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Connecticut Cottage Food Laws: Local Zoning and Location Requirements

Connecticut Cottage Food Local Zoning and Location Requirements

These FAQs refer to the Connecticut Cottage food laws which went into effect on October 1, 2018. See this page for the overview and general information. And these pages for:

FAQs about zoning

  • Will I need to meet local zoning or other laws?
    Yes. Cottage food operators should contact their municipal government to determine if there are local regulations that will impact their business. You must keep a written record of zoning approval, and be able to produce it if requested by DCP.
  • Are there any special requirements regarding my home on-site well?
    Yes. Only safe drinking water from a properly constructed on-site well or municipal water system may be used. If a well is used, the well water should be tested, at least annually, for coliform bacteria and nitrates. You must submit a water analysis prior to approval and annually thereafter.
    Water from wells with any of the following features should be avoided:
    • Very shallow depth (< 25 feet)
    • Producing cloudy water
    • Located in below-ground pit
    • Buried wellhead
    • Missing cap or seal
    • Opening around casing pipe
    • Located in close proximity to septic system or other source of
    • contamination (i.e. animals)
    • Dug well

    A list of water testing laboratories is available on the Department of Public Health website at
    http://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Drinking-Water/DWS/Certified-Testing-Laboratories
  • What are the concerns related to my home on-site wastewater (septic) system?
    Depending on the nature and volume of the food products that will be produced for sale, there may be adverse effects to the existing system serving your home.
  • May I make products in a rented commercial kitchen and sell them?
    No. A cottage food license is only for food produced in your home kitchen. If you rent time at a commercial kitchen, you will need a food establishment license to sell your products, even if the rented kitchen is a licensed facility.
    For instance, adding significant bakery wastewater can increase the total volume discharged, and may also increase the organic strength of the wastewater discharged to the drain field, leading to the possibility of accelerated system failure. The adequacy of the home system to handle additional wastewater loading should be evaluated prior to initiating production. Modifications to the existing system may be necessary.
  • May I make cottage food products in an outbuilding on my property, such as a shed or a barn?
    No. Cottage food products must be made in the licensed kitchen in your home and stored in the permitted area of your home.
  • May I make and store cottage food products at my second home, or another property?
    No. Cottage food must be produced and stored in the permitted area of your private residential dwelling. The permitted area must include  your home kitchen and, therefore, may not be at a different location.

Questions? Contact Information:

Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection

Food and Standards Division:
Email: [email protected].

Phone: (860) 713-6160

Website: www.portal.ct.gov/cottagefood



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