NEW JERSEY - It's been an ongoing food fight for years in the Garden State, but now home bakers are turning up the heat on lawmakers, pushing for a new cottage food law that would allow people to sell baked goods out of their homes.
"The home bakers in New Jersey have been fighting for almost 10 years to get the law changed and it didn't work," said Erica Smith, the Insitute for Justice. "The only reason this law exists is to protect commercial bakers from competition."
New Jersey currently outlaws people from selling sweets out of their own kitchens for profit, however they can donate them to charity. Members of the New Jersey Home Bakers Association and Institute for Justice believe these restrictions are not only unreasonable, but unconstitutional.
"We think it's very unfair that the same goods, the same ingredients, the same kitchens, can be used for charity events and cannot be sold for profit," said Mandy Coriston, a home baker.
Gathered on the steps of the Union County Courthouse a new lawsuit against the New Jersey Department of Health was announced Thursday. A victory in the pending case would give moms like Heather Russinko more financial flexibility.
"Everyone wanted to buy my cake pops, but I couldn't sell them because it's illegal in New Jersey," said Russinko, who works full time as a sales coordinator and bakes on the side.
"I could start a college fund for my son, we could go on vacations, and maybe just pay off some debt," she said.
"Many families could use the extra income and lot of people could start a business," said Martha Rabello, another home baker.
In the meantime, the New Jersey Home Bakers Association is also garnering a lot of support through social media and rallies around the state.
"We're going to continue to fight for this and we're really passionate, so I think as long as we continue to inform people and educate them we have a chance," said Jennifer Marich, a home baker.