Oswego looks to allow sale of home-baked goods

Oswego home bakers may soon be able to prepare and sell baked goods made in their home kitchens.

Village trustees Tuesday night are poised to vote on code amendments establishing "home kitchen operations" in keeping with the state's "cupcake law" which took effect in 2014.

The so-called "cupcake ordinance" essentially would allow bakers to prepare and sell their baked goods on a small-scale basis and under certain regulations.

The retail sales of baked goods are currently not allowed as a home occupation, Oswego officials said. Church, school and charitable baking for purposes of fundraising would be exempt from the rules.

"Many communities are revising their ordinances to allow for limited retail sale of baked goods, called 'cupcake ordinances' to allow flexibility for the businesses to operate in a limited fashion that does not alter the character of the residential neighborhood," said Rod Zenner, community development director in a report to the Village Board.

All of the rules for home occupations would apply, he said. Under the recommended changes, baked goods include breads, cookies, cakes, pies and pastries. Baked fruit pies known for "high-acid" content would be limited to apple, all of the berry varieties, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, orange, nectarine, tangerine, red currant and cherry or a combination of these.

Those fruit pies not listed can be made by a "home kitchen operation" so long as a recipe has been tested and documented by a commercial laboratory to ensure state public health department regulations are met.

A home kitchen's monthly gross sales cannot exceed $1,000, according to the ordinance change.

The baker would be required to inform purchasers that the product was made in a home kitchen and attach a label identifying ingredients in the product as well as ingredients such as peanuts, eggs and grains which cause some people allergic reactions.

The ordinance would regulate "potentially hazardous food" that requires time and temperature sensitive controls to prevent spoilage and contamination. The baked goods prohibited from production and direct sale by a home kitchen are pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, cheesecake, custard pie, cream pies and pastries with filling or toppings.

The amendment specifies that the home kitchen operations can be inspected by state and county health officials if there is a complaint or food-borne illness outbreak.

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