If you’re starting a small-scale home-based food operation in Wisconsin, understanding the intricacies of the Cottage Food Law is an absolute must. In terms of cottage food laws, Wisconsin courts started allowing citizens to operate bakeries from their homes without licenses in 2017. This comprehensive guide, developed with the assistance of the Wisconsin Cottage Food Association, will help you understand what you can and cannot sell.
WI Cottage Food Law: What’s Allowed
Wisconsin cottage food laws only apply if you plan to sell non-potentially hazardous foods. Like most states, Wisconsin law does not allow home bakers to sell cream-filled pastries, meat products, or custards. If you aren’t sure if your product is okay to sell, you can submit it for testing at one of the local food labs listed here.
Cottage Food Laws Wisconsin: Where You Can Sell
Under cottage laws, Wisconsin allows you to sell your homemade baked goods directly to consumers at your home, farmer’s markets, community events like fairs and festivals, and in CSA boxes. You may not sell wholesale to restaurants or other retail businesses. All cottage food sales must take place within Wisconsin state lines.
Wisconsin’s Pickle Bill lays out the labeling requirements for cottage foods. You must label any homemade food with the following:
- This sentence: “This product was made in a private home not subject to state licensing or inspection.”
- All of the ingredients in descending order of prominence
- The names of any of the allergens in the product (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soybeans)
- Your name/bakery name and email/phone number
- The date you baked the product
Wisconsin Cottage Food Association
As you navigate starting your home bakery, the Wisconsin Cottage Food Association will be your best resource. Comprising of food entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and legal experts, this association supports home bakers with recipes, information, and networking opportunities. More than this, It champions the rights of food operators and works tirelessly to foster the local food community. You can join the association for free by filling out this form here.
Ready to start selling? Join Airmart to open a free online shop for your baked goods.