New Cottage food Operation Law in Washington

It's great news for all the Washingtonians, the new law will allow all the small home bakers to sell their product legally. The following is an article from the local paper where it talks a bit about the new law. Thanks to The Colombian.

After reading this I have decided to get my license and start baking more, since one of my issues was that I had large quantity of bread left over after each bake, now I can bake it and sell it legally. Here is a link as well if you would like to obtain a permit in Washington state.

Business prospects are a whole lot sweeter for Washington's home-based bakeries, thanks to Felicia Hill.
The Hazel Dell cake maker and stay-at-home mother of two will be honored Monday in Olympia for helping cook up a new state law that allows small, home-based bakeries like hers to operate legally. For her work last year outlining the rules behind Washington's Cottage Food Act, Hill will ceremoniously receive the first legal permit to sell low-risk foods made in the home.
The Washington state Department of Agriculture expects more than 1,000 potential small businesses across the state to apply for permits to sell baked goods, nuts, jams and jellies at farmers markets and through other direct-sales avenues. The permit is available for bakeries that generate no more than $15,000 in gross sales annually.
"They really wanted it to be a person-to-person transaction, from me, the baker, to the person who is going to eat it," said Hill, who testified before the state Legislature three times last year on the growing cottage food movement, with its hyper-local emphasis.
Hill also stuck around Olympia to hammer out stipulations of the law, pushing to raise the original $5,000 gross-sales cap to $15,000. The increase could help unemployed and underemployed Washington residents generate money to live on, one of the key purposes of the law, according to Hill.
"Ideally, an appropriate amount would be $30,000. That would give someone the ability to live comfortably," said Hill, who has vowed to push for the increase next year.
"I have had numerous people thank me and say, 'This has helped us to possibly start a business,'" she said.
Although the law was signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire last year, the agriculture department just started accepting permit applications this week.
Washington is among three states to recently enact a cottage food law, putting the rule in place just before South Carolina and Colorado, which both passed similar legislation this year. In all, 26 states now have cottage food laws, breaking away from traditional models of production in which food is sold to consumers who have little or no idea where it came from.
"Knowing the person who made your food is not that common anymore," said Hill.
Her business, FH Cakes, bakes and sells peanut-, gluten- and dairy-free cakes. It's a specialty she developed in 2008 after trying to order a peanut-free bakery cake for her son, Luke, now 6, who has a severe peanut allergy.
"I could not get a guaranteed safe cake," Hill said.
She decided to make the birthday cake herself, taking a few classes that uncovered her hidden talent for whimsical cake design. The artful and allergen-free cakes quickly caught on among family and friends, said Hill, who sold her cakes "under the table" for about one year.
She wanted to grow a legitimate business to supplement husband Jeff Hill's income. But Felicia Hill found it prohibitively expensive when she attempted to follow the old Washington state law mandating that bakery businesses operate from a commercial kitchen. The overhead of leasing a commercial kitchen wiped out her modest profit. It would have dipped below the bottom line with child care, which Hill did not want to consider.
"A lot of this stemmed from the fact that it was very important for me to be at home with my children and not have somebody else take care of them," she said.
So, Hill researched the cottage food industry, work that ultimately led to her support of the Cottage Food bill introduced by Sen. Phil Rockefeller, D-Bainbridge Island, whose daughter is an artisan baker.
Hill anticipates every state will have some type of cottage food law at some point, enabling artisan food makers to channel their energies and earn income.
"This could help get our local economy get back up and productive," Hill said.


How many tomatoes are you expecting this year? My tomatoes are starting to take off. I don't know if it was because of the weather in Chicago.
Hi Frugal Exerciser, sorry for late response but our tomato harvest is great this year, we had a dry august and September so they keep on producing. I'm planning to write a blog soon about my new trellis system that I used. Here is an original post on them.