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A Boost for Home Bakers


 Local self taught baker, Louise Sandy just let us know that on January, 1 the California Cottage Food Act become law making it legal for home-based bakers to run a business out of their home kitchen.  Prior to the law being passed people like Sandy had to either "fly under the radar" or take on enormous expenses renting commercial kitchens. The California Cottage Food Act allows home production of "potentially non-hazardous foods" like baked goods without cream or custard fillings, dry baking mixes, breads, candies, preserves, fruit pies, etc. that do not need to be refrigerated or kept hot.

Sandy, originally from London, grew up baking with her mom, and it was there that she supplied high-end delis and cafes with baked goods. When she moved to California seven years ago, she was disappointed to find out she couldn’t continue baking from home except for friends and non-profit bake sales.

“The cottage food act was authored by LA assemblyman Mike Gatto last Spring, in response to the LA health department closing down a "back yard" bread baker who had been supplying delicious, but illegal, loaves to a group of local restaurants,” says Sandy.  “With the support of Cristina Oatfield at the Sustainable Economies Law Center in Sacramento, he got the Bill in front of the State Legislature at the beginning of the summer and worked tirelessly with the law-makers to ensure that the Bill was enacted with the minimum of red tape.  Meanwhile, we "blackmarket" food producers were writing letters to our senators and signing petitions. Governor Brown signed the California Homemade Food Act in September and it was made law on January 1st 2013.”

Sandy says that Orange County was one of the first counties to get their application forms live on their website, and her experience with them has been fantastic. “They have been so supportive and helpful, which is more than can be said of some of the other counties, who have been dragging their heels and stonewalling applicants.”

Sandy sees the new as a huge boost to women, who generally are bakers.  Now they are given an opportunity to use their talents for profit, without being forced to work away from the home. And, that’s a huge bonus.

You can order Sandy’s treats online or give her a call. Sandy’s obsession is with the quality ingredients – she always uses organic eggs, unsalted butter (never shortening or margarine), Belgian chocolate, unbleached flour,  pure vanilla extract. And she takes custom orders as well as having a regular stable of favorites available on her site.  Choose from cupcakes, cake pops, brownies, decorated cookies, push-up pops, macarons, muffins, millionaire's shortbread, triple chocolate cookies, candies, honeycomb and homemade preserves.


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