Jesse and I started down this road only 6 months earlier and started selling in March. We wanted to create our own cold brew coffee in a bottle mainly because we love cold brewed coffee. For me (Loren) it’s the only thing I drink.
We originally had planned on using the new Cottage Food Laws for California (link) which would allow us to make Diesel Brew at home and even with the correct permit allow us to wholesale our coffee. We did start selling before we had the permits but we called the state and the OC Health department to get our permits and end up finding out that we cannot what get a permit. Period end of story.
There is multiple reasons but without getting too technical it is because cold brew coffee needs to be refrigerated and can be classified as a “potentially hazardous food”. A “potentially hazardous food” is a natural or synthetic food that needs to be held at 41°F or colder or 135°F or hotter because it is in a form capable of supporting:
- the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic bacteria
- the growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum or
- in raw shell eggs, the growth of Salmonella Enteritidis
What does this mean for you?
If you don’t keep your cold brewed coffee (from any vendor) in the fridge it can spoil. And that means the Health Dept wants this produced in an approved commercial kitchen. This doesn’t mean it won’t spoil because we make it in a “approved” kitchen. It just means we can be monitored I guess.
We really never planned on staying at home to make this because we want to make a lot of coffee and a home kitchen only allows for 15-20 gallons at a time.
We investigated co-packers (someone to make it for us). We thought about getting our own building and bottling line (needs a sizable investment) and renting a commercial kitchen to make it how we do now.
We have decided to go with a commercial kitchen. We have visited a few and we may have settled on one. With this new place we can make approx 45-90 gallons per run (that is 18-36 cases).
When will we be back into our 3 stores (and more stores)
This all depends on the slow wheels of government permits, hopefully end of July.
Featured Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fkmr/48131497/
What does “farts dempere” mean? It is Norwegian for “bumpy road”