Michigan adopted the Cottage Food Law in 2010, providing guidelines for individuals to prepare non-potentially hazardous foods in a home kitchen. Only certain foods can be prepared and sold directly to the consumer without a license under this law.

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bigstock-Stacked-Chocolate-chip-cookies-161282153The Cottage Food Law is a great opportunity for individuals to generate revenue by making and selling food for which they have a passion. It is also a good opportunity for entrepreneurs to try a new venture and see if operating a food business might be right for them.   

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is the agency that provides oversight of the retail sales of food, including the Cottage Food Law. There are many conditions that have to be met in order for food to be considered a cottage food:

  • Only non-potentially hazardous foods that do not require time and temperature control for safety can be produced in a home kitchen. For example, bread, muffins, cookies, and granola.
  • The food can only be prepared in the kitchen of the person’s primary residence.
  • The food can only be sold to customers directly (for example at farmers markets, roadside stands, craft fairs, etc…). No products can be sold to retail stores, restaurants, to wholesalers, other distributors, online (including Facebook) or via mail. 
  • The maximum dollar amount a cottage food business can sell is $25,000, gross, otherwise proper licensing would have to be obtained.

Only certain foods are allowed. To find out more, visit MDARD’s website on the Cottage Food Law.

MSU Extension offers face-to-face and online classes to learn more about the law.

Our Impactbigstock-Many-Banana-Muffins-Stack-Of--334078777

  • We have reached 846 people via the online class since 2017.
  • Since 2015, 1317 have taken the face-to-face classes.
  • 66% of participants gained new knowledge in cleaning and sanitizing practices.
  • 52% of participants gained new knowledge in cross contamination prevention.
  • 98% of participants reported as a result of this session, they better understood what is necessary to run a successful cottage food business.

“I learned more specifics about cleaning and sanitizing.”

“This workshop helped me to gain a better understanding of what I need to do to have a successful food business from my home.”

“It gave me specific details about the law.”


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