The Cottage Food industry is growing nationwide.  This industry/movement is regulated by each state and laws are being changed and updated each year.  Visit Forrager.com for info on the various states and to access a community of cottage industry proprietors and proponents.


Here is more detailed information on the situation in our home state of Texas.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services:  A cottage food production operation is defined as an individual, operating out of the individual’s home, who:

  • Produces a baked good, candy, coated and uncoated nuts, unroasted nut butters, fruit butters, a canned jam or jelly, a fruit pie, dehydrated fruit or vegetables, including dried beans, popcorn and popcorn snacks, cereal, including granola, dry mix, vinegar, pickles, mustard, roasted coffee or dry tea, or a dried herb or dried herb mix.
  • Has an annual gross income of $50,000 or less from the sale of the described foods.
  • Sells the foods produced directly to consumers at the individual’s home, a farmers’ market, a farm stand, or a municipal, county, or nonprofit fair, festival or event; and
  • Delivers products to the consumer at the point of sale or another location designated by the consumer.

Examples of Food that can be Prepared at a Cottage Food Production Operation

  • Breads, rolls, biscuits
  • Sweet breads, muffins
  • Cakes (birthday, wedding, anniversary, etc.
  • Pastries
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Coated and uncoated nuts
  • Unroasted nut butters
  • Fruit butters
  • Canned jams or jellies
  • Fruit pies
  • Dehydrated fruit or vegetables, including dried beans
  • Popcorn and popcorn snacks
  • Cereal, including granola
  • Dry mixes
  • Vinegar
  • Pickles
  • Mustard
  • Roasted coffee or dry tea
  • Dried herbs and dried herb mixtures

What are the Rules Concerning Cottage Food Production?

You do not need a special permit or license from the Texas Department of State Health Services to operate a cottage food production operation. Howeber, goods sold by a cottage food production operation must be packaged and labeled. The label must state the following:

  • The name and address of the cottage food production operation;
  • The common or usual name of the product, if a food is made with a major food allergen, such as eggs, nuts, soy, peanuts, milk or wheat that ingredient must be listed on the label; and
  • A statement: “This food is made in a home kitchen and is not inspected by the Department of State Health Services or a local health department.”
  • The labels must be legible.

Title 25 of the Texas Administrative Code, Section 229.661 provides further guidance.

Important Cottage Food Production Links