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San Diego chef elated for home kitchen ordinance passing

Home kitchen operators in San Diego County are excited that county supervisors gave the green light to their businesses.

SAN DIEGO — Just this week, San Diego County supervisors formally approved the home kitchen program, also known as the micro-enterprise home kitchens ordinance. Chef Diana Tapiz says the new law is a game changer for her family.

“With this law, we can continue that journey we can invest safely and then we can actually have a return from our home it is possible and actually save for that future brick and mortar for the future food truck we don't know, this is an opportunity we are building and there are many possibilities open now,” said Tapiz, who owns Tres Fuegos Cocina

Tapiz runs her Mexican fusion eatery from her Chula Vista home kitchen. The ordinance allows people like Tapiz to operate for the next two years their food businesses legally from their kitchen, with requirements of a food safety certificate, allowable food storage areas, potable water and ongoing testing. Home kitchen operators can also only create 60 meals for only 30 people a week.

“This is a great opportunity for that mom or for that person, who has always wanted to open a restaurant, but they don't have the savings, but they have the recipes,” Tapiz said.

Diana rallied with the San Diego Microenterprise Home Kitchen Coalition two weeks ago to get the law passed.

There are limitations, including that the food must be sold on the same day it was prepared, and an annual earning cap of $50,000. Tapiz had had a commercial kitchen in the pandemic until it got too expensive to operate.

“The overhead cost was extremely, extremely much more than we anticipated, but from here in our home or we didn't have those costs,” Tapiz said.

County Supervisors approved a second reading of the ordinance in a unanimous vote Wednesday.

From tomahawk steaks to mole verde short ribs, Tapiz says cooking from her home was her late mother Diana’s passion.

“It was always her, her dream to share her kitchen with the community and to have a side business to be able to provide for her eight children, but I can also share it with the public. I continue the dream of building a food business. Unfortunately, she did not get to see it, but now with this law, it means that I get to continue the dream,” Tapiz said.

This home kitchen ordinance is to take effect in the next 30 days.   

WATCH RELATED: San Diego cooking entrepreneurs rally for home-based kitchen businesses (Jan. 2022).

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