I was then given a thorough education on what is and is not permitted under Illinois’ Cottage Food Operation laws. The law was brand new in 2012, and in simply reading newspaper articles and hearing it discussed on talk radio, I thought the law was tailored to allow a business like Rivalless Guacamole. The law itself quite clearly is referring to just prepared foods that are baked, cooked, or otherwise certain to be safe for consumption.
Guacamole, however, was going to require me to ship a sample to a lab to get a Water Activity analysis done. The fact that I was selling from within Illinois to customers NOT in Illinois meant I had to get a certain license from the state. The list of violations that the Health Department handed me all read like a fairly straight-forward check list. Six things To do, and Rivalless Guacamole is off to the races!
Unfortunately, because it is Illinois, each item on the list was in actuality multiple things. The license from the state of Illinois, for instance, required training. Then, to use the license commercially, I would have to turn in paperwork including an associated business registered with the state. Registering a business means a lot of paperwork with the IRS for a Tax Identification Number. I gave it a solid couple of months to find solutions and find a way to make Rivalless Guacamole into an ongoing concern.