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Among this county’s hopeful new entrepreneurs is Rula Sai, of Los Angeles, who mixes imported black tea, dried apricots and sunflower petals into an aromatic Armenian Plum Tea.
Sai has connected with the monthly Bay Area Homemade Market in Berkeley, which gives her a place to sell and sample, but she is frustrated by her San Jose experiences. She hosts tea parties, but the city only allows two in-home clients at a time. The hurdles make it difficult to build a customer base, she said.
After shelling out $500 for Chinese herbs and nearly $1,000 for required licenses, Sai discovered she couldn’t sell online or at farmers markets — as she’d been led to believe.
“It’s very time-consuming,” Sai said. “They put you in a circle, and you don’t know how to get out of it.”
Living in New York City after the Sept. 11 attacks, Judy Fleischman wanted to help the community heal. Her approach: to bake and give away homemade vegan treats in lower Manhattan.
She considered making it a business when strangers began asking where to buy them, but she found it too pricey to rent commercial kitchen space, as would have been required under New York state law.
When she moved to Berkeley on New Year’s Eve 2012, she was unaware that a new law that allowed sales of homemade food would take effect the next day — and change her life.