Local, hand-crafted foodstuffs may get much more varied in California at the beginning of 2013. Los Angeles Times reports that New Year’s Day marks the start of the California Homemade Food Act, which cuts through the red tape that had previously stymied the growth of at-home food purveyors. Cali is just one more state among 30 or so to legitimize the business of homemade goods.

Californians have L.A.’s Mark Stambler (Echo Park) and Assemblyman Mike Gatto (Silver Lake) to thank. The two men cowrote the bill (AB 1616) that was signed into law in September. The new law protects would-be entrepreneurs when they sell “breads, cookies, cakes, pies, jams, candy, granola, baking mixes, coffee, tea, honey, dried fruit and nuts, and other goods that don’t include cream or meat.”

The new law should be a boon for those small-scale entrepreneurs without the means to invest in a commercial kitchen or apply for zoning compliances. Still, there will be requirements that home producers must meet, like completing a relevant course on food processing, as well as undergoing inspection and registration processes with the health department.

Up north in San Francisco, aspiring food entrepreneurs are getting help with their startups from Local Food Lab. Witnessing the difficulties that food entrepreneurs encounter, Krysia Zajonc and Mateo Aguilar created the lab to provide mentoring, business education, or possible seed capital. Those accepted into the program will have “a complete business plan, an investor pitch deck, and a robust and reliable network of other entrepreneurs and food system stakeholders ranging from distributors and co-packers to investors and developers” by the time they are done.

So the question is, which L.A. neighborhood will be the next Williamsburg of the West Coast?

[via Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic]