Sweet Home Alabama My........

Business By LaWmn223 Updated 28 Jan 2013 , 12:58am by Chocolate717

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LaWmn223 Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 8:25pm
post #1 of 7

Well, Ive been trying to research and get a straight answer about Alabama's "Cottage Laws" and I finally got an answer this morning from the Capitol:

A food service permit is required to operate any establishment that prepares and sells food to the general public. The Alabama State Board of Health has adopted the 2005 FDA Model Food Code. Residential home kitchens do not meet the requirements of the food code and cannot be permitted.

Alabama does have exemption that allows some non potentially hazardous foods, such as baked goods, to be sold at state sanctioned farmers markets. The consumer must be notified by a sign or label that the product has not been inspected by a regulatory authority.

O.K. ...Then I begin to research what the exemptions are...What the @#!!%$....Should you sell at a state approved farmers market, you cannot give out business cards..you can not take orders for specific products..you can not deliver baked goods.. and you have to put a warning label on your foodicon_confused.gif

First, I got angry..Then confused..this "Cottage Type Law" makes NO sense...But boy was it made clear to me what it would cost me if I got caught...Fines from the State..County and City..OUCH...Then I got sad.

But, a temper tantrum..(where I was going to throw myself on the floor, but I rememberd the last time I did that my DH had to help me up icon_lol.gif )A cup of coffee and a chocolate cupcake later..I am calm and thinking about what kind of cake I will make my daughter for her birthday and that just because this didnt work out does not lessen the joy I get when I finish a cake.


6 replies
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jason_kraft Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 8:42pm
post #2 of 7

this "Cottage Type Law" makes NO sense

That's because it's not a cottage food law, it's a limited exemption to the FDA's guidelines and existing state law that prohibits commercial food production at home. At least you still have the ability to sell at farmer's markets, and I can see why the state has the aforementioned restrictions to prevent people from running "under the table" home businesses.

There are several movements around the country to lobby states to pass their own cottage food laws, you may want to consider joining one (or creating one for AL if no lobby currently exists). In the meantime, if you want to start a cake decorating business, you can find a commercial kitchen or kitchen incubator in your area to rent. Church kitchens are also an option in some areas.

It's really not that difficult to get a commercial operation off the ground, the hardest part is finding available commercial kitchen space.

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kelleym Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 3:58am
post #3 of 7

What makes even less sense is that other states that have this type of cottage food law with the "Farmer's Market/Roadside Stands" clause, such as Michigan and Indiana, ARE giving a lenient interpretation, allowing home bakers to sell directly to consumers. (At least from what I glean anecdotally here on CC.)

For people who have no desire to be baking full time, or who have small kids at home to take care of, it can be difficult or impossible to work out of a commercial kitchen - either due to cost or inconvenience. It's likely that someone will have to be paid to watch the kids if mom goes to bake cakes in a commercial kitchen. I used to go to my commercial kitchen at 9 pm, after my son went to bed. That was pretty hard. The commercial kitchen also was sometimes so dirty that I would have to clean the counters and mixer bowls and paddle before I could even start - and I was paying for the time it took to do that.

I pray that all states will see the light and adopt true cottage food laws. Starting with Texas, naturally. icon_biggrin.gif

"Like" the Texas Baker's Bill on Facebook!

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KMKakes Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 6:22pm
post #4 of 7

AAlabama is suppose to be bringing this up again in session again soon. Pray, call, email, and write a letter to your representative!

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Marianna46 Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 7:36pm
post #5 of 7

On the Texas Bakers' Bill Facebook page, there's a link to an Alabama bill page. You might want to check it out.

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Marianna46 Posted 19 Jan 2013 , 7:38pm
post #6 of 7

On the Texas Bakers' Bill Facebook page, there's a link to an Alabama bill page. You might want to check it out.

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Chocolate717 Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 12:58am
post #7 of 7

There is also a link of the Alabama Cottage Food Law Petition page to a petition for a strong Cottage Food Law.  The people on both pages are working together to make this happen.




I hope we can all work together on this.  I am new here, and do not want to offend anyone., but realistically it is going to take all of us pulling together to make this happen.

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