Selling Homemade Goods FAQs

Am I allowed to sell food I prepared at home to the public?

In 2014, Maryland regulations changed to allow individuals to prepare some food items at home. These foods may only be sold at a farmer’s market or a temporary event such as a fair, festival or similar public event. Cottage foods cannot be sold at a retail store, restaurant or convenience store. Individuals selling cottage foods must follow packaging and labeling rules. 

What types of food am I allowed to prepare?

If the labeling requirements are met, individuals may prepare baked goods that do not require refrigeration such as most cookies, brownies, fruit pies and hard candies. Fruit jams, jellies and butters may also be prepared under this regulation. If you wish to prepare these items you must refer to the cottage industry regulations (COMAR 10.15.03) for a detailed list of acceptable fruits and preparations.

What are the requirements for serving homemade baked goods and other cottage foods?

Please view our Labeling Requirements page to find a list of items that must be included on the package before it is sold at the market. 

What if I want to give samples?

If samples are given they must be prepackaged at home and labeled according to the labeling rules. Opening packages to give customers samples is not allowed. 

Will I need to apply for a health permit?

The Health Department cannot issue a permit for cottage foods. However, if the County Health Department receives a complaint about a cottage food vendor they must investigate and take appropriate action.