Two years! It’s been two whole years– which has gone by so fast– since our Cottage Food Bill was amended and I’d say it’s been a pretty successful two years. Obviously we’ve still got a few kinks to work out but with cooperation from the Dept. of Agriculture, the Dept. of Health, the University of Minnesota Extension, the Minnesota Farmer’s Market Association, our Legislatures, and so many more people, we have forged ahead.
There are still many things in the works concerning the Cottage Food industry. We are constantly working to simplify and improve things to make everyone a success. As of this moment we have 2,025 registered Cottage Food Producers. The Dept. of Agriculture is working on a logo that will be just for us. The U of M Extension is working on online Tier 2 safety classes, and they will be updating the Non-potentially Hazardous Foods list, which you can find on the MFMA’s page, as well as the U of M Extension’s website.
This year Rep. Newberger was able to get legislation passed to allow us to donate to fundraisers and other community events. This is something that previously wasn’t allowed but as of today (July 1, 2017) goes into effect. You can see the exact wording in House File HF1717.2 Sec. 39 Sub 2, you will find it from lines 22.1 to 22.18.
Many of our Cottage Food Producers are vendors in the Farmer’s Markets throughout Minnesota. Recently the Dept. of Agriculture sent out laminated cards to display at the tables stating that “These Products Are Homemade And Not Subject To Inspection.” You do not have to use these specific signs but it is required to display a sign with this wording on it. Be sure to watch for these vendors so that we can encourage each other to keep working hard to be successful in this industry.
In the past two years we’ve had a few articles written about us and a few television news stories. As you may have noticed the information isn’t always correct, but it’s great to know that our industry is being acknowledged. Click the links to read one of the very first news articles written about us after the bill was amended and a few other success stories.
Laura French from the Star Tribune wrote this article about us, Now Everyone Can Enjoy Your Home-Baked Treats, which was published on July 29th, 2015. It was one of the first articles that really talked about what we had been fighting for.
This article, Sweet, Sweet, Cupcakes & Cookies, highlights our Cottage Food Producers Marcia Ryan and Annette Gustafson. Annette also won several blue ribbons at the Minnesota State Fair and a few other county fairs as well. You can see more of Annette’s beautiful cookies on her Birch Bakehouse page.
Katie Kirkeby has had amazing success with her cupcake business. CupKate’s can be found at most of the community events in the St. Cloud area. You can read about her in this article, Local Baker Takes The Cake With Homemade Cupcakes.
Sussman’s Bakery is another Cottage Food Business that has been widely recognized. The creations of the Sussman ladies and Julie Lindstrom are really yummy! Click the link to read more about Sussman’s Bakery.
Karen Peterson of Confections by Karen plays a huge part in keeping her community in cupcakes and cookies. I’m pretty sure she single-handedly keeps the local police and fire department stocked with sweets. Karen is also a big help with fellow Cottage Food producers. She can be counted on anytime they need advice or have a Cottage Foods question.
Thank you to everyone who has helped make Minnesota’s Cottage Food industry a success. Together we will continue to make Minnesota a healthy, happy place for everyone!
- Posted in: Important Updates