You know its happened to you. You see it two booths away. It is perfect and you must have it. You smile at the lady behind the table and hand her a couple bucks. Your fingers work at the cling wrap before you have even turned away into the hustle and bustle of the farmers' market. You take a bite of the most beautiful cookie you have ever seen (not counting your Aunt Dollie's cookies from back home). You let the chocolate melt in your mouth, the saltiness tingle your taste buds. Your friend asks you how it is and you answer, "Eh, its good, but man, my Aunt Dollie's cookies are so much more awesome!" By the time you reach the end of the row you have the image of a booth, of you in an apron selling Aunt Dollie's scrumptious baked goods. Then you remember you have to use an expensive commercial kitchen for that type of thing... Well, there is something to get very excited about cottage industrialists! Governor Jerry Brown just signed AB 1616 into law proclaiming that "non-potentially hazardous foods" such as breads, fruit pies, and jams can be prepared in home kitchens and sold to stores, restaurants, and directly to the public. Of course there is a bit of regulation involved including getting a food safety certification and registering with the local health department. But hey, that's a lot less cost and hassle than installing a certified commercial kitchen in your home or renting space outside the house. Talk about an opportunity for thousands of households to make some extra money and share their talent! How will this affect the farmers' market crowd? Will there be a flood of homemade baked goods and jams coming to the stands?
That is perhaps a question for Catt White and Christopher Smyczek of SD Weekly Markets in their popular Vendor 101 seminar. Aspiring vendors can learn about start up costs, permits, product development, marketing and a slew of other useful information from the two star market managers.The next one is happening October 29th.
So go ask Aunt Dollie for her killer cookie recipe, do some research on the new regulations, take the seminar, and get baking!