View Full Version : World, here I come!

08-14-2011, 04:14 PM
After pondering BBQ as I walked through the Louvre :), something I've been doing for a few weeks, I've decided to start up a local farmers market stand! This would be with adult assistance more on the set-up and legality then the cooking.. they're comfortable with it though. Better then the 360 according to my parents... xD

Here's the idea:

Our local BBQ place shut down recently. Very celebrated, but even for Northern BBQ it was pretty mediocre. No smoke flavor, slathered with sauce. Tender and sweet, but still not that great for the public celebration. Now, there's a huge hole in this area for BBQ, not excellent competition stuff, but quality lunch type stuff. Here's stuff that's done/to do, and I need lots of help.

Name- Bell Mt. Barbecue or Bell Mt. BBQ? Bell Mountain is a famous sledding mountain nearby that a lot of people know, and it has a good rythm. I hate the acronym BBQ, but does it look better on a sign?

Place- To start, I'll work only at the local farmers market. Apparently, according to the coordinator, the market was started by the HD and they allow anything, pre-prepared or prepared on site. Gotta check with the HD though.


Menu- My famous Pulled Pork, marinated in apple cider vinegar and doused with black pepper, smoked for five hours with apple wood, and finished in the oven with foil, chopped/pulled and lightly covered with my orangy BBQ sauce. Kaisered.

Also, I'll sell a Thai beef brisket, which sounds odd, but it's just marinated in lemon juice, some cilantro, some pepper, and some mild yellow curry sauce, before grilling it under indirect heat and then into oven till finished. Sliced and Kaisered.

That's two dishes I pretty much master, for NJ purposes. Then I get into ribs. Baby backs, I'm not experienced with and run for around $5/pound around here. I do spare ribs a bit but do people like to eat them directly off the bone? I think two dishes and sides are enough to start with.


My family makes a mean mac-and-cheese, which is cooked mac n cheese mixed with TONS of extra sharp cheddar, white onion, and paprika, and baked for an hour to make a crispy outside and a cheesy inside.

Cole Slaw- Fresh cabbage and shredded carrot marinated in apple cider vinegar before drained and mayo, black pepper, dry mustard, and sugar are mixed in.

What else? Pan fries (French fries pan fried, not deep fried)


Must contact HD to check on the exclusion.

Get a vertical smoker( a Weber won't do it.. probably a cheapie Brinkmann)


Long post, but please suggest/help.

08-15-2011, 04:08 PM
C'mon guys. I'd love advice as a start-up farmers stand. Won't open for nine months but I got tons to do.

Willie's Smokehouse
08-15-2011, 04:20 PM
I dont have any experience with farmers markets, PM Bigmista, he does these type things and may be able to help you out.

Terry Knife
08-16-2011, 09:25 AM
The biggest hurdle might be the HD in this. You'll most likely need to be operating out of an approved and properly equipped kitchen, and they may have some 'not too friendly' rules about your cooker.

In this area we are only allowed to use our pit for on-site cooking; so it is being used just for catering right now. When our trailer/bistro open we'll be cooking all of the bbq items we serve in the oven {heavy wink wink} with no way to explain the beautiful smoke line and authentic bbq taste.

08-16-2011, 05:06 PM
Thankfully it appears that the township wants to encourage this local farmers market thing for tourism purpose so I may have an exclusion for a while.. thanks.

08-16-2011, 05:10 PM
You may want to keep your sides to a minimum initially, and offer the occasional special to see how those go?

08-16-2011, 05:24 PM
^^^^^^ Agree with Deguerre! KISS and have a special side and keep track of what is selling. Then as you notice something is not selling drop it and move the special to everyday if possible.

08-17-2011, 03:07 AM
Thanks, I'm going with Slaw def. and maybe a second one like Mac N Cheese Casserole. I'm not selling till March so I've got plenty of time to plan and test. Thinking of just dropping the brisket (few in NJ know what it is) and do the pork in a eastern N.C. style sauce and a K.C. style sauce.

08-24-2011, 05:19 PM
Now the HD is finally responding and they still want inspection. Erghhh I'm going to have to see their regulations on prepared on-site food.

Terry Knife
08-24-2011, 05:32 PM
There's another thread bouncing around with ideas for rentable kitchens you might want to subscribe to. There are usually plenty of kitchens around to potentially rent. Churches, schools fraternal organizations (Lyons club, Eagles) generally have underused and HD approved kitchens.

Also would be good to bear in mind that beyond just the cooking portion you'll need a (hd approved) location to do any prep work and store your unprepared foods.

08-24-2011, 05:38 PM
Here it's the opposite. You just need a freezer and a place to prep, not a place to cook.


OL' Timer
08-24-2011, 05:42 PM
You will find that NPO's do not have to be inspected. Church's , volunteer fire departments, rescue squads etc. fall into that category. You can not use them as your commissary

Terry Knife
08-24-2011, 05:44 PM
So really the lesson here is that your local by-laws regarding food handling are your required reading. They are different everywhere and are sometime as arbitrary as they are strict.

08-24-2011, 05:51 PM
Aargh, what happened to the days where the masters back in the day could just set up shacks on a country road with no licenses... that's what I'd love to do, but with not as good food. :/

OL' Timer
08-24-2011, 06:47 PM
Aargh, what happened to the days where the masters back in the day could just set up shacks on a country road with no licenses... that's what I'd love to do, but with not as good food. :/
Yep the good ol days, back when I got out of culinary school, I opened a restaurant and it was over 4 years before I had my first inspection. ahh the 60's :)

08-24-2011, 07:58 PM
I wonder what would happen if you opened up on a rural road with no legal papers.. no advertising or drawing too much attention, just serving food on the porch

08-24-2011, 08:15 PM
You are most likely looking at the HD telling you that you will need a HD inspected kitchen for prep. I did it here in VA and I have a 16ft trailer with washable floors, walls and ceilings, 3 bay wash sink, hand washing sink, prep are, refrigeration, fresh water and waste water tanks, lighting with covers over the bulbs. My BBQ smoker is what I cook on after all food is prepped in trailer. I have approved hot holding units, and SafeServ Certified, thermomenters in everything along with proper chlorine test strips for sanitizer. All of this was what had to happen in order to sell here. I am sure I am leaving lots out but that is what I remember right off hand. On top of that I have insurance, business liscense, incorporated, attorney fees, accountant fees, HD fees, chamber of commerce membership fees, advertisement fees, sales tax. Not to mention everytime I turn around something else fees, and I work 60 plus hours a week.

You might thing I am trying to scare you but I'm not, just the opposite. Just want you to know I started out like you just wanting to do a few event and this is what it has turned in to. If you really want to do it then this is what it will turn in to for you. Depending on your money situation I would recommend seeing if your state will let you pull 4 or 5 temporary permits to operate for the day, if so do that and take the profit to get things like I shared above rolling. Here the HD will tell you after 5 temp permits to get a HD kitchen. If you want to do it go for it, very rewarding work for me and I love it even though I'm not getting rich.

08-24-2011, 08:24 PM
I wonder what would happen if you opened up on a rural road with no legal papers.. no advertising or drawing too much attention, just serving food on the porch

Get caught and forget every getting legal, HD probably won't ever want to deal with you after that.

08-24-2011, 09:03 PM
So (at least where you are) you can get temporary permits and not need a HD approved kitchen? Seriously! Seems like a loop hole.

08-24-2011, 09:10 PM
You can pay a $40 fee and fill out the temp application and there are some guidlines to go by, they will come out the morning you set up and inspect you and issue the permit and you are good to go for the day. Pull up to 5 then your done until you get a kitchen.