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Hello Everyone,

As you know it is not legal to bake and sell goods from home in Florida.  I am trying to get the Cottage Food Act passed and I need your help.  I have two letters you can send to your state representative and another letter for your family and friends to send.  Power is in numbers and if we truly want to have our own business from home we all need to work together.


Feel free to use these letters and send to your State Representative and Local Representative.  You could go to State Representatives for Florida and send the letters to everyone.  I sent my letters to all the representatives because it is something good for the whole state.  I hope you will participate with this and I hope your family and friends will do the same.


Thank you,


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Replies to This Discussion

Good Morning Barbara:

Thank you for taking on this situation.
Bonnie Brown said:
Good Morning Barbara:

Thank you for taking on this situation.
Thank you Bonnie, I hope you will help by sending a letter to your representative. Below is a response I received from one of the Senators. So I hope this will inspire you and others to take action and send letters. Barb

Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 2:24 PM
Cc: STOVALL.SANDRA; 'Aller, Marion'
Subject: FW: Cottage Food Act

Hi Liada,

The issue of “cottage industry” sales such as baked goods to consumers is currently under review by the Food Safety and Food Defense Advisory Council. This council has members from a diverse background such as the DACS, FDA and the private sector. Upon a call phone call from me to the DACS Division of Food Safety I was reminded that there is language in the current Appropriations Act for a review to be made of “small farm” issues, which this matter falls under. The council is to complete its review and issue its findings by the end of the year.

This is to say that this very matter is under review now. I know that the council is aware of Senator Jones constituent’s concern as I sent an e-mail copy of the letter to the Division Director.

If I can be of further assistance on this issue please send me a note or give me a call.


Sent: Friday, July 09, 2010 9:16 AM
Subject: FW: Cottage Food Act


I think this is an Agriculture – Food matter. Please let me know if you think it falls under DOH’s authority instead.



Sandra R. Stovall, J.D., C.P.A.

The Florida Senate

Committee on Health Regulation

530 Knott Building

404 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1100

850.487.5824 facsimile: 850.410.0081


Sent: Friday, July 09, 2010 8:43 AM
Subject: FW: Cottage Food Act


From: Barb Schmal [mailto:bschmal@tampabay.rr.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2010 8:07 PM
Subject: Cottage Food Act

Dear Representative Proctor:

The enactment of a Cottage Foods Act to legalize the sale of home baked cakes and cookies, is extremely important to me and my family. I am writing to ask you to sponsor a bill that would allow Floridians to sell non-hazardous baked goods prepared in residential kitchens.

In Florida it is illegal to sell a cake made in a home residential kitchen. Most people are not aware of this law. It is the Florida Statute 500, 6-202.111 Private Homes and Living or Sleeping Quarters, Use Prohibition. A private home, a room used as living or sleeping quarters, or an area directly opening into a room used as living or sleeping quarters may not be used for conducting FOOD ESTABLISHMENT operations.


This law is in place to protect the public from unsafe foods. However, cakes and other baked goods such as cookies, pies and brownies are considered a low-rish for spoilage and contamination due to their high sugar content. There are at least 9 other states that have mechanisms in place for allowing bakers and cake decorators to sell non-hazardous foods made in residential kitchen, including:





North Carolina







Department of Agriculture (717) 787-4737



Utah (as of 2008)



Department of Agriculture (804)

In Maryland, Delegate Mary Ann Love and in Texas, Representative Dan Gattis are both currently bringing bills to committee to create a cottage foods act. Would you consider doing the same? I would be glad to meet with you to discuss this further. I also have colleagues and contacts throughout the state of Florida who fervently hope the law will be changed, and they would also be glad to join our meeting.

I have invested time and money in learning my craft. However, for me that is all that it is right now, a craft. Because I do not want to be a lawbreaker I only bake for family and friends and I donate cakes and cookies to my church. I constantly have people want to buy baked good from me and I have to turn them away. Most go to a “big box chain store” to purchase their cake, thus not keeping the money in Florida. Most potential customers look at me weird when I say “legally I cannot bake a cake for you because it is illegal to bake from home”. The word “homemade” conveys quality not criminal. Everyone eats foods made in residential kitchens every day. There are bake sales at schools and churches, parents sending cupcakes to schools for their child’s birthdays, people bake cookies and bring them into the office. There is nothing to fear from these items or non-profit bake sales would be illegal as well. This is not a health hazard.

A quick search for “cake” on Craigslist already shows many people advertising cake businesses run from their home’s residential kitchen. With the economy faltering and people looking for ways to earn extra income, more will naturally turn to selling home-baked goods, unaware of the legal ramifications. Because this activity is illegal in Florida, these people cannot obtain business liability insurance to protect themselves financially. Should they be sued, they could potentially lose everything, including their homes. It would serve the public interest to regulate this already-existing industry and de-criminalize the act of selling low risk food prepared in a residential kitchen.

I would like to request a change in the law. Inspect our homes and charge an annual inspection fee. There are many safety regulations that can be put in place to serve the public good while allowing hundreds or even thousands of home bakers to legally provide a service to the community while earning extra money for their families. There are many people out there who sell cakes and other food items for their homes already – wouldn’t it be safer to have a way to regulate this already-existing industry?

America and indeed Florida were founded on the ideals of freedom and entrepreneurialism. Our founding fathers surely never envisioned a country where it would be illegal for a woman to sell a cake made in her own kitchen. I humbly ask for your help in this matter.

Thank you sincerely,

Barbara Schmal

11485 Oakhurst Rd


Largo, FL 33774


Email. bschmal@tampabay.rr.com

Bonnie Brown said:
Good Morning Barbara:

Thank you for taking on this situation.
At least someone read your letter andhad the decency to respond. I will get the letters out this week. Keep up the positive action. Bonnie
ABC Action News will be interviewing me this Sunday regarding Florida Baking At Home legally. I hope this will help us get the Cottage Food Act passed. All who are sending letters to their state representative thank you for the support. Those of you who would like to help email me and I will be glad to send you the letters. Barb
Hi Barbara: Any news yet?


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