Photography by Joe Laedtke
Home bakers and canners may soon make up to $10,000 annually from their art, if a bill wending its way through the state Legislature gains final approval. Wisconsin’s “Cookie Bill” passed a first big hurdle by clearing the state Senate with bipartisan support. It now heads to the Assembly, and then to the governor.
The bill allows face-to-face, but not door-to-door, sales to consumers of “non-hazardous” baked goods (i.e. high-acid or low-moisture goods not prone to supporting pathogens). It exempts small-scale sellers from requiring a commercial license or commercial kitchen.
It also increases to $10,000 the pre-existing $5,000 annual sales limit for home canners under the existing Pickle Law.
And it’s about time. Wisconsin needs to catch up with the 32 other states with laws in place supporting home-baked food sales. Advocates say this bill would be a boon for those starting up businesses, testing products, or simply looking for a secondary income.