Talented cooking hobbyists of Utah, you’ve got a new potential side hustle. Yesterday DishDivvy, a marketplace which connects home cooks with hungry neighbors, announced that it had begun operations across Utah.
DishDivvy is a mobile app that lets preapproved home cooks sell food to local consumers. The startup helps home cooks get certified and onboarded onto their platform. They also handle all ordering and payment internally, and can even help arrange for home delivery. Utah will be the second territory for Glendale, CA-based DishDivvy, the first being its home state of California.
DishDivvy wasn’t the first company to try and create a cottage food marketplace. Josephine was an early entrant in the food sharing economy, similarly connecting home cooks with hungry consumers. Due to regulatory issues they were forced to suspend operations at the end of 2017. However, with the passage of California law AB-626 (which was pushed forward by Josephine’s team), DishDivvy was able to commence operations in California at the end of 2018.
Utah has just passed a similar law with H.B. 181, The Home Consumption and Homemade Food Act. Under the law, home cooks in Utah are “exempt from any state, county, or city licensing, permitting, certification, inspection, packaging, and labeling requirements,” provided they comply with certain requirements set in the law. Therefore Utah residents, like Californians, are now able to sell homemade food directly from their home — as long as they have the proper permits to do so and follow some basic rules (food must be for home consumption, sold directly to consumer, etc).
We at the Spoon have been intrigued by the idea of a home cook marketplace for awhile. It’s an interesting way to give people a supplementary revenue source, keep money within a community, and connect neighbors, all while cutting down on food waste. That’s why we named DishDivvy one of our FoodTech 25 for 2019.
Last June, when Mike Wolf wrote about AB 626, he noted that “California often leads the country when it comes to forward-leaning legislation” and that the new law “could open the door for nationwide legalization and give a framework for home food entrepreneurs.” It seems like California has indeed opened that door for Utah — and I’m guessing we’ll see some more states pass laws to welcome cottage food industry in 2020.