Sara Rylander, shown left, has helped pave the way for home bakers in local Georgia communities, particularly Cobb County. The baker from Acworth opened the doors for local entrepreneurs to make and sell foods made in their homes directly to the public, due to the passing of the Cottage Food Program.
Rylander, a custom cake decorator, started her own business Totally Sweet Cakes and then faced the wall: the state’s small business regulations.
Before, in order to sell foods prepared in your home you would have to build a second kitchen and adhere to all the same regulations as restaurants–an expensive endeavor for most people. Rylander, researching a better way, found other states’ “cottage food” laws and approach the Georgia Department of Agriculture about it.
They were on board. The list of acceptable foods includes breads and pastries, cakes, fruit pies, jams, dried fruits, herb and spice mixtures, candies, cereals and granolas. Nothing refrigerated is permitted, nor is supplying to restaurants. You must complete a food safety training course, a home kitchen inspection and acquire a local business license.
According to Rylander, several individuals state-wide have met the requirements and received their permits. “It’s going to be a good thing for Georgia, and based on the feedback I’ve gotten across the state, it’s opening doors of opportunity to people who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to walk through it,” she told Atlanta Magazine.