I was feeling discouraged in my effort to get legal in Florida. It seemed so difficult and small business unfriendly compared to Pennsylania, where the Amish run tax-free, cooking up batches of apple butter like it was more necessary to life than salt. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Ag sent me a packet containing all the paperwork I needed to file as well as helpful booklets and printouts of governmental policies. It was no big deal to call up the head guy for my county to find out that, no, don’t worry about that regulation, you don’t have to follow it.
But Florida had no packet of paperwork, just a website which I was directed to every time I emailed them a question. There were no easy answers, just links leading to more links.
The biggest thing that was stressed was that I would have to get set up in a commercial kitchen. Every time I emailed them, this was the most revealing info the people at the Ag Department imparted unto me. And for good reason. This seems to be the only real regulation the state has. Go Florida! You just won my heart.
As it turns out, Pennsylvania isn’t that great after all. In addition to all the paperwork there is lab testing for soluble solids for each product. This testing is only around $65, but still, do that for every single product and it adds up quickly.
I find the apparent ease in setting up shop a bit unbelievable. In fact, I emailed the Department of Agriculture in Florida 3 times in 2 days just to clarify. What got me to stop? When they wrote back “I think we answered your questions already.”
Florida, here’s a big kiss for you! MMMMUH!