Cooks First or Rules First?’s Regulatory Struggles in the Shared Economy (B)


This case focuses on Oakland-based Josephine Meals (formerly at, a shared economy platform that brought local home-based cooks and the neighborhood consumers together to create a market for the distribution of home-cooked meals—outside the channel of established restaurants—and the challenges this start-up faced with regulatory agencies, first with the City of Berkeley’s Environmental Health Division and then with the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health, as it began to scale up over a four-year period and navigate through the existing cottage food laws that threatened to shut down business opportunity. Part B provides an epilogue to part A and reflections by both Jorgenson and Wang on the lessons they learned from this business venture.

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