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Cottage foods trying again

During the 2009 legislative session, I wrote about a group called Texas Cottage Food Law that seeks to legalize selling food that was made in a residential kitchen. From their website:

In Texas it is currently illegal (click to see law) to run a food establishment from a residential kitchen, even if your product is low-risk baked foods like cakes and cookies.  You cannot be licensed for a home bakery.

A group of dedicated home bakers are trying to change that law.

State Representative Eddie Rodriguez has filed HB 1139, the Cottage Food Production Act!  Please get involved today and call or write your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to support this important bill!

See here and here for more about the current law and what it does not allow. In 2009, HB 3282 by Rep. Dan Gattis was voted unanimously out of committee in the House and picked up a couple of co-authors and a Senate sponsor along the way, but never made it onto the calendar. I believe that if HB 1139 can get to the floor of each chamber it will pass easily, but especially in a session like this overcoming inertia and winning the competition for attention against all the other bills is tough to do. When you get right down to it, this is a bill that would facilitate job creation, which ought to be a no-brainer for legislators to support. If you support it, let your Rep and Senator know. If enough of them know it’s worth their time, it’ll get a shot.

And in a stroke of good timing, here’s a Houston Press cover story about the cottage food movement, written by Robb Walsh. You can see video clips of a couple of people quoted in that story talking about their home-baed food businesses here. This kind of publicity, plus the reactions from legislators and Ag Commish Todd Staples in the story, all bode well for the cottage foodies’ chances.

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  1. […] here for some background. Here’s SB81, and here’s where to see the relevant amendment. SB81 […]