Riverside County

A State Law Allows Cooks to Prepare and Sell Food From Their Homes

Each cook makes their own schedules, customers see who is working on the app and order food, then they set the time to pick up the food.

The pandemic has left many people without work and looking for other forms of income. In Riverside County, you can prepare food from your own home and sell it, all thanks to a California law.

The problem is that most counties have not joined the system. Riverside did so by allowing people like Rene to sell their dishes from home.

It's Mexico's Independence Day and Aimee Gonzalez-Castaneda works harder than ever running her Amy’s Mexican Cuisine business from what looks like a home kitchen -- because it is.

"I'm trying to do it as a stepping stone to having a business," Gonzalez-Castaneda said. “As an immigrant, you have your dreams. I want to fulfill that dream and I know that I will achieve it."

Selling homemade dishes has been a tradition in her family since she lived in Mexico. The same happens with René Ledesma who makes crepes with a family recipe from Guadalajara.

"I love to cook," Ledesma said.

Both sell their products thanks to California's AB626 that allows it. The state allows cooks, with permits, to prepare dishes from their homes only if the county approves.

The FoodNome company has helped cooks in Riverside with the process of obtaining licenses and then advertising the food to consumers using the FoodNome mobile app.

"They told me how to do it and they supported us with all appointments with the county," said Ledesma. "Without a doubt, a great opportunity given that your immigration status does not matter."

There are already 20 cooks. Each cook makes their own schedules. Customers see in the app who is working and order the food. Then they set the time to pick up the food.

“I don't know how far I'm going to go, but I want to go very far,” Ledesma said.

It is a combination of technology with dreams of owning your own business.

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