“Your food is delicious, you should be a chef!” “You should open your own restaurant!” Have you dreamed of starting your own food enterprise or restaurant, but always found the barriers to entry too great?
Beginning January 4, the County of Lake Health Services Department’s Environmental Health Division will be accepting applications and issuing up to 10 permits for Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations. MHKOs are small, home-based food service operations that can be the right fit for promising new chefs or people looking to try something different at a manageable level of risk:
· Maximums of 60 meals per week, 30 meals per day
· No more than $50,000 worth of annual sales
Lake is the 2nd California County to implement this innovative program. The pilot (January 4-June 30, 2021) allows up to 2 permits per month, and a maximum of 2 per Supervisorial District, so interested people should prepare now to participate.
“This is a very exciting chance for people in Lake County to fulfill a dream,” noted Eddie Crandell, District 3 Supervisor and MHKO proponent. “Start up costs are an obstacle for many who have wonderful recipes they want to share with the world.”
“This program opens the door to a culinary gig economy, promoting business opportunity and resiliency in these turbulent times,” added District 2 Supervisor, Bruno Sabatier, a key architect of Lake County’s local Ordinance. “COVID-19 has greatly impacted traditional restaurants. I’m proud Lake County is at the forefront, and look forward to seeing this grow.”
Prior to obtaining an MHKO permit, approvals are needed. Food and environmental safety must be ensured, for example. Renters need permission from their landlord. Depending on the type of enterprise proposed, additional permits may be needed from the Lake County Community Development Department or relevant City Planning Department. In the Cities, a Business License is required. More detail can be found in County’s Ordinance No. 3999, passed December 1, 2020:
Further resources will soon be available at http://www.lakecountyca.gov/Government/Directory/Environmental_Health.htm.
AB 626, the California Legislation enabling this program (effective January 1, 2019), is viewable here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB626
If you review this information, and still have questions, call Environmental Health, at 707-263-1164.