I am really considering started a food "trailer"

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by eastshores, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. eastshores

    eastshores

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    I Just Like Food
    After going to the food truck bazaar last night and being a bit underwhelmed I am seriously considering investing in a small "pop up" style setup where I could use a utility trailer to haul the necessary equipment to prep on site and cook chicken and waffles.

    I think I have a good idea of the type of setup I'd need to turn things out quickly, and still be able to break down and setup easily. What I am unsure of, are the type of requirements (I know it can vary by area). Do you guys have any experience with this sort of thing? I assume I'd need to obtain a safe food handling license. I wouldn't have a certified kitchen, so if I kept my product in a cooler and did prep on site would I be OK there?

    My mind is racing a little but I have a buddy that would go in on this with me, and I think with two of us, the setup, prep, and order handling could go well. I'm a software developer so I'd be able to write my own card processing system with ticket numbers to speed that up and could handle creating a web site and social media marketing.

    Would love any thoughts or input from you guys.
     
  2. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Sounds like great fun !
    All your questions (as well as those you didn't know you had) will be answered in the highly detailed biznezz plan you are gonna write!
    Hmmm?

    mimi
     
  3. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Go to the health dept website for your county and read, read and then read some more.

    You will need a commissary, you can't store raw chicken in a cooler, has to be under mechanical refrigeration along with anything else that the HD deems potentially hazardous.

    It won't be as easy as you are thinking right now.
     
  4. eastshores

    eastshores

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    No business plan.. the plan is to have fun. I have a full time job so I'm considering this something of a hobby. Now, depending on the amount of investment I would have to make to do it within the legal constraints, etc. then maybe it will not be a fun hobby.
    I will definitely check the county health dept. site tonight. I read it once before because they had a very specialized list of requirements for a "food truck". If I were to install a refrigerator inside the trailer, and I buy my product and place it immediately into the refrigeration, would I still need a commissary? I know you're allowed to prep on site if you have the proper equipment to ensure cold food stays cold and hot food stays hot (within the required temps).

    Edit: I found a description of what I believe I would have to achieve to be considered a "self sufficient mobile food dispensing vehicle" which does not require a commissary.

    "Self-sufficient vehicles are identified as those units that contain, as part of the vehicle, a three-compartment sink for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing equipment and utensils; a separate handwash sink; adequate refrigeration and storage capacity; full provision of power utilities including electrical, LP gas, or a portable power generation unit; a potable water holding tank; and a liquid waste disposal system in accordance with Subparts 5-3 and 5-4 of the Food Code. Self-Sufficient vehicles must have a location where water can be safely procured and where wastewater can be legally disposed of. This location cannot be a private residence. Mobile food dispensing vehicles are not allowed to obtain water from or dispose of wastewater at a private residence, or prepare food; store food products, equipment or utensils; or conduct warewashing or any other activities related to the public food service in a private residence."
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  5. teamfat

    teamfat

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    This is sitting in a yard about a block to the north of me.


     
  6. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Thanks teamfat.. interesting little rig. Technically I could get away with a fully compliant hotdog cart, but for the type of setup I'm envisioning I will need to carry tables, a canopy, signs, plus a propane fryer and a couple propane stovetop burners. I suppose I was being pretty naive about the amount of effort that would be required to do this, but I'm still pretty interested and have been looking around all night at different things on craigslist. It's looking like I could do the whole setup for around $5k with 1k being the cost of a Honda quiet generator to run the fridge and any peripheral things like lights and computer gear for the POS.
     
  7. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    When I go the weekly market (every now and then), my first stop is the coffee trailer of the "KoffieQueen" that is posted between the market stalls. It's always such fun to have an excellent coffee while sitting at the long tables the owner installed. The owner is a girl who was a graphic designer. She now has 3 trailers in the running, serving the best barista coffees and a bite like croissants etc.

    And... no plastic cups, no paper cups at all!!! She uses second hand grandma cups.

    So, she does a series of weekly markets and events on demand like corporate parties, birthdays etc. Absolutely great business idea;  http://koffiequeen.be/

     Pictures from the koffiequeen website, starring "Marcel", the name of one of her trailers. 


     

     
  8. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    If ya wanna talk (food trailer) fun then I have some stories for you!

    They involve my Jaycees chapter, a wine cooler trailer and a festival devoted to the lowly kolache lol!

    Lets just say sweet red wine (and sprite) dispensed from a gallon jar with a screw on lid is lots of fun!

    Almost made it a hobby but the headaches were just too bad!

    mimi
     
  9. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Florida has a cottage food law.

    Check and see what it says about preparation and sale sites.

    Here in Texas if you are working under ours it is pick up from the home (completely done down to the last plastic bag or box) only but maybe you can prep and transport.

    Florida.s laws are usually a bit laxer than ours.

    mimi
     
  10. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Thanks for the info mimi! I will check into what is allowed around here under those circumstances. The friend of mine, who wants to go in with me.. his mother opened one of the more successful restaurants in our town a couple years ago so I'm not overly concerned about things since she would certainly help us if we need it.
     
  11. sabine geers

    sabine geers

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  12. french fries

    french fries

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    Nice vintage Citroën fourgonnette! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  13. sabine geers

    sabine geers

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    Thanks