Starting a successful cottage food business in Michigan

Know the intent of the law and basic business strategies before getting started.

Michigan’s Cottage Food Law allows those with a great recipe the opportunity to sell certain foods, made in their home kitchens, to the public. These foods are to be sold face to face at places such as farmers markets. If you are one of those individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit and are considering selling some of your homemade food products this summer, you will be interested in the Michigan State University Extension Cottage Food Law workshops scheduled in Kent, Muskegon, Oceana and Lake Counties.

The workshop combines the business and food safety aspects of preparing and selling cottage foods successfully. You will find out what foods can be legally produced as well as how to label and market them. Food safety is critical when selling to the public, so you will learn safe food handling practices to make sure that you are producing a wholesome product that people will want to buy. You will also pick up other techniques to develop and maintain a successful small business.

Michigan State University Extension food safety educators, Jane Hart or Jeannie Nichols, will be teaching with Kay Cummings, an Innovation Counselor from the MSU Product Center. The Product Center is a gateway to generating success for Michigan entrepreneurs by providing beginning business counseling and other more advanced services for food, natural resource and value-added agriculture businesses.

At the end of the workshop you will receive a certificate to display when you are selling your cottage foods. This certificate states that you have taken food safety training related to Michigan Cottage Foods. Although not required under the Cottage Food Law, the certificate is designed to assure buyers that their purchase has been safely prepared. This will be an important part of your marketing strategy, which will also be discussed in the class.

This workshop will help you have a successful small food business and avoid unnecessary risks. The cost of the workshop is $20.00. There are many How to Start a Successful Cottage Food Business in Michigan classes being held this summer in your area!

Contact Kay Cummings at or 231-750-2772 if you have questions. 

The MSU Product Center, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, provides business counseling for product development, packaging and marketing strategies that will help Michigan entrepreneurs commercialize high-value, consumer–responsive food, value-added agriculture, and natural resource products. For more information, visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

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