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Local Inspires Cottage Food Bill on Governor Brown's Desk

The Homemade Food Act would allow folks like Mark Stambler to sell certain locally produced foods in their communities.

"Write the Governor a letter," says Mark Stambler, whose experience trying to sell home-baked bread in two stores inspired the Homemade Food Act.

The act, otherwise known as Assembly Bill 1616, is now on Governor Brown's desk after approval in both the California Senate and Assembly on Thursday.

The bill would permit breads, tortillas, cookies, preserves, nuts and other small-batch items produced in the home to be sold directly to consumers and in stores.

Certain public health protections would have to be met first, however.

Silver Lake resident Stambler became a poster child for micro-entrepreneurs trying to market their own products. 

The health department refused to allow him to sell home-baked bread in two local stores.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who also lives in Silver Lake, took up his case and sponsored AB1616. (Watch the video above for more on the bill.)

“Creating a legal structure for the safe, in-home production of certain foods that respects the importance of public health is a sensible approach that will spark more economic activity in our local economies and in California,” Gatto said in a statement.

Governor Brown has until the end of the month to sign the bill. 

Cities and counties around the state have gone on the record opposing AB1616, fearing the risks they say it may create for them.

Supporters, like Stambler, say the governor's signature is not certain, and he urged anyone who supports the bill to send a letter to Sacramento.

DameEdithDivine September 03, 2012 at 12:52 AM
In deed I do believe that folks will be inspired by the passage of this bill. I, myself, have long wanted to offer home grown and packaged herbal tea and now it looks like I may be able to do just that! Yea, Mark Stambler, thank you!
Anthea Raymond (Editor) September 04, 2012 at 04:06 PM
@DameEdithDevine--What a great idea about the hyper-local tea. Keep us posted. We'd love to profile. AR

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