New Jersey is the only state where you can’t have a home-baked foods business. But that may be about to change.
The state Senate recently passed a bill that would allow entrepreneurs in the Garden State to make and sell baked goods out of their homes that do not require refrigeration or additional cooking after they are baked.
Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16th), who sponsored the bill, said it addresses New Jersey’s currently antiquated law.
“It’s time we make New Jersey more hospitable to state residents who have mastered the art and science of baking and share the entrepreneurial spirit,” Bateman said in a press release. “These are dedicated bakers who love what they are doing and take great pride in the quality of their products and make food safety a priority.”
The next step in the process is for the bill to go before the state Assembly. Then, if approved by the assembly, it would need to be signed into law by the governor.
A group of bakers who wanted to bake for a living without the costs of renting a commercial kitchen formed the New Jersey Home Bakers Association. This group pushed for the law’s creation by suing the New Jersey Department of Health to ease restrictions on home bakers.
Home Bakers Association member Martha Rabello of Fanwood said the bill’s passage is a step in the right direction. A judge is expected to rule soon on competing motions from both the state Department of Health and the Association so that the lawsuit does not go to trial.
“When the bill started moving, we were surprised by it because it had been stalled in the Senate for so long,” said Rabello. “The fact that it went through the Senate is very positive for us.”
Members of the Association are pleased with the bill’s passage, but would like to see amendments made to it that include reducing the $300 fee for getting a cottage permit, allowing home bakers to be able to sell candy melts and allowing home bakers to sell their goods online, Rabello said.
The Association plans to work with the state assembly when the summer is over on making these amendments, Rabello said.
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