Start a Remarkable Florida Cottage Food Operation
Do you live in Florida? You can use your unlicensed home kitchen to produce low-risk foods. Low-risk foods involve any of the foods mentioned in this list. The amazing aspect of the Florida Cottage Food Law is it allows residents to earn, but not exceed $50,000.
You do not need a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service food permit and are not inspected by any Florida government entity.
Florida residents interested in taking the Florida Cottage Food journey need to create a business plan. Learn before you leap. Earning $50,000 will not be easy.
Let’s stop and think about this. So you want to sell cupcakes? How many will you need to sell to make $50,000? At $3 per cupcake, you’ll need to sell 16,666. That’s 1,388 dozen or 26 dozen in 52 weeks.
Does that sound doable? By now you know unless you are selling gourmet cupcakes for a lot more money, this will be an uphill battle.
Selecting a profitable cottage food product begins by becoming a private-eye of sorts. You will collect information to discover what the consumers in your community want. Talking to consumers, the competition and pricing for profit.
Let’s start with a check-list:
- Assess your skills & resources
- Inspect your kitchen
- Basic knowledge of business startup?
- Product list
- Structure your business
- Cost & price product
- Assess the competition
- Marketing & Advertising knowledge
- Financial management
- Sales location (eCommerce is not allowed in Florida)
- Scaling the business
- Selecting a Florida Cottage Food Product
There are a variety of cottage food products on the list, all are not profitable. Before you consider a product examine the following:
Your sales location.
Are there enough consumers in your area to sustain the product you have in mind?
How self-stable is the product?
Perishable products with a short self-life will need to move quickly off the shelf. A good example, baked-goods. Losses are high if you do not sell all your product in one day. Shelf-stable products, jams, jellies, and dried pasta will live to see another day.
Do you now see why this is a process? You must learn before you leap into the business?
There is little room for error, otherwise, you risk losing money chasing after a product that no one wants.
What makes a profitable product? It depends. What are folks in your community head-over-heels for? Are there any food trends that have stood the test of time in your community?
What might be a few iconic Florida Cottage foods?
Some may need to be prepared in a commercial kitchen, and others in the home kitchen.
- Key Lime Pie (Are there other key lime products? Pound Cake, cupcakes, cookies, cookie bars, shortbread cookies)
- Boiled Peanuts (flavored, boiled in a special seasoning)
- Kumquat incorporated in cookies, cakes, candy
One favorite smack in Florida is the Anastasia Confections’ Coconut Patties, a creamy coconut filling with a dark chocolate shell. Check out favorites from other parts of the U.S.
- Take a look at the Florida Cottage Food quick reference.
- Learn the requirements
- Stay away from potentially hazardous foods
- Follow the Florida Cottage Food Labeling Requirements
- Follow the rules regarding where Florida Cottage Foods can be sold
- Know what locations can be used as processing facilities
- Pet foods are not allowed under the Florida Cottage Food Law
What makes a “Remarkable Cottage Food Product?”
- Seek to produce a product not currently in the marketplace.
- If you produce a product in the marketplace, make it better, make it “REMARKABLE”.
- The product must be “Remarkable” to the consumer, not you.
- Think about what you will need to do to get your product noticed. In the direct eye of the consumer.
- Your goal when starting your Florida Cottage Food Operation is to not only be ‘remarkable’ but attract consumers willing and able to pay for your “REMARKABLE” product.
- If your product is sold at Publix, it’s not “REMARKABLE.”
- Always be willing to reinvest and reinvent your product.
The State of Florida Cottage Food requirements are carefully documented but if you have questions contact them directly using the contact information below. Join the Foodpreneur Institute email list and Facebook page and let us know how we can support you.
Enroll now in the Social Media Masterclass to get the word out about your Florida Cottage Food Business.