I realize that there is a great benefit to getting licensed in VA and that by far, if possible, is the better choice. However, I currently have two dogs and a toddler and although able to close off the kitchen to them while I work, would be unable to do so constantly as that is where the doggie door and only exit to the yard. I know that if I do not get licensed, I cannot sell items that need refrigeration, must clearly label my food as coming from a non-inspected kitchen and may not be able to deliver to certain venues. However, since this simply may be the only avenue open to me, I was wondering if there were any other bakers from VA or other states operating soley under cottage law without licensing? How have you done? Where have you sold? Advertising? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
i'm from va and i do cakes for friends and stuff i would love to do my own at home business but i am lost...what is cottage law exactly?
Mudderteresa, the cottage food law in VA permits use of a home based kitchen to bake cakes, etc. and sell them without being inspected. Different counties may or may not allow this, as well as may or may not require business licenses depending on profit etc. You are limited to creating items that are not perishable and must be labeled that they are are from a kitchen that isn't inspected by the state. There are couple more things, but can't remember them now. If you look up on the forums Cottage food laws in VA, there is a lot of info on them. You can also still use your home based kitchen and also get licensed. It apparently isn't super strenuous and allows you to do a lot more things. I can't really do it because I rent and have pets that I won't be able to keep out of the kitchen all the time, but if you are interested, you should contact the VA Department of Agriculture and they will send you a packet that explains everything.