Restaurant News: When “buy local” takes on a whole new meaning

Washington state’s cottage food industry grows entrepreneurs of all kinds. Some are content to stay small and are content to stay in their family kitchen; others see it as a stepping stone to a full launch in a commercial / retail location.

Here is the skinny:

Home / Cottage industry locations have a business license with the State of Washington and their location city, as well as a cottage permit through the State Department of Agriculture. Washington.

Cottage businesses have grown nationwide over the past 15 years, and about 32 states now have cottage food laws. Washington State lists approximately 1,100 approved craft businesses. Waiting times for getting a permit have changed dramatically since the start of the pandemic. The number of applicants has grown exponentially, and the Washington State Department of Agriculture has now extended turnaround times, something the department has never seen before.

Chalet, ephemeral community bakery in Perrinville.

Our local supplier of ephemeral pastries and breads: – Edmonds Cottage, the community bakery owned by Conor O’Neill, started giving bread down their aisle in May 2019 – and officially became an ‘industry of cottages »Company.

Conor takes his love of baking to the next level.

Baking is Conor O’Neill’s favorite activity.

The Cottage, Community Bakery will soon be opening a storefront at 7530 Olympic View Drive # 101 in the Perrinville neighborhood (on the Edmonds / Lynnwood border) this fall and will become a full-fledged retailer.

What is the difference between a “commercial kitchen” and “cottage industry” food supplier?

Different preparation and no commercial or special equipment allowed, on the one hand.

In a previous story, Zoe Sonoda, owner of Brier-based Moon Rabbit Pastry, shared with Restaurant News: We are not allowed to use professional equipment, such as fancy blenders or ovens. All cooking must take place in the license holder’s kitchen. We are therefore not necessarily qualified as “professional or commercial”. Once this language is used, people expect the state to require a completely different license and permit agreement. “

Moon Rabbit Corn Flake Cookies

This type of permit differs from a commercial food establishment in that it allows the processing of non-hazardous food in a personal kitchen. Products for sale should not require refrigeration. No custard, no fresh whipped cream, no cut fruit, to name a few.

Licensees have a lengthy application process, a home inspection (although they are not regularly inspected from a commercial perspective) and have a food handler license. They are required to list all types of equipment, dishes, scales, toothpicks, etc. that will come into contact with the products.

Applicants should describe their floor plan, label and list the chalet items that are stored on a separate shelf. They must provide their disinfection and cleaning practices, plans for children and pets during processing, and the tedious step-by-step description of how they will package the products.

Then – the process of creating labels, based on the recipes of each product sold.

Very strict guidelines exist for permitted and prohibited products. A Cottage Cooking Permit allows for a maximum of 50 main recipes and endless variations of those recipes.

So depending on what a person is doing, it could be just a few labels (recipes) or a lot!

“I have over 200 ‘labels’, which consist of my 50 plus any other ingredient / product combinations I want to create,” noted Sonada. She further shared that she had “no desire” to enter a retail store. She is happy as a “cottage business”.

Another craft business that is happy to remain a craft business is called Angry Fish.

Earl Bricker is the co-owner of this Edmonds-based business with his partner Cynthia Hinson. Bricker is old school – he preferred a phone call – so I dialed the number and we had a chat.

Bricker is the creator of these amazing Angry Fish jams, which are handcrafted in small batches. This makes them a real labor of love. Berries, fruits and sometimes chili peppers are of the best quality and, if possible, locally sourced. Another key to great flavors, Bricker said, is that Angry Fish uses a shorter cooking time. This not only brings an explosion of flavor, but a beautiful jam in bright colors.

For the “hot” versions, Bricker explained that he uses two different types of peppers – habanero and scorpion. He shared that the secret to making them spicy without setting your mouth on fire is dried or dehydrated pulverized peppers. You taste the spice without burning your tonsils.

Cynthia Hinson is the mastermind of the operation. She does all the “not-so-fun stuff” like paying the bills; track purchases, expenses, etc., Bricker said.

Passage Kathy with Santa Earl. (Photo by Larry Vogel)

Good memories of Christmases gone by came when we visited – I first met this supplier of jams at Sound Styles, where he works in the moonlight as Santa Earl during the holidays. I came home with a jar of raspberry habanero and can attest that it is wonderful as an instant appetizer, over cream cheese and a great frosting for many meats and veggies.

Bricker clearly enjoys making jam as a supplier to the cottage industry. He can get out of bed and head for the kitchen when he feels the creative urge to knock. There is no pressure. He can earn as little or as much as he wants because, as he says, “my day job pays the bills.

Bricker has worked for the US Post for over 20 years.

He started Angry Fish in 2014, when asked how the company got its name, his response made me laugh, adding that if he “had a dollar for every time I was asked that question” , he wouldn’t need to sell jam!

Earl explained that what’s in the pot is the most important part. “It’s what people pay for, not fancy packaging. “

When it came to designing a label and other details besides the actual jam, he wanted to keep it as simple as possible. Sitting in his kitchen, he glanced across the room and saw a decorative tile of a fish, but it was a happy-looking fish. – like a fish, caught on a hook… “Angry fish!” “

Angry Fish has many flavors to choose from. One bite and you’ll be hooked like the fish on the jar. The products are available in various places, see Facebook and its website for more information. Or just call Earl.

I encourage readers, because you are the consumers of these products, to learn about Washington State’s cottage power laws.

The links below list a few websites, and many cottage industry sites also have FAQs and offer 100% transparency on the products they sell. It is important to understand this branch of the restaurant business.

Here are the links for more information:

Here are a few other artisanal food businesses in our area that I haven’t had a chance to interview personally, but are certainly worth checking out for yourselves:

Tasty Bakes by Becky, in Lynnwood: 425-681-1328, [email protected]

Crystallized Cookies is in such high demand that it is “reserved” until mid-October. Check out her Instagram to see why. 206-498-2056, [email protected]

Located in Mountlake Terrace, Good Choices bakery specializes in gluten-free bread: [email protected]

Annemarie cakes with “Amazing Macarons!” Lynnwood area, 425-301-7887

Browned and Toasted, LLC: Specialty is Crispy Rice Treats, Lake Forest Park, 206-778-3616, [email protected]

Amara’s Bakeshop: Her baking philosophy: “If you want to waste calories on baked goods, they might as well be good. »Located in Lake Forest Park, 425-633-9607

Bottom line: Yet another way to support local businesses. Speaking of which, there is a Moon Rabbit Pastry event this Saturday, September 18 from 11 am to 1 pm – a “Pastry Pop-Up” hosted by our friends at Ono Poke, 10016 Edmonds Way, Edmonds.

– By Kathy Passage

A gourmet specialtyAs a food broker for over 30 years, Kathy Passage has an in-depth knowledge of foods and the special qualities of the ingredients used in the exquisite products she has helped bring to market. Kathy brings this unique ‘other side of the plate’ perspective to writing on the food and dining scene in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.

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