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California's Newest Business Craze: Homemade Food

Bread baker Mark Stambler prepares artisanal bread at his home in Los Angeles. Stambler advocated for legislation to allow certain homemade foods to be sold to stores, restaurants, and customers.
Bread baker Mark Stambler prepares artisanal bread at his home in Los Angeles. Stambler advocated for legislation to allow certain homemade foods to be sold to stores, restaurants, and customers. Photograph by Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo

Granola makers, homemade vinegar producers, and other foodies in California have cause to rejoice today. As of Jan. 1, a new state law allows people who make food at home to sell it to restaurants and grocery stores.

Leave it to California to upend decades of public health consensus that food businesses need commercial licenses to ensure their food is safe and free of harmful contaminants. The California Homemade Food Act creates a new category of food production called a “cottage food operation.”