'Food is everything': Riverside becomes first California county to put state's home-kitchen law into effect

Friday, May 10, 2019

As excerpted from The Desert Sun:

The ordinance follows the 2018 passage of AB 626. The bill, which was authored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, expanded the kinds of foods home-based businesses can sell, from baked goods like pan dulce to cooked items like carne asada tacos.

“It decriminalizes a practice that has been going on for a long time and creates an economic empowerment opportunity for people who want to make a living from something they already do at home and enjoy doing,” Garcia told the San Francisco Chronicle after his bill became law last year. The bill received support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle but garnered opposition from several associations representing the interests of county governments and health inspectors worried about sanitation.

Personal trainer Robert Puentes sells high-protein cookies and cookie mixes out of his home in Cathedral City. For $14.99, people can buy a 24-pack of his homemade "Gorilla" cookies, which come in a variety of flavors: banana, pumpkin spice, chocolate-coconut and banana-coconut. He wants to expand his offerings, but state law has long prohibited home-based food businesses from selling anything other than baked goods