Virtual Conference Champions Cottage Food & Home-Based Food Entrepreneurs

The first Home-Based Food Entrepreneur National Conference supports cottage food entrepreneurs to succeed producing and selling baked goods, canned items, candy and more made from all-natural and locally sourced ingredients -- all from their home kitchens.
Virtual Conference Champions Cottage Food & Home-Based Food Entrepreneurs
Have a dream of starting your own food business right from your home kitchen? A silver lining of the pandemic has been the surge of home-based business start-ups, with more people than ever before selling cookies, breads, jams, candies and other food products under their state’s cottage food law.

These state-specific cottage food laws allow people to produce and sell certain “non-hazardous” food items made in their own home kitchens. Generally, cottage food laws apply to high-acid, canned food products, like preserves, pickles and salsas, and low-moisture baked goods, like breads, cookies, and muffins, that don’t require refrigeration.

As a result of the explosive growth of home-based food product entrepreneurs, this collaborative business community is coming together for the first-ever Home-Based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference on April 6 through 9, 2021. The virtual conference features an all-star lineup of cottage food leaders, operators, food activists and educators.
With nearly every state now having a cottage food law, new home-based food entrepreneurs have successfully launched across the country, adding tens of thousands of new business owners who have been empowered to move from “hobbyist” to food product entrepreneur. Many of these new business owners are women or people who live in rural areas. This cottage food movement has been particularly growing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as an accessible option for people laid off and looking for income via home-based, self-employment opportunities.

“There has been a significant increase in consumer interest in cottage foods and the food freedom movement in the last year,” observes Alexia Kulwiec, Executive Director of the Farmer-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund that protects, defends, and broadens the rights and viability of independent farmers, artisanal food producers, and their consumers. “Consumers recognize the importance to local economies of purchasing food locally and supporting local food producers, and in trusting the ingredients used.”
Virtual Conference Champions Cottage Food & Home-Based Food Entrepreneurs
While state and national research on the growth of the cottage food operations is hard to come by, in the state of New York, newly registered home processors mushroomed 56 percent in 2020 according to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Home-based cottage food operators are called home processors in New York. Most cottage food laws fall under the Department of Agriculture, not the Health Department, in terms of regulatory oversight.

The Home-Based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference brings together cottage food business owners operating under their state’s cottage food law along with educators and leaders in this movement with a goal to support these new entrepreneurs to launch and succeed. The conference keynotes will address the expansion of cottage food laws, explore how to harness the power of technology to foster business development, and provide insight into the future of the food freedom movement. Speakers include David Crabill, founder of, Alexia Kulwiec, Executive Director of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, Erica Smith, lead attorney with the Institute for Justice, and Lisa Kivirist, co-author of Homemade for Sale and instructor for the bestselling online Udemy course, How to Start and Market a Food Business from Your Home Kitchen.
Virtual Conference Champions Cottage Food & Home-Based Food Entrepreneurs
A team of successful cottage food entrepreneurs and educators will lead workshops and live question and answer sessions covering a range of key topics, from marketing and product pricing to business structure and new product development. Various online meet-up sessions and message boards will enable attendees to both connect state-by-state as well as by topics, like the hot new trend of producing cocoa bombs.

“It’s an honor to speak at this first Home-based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference and share my personal experiences on growing your customer base from launching and expanding my cottage food bread businesses,” explains Yuliya Childers, owner of Wild Yeast Kitchen in Montgomery, Alabama. She’s an inspiring example of the collaborative spirit of the cottage food community. “My home-based bakery venture enables me to both run a business from home and offer a unique, artisanal product of breads that share my Ukrainian heritage and roots. I look forward to helping others find their unique product niche and succeed in their cottage food business.”

“Championing new food businesses and strengthening existing ones amplifies our local food economies and especially provides opportunities in our rural areas,” shares Jan Joannides, Executive Director of Renewing the Countryside, the non-profit organization hosting the virtual conference. The organization fosters sustainable, vibrant and equitable communities.

“Whether you are an established cottage food business or just starting out, this gathering will provide the informational and inspirational boost to take your home-based food enterprise to the next level.”

To be as accessible to as many cottage food operators as possible, tickets are $20. Conference registration includes 16 sessions and various additional resources and opportunities to network and ask questions. All sessions during the actual event April 6 through 9, 2021 will be archived for registered attendees to view through July. See Home-Based Food Entrepreneur National Conference website for more information on how to register.


John D. Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist are co-authors of Homemade for Sale. Lisa Kivirist is also the Udemy instructor of the bestselling online course, How to Start and Market a Food Business from Your Home Kitchen, and one of the plaintiffs in the successful lawsuit against the state of Wisconsin that resulted in the removal of a ban on selling baked goods made in a home kitchen.
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