Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Update: Texas Cottage Foods Fight Restrictions

Austin Statesman staff writer, Esther Robards-Forbes, bakes up a comprehensive report on the ongoing battle between local bakers and state and county governing bodies. Two steps forward, one back.
"After I thought it was all over, that we had won, we had to mobilize again," said Masters, who runs Home Sweet Home Bakery out of her home.

Letters were written, petitions were circulated and a social media campaign was launched.

Just a few weeks ago, the state health services department backed off the proposed labeling plan. Cottage food operators will have to list the name of their business, address, any allergens like milk or nuts, and a statement that the product was made in a kitchen that was not inspected by the health department.

Home bakers are breathing a sigh of relief.

"The way the labeling laws turned out, they've been able to deal with concerns about people's allergies," said Amy Padilla, owner of Bellissimo Bakery, which started in 2009 operating out of a commercial kitchen and became a cottage food producer last year. "I'm very pleased with the way the labeling requirements have come out now."

Now, cottage bakers and food producers are hitting their stride, feeding a demand for locally produced foods and niche products, such as gluten-free pie and vegan cakes. Customers have been enthusiastic, home bakers said, eager to get to know their local food producers and support local businesses.

 

It just frosts my butt when a state that talks such a big game about "boot straps" and self sufficiency does everything in its power to prevent people from pulling themselves up by their boot straps and making a little money on the side from baking cookies and making jams
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