New Jersey home bakers celebrate one year of selling their sweets

Last fall, on Oct. 4, New Jersey became the last state in the country to legalize the sale of home-baked goods.

Members of The New Jersey Home Bakers Association, a nonprofit organization that fought for the action for years, were immediately flooded with questions from people who were ready to get baking. They wanted to know which sweets were allowed and which were not, if inspections were required and how their home kitchens needed to be arranged.

“I would say we spent from the first day through at least through the holidays and into January … answering questions from people who might have this absolutely amazing creative talent but have never been a business owner,” said Mandy Coriston, a member of the association’s leadership council.

Must Get Sconed is a Freehold Township-based home bakery owned by Lisa Elsis and Amy Scotti. The bakers sell their products at the Bell Works weekly farmers market as well as online thanks to a large Instagram following.

She and other association members have been so busy helping bakers get started, they have not applied for their own permits yet.

“Just knowing that I can is enough,” said Coriston, 43, of Newton, Sussex County.

Since last fall, more than 900 cottage food operator permits have been issued across the state, in every county.

“To put that in perspective, when California got their cottage food laws (in 2013), they issued 1,000 permits in their first year,” Coriston said.

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