For the last year and a half, I have ordered the same chorizo breakfast pocket from a favorite cafe. The pastry is delicious — a puffy pocket of meat-filling, savory and zesty. I was shocked and dismayed when, after trying to place my regular order, the owner informed me that she had removed the turnovers from the menu. Local officials had discovered that she had been breaking Arizona’s cottage food laws by making them in her own home, and threatened to close her business unless she agreed to stop serving them.

Stunned and confused, we ordered bagels, but they were disappointing. We’ve gone back a couple of times since, searching for that perfect marriage of season and flake. But having tasted illegal foodfare, nothing else can satisfy.

As written Arizona’s cottage food laws, add an unnecessarily strict regulatory burden to businesses and deprive customers of stellar dining experiences. But Gov. Katie Hobbs has a chance to change that by signing House Bill 2509, a bipartisan act that would allow home chefs to sell their creations under certain key requirements. If she signs the bill as it is written, there may be hope for the Arizona culinary scene.

Despite bipartisan support, Hobbs vetoed HB 2509 in April because of the perceived risk of food-borne illnesses. The Arizona Daily Star reported that Hobbs has since changed her position on the issue, but she has been tight-lipped on the topic. Considering her tendency to favor burdensome safety regulations, additional requirements are a possibility.

Hobbs should sign HB 2509 as originally drafted. Putting HB 2509 into law would adequately mitigate foodborne illness, reduce barriers to entry for small-scale food entrepreneurs, and provide consumers with more culinary choices.

Under HB 2509, producers of homemade food would be required to complete an accredited food handler’s program and register with the Arizona Department of Health. The bill also includes signage and labeling requirements for temperature-sensitive foods, providing a heads-up to consumers wary of home kitchens. There would also be temperature control regulations for transporting home-produced dairy, meat and poultry products. The state would even prohibit the sale of homemade seafood, raw milk and alcoholic beverages.

If Hobbs is still skeptical that HB 2509 is enough to protect the public, she should look at the cottage food laws in Wyoming — the loosest food laws in the country. There is no evidence that Wyoming’s deregulation has contributed to an increase in foodborne illness. Wyoming permits the sale of home-produced domestic fish and unpasteurized dairy products, both of which would be prohibited under HB 2509. Wyoming has even amended its laws to allow the sale of homemade jams in grocery stores.

Not only would HB 2509 set up safe food handling standards but it would reduce barrier to entry into the food industry. The costs of obtaining commercial space, a food truck, incubator kitchen or even using a ghost kitchen may be prohibitive to many otherwise budding restaurateurs. Getting a brick-and-mortar location for a restaurant is expensive. It’s estimated that a 2,000-square-foot restaurant space would require $1 million worth of capital and 25 employees to secure and operate. Even food truck can cost up to $250,000 to purchase, and that’s not including additional costs such as licensing. Other benefits to deregulating the sale of homemade foods include mitigating the cost of childcare for parents trying to enter the market.

Aside from making the culinary market more inclusive, HB 2509 would benefit consumers by providing them with more diverse dining options. While this is no problem in areas like Phoenix, there are many food options, rural areas suffer from a lack of culinary diversity. For example, approximately 25 percent of all Arizona rural communities lack access to Vietnamese food. An Oatman, Ariz., resident could take the 50-minute drive to Kingman, Ariz., but he would save time and gas if he were able to purchase pho from a neighbor. Laws restricting the sale of home-cooked food not only limits consumer choice but prevent patrons from appreciating other cultures in areas with limited restaurant options.

Only time will tell if I will ever again enjoy chorizo breakfast pockets from our favorite cafe. But HB 2509 would be a good start. Arizona food laws have already seen some improvement — before 2011,Arizonans couldn’t buy homemade jelly. The reforms in this bill would keep the public safe, reduce barriers to entry and make progress toward expanding food options for Arizonans.