Thousands of bakers, picklers, canners and other modern-day homesteaders in Minnesota have set up their own small businesses, thanks to a recent expansion of the state’s “cottage food” law. This law allows people to sell foods made at home without a license or an inspection. As in many other states, the law only includes shelf stable food that don’t require refrigeration, like cakes, breads, cookies, and other baked goods, pickles, jams and jellies. Without cottage food laws, home-based food entrepreneurs are otherwise forced to rent out costly commercial kitchen space before they can legally sell their treats.
Today, more than 3,000 cottage food producers have registered with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Previously, Minnesota had some of the strictest regulations in the nation. But after the Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit on behalf of two bakers, state lawmakers eased restrictions in 2015. Their reforms allowed bakers to sell directly to consumers and …
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