CRANFORD, NJ — Martha Rabello used to run her own bakery. Not anymore. The Cranford mother of two was trained as a pastry chef in Brooklyn and specialized in Brazilian-inspired cookies that pair well with coffee.
She rented a commercial-grade kitchen, required by New Jersey state law, but the cost was so burdensome, she stopped, halting her business. Now, she and other members of the New Jersey Home Bakers Association are looking to overturn the state regulation that prohibits would-be Betty Crockers from selling their confections.
The organization — in conjunction with the Arlington, Va.-based libertarian law firm Institute for Justice — sued the state Department of Health on Dec. 6, claiming the law is unconstitutional and unnecessary. With every other state allowing the sale of home-baked goods, they can’t understand why New Jersey is the only one that doesn’t allow it.