Law change allows bakers to sell products baked in home kitchens
There was a big win for home bakers this week after a previous law that dictated how they can produce and sell their baked goods has changed.
Many young entrepreneurs say that this will help many of them get started in the industry.
“I make muffins. I made cookies. I made cupcakes, cheesecakes, tarts, pies,” says Lauren Leak, of Cherry Hill.
Leak says that her passion for baking came out in full force during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I kind of got bored and started baking literally every day. And it turned into a blog, which turned into a business – and here we are today,” she says.
But under the previous law, Leak could not bake her items in her home kitchen if she were to sell them.
"We were the only state in the country that didn't have the cottage food law, so basically we were not allowed to sell out of our house. We were only allowed to sell out of a commissary or commercial kitchen,” says Leak. “Things had to be produced and packaged in the kitchen and go straight to the direct consumer right after that. There was no in-between of coming in your house or anything."
The New Jersey Home Bakers Association has been fighting for years to change this law. On Monday, the association got word that bakers could now apply for a cottage food permit through the New Jersey Department of Health, and soon begin selling baked goods from their home kitchens.
Leak says that this is a big win for the industry.
“As somebody with autonomic dysfunction disorder, I can’t predict how I’m going to feel, how long I’m going to be able to function for and when you rent a commissary kitchen or commercial kitchen, you’re restricted to a certain amount of hours that you have to do and by paying for that, you want to use all of those hours,” she says.
The cottage food permit also requires food safety certifications.