Washington State Cottage Food Law

Decorating By FH_Cakes Updated 19 Nov 2011 , 6:04am by Bridgette1129

FH_Cakes Posted 5 May 2011 , 8:48pm
post #1 of 38

It is with my great honor to announce Washington State now has a Cottage Foods Law. The Governor signed the bill this morning. This law will take effect in 90 days.

I will update as I get more info on the inspection process.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/Senate%20Final/5748-S.E%20SBR%20FBR%2011.pdf

37 replies
Smallfrye Posted 5 May 2011 , 9:03pm
post #2 of 38

Who is going to be doing the inspections the dept of health or agriculture??

FH_Cakes Posted 5 May 2011 , 9:06pm
post #3 of 38

Ag...however they can sub-contract the Health Dept to do the inspections.

PLD614 Posted 11 May 2011 , 1:59am
post #4 of 38

That's awesome! Thanks for representing Felicia!

~Aliaicon_smile.gif

Lovin_Cakes30 Posted 11 May 2011 , 9:22pm
post #5 of 38

I have been reading this new law. In it, it states that no pets, infants or small children can be present in the kitchen while baking for customers. Does this mean it would be okay to own pets? Also, anyone know what kind of inspection it is....I have old looking countertops and an old looking sink but both are very clean! Do you need any special commercial equipment or appliances? I really would love to do this but am afraid to pay the inspection money without knowing whatthey are looking for first! I also saw the earning cap at both 12k and 15k. Anyone know which it really is?

FH_Cakes Posted 11 May 2011 , 11:00pm
post #6 of 38

lovin-cakes30...

You are not required to have special equipment/countertops. The inspection is for hygiene/safe practices. You are okay to have pets/kids in the home just not in the kitchen when your baking (your hours of operation).

The gross sales is $15,000. Please make sure you only read from the final bill summary...this is the one the Governor signed!

Let me know if you have any other questions icon_biggrin.gif

Lovin_Cakes30 Posted 12 May 2011 , 2:12am
post #7 of 38

Thank you so much for the information. I have a million more questions but I suppose I should call the department of ag haha. I just hate calling and sounding like an idiot when I have no clue what to expect or what I am talking about. So thank you again for the information.

Do you happen to know if "no internet sales" means you cannot advertise on the internet at all? I would love to get a facebook and a website up someday when I actually do this....just to advertise.

FH_Cakes Posted 12 May 2011 , 3:50am
post #8 of 38

The Dept of Ag will not be able to help you yet, but I can! Since the bill was just signed by the Governor last Thursday, the Ag Dept won't have this up and running for a bit. The law becomes effective on August 3rd, 2011.

You can have a website and advertise all you want, what they are saying regarding "no internet sales" is that you may not sell/ship your items via places such as e-bay/etsy. You must keep all sales within the state of Washington. It's hard for me since I am 10 minutes from Portland, OR...I can not deliver my cakes under this Cottage Foods Law...but I can have them picked up!

I helped establish this bill and change several parts of it, if you have any further questions I am happy to help!

Lovin_Cakes30 Posted 12 May 2011 , 3:42pm
post #9 of 38

WOW! What an accomplishment. Thank you Thank you thank you! Because of this it seems like I will be able to make a dream come true =)

So do you mean you can't deliver at all or can't deeliver to Oregon? I took it as meaning you can sell to people in Portland but they have to pick it up??? I am in Spokane and so am close to Post Falls and Couer D' Alene Idaho so that would be good to know.

Do you know what types of frostings and filling will and will not be allowed? I have heard a lot of different things from different states and would love to know how it is for Washington....So can we do cream cheese, ganache, fruit fillings, anything with heavy whipping cream or milk? Or does it depent on sugar content etc...?

I feel like I hit the jackpot finding you on here! Thank you for being willing to answere my questions!

DeeBee1958 Posted 12 May 2011 , 4:06pm
post #10 of 38

Felicia,

I only learned of this law yesterday so I feel like I've come in halfway through a movie. I spent a long time reading the entire text of the law, as well as the state and county/ciy websites for establishing a business. I don't know if you can confirm this, but I live in Seattle and it looks to me like I would need to get a regular STATE business license ($15 plus $5 for a name registration), plus this new cottage license and inspection, PLUS a SEATTLE business license for $90, PLUS another $332 for a KING COUNTY "Bakery Risk 1" (no seating).

Am I reading right that I must have both the state cottage license AND a Seattle license, AND a County Bakery license? And renew them all yearly? Add in insurance and I'm tallying about $1000. All I want to do is sell a few cakes to people in my daughter's church and school.

I'm 52 and though I don't consider that old, my hands would beg to differ. I can't be churning out cake after cake just to break even. I'm sure that I can get the Small Business Association or some class at a community college to help with the logistics but this seems so repetatively regulated it makes my head spin. No wonder so many people do this under the table! Seems like though we can sell out of our kitchens legally now, we've also just added another layer of licensing and regulations that regular restaurants and bakeries don't have! Can you clear any of this up for me?

FH_Cakes Posted 12 May 2011 , 5:56pm
post #11 of 38

@ Lovincakes

The law pertains to non-hazardous foods only. Cream cheese/whipped toppings I believe are not allowed. This question is among many I will be asking the Ag Dept myself too! The fruit fillings that come in a sleeve are fine, fresh however may be another question. You will be required to submit your full menu (all ingredients) for inspection, I am sure all of these fine details will be worked out in the coming months...For myself, I have eliminated the whipped cream frosting (no one ever asked for it anyway...but the cream cheese is one I hope to keep). As this info comes in, I will update this thread. We should start getting more info in July.

As for the delivery into Oregon...no, I can not deliver but they can come to me and pick-up! This will apply to you since you live on the border of the state too. I can deliver cakes anywhere in the state, just not across state lines.


@ DeeBee1958

Every city jurisdiction is different, however I can explain mine so you get a better idea! I have already been operational...but if I were to have just started out this is what I would need to do:

Registar your trade name (Business Name)
State Business License
http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/
Food Handlers Card
Cottage Food License/Permit
Local city licenses (in my jursidiction I am exempt from city business licnese...you all likely will be too. Please call your local city agency for more info. I do have to have a zoning permit...this allows people to pick-up from my home. This permit is around $90 per year)

This law over-rules any local Health Dept jursidiction. You will not be required to have any other food processing permits/licenses. ($332 for a KING COUNTY "Bakery Risk 1" this would not pertain to you)

This law was designed to help small business wanting to start out, to make sure this can be a viable business without having to fork out $30,000 for a commercial kitchen. For the general hobbyist wanting to make a cake or two, the fees can add up fast!

DeeBee1958 Posted 12 May 2011 , 6:11pm
post #12 of 38

Thank you Felicia! You've been so helpful and of course, a HUGE thank you for getting the law passed in the first place! I'll be watching for update about the fine details that will apply to us.

Lovin_Cakes30 Posted 12 May 2011 , 6:43pm
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeBee1958

Thank you Felicia! You've been so helpful and of course, a HUGE thank you for getting the law passed in the first place! I'll be watching for update about the fine details that will apply to us.


Ditto!

BTW how much is your liability insurance per month?

Larkin121 Posted 12 May 2011 , 6:58pm
post #14 of 38

RE: icings and fillings, my understanding is that all the other cottage state laws consider cream cheese icing, meringue icings, fruit fillings (other than the sleeve fillings), mousses, and even banana and pumpkin bread to be perishable and therefore don't fall under the non-hazardous category.

However, it's also my understanding that you can get any icing or filling tested a food lab (there's one in Puyallup where I'm at) for $25 or something like that and if the water activity level is .85 or less, it will be ruled non-hazardous. I think some cream cheese icing recipes fall under this, so if you can show that yours does, you will likely be allowed to use it. I was going to do this with my icing before I decided to use a commercial kitchen after all....I use SMBC and I think some recipes may test ok, too.

Larkin121 Posted 12 May 2011 , 7:30pm
post #15 of 38

RE: icings and fillings, my understanding is that all the other cottage state laws consider cream cheese icing, meringue icings, fruit fillings (other than the sleeve fillings), mousses, and even banana and pumpkin bread to be perishable and therefore don't fall under the non-hazardous category.

However, it's also my understanding that you can get any icing or filling tested a food lab (there's one in Puyallup where I'm at) for $25 or something like that and if the water activity level is .85 or less, it will be ruled non-hazardous. I think some cream cheese icing recipes fall under this, so if you can show that yours does, you will likely be allowed to use it. I was going to do this with my icing before I decided to use a commercial kitchen after all....I use SMBC and I think some recipes may test ok, too.

Chef_Stef Posted 14 May 2011 , 10:10pm
post #16 of 38

Good job getting things to happen though--that's a big accomplishment. thumbs_up.gif

I must be crabby today, because the competitive *b* side of me read this and went, "Oh Terrific. Now there will be even more home bakers out there undercutting our prices, only now it's *legal* for them to do it." Hard to be thrilled, from the other side of investing $200K and countless hours in a brick and mortar bakery, of which I am extremely proud, but I also know what it's like to be waiting for just such a reprieve, so I'm sure it's good news to most everyone else.

DeeBee1958 Posted 14 May 2011 , 10:19pm
post #17 of 38

Uh, well, not everyone HAS $200,000 to invest and for some of us (me, for example) it's been DECADES coming to be able to sell cakes for a profit, even a small one. Just because we don't own pricey bakeries doesn't mean we aren't good at what we do and charge accordingly. It's just really nice to not have to give our product away.

FH_Cakes Posted 14 May 2011 , 10:36pm
post #18 of 38

@ Chef Steff...

I understand your frusteration, I too considered the competition this would bring about. However, as I said in an earlier post, this law is strictly for small business. This will give people a chance to see if they have a viable business before forking out a ton of money for a store front.

Not every home baker undercutts prices, I don't! Yes, I see people on craigslist often with rock bottom prices..but there work is horrid!

I envy you for having the money and courage to open such a wonderful bakery, this is my dream...however I am first and foremost a SAHM, my kids come before my talent. Getting this law changed was a great move for our state, I hope some day you and anyone else not supporting the cottage foods law can see the positive in this change. icon_biggrin.gif

Larkin121 Posted 14 May 2011 , 10:38pm
post #19 of 38

Chef Stef, consider that you can still up-play your advantage with your fully licensed bakery. I don't know what you offer, but a fully licensed bakery can offer potentially hazardous goods, which many people like and look for, like meringue buttercreams and fruit fillings and mousses and pastry cream and cream cheese icing, etc. Plus, the cottage law products have to say on them that they are not subject to standard inspection criteria, or something like that. Some customers may not care about that, others will. I thought about it long and hard and decided I will go forward in renting a commercial kitchen for just these reasons, and I'm not too worried about the competition from cottage law kitchens. But I could be wrong, we'll see.

Saluna Posted 17 May 2011 , 2:20pm
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by FH_Cakes

I helped establish this bill and change several parts of it, if you have any further questions I am happy to help!




WOW, this is exciting!!! thumbs_up.gif

FH_Cakes Posted 18 May 2011 , 5:21am
post #21 of 38

UPDATE 5/17:

I spoke with the Department of Agricultural today, they have begun the process of implementing the law and starting the inspectionsThe problem is it is a lengthy process! I have been advised that we will likely not see inspections start until the fall.

From this point, they must first work on the Rules. This involves their attorneys and several levels of the Ag Dept to fine tune the details. There could possibly be a public hearing on this (likely in August). Once all these details are worked out the inspections can begin. They are anticipating roughly 1000 participants of the Cottage Foods Law will apply; the inspection process could take some time! The staff I am in communication with will notify me as any new info comes in. I will then pass this along to all of you.

They are currently working on the webpage for the application, FAQ and other info so we can get a head start on the inspection process. I will post the web address the minute I get it!

**The Rules I am referring to are the fine details of the inspectionWhat the inspector looks for, where products are stored, temperatures, cleaning routine***

Spuddysmom Posted 18 May 2011 , 8:17pm
post #22 of 38

Felicia,
What an amazing thread - really a dream come true for many.
I understand Chef Stef's concerns. In going through the initial steps to create a licensed bakery, I was discouraged at the many folks entering this field lately and undercutting prices because they were not legal.(I don't get that part - people are giving cakes away thinking they are making money...)
I've made cakes strictly as a hobby (never accepting any cash/"donations", whatever) while working in other fields. I figured the cost of my supplies, books, etc. is part of my "tuition". Ultimately, the set-up cost for business was prohibitive as I suddenly had other family obligations and medical bills. This bill allows me and others to begin our own legal small business. As you know, many, maybe most will not succeed for a variety of reasons. I would think that the vast majority of bakers are truly not in your league and no competition to you, however I do wonder how saturated can the market get? It seems like this has a great potential to drive prices down so do you compensate by continually raising the bar, constantly promoting your better quality or what?
Again, Felicia - I hope that you feel Amazingly proud of yourself and what you have accomplished. Thank you for helping so many to reach their dream.

FH_Cakes Posted 27 Jun 2011 , 8:34pm
post #23 of 38

Hey everyone...I created a facebook page for us to keep informed/ask questions...I have received alot of e-mails from others (not apart of cakecentral)..Please come join in!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Washington-State-Cottage-Food/212823708752853

Yane Posted 27 Jun 2011 , 8:54pm
post #24 of 38

The link is not working FH_Cakes icon_sad.gif

FH_Cakes Posted 27 Jun 2011 , 10:20pm
post #25 of 38

Now it is...thanks for the heads up!

Rosie2 Posted 27 Jun 2011 , 11:00pm
post #26 of 38

Thank you Felicia, you rock!! thumbs_up.gif

Spuddysmom Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 12:21am
post #27 of 38

Yes, thank you again and again and again!

Saluna Posted 9 Jul 2011 , 1:55pm
post #28 of 38

I can't get this link to open.. is anyone else having problem?

FH_Cakes Posted 9 Jul 2011 , 3:06pm
post #29 of 38

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington-State-Cottage-Food/212823708752853

It is working for me...Go to facebook and type in Washington State Cottage Food. This will take you straight to the page!

KristiMarie Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 8:52am
post #30 of 38

this has been some of the best news I have heard in awhile!!!! I have so many questions I can't wait until we know more about it all icon_smile.gif

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