If you enjoy baking and cooking, starting a home-based business can be a great way of combining your hobby with your career. As with any other company, before starting a food business, you must do lots of planning and research. You will also need additional permits and inspections before you’re allowed to sell food products.
Here is a detailed introduction to how to start a food business from home in Ventura County (VC).
What Food Can You Sell from Home in Ventura County?
Here are food products you can register to make for sale in VC:
- Dry baking mixes
- Baked goods without meat fillings, cream, or custard (including cookies, churros, tortillas, biscuits, bread, and pastries).
- Candy, like nut brittle and toffee
- Chocolate-covered nonperishable foods
- Fruit tamales, empanadas and pies
- Trail mixes, cereals, and granola
- Dried mole paste and herb blends
- Sweet sorghum syrup and honey
- Fruit butter, jellies, and jams that meet the standards set by federal regulations
- Nut butter and nut mixes
- Mustard and vinegar
- Dried tea and roasted coffee
- Pizzelles and waffle cones
The California Department of Public Health website has a lists of food products you can legally make in your home kitchen.
Why Ventura County the Best Place to Start Your Food Business
In Ventura County, you’ll have access to vast business resources, like no-cost business consulting and access to capital. Ventura County has an extensive network of preschool education centers, and excellent private and public schools. Suppose you’re a caregiver and want an exceptional educational experience for your kids. In that case, you’ll have numerous educational choices, including traditional education models, Montessori, outdoor schools, and more.
Ventura County is also committed to creating connections and supporting entrepreneurs. So, it offers numerous opportunities to enhance your mind and body through recreation and business classes, city-sponsored art, independent fitness classes, and community groups.
Licenses and Permits for Home-Based Food Businesses in Ventura County
It would help if you got a cottage food permit from the health department to run your home-based business in Ventura County legally. You can choose between two types of permits, depending on how you intend to sell your products – directly or through other businesses such as restaurants and shops.
Class A Permit – If you intend to sell directly to customers, you should consider getting the Class A permit. Class A permits allow business owners to sell from home, at festivals and farmers’ markets, and in other ways that involve selling directly to customers.
Class B Permit – A Class B permit allows you to sell indirectly to your customers. For instance, selling your products through restaurants, stores, and other avenues. You may not be allowed to sell indirectly beyond your county unless the regulations in the county will allow you to sell cottage food indirectly.
After getting the cottage food permit, you should also get the food handler certificate or card in three months. You can get this certificate by completing a food processor course offered by the California Department of Public Health. You can also apply for a sales permit through Ventura County’s Environmental Health Division office.
As a business owner in Ventura County, you can get business support and access to capital through Business Forward Ventura County. Contact us today for more information.