Change Cottage Food Law in RI

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For years I have been hoping RI Cottage Food Law would change to allow me the opportunity to bake out of my home. Many states across our nation, including those that border us closely, allow people to run businesses out of their residential  kitchen. In Rhode Island, sadly, this is not the case.

A little about myself; the four biggest reasons why I created this petition are my four children who are 11, 9, 6 and 4. I stay home to take care of them and my baking became a way for me to make a little bit of extra money for our family. This little business of mine has certainly become much larger than I would ever have imagined. In RI to process food legally and obtain a license you must work out of a commercial kitchen. I have been working towards finding a way to obtain an official Food Processor License but the process is not an easy one. In the meantime I have decided to make a move to change our RI Cottage Food Law. 

I know changing a law will take time and in the meantime I will continue to search for alternatives for myself. However, I am hoping in the long run that changing our Cottage Food Law will help others like me. Rhode Island essentially has no cottage food laws, because the law we do have is limited to a very select group of individuals. Producing food from home is only available to farmers that sell over $2,500 of agricultural products throughout the year. In most other states across the nation their Cottage Food Laws allow bakers or producers of non perishables to work out of their residential kitchen once it has been inspected by the Department of Health. This law hasn’t changed since 2012. In that time, especially over the past year, times have changed greatly. More and more people are finding additional avenues to make money for their families and so many options are those that allow them to also stay home. We hear all the time of restaurants closing due to COVID. Where do these food processors go if they do not have an operation to work out of? How can these food processors, who have a huge passion and talent for what they do but do not have the means to access a commercial kitchen, take their dreams to the next level? 

Rules are being adjusted in many industries allowing people the ability to work from home and I am hoping others will agree that food processors should be allowed the same opportunity. The cottage-food industry is growing rapidly and states all over the country are working to meet the growing demand. My hope is that Rhode Island can get on board as well. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read my petition and hope you consider signing!