The Food Artisans Next Door

Homemade Delicacies, Direct from Our Neighbors

photo courtesy of Epiphany Gluten Free Bakery, Naples, FL

Neighbors in most states can now legally buy fresh breads, cookies and preserves from local food artisans.
The locavore movement of eating locally produced foods continues to expand, thanks to 42 states passing cottage food laws that permit community members to make certain foods at home to sell to neighbors. Some enterprises use a contract packer to deliver on a scale not possible domestically, or even operate from a commercially licensed production facility.

From sauerkraut and distinctive jams and organic jellies to gluten- or peanut-free cakes and regional artisanal breads, some of the most flavorful products are being produced with no chemical preservatives, artificial colors or other laboratory ingredients. Nearly all are made in small batches, and usually by the owner. Many source local ingredients or serve special dietary needs largely underserved or ignored by larger food businesses.

“In a sharing economy, individuals look less to big chain stores for their food needs and more to each other, making fresher, tastier and often healthier foods more accessible,” explains Janelle Orsi, co-founder of the Oakland, California, Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), citing its Policies for Shareable Cities report partnered with the nonprofit Shareable.

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