Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKO)
MEHKOs are food facilities operated out of a private residence by the resident and are allowed to produce a very broad variety of complex food products that the CFO permit does not allow. Cooks prepare, cook and serve food to consumers on the same day either through delivery, take-out, or dine-in the home.
MEHKOs have several restrictions. For example, MEHKOS may only sell prepared foods from the permitted residence to individuals and not to other businesses, or the resident or their employee can deliver the food to the buyer.
- MEHKO Fact Sheet by UC Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program (UC SAREP).
- MEHKO FAQ's by COOK Alliance.
- Watch Home Restaurant a 17 minute film that features the homes and kitchens of some of the first MEHKO operators in the US, telling their stories and illustrating the personal & community impact that MEHKOs have facilitated.
- Read about Riverside County's MEHKO's in the Desert Sun, Nov 2020.
- California Department of Public Health oversees the MEHKO program.
MEHKO's are NOT allowed in Sonoma County at this time:
"The local governmental jurisdiction where the MEHKO resides must have in place an ordinance or resolution that creates a food permit and inspection program with the local environmental health agency that meet the requirements under the California Retail Food Code (Cal Code) Chapter 11.6."
Requesting MEHKO in Sonoma County
Contact your city/town official(s), Sonoma County Environmental Health & Safety and your County Supervisor and request this:
- City and Town Officials
- Environmental Health: firstname.lastname@example.org 707-565-6565
- Find your supervisor and their contact information
Organizations that Support MEHKO's
- COOK Alliance a non-profit with a mission to help establish MEHKO's throughout CA with resources for applicants and for counties looking to approve this program.
- Foodnome an online network of home restaurants that provides resources for MEHKO's. Sign up to Help Legalize Home Restaurants in Your County.
- Mandela Partners an Oakland based organization who support the launch and growth of local food enterprises and much more.