Your Favorite Cookie Recipe Could Make You Millions

Amy Kuras

marketPretty much everyone who likes to cook has that one recipe, that one thing you make that gets raves from everyone you serve it to. And you've probably idly fantasized about selling your delicious dish and becoming rich and famous.

The problem is that many states require you to prepare any food for sale in a licensed commercial kitchen that gets regular health inspections. While some cities have kitchens that are open for entrepreneurs to use for a low fee, more often you've got to beg time from an existing establishment. And in any case, that's a lot of effort if you're just testing the waters to see if your signature dish is something the public likes as much as your friends and family do.

A new law passed in Michigan recently can help would-be food entrepreneurs get launched without the extra expense of a commercial kitchen. They are allowing people to sell foods prepared in their home kitchen at places like farmer's markets, roadside stands and festivals.

It's called a "cottage food law" and 25 other states have them as well. Producers are limited in what they can sell, to lower the risk of food-borne illness; in Michigan that excludes vegetables, meats, pickles, and tomato-based products. \

Spices and baking mixes, baked goods, and jams and jellies are all okay. And most states have a cap on how much you can earn from your food business before you have to graduate to a commercial kitchen. In Michigan, that's $15,000; not enough to support a family comfortably, but certainly enough to supplement your income with a very nice part time gig that you enjoy doing.

What would your home-based food business be? Would you ever launch a business under the cottage food law?

Image via empracht/Flickr

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