Judge’s ruling gives home bakers another win

By Kirsten Adshead/motherbility

Wisconsin’s home bakers are one step closer to being home-free.

Lafayette County Judge Duane Jorgenson on Monday denied the state’s request to set a $5,000 annual limit on the sale of home-baked goods.

That keeps in place his previous order allowing home bakers to sell their products without using a commercial kitchen or obtaining a special license, and without limiting the amount of annual sales.

“This is great news for farmers, moms, grandmothers and everyone else who has been selling homemade cakes and cookies to support themselves and their families, Institute for Justice attorney Erica Smith said in a statement. The Institute represented the three bakers who sued over the state’s ban on the sale of homemade baked goods.

“After accounting for baking ingredients, supplies and other costs, the cap would have left some bakers with only a few hundred dollars in profit per year,” Smith said.

Home bakers are only allowed to sell non-hazardous items, generally items that don’t have to be refrigerated.

After Jorgenson ruled in favor of the bakers last year, the state then asked the judge for clarification on the definition of non-hazardous items.

“This Court sees Defendants’ request as an effort to relitigate issues already decided on by the Court, and since no new issue is raised, Defendants’ motion for reconsideration is denied,” he wrote.

Home bakers still are waiting to see whether the Legislature acts on the “cookie bill,” which would limit home bakers to selling $10,000 worth of their products each year.

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