Stifled Dreams, Laura’s Baking Story

 Michał Kulesza

States with supportive cottage food laws provide simple and inexpensive ways for skilled people to begin safe and profitable businesses from home — businesses that can become sustainable jobs. Arguably, Kentucky’s lack of a cottage food law mostly affects women — ones who can and bake, but who might otherwise lack employment, garden space, access to commercial kitchens or capital.- 

Today we feature a story that yet again, shows how Kentucky puts the dreams of women on hold. Not every person can start out in a commercial kitchen, or a storefront. Some people don’t need or want that. They want to sell a few cakes, cookies, or cupcake orders a week to be able to provide extra income for their families while staying at home with their kids. This is Laura’s story in her own words.

“My name is Laura Jansson and I am a Kentucky Home Baker. I have always loved to bake. When I was a teenager, I used to make zucchini bread all summer long to share with friends and neighbors, because our family garden was overflowing with zucchini. I loved making lots of different kinds of cookies, cakes, and brownies, too. I usually take something homemade to potlucks and get togethers and get rave reviews on my goodies.

I am a busy stay at home mom of 4, and I started thinking how fun it would be to turn my hobby into a small business. I had been wanting to contribute financially to my family, but there aren’t a lot of stay at home options. When I gauged interest to my Facebook friends, to see how many people might actually buy my cookies if I started a small business, I had one friend comment, “I’d buy them! But be careful, I had a friend who was anonymously turned in for selling without a permit!”

I wasn’t sure what she meant, so as I started a little digging, I found out that it was, indeed, against the law to sell baked goods from my home kitchen in Kentucky! I think it is very unfair to stifle the desire of so many people who are perfectly capable of making cookies in a clean, at home environment to sell to friends and neighbors. I would be happy to comply with the health requirements, I would label ingredients, and do whatever I need to to be able to just bake at home.

I would love to fulfill a dream of mine to make a bit of money doing something I love. Please, please, please! Change the laws in Kentucky and allow myself and others to bake and sell from home!”

Laura Jansson, Kentucky Home Baker

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  1. I agree that there should be a way made for home bakers to sell their products I hope the state of Kentucky will find a way to make this happen.

  2. Marie Callender began making pies at home. She sold them and delivered them in a small family truck. Other famous bakers began at home. You need to be able to start somewhere. My neighbor got her license to bake at home. She takes her wares to farmers markets. I live in Utah, but Laura, and others like her, should have the chance to bake from their homes. As long as the space they bake, store, and clean the dishes follows the guidelines, they should be given a chance.

    1. Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes Food Network fame and also Paula Dean started at home. I am sure there are numerous examples. The way things currently are in Kentucky, there is a high barrier to entry in the market keeping the little guy out. The government has no place in that.

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