February 6, 2023

‘Home Sweet Home' bill expanding business of home cooking goes to DeSantis

A proposal that could help expand the business of home cooking is before Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Legislature on Monday formally sent the “Home Sweet Home Act” (HB 663) to the governor’s office. Focused on “cottage” food products, the measure would increase how much money residents can make from selling food out of their homes.

It would raise an annual gross sales cap from $50,000 to $250,000 on foods sold by mail, the internet or through delivery without having to conform to state permitting requirements. It also would “preempt” local regulations, giving control to the state.

House sponsor Michelle Salzman, R-Pensacola, described the bill during this spring’s legislative session as being “as American as apple pie.”

But Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, argued on the House floor that the proposal would expand small businesses into “commercial size” operations.

“In our local cities, that type of evolution can lead to noise concerns, traffic concerns,” Eskamani said.

The bill was opposed by local governments but was backed by the libertarian non-profit Institute for Justice, which argued that it would primarily help women.

“Eighty-three percent of cottage-food entrepreneurs are women,” Justin Pearson, managing attorney of the Institute for Justice’s Florida office, said in a prepared statement.

“By modernizing Florida’s cottage-food laws and making them consistent with many other states, this reform will create women-owned businesses across the Sunshine State.”

Tags: News Service of Florida

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