Restaurants & Bars

Alameda County supervisors vote to allow sale of home-cooked food under state law

Caitlin McGrath | May 6, 202109:09 PM     5

“Alameda County supervisors on Tuesday took the first step toward allowing home cooks and chefs to prepare, cook and serve meals from their homes.

More than 50 advocates showed up to a home kitchen business ordinance when the supervisors met to hear the proposal.

Solano County has approved a similar ordinance. Riverside and Santa Barbara counties also allow what are called Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations.

"This is an economic justice issue," said Isaac O'Leary, vice president of operations of Foodnome, a legal marketplace for homecooked food in the U.S.

O'Leary said it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to start a restaurant in California, which is a barrier to entry for low-income chefs and cooks.

If the proposed ordinance passes a second reading to become law, the annual fee would be $696 to establish a home-based food business, according to the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. All cities in the county except for Berkeley will have to allow home kitchen operations.

Berkeley has its own regulating body and has recently opted into the state law, which established the operations.

Microenterprise home kitchens were established in 2018 by Assembly Bill 626 and then amended by Assembly Bill 377 in 2019.

The ordinance before the Alameda County Board on Tuesday would allow 30 meals a day to be cooked from someone's home and 60 meals per week.

Food must be prepared, cooked and served on the same day.”

Alameda Co. votes to legalize sale of homemade food

"The legalization is allowing me to pursue my dream of opening a restaurant," Bryan Farb, a private chef in Berkeley.

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