to me how many different answers you can get depending on which person you talk to. I saved the voicemail that I got in response to my questions from the head of our health department. He told me I can sell from home, non-perishable, as long as I label ingredients by weight. He did not say I had to step outside my home or anything like that. I even asked. Happy Caking!

homebasedbaking Posted 10 Dec 2010 , 4:04pm
post #21 of 32

Please find below a copy of the 2009 law, I have not received any updates but have a call into the state health department; if it is different I will re-post.

Here is the link:

You may also contact:
Indiana State Department of Health
Phone: 317-233-7360
Email: [email protected]

If you are interested in selling at your local Farmers Market contact the specific market and speak with the market manager to learn the requirements and regs for selling baked goods at that market. Often different markets have different requirements whether they are state funded or privately owned. Here is the FM link

I always recommend that food processors go directly to the regulatory source and if you don't locate the information you need keep digging, there are laws regulating the type of food that can or cannot be produced commercially or home-based in every state (no really there is), along with any specific limitations. You cannot go by what someone else says even if they live in your state, regulations may differ depending on the county or city/town in which you live and specific zoning laws.

couchpotatocreations Posted 11 Dec 2010 , 12:22am
post #22 of 32

The state of Indiana is what this thread is about. There is only one Home-Based-Vendor law for the entire state. It spells out what food is OK and what is not. This is not a county/local thing. The only thing people need to find out is what constitutes a roadside stand in their area to determine if they can sell from their own front yard. More of the scare tactics I was talking about!

indydebi Posted 11 Dec 2010 , 12:54am
post #23 of 32
Originally Posted by couchpotatocreations

The state of Indiana is what this thread is about. There is only one Home-Based-Vendor law for the entire state. It spells out what food is OK and what is not. This is not a county/local thing. The only thing people need to find out is what constitutes a roadside stand in their area to determine if they can sell from their own front yard. More of the scare tactics I was talking about!

"scare" tactics? icon_confused.gif That's an interesting phrasing ("tactic"?) to take in this conversation.

While this is a state law, it is enforced locally by each health dept. if there are discrepancies in the interpretations, then you need to either contact the health dept at the state level or contact your state legislator to get the law revised and clarified. If you get a different answer from the state level health dept, be prepared with names, dates and detailed conversations of what you've been told by the local agency.

I can totally see some local agencies interpreting a "farmer's market" as a formal farmer's market (which was the intent of the law to start with) and NOT as "someone's front porch".

No one on here is going to try to stop someone just because one person has overhead .... as with all conversations on this topic, the conversation's intent is to share information to help all bakers who want to work it legally to do so. If it's nto legal to do it one way, we (CC'ers) will say so. If it is legal to do it another way, we (CC'ers) will say so.

I owned a comercial kitchen. I don't own one now. So I've been on both sides of this conversation. Based on my knowledge of this law, I will NOT sell a cake from my home, even tho' I get lots of opportunities to do so.

luckylibra Posted 11 Dec 2010 , 4:29am
post #24 of 32

I guess I thought by calling the local health department, which would be responsible for enforcing the law, I would get the same answer I had seen on here but they appear to interpret it differently. I would guess then the state level would be the authority rather than localities but you would also think they would have discussed it and sent a memo or something out telling each county how they expect the law to be enforced so they are consistent.

indydebi Posted 11 Dec 2010 , 4:58am
post #25 of 32
Originally Posted by luckylibra

but you would also think they would have discussed it and sent a memo or something out telling each county how they expect the law to be enforced so they are consistent.

you'd think so, huh?

To quote one of my favorite lines from the movie, "Apollo 13":

"Is this a guv'ment operation or WHAT?" icon_confused.gif icon_lol.gif

kelleym Posted 11 Dec 2010 , 2:33pm
post #26 of 32

I am currently reading the book Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal. The author spends a lot of time in one chapter describing how, one day he got a new inspector, who came out to his farm and told him he had to change the way he was doing everything. No rules had changed. No laws had changed. But he had a new inspector who just decided to interpret the existing rules differently.

The book is really, really interesting if you're as passionate as I am about the cottage food law movement, and the reasons that government rules (generally) make operating a small food business impractical or impossible.

srtodd77 Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 12:40am
post #27 of 32

I live in IN. We had neighbors who were amish and they had a stand in their front yard. They were told by our county health department they couldn't have it. It is funny how everyone "in charge" sees the law differently. I printed out the law to read and re-read and still don't understand it. I have been trying to find a commercial kitchen to rent because I want to do the right thing, but I think I will call tomorrow to find out.

Kevlu1999 Posted 2 Mar 2013 , 1:46pm
post #28 of 32

I would like the information please.... I am in Lake County IN ... and wanting as much information as I can.


Thank you

MrsR11312 Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 6:18pm
post #29 of 32

I, too, am in Lake County, Indiana. I called the Lake County Health Department and was told that, no way, no how, was I to sell baked goods from home. ONLY at a farmer's markets. I then inquired about obtaining a license to bake out of a commercial kitchen (for rent) in Porter County. They told me that I would have to call Porter County for that, but if I wanted to sell at an event in Lake County, I'd have to get a permit for each event.  Interestingly enough, I called Porter County and was told that I wouldn't need a permit to selled baked goods out of my home because they consider it a "roadside stand" and I wouldn't need to rent from the commercial kitchen. I've contemplated calling Lake County back with this information but haven't gotten the nerve to do it yet.......and there are NO kitchen for rent in Lake County. At least none that I've found.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Mar 2013 , 7:07pm
post #30 of 32

i used to live & work in lake county in, decades ago though


each jurisdiction is different--each city can be different and from incorporated to unincorporated--all of that even in the same county can be all different


telling each other county would not gain you any ground


but obviously moving to porter county would ;)

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