Starting a successful cottage food business in Michigan

MSU Extension is offering workshops around the state in early 2012 on successful cottage food business in Michigan.

Michigan’s Cottage Food Law was approved in 2010. This law allows those with an entrepreneurial spirit the opportunity to prepare and sell certain homemade foods in home kitchens for direct sale to the public. When selling cottage foods in Michigan you are exempt from the requirements of licensing and routine inspection by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD). According to MDARD a cottage food operation must still comply with labeling and other provisions found in the Michigan Food Law.

Cottage foods are basically non-hazardous foods. They can be safely kept at room temperature and do not require refrigeration. Examples include: jams, jellies, breads and similar baked goods, cookies, cakes, fruit pies, vinegars and other non-potentially hazardous foods.

Like any business, a cottage food business requires that there be careful planning to ensure success. It is important to build a team to help build a business. Success with anything is determined by the ability of the team to make, market and sell the entire operation. Most people are very good at one of these aspects and maybe somewhat good at two, but very few people are good at all three by themselves. Teamwork pays off when building a business if a well-rounded group can ensure quality production, marketing, and sales.

Michigan State University Extension is working with the Michigan State University Product Center to offer educational workshops for food entrepreneurs around the state. The workshop objectives include how to safely make, label and successfully sell cottage foods. The Michigan State University Product Center is a gateway to generating success for Michigan entrepreneurs in the areas of agriculture, natural resources and bioeconomy. These workshops, How to Start a Successful Cottage Food Business, combine the business and food safety aspects of preparing and selling cottage foods. You can register online for these workshops if you are interested in starting a cottage food business or if you are a current entrepreneur seeking to generate success with your business.

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