We are trying to get the Minnesota Cottage Food Law passed in Minnesota! It would allow Minnesota Bakers to bake from their home legally! Please read this detailed letter to learn more about it!
American traditions were founded on patriotic pride, helping our fellow-man, working hard, and believing in our rights and freedoms. It was all about being an American and Moms Apple Pie. For a while now these things have slowly been taken away from us. Its as if we are supposed to be ashamed of our hard-fought freedoms, beliefs, and pride in who we are.
I believe that this is happening so subtly that many are totally unaware of its occurrence. For instance, are you aware that there is law against selling your home-baked goods in many states? Minnesota is one of them.
How many times did you have the local neighborhood lady bake a birthday cake or a wedding cake for you? How many of us have either heard the stories or know of someone who baked wonderful cakes and pies to help supplement the family income? How many huge businesses of today began from their kitchen? I have no idea when this all changed and, until recently, was totally unaware that it had.
About a year ago, I had the great idea of renting a small shop where I had planned to sell items already baked in my kitchen. Id thought that this would be a great way to get my baking known and make some money in order to expand. It would also help to see what interest there might be in the area before I invested more money into a real bakery.
So armed with this wonderful idea I started checking into exactly what I would need to do this. Lo and behold, I found out that not only could this grand idea never be, but that even selling my baked goods from home at all was illegal. I did not know this, nor would I have even ever thought of it!
This led to my doing lots of research into how people legally sell baked goods from their homes. Guess what? They cant! Great. Thats when I discovered the Cottage Law that had been passed in Michigan just a few months before I started my quest. This led to my finding the Minnesota petition that a fellow home baker had started, and not too long after, I found out that the Minnesota Cottage Food Law had a Facebook page which was started by the same person. One day I saw that the creator of this page was asking for help. I had just lost my job due to our store closing in June of this year, so I told her that I would be glad to help out. Its mostly because of her that things got moving in Minnesota.
I first contacted Representative Mary Kiffmeyer. She has promised that she will be happy to help. I also wrote to and met with Senator Dave Brown and Representative hopeful Jim Newberger.
In 2011, the House of Representatives made some revisions to the Minnesota Statutes which are found in 28A.15 Exclusions, Subdivision 9 that state:
Community event or farmers market. An individual who prepares and sells food that is not potentially hazardous food, as defined in rules adopted under section 31.11, at a community event or farmers market with gross receipts of $5,000 or less in a calendar year from the prepared food items. If the food is not prepared in a kitchen that is licensed or inspected, the seller must post a visible sign or placard stating that: These products are homemade and not subject to state inspection. Prepared foods sold under this subdivision must be labeled to accurately reflect the name and address of the person preparing and selling the foods.
This basically means that we can bake our products at home, but can only sell them in Farmers Markets, Bake Sales, and Fund Raisers. We cannot advertise. We cannot exceed $5000.00 gross income. We must make sure everything is labeled as Homemade, with our names, address, phone number, and the ingredients found in the item.
While this is a nice beginning, it is not the solution to the Home Bakers problem. We still need some amendments made to help Home Bakers to succeed as lucrative businesses, and to sell directly from our homes.
We need a Cottage Food Law that allows us to:
* Advertise to the public, at least using social media sites, so that we can build a customer base in the community and online.
* Increase the amount of money that can be made in the course of a year or remove the cap completely.
* Post information about the guidance for home food processing on the state Dept. of Agriculture website, in plain language, for the citizens to understand.
This bill has already been passed in 32 states, in various different forms, but all ultimately resulted in the ability for home based bakers to start operating. I believe that this will be a great enhancement to the economy, and help to supplement homemakers who are trying to make ends meet in these difficult times.
Recently, we have sent out letters to every single Minnesota State Senator and Representative explaining our dilemma and requesting that they will please consider revising the Cottage Food Law Bill in our favor. We received back eight replies either with promises to help or asking us to please wait until after the November elections. We ask that you please be sure to keep this in mind when you vote for your local Representative.
As of this moment, we have 472 signatures on our petition. We would very much appreciate your added signature. You must be logged into Facebook to sign the petition. The link is: http://www.petitiononline.com/mncake/petition.html
We have 162 Likes on our MN Cottage Food Law Facebook page. Please go to our page and Like us. You can also read the letters we have sent out and get updated info on our progress. We have also set up a Twitter Page concerning the Cottage Bill Law. You can follow us there at @MNCottageLaw.
If you would like to find out more about the Cottage Food Laws, there are several websites concerning this. I used some of the info from an article written by Jessica on Cottage Food Laws.com. There is some info on The Sustainable Economics Law Center which talks about the Cottage Bill that was just passed in California and has other good information on it. Another good source which you can access from Facebook is HomeBasedBaking.com.
Wed like to thank you in advance for taking time to read this, and also for your support in passing the Minnesota Cottage Food Law Bill.
Shelley and Amanda [/img]
Too bad we can't get WI and MN to combine petitions! Ours has about 299 right now and we are hoping that they will be looking at the law early next year. Maybe we can promote each others petitions for those who have family that live in WI or MN??? We small bakers need to stick together
Thank you!! As a MN baker I appreciate all that you have done with this already. I have already signed the petition and will pass it along to try and get more. My girlfriend and I have looked into a business together, but are hitting these same road blocks. We have found out that you can convert a garage into a commercial kitchen
We have found out that you can convert a garage into a commercial kitchen
This may or may not be true depending on what county or city you reside in.
Just saw all these comments now. I guess I don't get onto CC much. Too busy! I don't know why I am not emailed about these responses....:( Anyways, MN is well on their way now to getting this passed! Almost to 700 signatures! I am hopefull that it will be passed by 2013! :)Please continue to spread the word about this. Check out the FB page. It's MN Cottage Food Law on FB. The petition is also on the page, for you to sign and spread the word! PLEASE! :)
I wouldn't recommend converting a garage into a commercial kitchen. From all my research there are way too many hoops to go through just to convert your basement into a commercial kitchen! The MN Dept. of Health is really strict! Good luck everyone and happy baking! ~Amanda
This may or may not be true depending on what county or city you reside in.
My county (St. Louis Co.) said that you couldn't convert a garage because my house is residentially, not commercially, zoned. Not sure why I can run a daycare then or my neighbor can have her massage business... Anywho, he said we couldn't do the garage conversion here.
I thought I signed a petition a while ago - is there one that's not on FB for those of us who don't do FB?
Yeah, they are really strict when it comes to running a food business from your home. It has to be a seperate building with it's own door and not have any acces to the home. There are way too many regulations! They pretty much make it impossible to do, unless you rent a commercial kitchen or buy a store front and convert that to your commercial kitchen. Also, most home associations won't allow it, either. That is exactly the reason why MN needs to follow the 33 other states and get this Cottage Food Law passed! If they will allow us to sell our baked goods at a Farmer's Market, what's the difference if we sell our baked goods from our home for birthdays, weddings, and other special occasions? There is NO difference!!!! :)
This is the link to the newer peitition. http://www.change.org/petitions/minnesota-state-legislators-revise-the-mn-cottage-food-law-for-home-bakers?utm_campaign=twitter_link&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition
This petition was created a short time ago, as the other petition link was not working. So, please sign this one and spread the word! Thanks! ~Amanda Reinsbach
Do you happen to know where MN is at with this? I last heard possibly by mid-2014. Where do I find the information for our state and how far along they are with it? Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
Hi! Please check out the MN Cottage Food Law page on FB for more current information. We are hoping to get this passed this year, still! Sign the petition, print out the MN Cottage Food Law flyer (on the FB page) and hand it to others to help us gain support and for others to sign the petition, too. We are always updating the FB page, so follow us, ask questions, and see all the posts for ways you can help! Thanks! Amanda
Thanks! I did sign the petition and have shared it!
Please check out the MN Cottage Food Law Facebook page! There have been some new things (pretty important) going on in Minnesota within the last week. Thanks! ~Amanda
I would really like to hear about what is happening in Minnesota, on this, but I am not on face book, and not even this subject can get me to sign on, so is there any other way a person can find out what is happening in Minnesota?
Is there any more info on this law passing?
I am amazed at the amount of people (vendors) at farmer's Markets that are unlicensed!! They post a little sign saying they are not subject to State of Mn Dept of Health Laws since they are from home--wth?!! When did this become ok?
I'm wondering what the status was as well - While I've heard of a lot of other absurd stuff that was passed last legislative session this was not on the list so I am interested in an update as well.