April 19, 2021

Noliita Liancafe

Exquisite food

Boston home cooks can now sell food from their own kitchen under a new law

On March 31, the Boston City Council passed a law that will allow home cooks to make and sell food from their own residential kitchens. The law goes into effect at the end of April.

Before you start firing up the oven and making lasagna in bulk, here’s what you should know: The law covers “cottage foods,” which are non-temperature controlled goods that don’t easily spoil — items like tortillas, granola, and dried pasta. Homemade yogurt? Sushi? Don’t even think about it.

According to WBUR, councilor Julia Mejia, who sponsored the measure, said that “This ordinance is not for large corporations to set up shop. It’s for small, minority, and immigrant entrepreneurs who want to share their food and their culture with their community.”

One of those entrepreneurs is Andree Entezari, a city planning student at Boston University who launched an advocacy campaign to allow the sale of cottage foods from residential kitchens.

“There are too many underrepresented food entrepreneurs in Boston who lack regulation from the city to make and sell certain low-risk foods from their home,” wrote Entezari, who had previously operated a business selling homemade dehydrated fruit strips while living in Los Angeles. “Giving the opportunity for food handler entrepreneurs in the Greater Boston area to create and sell homemade foods is also a matter of equity. This permitting process is necessary in normal times, but especially now with so many certified food handlers out of work and struggling financially.”

Now that the ordinance has passed, applicants will need to take an allergens awareness training and safety course in order to obtain the proper license.

So we want to know: What “cottage food” would you make and sell now that the City of Boston allows it? Do you have a beloved granola recipe you’ve been wanting to put out into the world? Do you make incredible churros? Are your biscuits the stuff of legend?

Let us know in the survey below, or send an e-mail to [email protected]. We’ll share your ideas in a follow-up story.

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