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Cottage Foods Bill Classes Help Aspiring Indie Food Entrepreneurs

Grace & I's fruit pates at the New. Artisanal. Now. event (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
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The gals over at Craftcation aren't alone in their plight to help aspiring food crafters make their signature recipes into solvent businesses. Caron Ory, who created a diabetic-friendly sugar substitute called Eco-BeeCo, is teaching a class in Fountain Valley to help aspiring food crafters navigate the new Cottage Foods Bill.

Last fall, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Cottage Foods Bill, also known as Assembly Bill 1616, allowing Californians to make and sell certain non-hazardous foods out of their kitchens as long as they didn't contain cream or meat. This opened up the market for makers of bread, fruit, baked goods, jarred goods and dry mixes to turn their indie entrepreneurial dreams into a reality.

The bill was written in response to the incident where the Los Angeles County Health Department ordered Mark Stambler to stop selling the bread he baked each week in his backyard oven in Los Feliz. At the time, the 59 year-old had hoped baking could become his full-time business.

Ory started her business before the Bill passed, putting a hefty sum of cash and product on the line.

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To sell the product she'd developed in her home kitchen, California law required her to contract with a commercial kitchen to produce it. Instead of building a small market and gradually making the transition to large-scale distribution, Ory had to invest $35,000 to blend 6,000 pounds of Eco-BeeCo without ever having sold a pouch of it.

On March 2, Ory will teach a class from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa about AB 1616 and the business of starting a cottage industry out of a home kitchen. You can sign up here.