I am new to Colorado and am trying to become familiar with the cottage food laws here. If I want to sell something like cupcakes, at an event, not in a box but individually, what are some ways I could do so while being compliant with the rule that all products must have a label with their ingredients listed? I know I could just order those individual cupcake packages, but I am trying to find another way that could be easy as well as inexpensive. Another idea I had was to just stick the label directly under the cupcake wrapper.
Any ideas from fellow home bakers in Colorado would be really appreciated!
This is a great resource for following state-specific cottage food law - and be sure to go through the comments because David really explains things in a lot more detail there where he's answering specific questions: http://forrager.com/law/colorado/
I'm in CA, so this may not be a lot of help, but when I do individual cupcakes, I get my boxes at BRP Box Shop, and print my own labels using different Avery labels, cut them down as necessary, and plop it on the box. BRP has good prices, shipping is included, and they have the option to get sample boxes so you could see if the packaging fits.
I don't know if this is an issue in CO, but if you have any labeling on the inside of packaging, where it could come into contact with food, it has to be printed with food-safe ink - in my case, that's NOT what I have in my printer...
I box individual mini-cupcakes in this manner, and boxing them relaxes the the hand-washing station in my booth requirement at various events. I put the label with all the ingredients, allergens, license info, etc. on the back, and hand it out with that label facing the customer. (I sincerely hope the photo posts...)
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BakerBlackCat - Thanks so much for your answer. Yes I did see the forrager website and it did seem quite helpful. I will read through the comments more thoroughly. Those boxes seem great! I will definitely look into them. Just a silly question - what do you think of using disposable paper bowls that can be wrapped with saran wrap and placing a label on the outside of them? Would this work? I am just thinking in terms of selling on a small-scale basis to people in my neighborhood etc. maybe this would be sufficient?
You can certainly go the bowl-and-plastic-wrap route - I would just make sure that the plastic wrap is *very* secure (I have days when I can't duct tape that stuff to a surface!), to keep the cupcakes safe. I'm in northern CA, and I was having coffee with a friend outside, and I spent who knows how long batting away the little flying....annoyances....pests.....no-see-ums from me! I don't want that on my cake! :)
Another packaging idea is the plastic containers from PaperMart. (They do charge for shipping, whereas BRP has that cost built in...) And as for small scale packaging, another point for BRP is that they sell in batches of 10, and not just in cases of 100. It's a little pricier, but I personally can't cases and cases of boxes unless it's the sizes I use all the time.
For the record, I call the search for packaging "going down the rabbit hole" - who knows where you'll end up?? :)
What part of CO are you in? I have spent many a summer in the Edwards/Avon area!
HI BakerBlackCat - Yes you are right about the "Rabbit hole" lol I actually found some good options on Amazon but their shipping time is a few weeks! I think I will look closer at the resources you mentioned.
I just moved to Denver - so not only adjusting to baking at high altitude but also working out the nitty-gritty of home businesses here. All in all, a nice place so far so no complaints :)
BakerBlackCat had some great suggestions! I personally love the little individual boxes or even the plastic shells. They look nicer and look more professional and business like. As BakerBlackCat stated, who knows where you'll end up!
So I took your suggestions to heart and even though it was tough to find a place that would ship plastic containers to me in time for an event I decided to take on, I found one, bought the little containers and am eagerly awaiting their arrival!
Its my first time doing an event like this and depending on how it goes, could really set the tone for my little home-based business.
Wish me luck!!!
Wooot!! That's good to hear! I hope everything goes as planned :) Good luck!
Good luck! Post pictures!! :)
A cheaper option too is using upside down cups. Place your label on the top outside of the lid. Set "upside down" on the table. Put cupcake on top, and cover with the cup that them snaps into the lid. The lid become the plate and the cup becomes the lid. Your label is attached to the "bottom".
Be sure to check that you design/icing fits in the cup part before decorating them all. :)
The mother-daughter event was yesterday and I just wanted to give you all an update as to how it went.
First off, it was a huge success! I made about 100 cupcakes, 25 cake pops (well 28 but 3 fell off the stick while getting coated) and a few assorted sugar cookies covered in royal icing and fondant. I sold everything except for 2 cupcakes! I priced the cakepops at $2.50 each and the cupcakes for $2.75 and $3 depending on the flavor. There were a lot of little girls there and I was the only vendor selling food so that really helped. People were hungry! In the last hour I had maybe about 10 cupcakes left that I was selling for $3 but just to get rid of them, sold them for $2 at the end.
I also bought the little clamshell containers which not only looked professional, but helped sell more cupcakes since each container could acommodate 2 cupcakes and people bought more to take home.
One thing I did learn though was that some flavors while really yummy, dont necessarily make the most appealing colored icing (my chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting and vanilla with salted caramel while super yummy, didnt make the most eye catching cupcake with their naturally tanned frosting color). So next time I may not make a dozen of those, or if I do somehow add some cute topper or something to make them more attractive.
Another thing I had a really hard time with was my ingredient labels: I went to FedEx to get some labels printed on their label paper and after they were all printed and cut out, it took me forever to even unpeel them! Even the store manager had a hard time with it so I feel like that was some money wasted because in the end to save time, I just used sticky tape to tape them on. Can anyone give me suggestions as to how to make better labels and what size font, paper etc they use?
All in all, it was a great experience, found some potential clients, and will get working on a Facebook page soon too.
Thanks so much for all your support and advice, it really means a lot.
I will post some pictures sometime soon. In the meantime, you can check out my instagram account at
The pic with the various cupcakes in a row are what I sold at the event,