Is it legal to sell food from home in New Jersey and does New Jersey have a cottage food law?

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Is it legal to sell food from home in New Jersey and does New Jersey have a cottage food law? We are super excited to let you know, they actually do. Now as of October, 2021, New Jersey has introduced a brand new cottage food law. And in this video, I'm going to go over what you can sell, where you can sell it, how much and a whole bunch of useful information for anyone looking to start a cottage food business in New Jersey. So if you're in New Jersey, you may want to hit that play button and stick around for the entire video, because I'm going to help you out and get your business up and running today on marketing food online.

 

All right, so welcome back to marketing food online. And in this video, we are going to cover the brand new cottage food law that has just been started as of October, 2021 in New Jersey has a fantastic new cottage food law. It is the last state. The state of New Jersey actually was the last state to pass cottage food law. So the health department eventually developed guidelines to enable cottage food companies, which went into effect October of this year after numerous attempts to try to kill the up and running, they finally did. It was let's see, take a look about 10 years ago, multiple lawsuits actually had to be filed in order for them to get started, but they finally got their cottage food law. And we are going to hop into the specifics as to how it works. Plus remember down in below this video, I'll have a whole bunch of links to our website that have additional links for the New Jersey, specifically the state of new Jersey's website.

So you understand now a couple of really quick side notes. Producers are unable to sell their items through shops or wholesale since they may only sell directly to the end customer, keep that in mind. So you have to sell directly to your customer and you're allowed to sell up to $50,000 a year. Producers also cottage food owners in New Jersey must apply for a permit and complete a food safety managers training course. Now these two together around $200, 200 to 300 bucks, and that's every two years, which is great. So that permit will actually last for every two years. So let's dive into this. So what we want to get into specifically is I'm going to go over what the selling, where you can actually sell your cottage foods in New Jersey. Number one, local events. Now you can sell online as well, but orders must be picked up or delivered in person, which is kind of unique and a little bit of a challenge.

Honestly, I'm an e-commerce business guy, myself. I don't know how you can buy something online. And one party Jersey. You're not going to drive it seven or eight hours. It doesn't make any sense, but eventually, hopefully they'll just let you start shipping over state lines or shipping from your house. That would be great. Farmer's markets, roadside stands. And of course from home now in New Jersey with the brand new cottage food law, if you want people to come to your home, if you're okay with that, you can actually have people come and pick up the product at the home where you're making it. So that's kind of cool. Now delivery in home pickup is allowed the types of delivery services for the product. When I say delivery, though, it has to be delivered in person. You can't be using a third-party delivery company. You know, like let's say Uber eats or something like that.

You can not use one of those types of resources. Now, what are prohibited? Damien? Where can I not sell it? Okay. You can't sell it to retail stores. You can't do catering. You can't do mail order. Mail order, of course, is shipping the product over state lines and wholesaling your food products. Unfortunately, just not yet, you can't do that. Restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, you can't sell your products to as well. It has to be directly to the end user. Now, when you start selling through cottage food law in New Jersey, they also requested that you have to have a sign that says this food is purpose prepared, pursuant to New Jersey in J a C eight dash 24 11. Now that is specifically the bill in a home kitchen that is not inspected by the department of health. You will not be inspected by the way, by the department of health.

Keep that in mind. Now, what kind of foods can I sell? Damon? All right, let's go through the list of the allowed cottage food laws that are now in effect what you can sell. Bagels, brownies, tortillas, cakes, breads donuts. You can do cupcakes, cake pops, biscuits, scones, wedding cakes, even wedding cakes. That's a huge business by the way, extremely profitable business candy. So you can do any type of candy. That's like a hard candy chewy, cranny chocolates, and fudge lollipops, cotton candy, and truffles. That also by the way is a huge, huge thing. Now, let me tell you a few things about the cottage food law really quick. It is a great idea to start this from your home because your investment is very minimal. If you try to do this type of business in a commercial setting, you're going to have a huge rent over your head, which you already pay for, by the way, with your mortgage.

And maybe you're renting your home. You're going to have also garbage pickup, water utilities. There's a large investment and then equipment employees. I mean, it goes on and on. So the idea of starting a cottage food law in New Jersey out of your own kitchen is going to save you a lot of money. It's going to give you also some experience and opportunity to try this business because it may or may not work. I mean, hopefully it does. And that way you can transition to creating a packaged food product and then getting into retail stores or online. I mean, there's a lot of opportunity when your business succeeds at home under cottage food laws. So keep that in mind. Now you can also do syrups vinegars, nut butters, mustards, honeys cereals, jams, jellies, pies, and bananas, but the empanadas, by the way, cannot, they can only be fruit.

They can't be the actual one that has meat or protein. Those are time and temperature sensitive, and those are considered potentially hazardous food products. That's not allowed pretty much in every cottage food state, to be honest with you. So the other thing is snacks. You can do chocolate covered items. You can do pretzels, crackers, popcorn, popcorn balls, kettle corn, even granola, nuts and seeds, fruit leathers as are known. But prohibited items or things that are potentially hazardous products. So time or temperature sensitive like meat, meat. Jerky's unfortunate. You can't do that from your home perishable baked goods. Those are items that I'd have to be kept at a certain temperature, or I have a certain time window of freshness. So those are items that you can't make. All right, now let's scroll down to some of the things that New Jersey, when they created this cottage food law, they set up, of course, some roadblocks, if you will, some limitations obviously.

And a lot of them are very similar to other cottage food states. For instance, like you can't have children running around the area while you're actually preparing products that are going to sell to the public. A commercial kitchen is prohibited. So you can't go out and rent a commercial kitchen, then bring the product home and then turn around and sell it as a whole main thing. Can't do that. It has to be in your home, your specifically your primary residence. You can not have pets of any kind in the room or the kitchen where you're preparing your foods. Okay. also interstate sales, which we mentioned before you can't ship cottage food products from your home in New Jersey to somebody let's say in Florida, that's restricted direct sales only is what's required no smoking in the area where you're preparing your cottage food products from New Jersey as well, and also the sales limits.

Okay. So the limitation, as I mentioned in the introduction is around $50,000 a year, which is actually not that bad. If you're going to start this as a part-time business, an extra 50,000 obviously would be a really good thing. So from the legal standpoint, let's get into some of the business aspects, the legal business aspects of cottage, food law in New Jersey. The one thing specifically they have set up is a food safety management training. So you actually have to apply for that permit and take that training course as a manager. Now, the food safety management training actually can be completed online. It's around a hundred dollars. And of course the permit, which is separate from the training courses around a hundred bucks as well. So just keep in mind, you're going to be spending about $200 investing in this initially, which is extremely low guys.

Now, the application that you're going to fill out for your cottage food operator is requires you actually to have a list of the products that you want to make. Okay. And the allergens that are going to be contained in those products. Okay. So keep that in mind. So when the permit becomes available around October or so I'll have the link down on our website, check the links below the video. As I mentioned, it'll help you out and you can go to our website, get all this extra additional info. Now there is one unique thing about the water that you're going to use. If you're going to be using water and you're actually using a private, well, this is a normal standard thing in cottage food law, but New Jersey of course adopted this under their new cottage food laws. Is that the water source, if you've got a well, would have to be tested.

So if you're not on city water, if you're not utilizing, tapping into the city water, right, you're using as a well on your private property, you're going to have to have that test it, just to make sure that it's clean. And of course, it's good enough for you to be using when you're going to be making products for people to eat. Now, Damien, how do I label? Is there some type of labeling laws I've heard there's labeling required for cottage food? Yes. Now the following things will be required on your label under new Jersey's cottage, food law, number one, allergens, number two, your business name, number three, the county name. Okay, whatever county you're in that has to be on there to keep that in mind. That's kind of unique. Not every state, every county requires that in other states, but you have to have the county's name.

You're going to need to have your name as the business owner ingredients of what is in the product permit number and the products name. Lastly, the most important part of the label. When you begin to develop cottage food products under the New Jersey law is the statement of declaration. Now, what does that basically stating that your product is being made in a facility that is not being inspected very important, that people who are purchasing your product under cottage food know that it's not being inspected in a facility that's being made at home. So if you go to farmer's markets, you go to the local events, they're going to be picking up the package. And on that label, you need to make sure that it's stated, okay. So all in all that is the, just a REL well-rounded bit of information to help you understand how new Jersey's cottage food log now works.

Now, one other, a couple of tips. I want to give you, these are not required. As I, as I was doing research for this video, they're not required to have you create an LLC or business license, but let me explain something. There's liability involved with the cottage food business, just like any other. I would highly recommend you expend it, spend the money and invest in creating an LLC. I'll even have some links down below here that show you websites. You can create an LLC in New Jersey online, actually for about 10, 15 minutes. And it's the website that we'll have is actually, you can create it for free. Plus just the state filing some really cool resources. We found online ink file and ink authority. These are websites that you can literally see in your state. You can at the comfort of your home, you know, where their cottage food is going to be done.

Just go online. You can create that LLC. What that's going to do with limited liability corporation filing is going to eliminate the, the responsibility or the liability from your personal to business life. So your business itself can absorb any possible litigation or legal issue issues that comes up with food business. And you personally won't. So you wouldn't be able to be sued for your house or your car, everything else. That's not part of your business. So look into it a little further, take some research, spend some time doing your due diligence, but you definitely want to invest in a LLC, which is going to help you maintain a separation from your business and personal life. Okay. So that's it. If you guys have any questions about new Jersey's cottage food law, let us know down below. I hope this was the resources were definitely helpful. This video down in below, like I said, in the description, look, it there's more resources that we've got set up for you guys to help you out.

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