Home Baker Criticizes Frisco Zoning Ordinance

Frisco enforces existing ordinance that prevents cottage food production operations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Frisco has started enforcing cottage food laws that could shut down home bakeries, but Jaime Medley is fighting to keep her gluten-free business open.

    The city of Frisco is enforcing zoning rules that prevent home bakeries.

    Jaime Medley, who opened Gluten Free Medley in September 2011, received a notice from the city saying her family-run cottage food production operation was in violation of the ordinance.

    "I just felt kind of flabbergasted, because I didn't know that this was an ordinance," she said.

    Gluten Free Medley is a home bakery that serves products without gluten or dairy products.

    "They do like what we're doing. We just can't do it in our home, which is not in the spirit of the Texas Baker's Bill," Medley said.

    The state law allows individuals to run a cottage food production operation, a small-scale bakery in a home kitchen that produces baked goods, canned jams or jellies or dried herbs or herb mixes for sale in the person's home.

    However, individual cities can enforce their own rules. The Department of State Health Services says home bakers are still subject to zoning laws in their city.

    "It seems to me like the city would try to circumvent the state law," Medley said.

    The letter she received from the city said Frisco's zoning ordinance was enacted before the Texas Baker's Bill was signed into law.

    Medley said she is prepared to fight to change the ordinance - even if it takes months.

    "If that means that we need to pull back and not sell from our home through the whole process, I want to make sure we're doing things right," Medley said.

    Medley has two weeks to look for other options, such as renting a commercial kitchen space. But she said renting commercial space is not a good option for her business, partly because sharing space would mean risk contamination with regular flour and other products that could sicken her customers on a gluten-free diet.

    The cottage food law has also attracted criticism from other cities. In December, Plano health officials released a video to raise public awareness of how food purchased from home bakers is not inspected by any local or state agency.