Minnesota Cottage Foods

Jane Astramecki v. Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Challenging Minnesota’s Restrictions on Selling Home-Baked Goods
 . jane astramecki-9518

IJ Client Jane Astramecki

Minnesota Cottage Foods Baking Video

Watch Half-baked: Gov't Restricts Homemade Cookie Sales


Everyone loves a batch of fresh-baked cookies or a cake right out of the oven.  Yet Minnesota has slammed the oven door on bakers trying to make a home-based business out of satisfying Minnesotans’ sweet tooth.  

Although the state permits people to sell certain foods, such as baked goods and jams, made in the home, it prohibits sale of such “cottage foods” anywhere other than a farmers’ market or community event.  That means no sales from a gourmet food shop, a jobsite, or on-line.  Worse, the state limits a cottage food producer’s revenues to just $5,000 annually—an average of only $96 per week. 

These restrictions harm entrepreneurs like Jane Astramecki and Mara Heck.  Jane, a home baker and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, sells her goods at farmers’ markets in Eagan and Farmington.  She continually receives requests from market customers who would like her to bake for special family occasions or work events.  But because of Minnesota’s cottage food restrictions, she has to tell them, “No.”

Mara finds herself in a similarly impossible position.  A 31-year-old with a day job, she has a passion for baking that has earned her ribbons at the State Fair for four years running.  She has dreamed about parlaying her passion into her own, fulltime business, but Minnesota’s cottage food restrictions have ensured that baking remains little more than a hobby for her. 

But now Jane and Mara are fighting back.  They have teamed up with the Institute for Justice to challenge Minnesota’s senseless cottage food restrictions.  Their case aims to vindicate the right of all of Minnesota’s cottage food producers to build a successful home-based business selling their delicious home-baked treats.

This case is part of IJ’s National Food Freedom Initiative, view our Oregon Raw Milk case and our Florida Veggies case.

Essential Background

Audio, Video and Images

Backgrounder: Baked Fresh, Baked Free Challenging Minnesota’s Restrictions on Selling Home-Baked Goods

Client Video

Client Photos

Latest Release: Case Closed: Minnesotans Win Right to Sell Homemade Goods; Agree to Dismiss Lawsuit (June 16, 2015) Press conference video (November 19, 2013)

Launch Release: Minnesota Slams the Oven Door on Home Bakers (November 19, 2013)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

Complaint (November 19, 2013)

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit: 


November 19, 2013

Court Filed:


Ramsey County: Second Judicial District



none available

 Current Court: Minnesota Court of Appeals


On appeal
  Next Key Date:

Filing of home bakers’ opening appellate brief,
Fall 2014

Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Release: Let Them Bake Cake (May 18, 2015)

none available

Release: Minnesota Judge Dismisses Challenge to Cottage Food Law (June 11, 2014)


Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Article: California Legalized Selling Food Made At Home And Created Over A Thousand Local Businesses Forbes (January 29, 2014)

Article: Restrictions on sales of home-baked goods put the pinch on Minnesota entrepreneurs TwinCities.com (November 26, 2013)

Article: Minn. cottage food laws restrict small businesses, limit tasty treats FoxNews.com (November 20, 2013)

Article: Minn. Business Owner Files Lawsuit Challenging State's Home Baking Restrictions ABC5 Eyewitness News (November 19, 2013)
Video: Minn. cottage food laws restrict small businesses, limit tasty treats Care11 NBC News (November 19, 2013)

Email Address
Please enter a valid email address

Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.682.9320, Fax 703.682.9321
© 1997-2015