Friday, April 26, 2013

Home food businesses taking off in Bayview

Earl in his kitchen. Photo: Footprints
Earl Shaddix believes he is the first San Franciscan to be certified under California's new Cottage Food Act which allows entrepreneurs to produce certain kinds of food products in home kitchens.
"If not first," he joked with Footprints, "then first and a half."
Earl will be sharing information about his cottage industry experience on April 29th at a seminar with the SF Department of Public Health at the new MARKET on THIRD. The seminar is free.
by Earl Shaddix
You might already know me from Earl's Bayview Jams, organic homemade jams made for the Quesada Gardens General Store from fruit harvested from Bayview trees. Bayview neighbors picking fruit, helping me make jam, and then selling it locally turned out to be a great experience for me.
Not long after the last batch of that jam left my kitchen, Governor Brown signed the Cottage Food Act into law. Now home producers can legally sell their baked goods, jams, and many other food products.
That was great news for me. I make bread, maybe too much of it, filling my friends' and family's freezers with the excess. Over the years, I've been encouraged to sell my bread since it is great-tasting, and made from local organic milled flours and from the same starter I've used for nearly fifteen years.
The first decision I had to make was what sort of license I would apply for: Class A or Class B. There are big differences between the two. More information online.
The Class A license is easier to obtain, and allows me to take my passion for bread-making to another level. Now, I make twenty to thirty loaves of whole grain, naturally-fermented bread, and deliver to homes in the 94124 on Sunday mornings.
Since Class A allows me to sell direct to consumers, it's all legit. Class B would allow me to sell food products I've made in my home through a retailer or other third party.
Since the law is new, and I've gone through the licensing process, I decided to help other home food product producers take advantage of the opportunity to sell their special homemade goodies. I also plan to give bread baking classes to those interested.
I've just started selling my bread, but already I deliver to several homes. I love delivering bread in Bayview in the early morning hours. The neighborhood is peaceful, the views are quietly spectacular, and the parrots that hang out at the Quesada Gardens are playful ... following me around and squawking their good mornings.
You can find me on Facebook at Earls Bread.

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