Why we wrote this book
Homemade for Sale offers a snapshot of the growing cottage food business movement and the opportunities and the possibilities it offers. Thousands of home cooks are embracing the idea of launching their own food enterprise. Many already have, captured by the inspiring “story profiles” found woven into the how-to text; these cookiepreneurs and profitable picklers have made their dreams come true. Throughout these pages, we have also shared snippets of our own experiences at our home and business, Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast and farm in southwestern Wisconsin.
Our motivation to create a start-up resource guide for cottage food operators stems from our interest to nurture a nation of enterprising citizens. But our personal connection to the movement runs deeper than earning a little extra income by selling pickles, and hopefully baked goods, from our home kitchen.
We see food as a path to freedom and happiness in multiple ways. Back in our twenties, we did everything “right” according to our family, the media and society. We commuted to corporate cubicles, received a bi-monthly paycheck and bought shrink-wrapped groceries and take-out meals packed in Styrofoam containers. We lived tethered to the system, dependent on others for everything from our paycheck to our dinner menu.
We discovered early on, however, that this path wasn’t for us. When we took the big leap in 1996 and moved to our five acres in Wisconsin, we planted our first zucchini seed in the garden that following spring. Playing a joke that only Mother Nature can play, those initial zucchini seeds never sprouted. But we kept planting. And planting. The following seasons brought both bountiful garden harvests and increasing morning muffin baking as we learned, challenged ourselves and grew in multiple ways. We realized and embraced the independence that comes with connecting with both our food source and our entrepreneurial spirit. These two forces empowered us and peppered our lives with creativity, passion and the satisfaction that comes with growing, preparing and savoring our own meals, usually around the dining room table with our son, family or friends.
That intoxicating combination of food and self-employment transformed our lives and drives us to share this elixir with others, with you, through Homemade for Sale. The truth emerged from our jar of pickles and warm from the oven: we found our happiness in the foods we shared and the life we created around our passions for nourishing ourselves and sustaining the planet.
For more on our story, please see our other books: Rural Renaissance, ECOpreneuring, Farmstead Chef and Soil Sisters. In the pages of Homemade for Sale, we aspired to provoke, inspire and inform. We essayed to provide both a launching pad for your dream business built around your passions and offer a toolkit for you to start your own cottage food venture. The passage of the cottage food laws enables just about anyone, anywhere, to turn their home-cooked passion into some profits and revitalize their local economy.
We invite you to share your story, idea or inspiration on this book's Facebook page.