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Selling Homemade Baked Goods in Kentucky Could be Illegal

— August 28, 2017

Selling Homemade Baked Goods in Kentucky Could be Illegal

Kentucky has quite an interesting law in place concerning baked goods.  The cottage food law, as it’s termed, makes it illegal for most people residing in the state to bake a cake and sell it to another individual.  Single mom, Jennifer Lopez, who was living for some time in Missouri and making a living selling homemade goods is challenging this now that she’s moved to Kentucky.

“That gave me a way to pay for food, gas and take care of my children,” Lopez said.  Her craft is considered illegal in her new home state because she’s not a farmer and doesn’t have a separate dedicated work space.  

Lopez is infuriated and has decided to circulate a petition to update the law.   “Farmers are allowed to bake from their home kitchens, and we just want to broaden that so just your average home baker can also sell and bake from their house,” Lopez said.

Homemaker and baker Jennifer Luckey is certified and has a second kitchen as the owner of “Luckey’s House of Cakes” — a rather ironic name for the home-based business given the state’s restrictive laws.  

Selling Homemade Baked Goods in Kentucky Could be Illegal
Image Courtesy of Sharon Chen

“This is where the magic happens,” she said, pointing out the once spare bedroom turned workspace. “I understand the health department’s view on it. They want to make sure that what people are selling to the public is safe and it’s not going to make them sick. But if there was a way to make it a little bit easier for the public, or for a home baker to get permitted, then yeah, I’m all for it. But the health department still needs to be involved,” she said.

The big question is, if baked goods are being prepared in homes is it any safer to prepare them twenty feet from the space in which an individual cooks for his or her family?  What if they have a large crowd visiting and end up needing to use both spaces?  What would happen if the dishwasher is full in the “workspace”, so they decide to clean utensils in the nearby “home kitchen”.  Seems pretty silly, really.  

Other areas of expertise have long come with similar guidelines, however.  A mental health professional can practice out of the home in many states with a dedicated home office.  An in-home caregiver can operate in the residence of a licensed nanny so long as certain safety and health department requirements are met.

“We want to be a real business. We want the opportunity and we want to grow just like every other business. And we want rules established that we can follow,” Lopez said.

The health department currently suggests that home bakers consider turning their basements or garages into a kitchen space if a spare bedroom is unavailable.  As for changing the legislation, a Kentucky state representative stated a committee will be meeting on Tuesday, August 29th, to discuss possible modifications to the cottage food law.  

In the meantime, Lopez’s family will be busy enjoying her creations, while the rest of the world misses out.


Mom works to make it legal to sell homemade cakes in Kentucky

Kentucky law makes selling homemade cakes illegal in most cases

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