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Homemade for Sale


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Nell Newman, Newman's Own Organics Introduction: Cottage Food Freedom Cottage Food Freedom Work Your Passion for Food First-timer or Seasoned Pro? It's Thyme. Why Now? Key Elements of Cottage Food Laws Organization of this Book Section I: What's Cooking? 1: Navigating Your State's Cottage Food Law Tips for Understanding a Cottage Food Law 2: What's Cooking? What Products Can You Sell? Where Can You Sell Your Products? How are You Allowed to Sell Your Products? How Much Can You Sell of Your Products? What Products do You Want to Sell, and Which are Worth Selling? 3: Ideas in the Oven: Identify Your Business Goals My Kitchen, My Rules Recipe for Success CFO Self-assessment Section 2: Selling Your Story: Marketing 4: Product Development: Design, Name, Logo and Packaging Niche, Target and Positioning Product Design and Attributes Naming Right 5: Getting the Price Right Business Expenses Self-worth: Valuing Your Time Pricing Your Product Variable Savings 6: Moving Your Product to Market Sales Venues: Places to Sell Stay on Target for a Bull's-eye 7: Promotion: Persuading Customers with Advertising and Public Relations Promotion Advertising Public Relations 8: People, Partnerships and Purpose People Collaborators and Vendors Purpose and Passion 9: Proving the Market and Getting a Plan Market Feasibility: Testing the Market Competitive Analysis Planning for Profits The Back-of-the-napkin Plan Section 3: Organizing, Planning and Managing the Business 10: Ready, Set, Go: Organize Your Kitchen Five Steps for Setting up Your Home Processing Facility 11: Make It Legal: Establish Your Business in 7 Easy Steps Step 1: Do a Local Zoning Check Step 2: Get Licensed by Your State's Department of Agriculture Step 3: Set Up Your Business and Structure It Wisely No Personal Liability Protection Distinct Legal Entity Offering Personal Liability Protection to Shareholders Step 4: Secure a State Business License Step 5: Get a State Sales Tax Permit Step 6: Get a Local Business License (If Needed) Step 7: Manage Risk with Insurance 12: Day-to-Day Financial Management Day-to-day Financial Management Income Statement and Balance Sheet Expenses Defined Bookkeeping Basics Cash Flow is King No Cakewalk Section 4: Scaling Up 13: Scaling Up First, a Reality Check Casting Off the Shackles of the Cottage Food Law Wholesale Expansion State Prerequisites for Wholesale and Mail Order Three Options for a Licensed Food Production Facility 14: Multiple Markets and Money Matters Markets, Markets Everywhere From Handmade to Mechanized Labeling for the Big Leagues Pricing and Distribution Revisited: A Whole New Formula Magnifying Your Marketing Raising Some Dough Keep Tabs Epilogue: Icing on the Cake Index About the Authors

Promotional Information

Co-op available National advertising: Mother Earth News, Hobby Farm Home, Urban Farm, Mother Earth Living National print campaign: Mother Earth News, Mother Earth Living, Mary Jane Farm, Natural Awakenings, BackHome, Edible Madison, Real Simple Online/social media campaign:,; Ebook Marketing Plans: Simultaneous ebook release and promotion Excerpts in: Mother Earth News, Mother Earth Living, Mary Janes' Farm Authors will attend several conferences including: Mother Earth News Fairs, Green Festivals, Bioneers, Balle, organic/sustainable farming conferences Promoted to Small Business Development Centers, Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Services, Women, Food and Agriculture Network, Renewing the Countryside Electronic galley on Edelweiss Ebook promotion with Kobo and Apple as appropriate

About the Author

Lisa Kivirist is a national speaker, writer, and innkeeper of Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast. Together with her husband, John, Lisa is co-author of the award-winning ECOpreneuring as well as Farmstead Chef and Rural Renaissance . Lisa is a distinguished Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow and a national advocate and leader for women in sustainable agriculture. She initiated and directs the Rural Women's Project of the Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), an award-winning initiative providing resources and networking for women farmers and food-based entrepreneurs. John D. Ivanko is a national speaker, writer, photographer, ecopreneur and innkeeper of Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast. Together with his wife, Lisa, John is co-author of the award-winning ECOpreneuring as well as Farmstead Chef and Rural Renaissance . He is also the co-author and photographer for six award-winning multicultural children's books for the Global Fund for Children.


"Revive local economies and create jobs. Add value instead of selling commodities. Rebuild regional food systems. Diversify production on the landscape. Capitalize the infrastructure for a sane and healthy diet. And yet, there is no switch to flip: we have to start-small, learn the lessons, and grow this sector ourselves. Homemade for Sale is the perfect start. The many thousands of food entrepreneurs today making magic in their home kitchens and brushing elbows with farmers in packing sheds, are tomorrow's locally owned processing companies, making tomato sauce for school lunch, and jelly for the local deli's sandwiches. Like seedlings and piglets, big things start small, from the ground up, and that means you and me, and the kitchen sink. Yes, we can!"
-Severine vT Fleming, director, Greenhorns; and co-founder, Farm Hack and National Young Farmers Coalition

"The ECOpreneuring team has done it again! Over the years, they've given us several indispensable authoritative guidebooks, but make note, their how-to writing style is uniquely playful and inviting. Lisa and John don't just invite you into their world, they suck you in. By the time you finish reading Homemade for Sale, you'll be wearing your farmers-market-John/jam-n-jelly-Jane hat in total confidence."
-MaryJane Butters, author, Milk Cow Kitchen,

"Imagine for a minute what an extra $5,000 or $10,000 or more a year would mean to you and your family. If you could earn that money doing something you already love, right from your own kitchen, how would that change your life? This isn't some late night infomercial - this is micro-entrepreneurship made possible by recent Cottage Food legislation. Lisa and John's latest book, Homemade for Sale, is a practical, tactical guide to help you turn your beloved hobby into a profitable, small-scale business. This step can feel like an intimidating leap, but Homemade for Sale is like the experienced friend that takes you in hand and shows you the path from here to there. If you have a passion for creating and sharing, you can have a business. Lisa and John show you how, with direct, expert advice on Cottage Food regulation, the day-to-day realities of business cash-flow management, marketing, branding, packaging and more. Homemade for Sale is an indispensable guide to joining the Cottage Food industry, avoiding common pitfalls and building a thriving business from your own home. Profiles of successful micro-entrepreneurs show the many ways people are successfully creating their own cottage businesses, and if you ever outgrow the "cottage," Homemade for Sale covers how to scale up and join the world of commercial food production. Cottage Food legislation is the promise that almost anyone can become a businessperson and grow their own diverse income stream with almost no start-up cost or risk. Homemade for Sale shows you how to turn that promise into a successful, satisfying reality."
-Erica Strauss, Northwest Edible Life, (

"Homemade for Sale is an inspiring guide for anyone interested in starting a home-based food business. Lisa and John have been through the fire themselves and scoured the cottage food industry to find the best resources to help you get off the ground and succeed. From understanding your state's laws to incorporating your business to choosing the right products customers to market to, they take you step by step through everything you should be doing and thinking about. Their profiles on other cottage food entrepreneurs bring everything a little closer to home and may be just the motivation we all need to take part in the movement ourselves."
-Lev Berlin, Founder ReciPal

"Having answered thousands of cottage food-related questions, I can confirm that this book fills a void that the internet does not. I've seen many cottage food operations making tasty products with bland profits, and Homemade for Sale correctly focuses on the missing ingredient - marketing. It will give your new business an edge in a crowded marketplace. Well-researched, loaded with examples, and perfectly tailored to the home cook, this book will point you in the right direction. For any first-time food entrepreneur, Homemade for Sale isn't recommended reading... it's required."
-David Crabill, co-founder, Forrager Inc.

"We are in a golden age for local, artisanal culinary products. But the food industry can be particularly challenging for startup businesses. Homemade for Sale is a valuable resource to help culinary entrepreneurs understand what lies ahead so they can more easily navigate their journey of turning their passion into a livelihood."
-Gregory Heller, author, U.S. Kitchen Incubators: An Industry Snapshot

"Many of my readers and students ask me for advice on starting a cottage food business. I'm thrilled to recommend Homemade for Sale as it is a comprehensive volume full of helpful legal knowledge to practical business and marketing advice. This is an essential for anyone ready to make the leap to launch their food business."
-Kate Payne, author, The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking and The Hip Girl's Guide to the Kitchen

"Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko answer all the questions that you need to know about starting your own food business! This book is an amazing compilation of the current food laws and trends and will give any person interested in pursuing a career in food the upper hand. The research is strong and the writing witty with a perfect combination to make Homemade for Sale a must for any foodie, homesteader or dreamer. I wish this book came out 12 years ago when I was starting my own business as it would have given me a great upper edge!"
-Jordan Champagne, co-founder and co-owner, Happy Girl Kitchen Co.

"What an insightful look at the cottage food industry. Food entrepreneurs receive useful direction - taking them from their idea's inception to finished product in this first authoritative guide of it's kind. Thank you for promoting Good Food with Homemade for Sale."
-Jim Slama, President, FamilyFarmed

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