Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of legally operating a cottage grocery store in Minnesota. Treats don`t have to be potentially dangerous, meaning they don`t promote the rapid growth of bacteria that would make people or pets sick if kept outside of refrigerated temperatures. Only baked or dehydrated treats can be prepared under the cottage food exemption. Only treats for dogs or cats can be manufactured and sold under this exemption, and they must be safe for the species concerned. Some ingredients (such as onions) can be toxic to cats or dogs and should not be added to pet treats. To start your food business at the cottage, simply follow the steps below. If you have any questions, please contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at 651-201-6000. A person eligible for a cottage food exemption may organize their cottage food business as a business entity recognized by Minnesota state law. For more information about legal business structures in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Secretary of State Office website. Annual registration of a home food business is free if you have less than $5,000 in grocery sales each year, and costs only $50 if your sales are $5,001 to $78,000 (the income limit for artisanal food businesses). Yes, you must complete training and pass an exam before you can register and sell cottage food. For more information about training, see the Training section below. MDA`s cottage food page is divided into two sections: In addition to its cottage food law, Minnesota has a fairly permissive “soda stand law” that goes far beyond kids selling soda.
Minnesota Law 157.22(15) allows people to sell food, including potentially hazardous food, at special food stalls or seasonal temporary food stalls that meet certain conditions. Each kiosk must be located on private property with the owner`s permission, it must have a gross income of less than $1,000, and it must put up a sign or sign if it offers potentially hazardous food that says, “Products sold at this kiosk are not subject to government inspection or regulation.” Luckily, there`s a long list of cottage foods you can check out before starting your home business. A registered food producer can sell the food they make: (1) their home, (2) a farmer`s market (EXT) and (3) a community event. Examples of community events include public gatherings sponsored or organized by a city, county, city or community (e.g., district fair); or by a religious, charitable or educational organisation where the food is sold (e.g. a school, fire brigade, police or parent/teacher association). A community event must be open to the public and is not-for-profit. Minnesota has an annual sales limit for cottage food entrepreneurs (at Level 2) of $18,000 (increased to $78,000 on Aug. 1, 2021) and has created an online assistant to help you get a license if you earn more than the limit or have potentially unsafe foods. Yes.
Food produced by a registered food producer may be provided through donations to a community event for the purpose of raising funds for an individual or for an educational, charitable or religious organization. The artisanal food producer does not need to be present at the fundraiser. People love freshly baked cookies and cakes. Yet selling homemade food was illegal in many Minnesota locations until 2015, when the Institute for Justice helped exempt home-based bakers and canned food manufacturers from arbitrary restrictions on their right to an honest life. Following litigation and approval by artisan food producers at the state Capitol, Minnesota lawmakers passed reforms that gave homemade food producers greater freedom to sell their products. The change was a step in the right direction, but it did not go far enough. Fortunately, Minnesota passed new artisan food regulations in 2021 as part of a larger farm bill that makes it easier than ever to sell homemade food in the state. The new rules have increased the turnover cap for manufacturers of homemade food products and allow them to operate as limited liability companies. All home food manufacturers with a current registration will receive a reminder to re-register by mail at the end of December. You have two options to re-register: (1) you can complete a paper registration form or (2) you can re-register online by following the instructions and using the PIN provided in the re-registration notice. The online feedback portal also accepts payment of all applicable registration fees.
Please note that Tier 2 producers must pay a $2.50 processing fee for the $50 registration fee paid online. If you`re planning to sell food in Minnesota, a good place to start is the Minnesota Cottage Food Producers Association and the Minnesota Farmer`s Market Association. Both organizations` websites are full of helpful resources for growing your business, from food label templates to YouTube training videos and VAT guides. *NOTE* As always, do not prepare or store cottage food in your home if a household member is sick. Follow good food safety practices for hand hygiene, avoiding simple hand contact with ready-to-eat foods, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting equipment and surfaces. You must put up a sign at the point of sale that says, “These foods are homemade and not subject to government inspection.” Examples of signs can be found at the bottom of this page and in the cottage feeding training (see Training section). If you make sales on the Internet, the same statement must be published on your website. If cottage food is ordered for delivery by a customer, the cottage food manufacturer must personally deliver the food to the customer`s home or meet with the customer in person at another agreed location in Minnesota to deliver the food directly to the customer.
This means that food cannot be sent or delivered by mail or a third-party shipping service. Of course, this list is not exhaustive and is intended for information purposes only. If the food you want to prepare is not on the current MN cottage food list and you think it should be, you can call or email the Minnesota Department of Agriculture: MDA.CottageFood@state.mn.us or 651-201-6081. Colorado has created a booklet where you can go beyond artisanal food once you`ve exceeded or reached your maximum allowable income. This can help you know what to do next. Overall, as with any business, there are nuances to consider and a learning curve when entering domestic food production. In Minnesota, artisanal food manufacturers can contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to ensure they comply with all regulations. At the state level, a business license is not required for a craft restaurant operation in Minnesota.
Yes. The home food manufacturer or its employee must be physically present when the product is sold or delivered. To put it simply, a cottage meal can be anything that poses a minimal risk of foodborne illness. Baked cupcakes? Yes! Homemade sushi? Negative. All artisanal foods sold in Minnesota must be labeled with the name of the manufacturer, the date the food was manufactured, the ingredients of the food, possible allergens (the eight most common allergens are milk, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy) and the following statement: “These products are homemade and not subject to government inspection.” Homemade food manufacturers must also post a sign with the same statement at the point of sale.