CupcakingChristine Posted 4 May 2013 , 4:51am
post #1 of

Is anyone familiar with the cottage food law in California?  I just moved here and I am trying to decipher if and how I can sell cakes and cupcakes.  Thanks!!!

26 replies
IAmPamCakes Posted 4 May 2013 , 5:02am
post #2 of

AWhat is it you need to know? My county health department was the first place I went for information. They gave me all they could & then directed me to all the other offices I needed to contact to become legal.

auntginn Posted 4 May 2013 , 5:52am
post #3 of

I haven't heard anything for a while on this subject.  CA is one of the stricter states from what I'm told.  What area are you in.  In Los Angeles you could start with the health dept because they will be the ones you deal with most.

 

I don't think we're anywhere ready to have home kitchens just yet.

IAmPamCakes Posted 4 May 2013 , 6:01am
post #4 of

AI thought it was almost too easy to get started. I'm in northern California, & it took me one day of driving around town getting all my stuff together. (My town is the county seat, so many offices are nearby.) There isn't a mandated class to take for CFLs yet, so a regular food safety course is enough so far.

auntginn Posted 4 May 2013 , 6:24am
post #5 of

Yes Pam, but what about inspections and fees?  They wait time is horrible and the fees are astronomical, its ridiculous.

auntginn Posted 4 May 2013 , 6:33am
post #6 of

This is the last link I have for the CFL in CA.

http://cakecentral.com/t/716804/help-enact-california-home-based-cake-businesses

 

Here is some interesting info.

 

cakecentral.com/t/654598/illegal-to-rent-time-from-a-licensed-kitchen-ca

sweetwhimzie Posted 4 May 2013 , 8:18am
post #7 of

Your county health department is your best bet for information. The way the counties are interpreting the new law varies widely. Some, I hear, are flat out nightmares. Others, like mine, are fairly easy going. Here in my county (Santa Barbara) the process for obtaining a Class A permit (Selling directly to the consumer) is fairly simple. You take a food safety course online. You apply for the permit and do a self certification check list online and send it to the county electronically for approval. Approval takes just a few days. My county is not currently charging anything for a Class A permit. There is also a facebook page called Creating Your California Cottage Food Business that might be beneficial for you to join. There are a lot of folks on there from all different counties in California who are going through the process and some who have completed the process and are now open for business and have been for a couple of months now. In any case, your first stop for information should probably be your county health department to find out what their policies, procedures and fees are.

jason_kraft Posted 4 May 2013 , 1:56pm
post #8 of

AMany people are already up and running with cottage food businesses in CA, as said above the process will depend on your county. Inspections are not required at all for Class A businesses, and health dept fees are usually only a few hundred dollars.

There is an active FB group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Creatingyourcaliforniacottagefoodbusiness/

IAmPamCakes Posted 4 May 2013 , 4:01pm
post #9 of

AI've been working for a few months now. Like I said before, all the running around I had to do was done in a day. The only waiting was for the water test because I'm on a well. That was two days. There aren't fees for a class A CFL yet, in this county.

Sandiego Posted 5 May 2013 , 1:36am

Don't know where you are, but we have a lot of useful information on www.sdcottagefoods.com  Though designed for San Diego, much of the information is applicable across the state. You would need your own county forms, though! Let us know if we can help in any way. Our goal is to support and encourage CFOs!
 

Sandiego Posted 5 May 2013 , 1:38am

@auntginn:  All depends on where you are... some counties have no fees for Class A. San Diego issues permits on the spot and schedules inspections for Class B.  At least they did at the beginning.
 

CupcakingChristine Posted 7 May 2013 , 7:46pm

Thank you everyone!!! I just relocated to San Diego from NJ.  I am totally overwhelmed with everything (in a GREAT way) so I appreciate the guidance on where to start!!!! 

sweetflowers Posted 7 May 2013 , 8:07pm

You just missed the San Diego Cake Club meeting last night...hope to see you there some time.  We had a food safety course for club members in January so lots of members can help you with the CFL.

auntginn Posted 7 May 2013 , 8:29pm

Oh.. I wish we had a cake club in our area.  The last time I checked it was in Orange County.

ellavanilla Posted 7 May 2013 , 11:01pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CupcakingChristine 

Thank you everyone!!! I just relocated to San Diego from NJ.  I am totally overwhelmed with everything (in a GREAT way) so I appreciate the guidance on where to start!!!! 

 

Hey Christine! Welcome to So CAL! Just an FYI, there are some great farmer's markets in SD, but the best one is saturday mornings in Little Italy. Check it out if you get the chance, it goes til 1pm. I'm in OC, but I travel to SD almost every weekend. Please let me know if you have trouble finding anything 

Jen

Sandiego Posted 8 May 2013 , 4:46pm

Yes, the Farmer's Market in Little Italy is Awesome!  But, it also is very hard to get into, especially with summer coming. One way to help increase your chances is to start at another smaller market and demonstrate that you can do well. It also is less expensive and allows you to get displays, tables/tents, signs, etc. worked out before applying to a major market. We did a post recently that might help anyone looking to sell at a farmer's market in SD County. Hoping to see more Cottage Food Operators selling at the markets everywhere!

ellavanilla Posted 8 May 2013 , 5:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandiego 

Yes, the Farmer's Market in Little Italy is Awesome!  But, it also is very hard to get into, especially with summer coming. One way to help increase your chances is to start at another smaller market and demonstrate that you can do well. It also is less expensive and allows you to get displays, tables/tents, signs, etc. worked out before applying to a major market. We did a post recently that might help anyone looking to sell at a farmer's market in SD County. Hoping to see more Cottage Food Operators selling at the markets everywhere!

 

Oh! look at that, a comment from the source! Glad you're here, San Diego!  icon_smile.gif

Sandiego Posted 9 May 2013 , 4:58pm

party.gif

passion4baking Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 12:01am

Great info. I too am thinking of getting my permit.

auntginn Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 8:49pm

Ok.. I recently found out some info about this.  There are 2 classes of permits under this bill.  Class A The simplest permit, allows you to have a home based kitchen, you file with the health dept, You are limited to what foods you can produce and sell from that kitchen.  (Non of us on this site will be limited, I think) you are limited to monthly sales of $1,000.00. But in 2015 it will go up to an annual sales of 50k.  No inspection and after that you apply with your city doesn't say what I'm assuming dba.

 

Class B -  Is a little more extensive, requires inspections, no limits as to monthly sales income, food handlers permits etc.

 

Costa Mesa is holding 1 day seminars to help with this and answer questions all in preparing to get your permit.   

jason_kraft Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 11:09pm

A

Original message sent by auntginn

Ok.. I recently found out some info about this.  There are 2 classes of permits under this bill.  Class A The simplest permit, allows you to have a home based kitchen, you file with the health dept, You are limited to what foods you can produce and sell from that kitchen.  (Non of us on this site will be limited, I think) you are limited to monthly sales of $1,000.00. But in 2015 it will go up to an annual sales of 50k.  No inspection and after that you apply with your city doesn't say what I'm assuming dba.

Class B -  Is a little more extensive, requires inspections, no limits as to monthly sales income, food handlers permits etc.

Costa Mesa is holding 1 day seminars to help with this and answer questions all in preparing to get your permit.  

The main difference is that class A allows direct retail sales only, while class B (which requires an inspection) allows both retail and wholesale. They both have the same gross revenue limit (annual, not monthly) of $35K this year, $45K next year, and $50K/year starting in 2015. You can only produce non potentially hazardous foods, which may restrict certain types of frosting, cheesecakes, etc.

You can get more info directly from the state here: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/pages/fdbcottagefood.aspx

auntginn Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:59pm

Ah.. I guess I didn't read that right.  Thanks for clearing that up.

SaraLee08 Posted 16 Aug 2013 , 9:09pm

AI'm also looking to get my class A permit, one Queston I have is do I need to rent a kitchen? Or is it ok from my home kitchen as long as my products/utensils are stored separately . I've seen the checklist for my county (FRESNO)but it's not clear on the kitchen part.

Donnawb Posted 16 Aug 2013 , 9:22pm

I live in central California, and I thought the whole process was super easy.  However, I was one of the first people to get a permit in my county, so it may be a little more difficult now. 

jason_kraft Posted 16 Aug 2013 , 9:53pm

A

Original message sent by SaraLee08

I'm also looking to get my class A permit, one Queston I have is do I need to rent a kitchen? Or is it ok from my home kitchen as long as my products/utensils are stored separately . I've seen the checklist for my county (FRESNO)but it's not clear on the kitchen part.

To qualify for a cottage food permit you are actually required to use your home kitchen, if you rent a commercial kitchen you would need a more traditional permit from the health dept.

SaraLee08 Posted 16 Aug 2013 , 11:28pm

AOh ok thank you!

SaraLee08 Posted 16 Aug 2013 , 11:30pm

A

Original message sent by Donnawb

I live in central California, and I thought the whole process was super easy.  However, I was one of the first people to get a permit in my county, so it may be a little more difficult now. 

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