View Full Version : Vending @ Harpoon

05-01-2012, 11:34 AM
This will be our first year vending at Harpoon and I need some info. Do most vend one day or two? What are the health department requirements if you do both days? On average how many people do you plan to feed? Thank You for your help on this!

05-01-2012, 03:03 PM
I've heard the Health Dept. rules for vending two days are really stringent...because of that we're only planning on doing the one day.

You might want to make a phone call to them before you make the decision 2-days or 1-day...

05-01-2012, 05:13 PM
Harpoon really likes you to vend both days, bt it is up to you. The health inspector is not to bad...typical stuff, 3 bay wash sink, coolers under 41, Hot water, gloves, etc. He is usually easier on the new teams.

Number of people depend on weather...last year it was really hot, so maybe 5000 over the two days....we cooked maybe 10 butts, 5 or 6 briskets, 20 racks, and a bunch of chicken...I think we sold out

05-02-2012, 11:39 AM
Thank You Gail. I will definately give them a call.

Thank You Bone Daddy. Your info was very helpful.

05-03-2012, 10:23 AM
There should be instructions and contact numbers in your packet from Harpoon. Factor the weather into what you plan on cooking. We only vended the first day each of the last two years, sold out both days. last year brought twice as much food as the year before but sold out 1 hour earlier. Good luck bro, see you there!!

05-03-2012, 11:33 AM
Thank You SHBBQ. Last year was our first time competing at harpoon. Had an awsome time! We didn't vend, just wanted to see what the vending was all about before we jumped into it. Good Luck to you too and we'll see you there!

05-04-2012, 05:59 AM
We brought 250 racks of Ribs. It was 105 degree and the crowd just wasn't there because of the heat. Make sure your good with all the Health Depth req and if need be call them! Good Luck!

05-04-2012, 08:42 AM
The things the inspector will check for that aren't part of the normal KCBS check are:

Your prep area needs a floor. Yes, we are outside in a field, who knows why? Some teams use a sheet of plywood, we use disposable foam squares. You will need something under and around your prep table.
They expect you to have temp monitors in your cooler - temp probes that show the internal temp of the cooler. It better be under 40 degrees, too. They may take the temp of the top piece of meat too using a laser probe.
If you have a sink, they will check the temp of your hot water.
Make sure your smoker grates are clean, they may look inside your smoker. (Did this once out of the 3 years we have done Harpoon.)
If you are vending drinks, they cannot be sitting in an ice water bath. You can have them in a cooler with ice, but the ice has to have a place to drain. Drinks that are floating in water or underwater are not permited.
Didn't happen in Harpoon, but the Norwalk, CT health inspector once quizzed our dishwasher on the correct temp for the hot water, and the proper concentration of bleach in the sanitize bin. We had strips to measure the concentration...thought that would be a good thing, but appartently we were expected to memorize the instructions.
When they offer you ice, take all you can handle. Two years ago when it was 105 out they came by ONCE with ice. If it's crowded (and it will be if the weather is good) you won't get ice. You need more for vending that you normally would.

As someone else mentioned, Harpoon really likes it if you vend both days, and you are more likely to get invited back if you do, but we didn't our first year there.

Good news for JC: no pirate ship this year - of course we are building an interactive multimedia diorama showing the history of barbecue. (Haha, no, we might let you have a shot at best booth this time. :boxing: )

05-05-2012, 12:18 PM
Wow, thanks Chris for taking the time to pass this info along. Seems like the one day is the way to go.

Seeing that your not using the ship this year, can we?

05-05-2012, 04:09 PM
Wow, thanks Chris for taking the time to pass this info along. Seems like the one day is the way to go.

Seeing that your not using the ship this year, can we?

It's really not a big difference from one to two days. Yes, you have weird stuff like a floor, but the inspection is maybe 10 minutes. Follow those tips and the regular KCBS stuff (bleach, gloves, etc.) and you will be fine.

I thought maybe bringing the ship 2 years in a row might be a bit much, and I am too lazy to do something else that eloborate this year. :laugh: