Ordinance Sets Table for San Diego County Chefs to Sell Meals Prepared at Home

Before the end of the month, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will vote on an ordinance that will allow people to sell meals prepared in their home kitchens

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You could say Diana Tapiz is happiest while in the kitchen.

“I love just getting a fresh ingredient and transforming it into something delicious, that everybody loves,” said Tapiz.

She’s been cooking since she was a little girl, following her mother's recipes and dreaming of one day owning her own restaurant.

“We would always talk about the possibility of opening a restaurant, it was always a talk around our dinner table,” said Tapiz. “Until one day, I saw a friend that inspired me to say, ‘Hey, let's see if we have good birria.”

Birria is a Mexican stew traditionally made with lamb meat. A unique twist on the dish kick-started Tapiz's culinary journey.

“We started with our friends and neighbors, we invited everybody we knew,” said Tapiz.

Once she realized her Birria Ramen was a hit she decided to launch her own restaurant. Unfortunately, she wasn't prepared for the expenses.

“I had to, not give up on my dream because I never gave up on it, but I just kind of put it on hold,” said Tapiz. “And I said opportunities will come when I'm ready.”

Those opportunities are a little closer after San Diego County took the first step towards allowing aspiring restaurant owners to sell meals from their home kitchens.

“It's a great opportunity for people to gain experience from the comfort of their home kitchen," said Tapiz.

There are some rules. If passed, operators would be required to get a health permit and home kitchens must pass food safety inspections. They’re also limited to serving 30 meals a day and up to 60 meals a week.

For Tapiz it's a small price to pay to bring back her business and her dream.

“I have everything ready to go,” said Tapiz. “I have my commercial kitchen, everything is in storage, my LLC, everything is ready to go. I just needed an opportunity like this.”

The Board of Supervisors is set to vote on final approval Jan. 26. If passed, the ordinance would take effect 30 days later and be in effect for the next two years.

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