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Can I sell the food I make at home to the public?

Since 2014, Maryland has updated its rules, allowing people to sell certain homemade foods, called cottage foods, to the public. These goodies can only be sold at specific places like farmer's markets, fairs, and festivals, not in regular stores or restaurants. To keep things safe, those selling cottage foods need to follow special packaging and labeling rules. If you stick to these rules, you can legally and safely sell your homemade treats.

What kinds of food can I make?

If you follow the labeling rules, you can prepare baked goods that don't need refrigeration, like cookies, brownies, fruit pies, and hard candies. You can also make fruit jams, jellies, and butters. For a detailed list of approved fruits and preparations, check out the cottage industry regulations (COMAR 10.15.03).

What do I need to put on the packaging for homemade baked goods and other cottage foods?

Take a look at our Labeling Requirements page for a list of things that must be on the package before you can sell it at the market.

Can I offer samples of my homemade treats?

If you want to give out samples, you have to prepackage them at home and label them according to the rules. Opening packages to give customers samples on the spot is not allowed.

Do I need a health permit?

The Health Department can't give you a permit for cottage foods. However, if they get a complaint about a cottage food seller, they have to look into it and take the right steps.