|Fresh Produce and Cottage Food Sales
City Council Approves At-Home Sales of Fresh Produce and Cottage Foods to Expand Access to Healthy, Affordable Food in Denver. City residents will now be allowed to sell from their homes fresh produce and “cottage foods” that they grow and make themselves, thanks to an amendment to the Denver Zoning Code adopted last night by Denver City Council.
The change allows the sale of fresh produce grown by the seller from residentially zoned homes. Cottage foods, such as jams and honey, made in a home kitchen, are also permitted, provided the seller secures a “home occupation” zoning permit and has attended a safe food handling class.
The amendment was sponsored by Councilwoman Robin Kniech, with Councilmembers Susan Shepherd and Albus Brooks as co-sponsors, and was developed under the leadership of the Mayor’s Sustainable Food Policy Council.
Among the expected benefits of the new regulations are expanded access to affordable foods, particularly in those communities considered “food deserts,” and community-building through increased neighbor-to-neighbor interactions. The change will also help meet the city’s sustainability goals by reducing the distance that food travels from farm to table, and will help to create supplemental income opportunities for families seeking greater economic self-sufficiency.
The text amendment, which goes into effect this Friday, allows residents with a permit to sell:
• Raw and uncut fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, grown by the seller in an on-site or community garden;
• Whole eggs produced by chickens or ducks owned and kept by the seller at home;
• “Cottage foods,” which are low-risk, unrefrigerated food products made on-site such as spices, teas, honey, jams, and certain baked goods, as defined in the Colorado Cottage Food Act.
The sale of marijuana or marijuana-infused products is not allowed.
Sales from the permit holder/grower’s home are allowed from 8 a.m. to dusk, indoors or outdoors. Some limitations apply, including those that apply to all permitted home occupations, per the Denver Zoning Code. For more information, including how to secure a permit, a list of permissible cottage foods, and tips for your home garden, visit DenverGov.org/Homebusiness.
The amendment brings the City and County of Denver into compliance with the Colorado Cottage Food Act, which was passed the Colorado General Assembly in 2012. To learn more about the law, click here for an informational flier from the Colorado Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability.