You are exempt from the FDA until you make a certain amount in sales. I can`t recall the exact number, but it`s several thousand. Also, I believe that if you want to ship food abroad you need to be FDA approved.
I see you are in Georgia, and unfortunately, you cannot have any kind of food business in a residence there. Here in NH it`s different. I found this PDF file online from the State of GA Dept.. of Agriculture that will tell you what is required in your state. Since they make vending machine companies get licensed, and they only handle packaged food, I have to assume these rules would apply to you as well.
Oh wow! It`s the dippy chick! I`ve read about your company and was quite impressed!
Thanks for the advice, Elids. I suppose I am doing some type of processing. I`m familiar with labeling requirements though as I`ve created them for other companies before.
I`ve been in contact with a couple of private label manufacturers, but I`m finding them to be too expensive for what I want to do. I want to offer loose tea in personalized tea tins (among other novelty items). But if I do the packaging and graphic design myself, I can create them for a $1.00 and mark them up 100%. Keeping the price as low as possible is crucial as I`m targeting mainly brides who don`t have large budgets.
In the food licensing article, it says you can`t have an establishment in a private home, but then it says it can exist in rooms completely partitioned from the living, sleeping, or food areas. I believe you can have it in a finished basement or garage solely dedicated to the business.
I`m not sure what I`m going to do from here, but I`m determined to make it work.
Thanks for the help!
Not to be a wet blanket, but most likely your partitioned area will have to comply with very strict standards similar to a restaurant kitchen. Now you`re talking big bucks to renovate. . . you might want to check into "renting" kitchen space perhaps from a locally owned small deli or some place like that (got any friends who own a franchise?).
Good luck (I`m a huge tea drinker).