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Judge rejects attempt to dismiss home-baking legal challenge

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New Jersey is the only state that bans such homemade sales.
New Jersey is the only state that bans such homemade sales. - ()

A judge has denied a request from the state Health Department to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on the sale of home-baked goods.

New Jersey Home Bakers Association filed the lawsuit in December in an effort to legalize the sale of homemade cookies and cakes in the state, the only one that still bans such sales.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Douglas Hurd ruled April 27 the suit could go forward.

“People want to buy my cookies and cakes, and that should be their choice, not the government’s,” said Liz Cibotariu, one of the home bakers in the lawsuit, in a statement.

Under New Jersey law, any person selling baked goods from their home kitchen is subject to up to $1,000 in fines. The State makes an exception for goods sold for charity.

Cranford-based home baker Martha Rabello is a plaintiff on the lawsuit.

“We’ve been doing everything we call—lobbying, write-in campaigns, call-in campaigns, and we even met with the senator himself,” Rabello told NJBIZ. “Wisconsin ended up having to go the lawsuit route [to fight their home baking ban], so we thought it would be a viable route for us.”

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Gabrielle Saulsbery

Gabrielle Saulsbery

Albany, N.Y. native Gabrielle Saulsbery is a staff writer for NJBIZ and the newest thing in New Jersey. You can contact her at gsaulsbery@njbiz.com.

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