Food News

The Battle for Cupcakes Sales Faces a Looming Deadline at the Legislature

Having déjà vu? Feel like we've been here before? Well, don't pinch yourself. Be calm. You're not crazy. We have been here before.

For years the great cupcake bakers of Texas have fought for the freedom to sell their delicate clouds of sugar and butter to a hungry public. With the fierceness of the Texas revolution, for years they've rallied under the motto "Come and Bake It." I've said it before: Bakers are a scrappy crew.

Collectively, they've won a lot of battles. Before 2011, selling home-baked goods at all was illegal. In the last legislative session a bill passed that allowed for sales under certain guidelines. This year, Texas bakers are back for more.

A House bill would allow for expanded sales, not just at homes, but also at farmers markets, festivals and different events. There are also more items added to the list of what can be sold, including jams, jellies, nuts, dried fruit, pickles and other things.

What that all amounts to is more business and income for independent bakers, or your friend who has a knack for canning pickles and the like.

Earlier this week the bill was passed out of a Senate committee and was recommended for the local and uncontested calendar, which sort of means "let's go ahead and pass this thing."

There's one last hurdle now: It has to be brought up before the full Senate for a vote. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has the sole authority to do that. But the Legislature's biological clock is ticking. If the bill doesn't get voted on by May 22, it's dead.

Proponents of the bill are asking Texans to call Dewhurst and ask him to bring the measure up for a vote.

Representative Eddie Rodriguez, the author of the bill, is confident that it will pass.

"The bipartisan nature of the Texas House Farm-to-Table Caucus and the cottage foods bill gives me reason to think it has a really good shot," wrote Rodriguez in an email. "We've been at the table with the affected parties, so any new objections at this point would be a surprise."

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.