Wisconsin Farmers Challenging Law That Won’t Let Them Sell Baked Goods Without A Commercial License

Image courtesy of ChrisGoldbergNY

Three Wisconsin entrepreneurs are on a mission, and that mission is to get muffins, bread, pastries, and other delicious baked goods into the mouths of the people. Sounds delicious. But it won’t be easy, considering state law doesn’t allow residents to sell baked goods directly to the public without a licensed commercial kitchen.

The three women — all farmers and part of the farming community — are challenging a Wisconsin law that says they must have a licensed commercial kitchen in order to sell baked goods, reports the Associated Press. Such a kitchen is expensive, and subject to fees and inspections. Jams, jellies, salsa, and pickles can all be sold to the public at farmers’ markets and elsewhere without such a license, but nary a crumb of bread can be peddled unless you’ve got it.

The only other state that has such a law is New Jersey, according to the Institute of Justice, which is helping the women file their lawsuit.

One woman owns a bed and breakfast, and though she can serve her baked goods to visitors, she can’t sell them to those folks, even if guests ask.

“We’re heading into our 20th year as a bed-and-breakfast, so those are a lot of muffins that we could have sold,” she told the AP. “We should be able to sell baked goods out of our kitchens in Wisconsin. We look at what other states have. Wisconsin is open for business, but not in this category.”

Though other measures aimed at lifting the commercial license requirement for baked goods have failed in the past, there’s a proposal to allow the sale of baked goods without a license that would limit earnings to less than $7,500 pending before the Senate and Assembly at the moment.

Wis. women challenge ban on selling baked goods without license [Associated Press]