Growing Food Entrepreneurs

The new law expands the potential venues for home-cooked food operations.

Peoria RiverFront Market
The Peoria RiverFront Market offers fresh produce, local meats, eggs, berries, breads and more on Saturday mornings from May through September.

If you’ve ever considered selling a homemade food product to the public, your opportunities have increased under recently passed legislation. Signed into law in August, Illinois Senate Bill 2007 expands the potential venues for “cottage food operations,” vendors who prepare products in a home kitchen. “Especially in light of hardships due to the pandemic, we need to be expanding opportunities for Illinoisans to create extra income, not limiting them,” notes Sen. Dave Koehler, a sponsor of the bill. “If even one family is more able to make ends meet as a result of this legislation, it will have served its purpose.”

The new law permits home-cooked food operations to sell their products at farmers’ markets, fairs, festivals, public events and online. Vendors must submit their recipes and food safety plans to local public health departments for approval. “Not only does this law have the potential to increase income for families here in Illinois, it will help us preserve the history of our communities as well,” Sen. Koehler adds. “Many of the recipes… may have been passed down for generations, and we want to ensure that they are able to share that bit of history.” The law goes into effect January 1, 2022. PM