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In case you haven’t closely followed the last legislative session, a new Texas law allows private individuals to sell baked goods from their homes without having to get a license or being subject to i…

In case you haven’t closely followed the last legislative session, a new Texas law allows private individuals to sell baked goods from their homes without having to get a license or being subject to inspections. For League City resident Anna Marie Williams, wife of astronaut Jeffrey Williams, this meant she could turn her baking talents into a money source.

Williams, who lives in the Magnolia Creek subdivision, loves making good food and when she heard about the new Texas Cottage Food Law, she decided to sell some of her homemade goods.

The food of choice for Williams’ new business? Biscotti.

She also considered making cake balls and cupcakes, but after thinking about it more, her decision was easy.

“I said, I want to do something that is, first of all, health-oriented, I don’t want dipped in chocolate and all that. And I want to do something that’s an everyday food that’s not specifically party-oriented.”

People can enjoy biscotti with a cup of tea and “not feel guilty,” she said.

“If you were to compare one biscotti to a chocolate chip cookie, the biscotti would be basically half the amount of fat and sugar than you would find in a chocolate chip cookie.”

Being from upstate New York, Williams grew up with biscotti and has to explain to a lot of people here in Texas what they are or tell them that hers are not like the hard pieces from Starbucks.

Foods allowed under the new law must be non-potentially hazardous foods, that is any kind of food that doesn’t spoil easily and doesn’t have to be refrigerated. After two weeks on the shelf, her biscotti still taste like the first day, Williams said.

Since starting her home business in September – the day the law went into effect – Williams has created a website and a Facebook page where she advertises her biscotti.

The Food Cottage Law is very specific in that it doesn’t allow home bakers to sell their goods online. The purpose of the law is to make it easier for local hobby bakers to sell their goods to the community.

If people find Williams’ biscotti online, they have to call or e-mail her and send cash or a check in exchange for biscotti bags. Or simply come by her house.

So far, the Internet hasn’t accounted for any new customers, Williams said. Most of her customers are friends from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Nassau Bay and from the neighborhood. She also hands out samples and business cards to businesses.

One car dealership, Alex Rodriguez Mercedes-Benz, serves her biscotti to customers waiting for service.

She also donates some of her sample bags at charity events and fundraisers.

On average, customers order three $18 bags of 13 biscotti (a “baker’s dozen”); how many bags Williams sells per week varies.

From the day she started the business to the end of 2011, Williams said she made about $3,000 from selling biscotti bags and gift packages that also include a box of tea.

On the bags is Williams’ name and address, a list of ingredients and a note that her kitchen was not inspected by the Department of State Health Services, all requirements under the Food Cottage Law.

While her biscotti business is currently more for fun, Williams hopes to one day be able to hire employees and that way do her own to contribute to the economy and the jobs market.

To check out the different flavors for Williams’ biscotti and to contact her, go to http://mysite.verizon.net/res100k2n/index.html or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Maries-Specialties-Gourmet-Biscotti/282231861868995

Read more http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/bay_area/news/new-law-allows-league-city-woman-to-turn-passion-into/article_564f2f8b-12a4-531b-beaa-7c9979326347.html

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