PDA

View Full Version : First Day vending


Garth57
10-04-2009, 11:51 AM
Had my first day at a local Farmers Market in Corona on Sat. After staying up till 0330 smoking 40 lbs of brisket, 40 lbs of pork butt, 8 racks of St Louis style ribs, 3 full trays of beans, prepping 4 fattys, I decided to get 2 hours of sleep. Got up loaded trailer and was ready to get to the market by 0700 for the 0830 start time. Trailer had a flat tire s#%t!! Got there and was unloading.....My giant cambros (UPC1600) tires got stuck in the floor gap and took about 45 min to unload. Got smokers going to draw the crowd and was ready about 0930. Our chairs we brought did not get used, We were busy until about 1pm non-stop. Gave away lots of samples, in hopes of return business and several folks came back with other family menmbers to order more. Sold 4 racks of ribs and several large containers of pulled pork, brisket. We ran out of brisket and had about a lb of pork and 4 bones left. The lady running the market said she had several dozen folks telling her how good it was. I had given her a big sampler plate earlier. Well I'm done bragging. My partner and I, along with my 16 yr old son (who actually got up at 6 to help) had a good time and plan on being at this place for a while. Hoping to get a few small catering gigs as well. Our menu lists pre ordering on large quantitys, hope this will generate sales as well. Lots of work though!! I need to get a backwoods or spicewine or similiar type. My old Traeger and 2 UDS's got a workout.

Spydermike72
10-04-2009, 12:35 PM
Congrats!! Keep up the good work!!

Bbq Bubba
10-04-2009, 12:56 PM
Isint it farken awesome?!
Congrats & take some pics!

Ron_L
10-04-2009, 02:28 PM
Sounds like a great day, Bill! Congrats!

BBQ Grail
10-04-2009, 02:30 PM
Congrats on two things. First on a successful day.

Second on finding a Farmer's Market that Bigmista hasn't grabbed...

landarc
10-04-2009, 03:49 PM
Congrats on the big first day.

txschutte
10-04-2009, 06:41 PM
Congrats. Did you come over or under your expectations?

Garth57
10-04-2009, 06:46 PM
Congrats on two things. First on a successful day.

Second on finding a Farmer's Market that Bigmista hasn't grabbed...

Ssssssh, not so loud!

Garth57
10-04-2009, 07:28 PM
Congrats. Did you come over or under your expectations?

Little of both. Did not make the $$ I thought with all the customers, but since we were handing out samples and over doing it on the large orders, we ended up giving away more than had planned. I was going to get a scale for the large orders, but had decided to wait until next week. My scrimping on the scale probably cost me more than the money I saved. We had several orders for 1 lb, 1 1/2 lb, etc. Overall the atmosphere and having people tell you how good your food is, was more than anticipated.

Mr. Bo
10-04-2009, 10:01 PM
I hope to be saying something similar in a year or so.
Great job and good luck!

Cabntmkr1
10-04-2009, 10:51 PM
Congrats Bro!
How did you know what amounts to cook?? SWAG??
Pics please!??

tmcmaster
10-05-2009, 04:41 AM
Congrats!!!

I would also like to join the chorus of picture requesters...

ABQ
10-05-2009, 01:44 PM
Congrats!
What did you use for refrigeration?
I may be doing a small event in December to get my feet wet. About 500+ crowd with other vendors. I don't have any macho equipment yet. My only concern is refrigeration.

Garth57
10-05-2009, 02:49 PM
I used 1 of the big igloo ice chests, the kind that takes 2-3 guys to lift. I only had cole slaw and sauce to keep cold. The drinks were in another ice chest. I can actually use the lower half of my cambro for cold and upper for hot. I will probably do that next week since I will be adding potato salad to the menu. The UPC1600 holds 16 full 4" deep pans. The health inspector was at the market as well, I did not see who it was, so I guess we were o.k. Had all the food and ice chests 6" off the ground and our screen walls up. Used a beverage cambro for the hand wash station. Forgot how boiling hot it keeps the water even after 6 hours (don't ask how I know).

http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn172/Garth57/BBQ/Cambro.jpg

Chuckwagonbbqco
10-05-2009, 02:51 PM
If you are going to sell meat by the pound---make sure that your scale is certified by weights and measures. People always talk about dealing with Health Depts, Fire Depts, etc. but you must also deal with weights and measures if you are selling by the pound. What I do is sell by volume---by size of container.

Garth57
10-05-2009, 03:02 PM
If you are going to sell meat by the pound---make sure that your scale is certified by weights and measures. People always talk about dealing with Health Depts, Fire Depts, etc. but you must also deal with weights and measures if you are selling by the pound. What I do is sell by volume---by size of container.

Thanks, I was wondering about that. I did buy 8 oz and 16 oz containers for the sides, but should probably go with those for the meat as well. I think we were way over doing it on our guesstimates the first day. One person came back twice for more lbs of meat. As far as the racks, I told folks they would get at least 12 bones in a rack, if not more. Everyone seemed pretty satisfied.

pat
10-05-2009, 03:07 PM
congrats on your first market! Sounds like things went fairly well.

BigJimsBBQ
10-06-2009, 05:36 AM
Congrats .... Work seems hard but you will find out what is the best for your sales and prep methods to give you some sleep.

Bigmista
10-06-2009, 07:16 AM
Way to go Bill! Glad you had a successful first day. And don't worry, that market is too far away for me!

I wouldn't worry about a certified scale. They cost way too much and no one has ever asked to see my certification. I just use a regular digital scale that can hold at least 5 lbs. And I really only use it as a base line. I always give a couple of ounces more to keep people coming back.

jgh1204
10-06-2009, 07:59 AM
California allows you to cook at home? Do you have a certified kitchen?

Garth57
10-06-2009, 08:41 AM
California allows you to cook at home? Do you have a certified kitchen?

That's what delayed my start by 2 months. I finally found a certified kitchen. No we can't cook at home. I managed to get the local American Legion Hall to allow me to use their facilities. The only bad thing is that the kitchen is right next to their bar. I took a couple of breaks in the bar and found they have very inexpensive drinks. I joined the Legion and it was easier to get approval. Plus it's nice to be able to wash all the pans, etc, in the big sink there.

bbqbull
10-10-2009, 03:35 PM
Congrats on your first vending day Bill!

Norcoredneck
10-10-2009, 04:56 PM
Congrats Bill. now you have to get set to do the Norco Valley Fair.

Garth57
10-10-2009, 09:02 PM
Thanks. Had another day with about the same $$ intake. Had numerous people come and say they were referred by a friend from last week. Several ordered meats by the pound as well as racks of ribs. Some said they were interested in some small gigs as well. I guess bbq is hard to come by. Is kind of encouraging though. The case of beer I shared with my partner and wife afterwards, sure was good. Nap time.......

smokinit
10-11-2009, 12:38 PM
Nice job bud your on the path. Next you will be doing it roadside.I can help you out with the Backwoods when you ready got a fall sale going on them now.

grillfella
10-12-2009, 01:26 AM
Had my first day at a local Farmers Market in Corona on Sat. After staying up till 0330 smoking 40 lbs of brisket, 40 lbs of pork butt, 8 racks of St Louis style ribs, 3 full trays of beans, prepping 4 fattys, I decided to get 2 hours of sleep. Got up loaded trailer and was ready to get to the market by 0700 for the 0830 start time. Trailer had a flat tire s#%t!! Got there and was unloading.....My giant cambros (UPC1600) tires got stuck in the floor gap and took about 45 min to unload. Got smokers going to draw the crowd and was ready about 0930. Our chairs we brought did not get used, We were busy until about 1pm non-stop. Gave away lots of samples, in hopes of return business and several folks came back with other family menmbers to order more. Sold 4 racks of ribs and several large containers of pulled pork, brisket. We ran out of brisket and had about a lb of pork and 4 bones left. The lady running the market said she had several dozen folks telling her how good it was. I had given her a big sampler plate earlier. Well I'm done bragging. My partner and I, along with my 16 yr old son (who actually got up at 6 to help) had a good time and plan on being at this place for a while. Hoping to get a few small catering gigs as well. Our menu lists pre ordering on large quantitys, hope this will generate sales as well. Lots of work though!! I need to get a backwoods or spicewine or similiar type. My old Traeger and 2 UDS's got a workout.
Nice job brother. I know how much work you put in. Its all for the love of "Q" you did a good job people will see this you will get a lot of business. congrats:-D

Ford
10-13-2009, 10:00 AM
Way to go Bill! Glad you had a successful first day. And don't worry, that market is too far away for me!

I wouldn't worry about a certified scale. They cost way too much and no one has ever asked to see my certification. I just use a regular digital scale that can hold at least 5 lbs. And I really only use it as a base line. I always give a couple of ounces more to keep people coming back.
During my HD inspection last week somebody asked if I sold by the pound. I said I can sell them about a pound. The HD guy said you can't do that without a certified scale. But you can sell a quart by volume not wieght or you can say you'll sell enough for at least 4 - 4 oz or 3-5 oz sandwiches without having a scale. That's because you sell sandwiches not pounds of meat.

Also this really needs to be in your SOP's before you can sell by the pound and like I said no certified scale = no approval. It's actually considered a major violation and can result in immediate shutdown.

Chuckwagonbbqco
10-13-2009, 11:58 AM
Exactly Ford----that is what I said earlier but Bigmista scoffed at what I said----I guess he hasn't been caught yet. Selling by volume is legal---selling by the pound without a certified scale is illegal. Saying approximate pound does not make it legal.

Garth57
10-13-2009, 02:18 PM
I actually am using my 8 oz containers to sell "by volume". I guess I should state that on my posted menu and verbally as well. They see me measuring that way, but I should not take any chances. Thanks guys, I would like to continue my venture without any glitches. Continual learning process.

Jerk Pit Master
10-13-2009, 02:26 PM
Volume only works for pulled meats and sides.

What are some other legal ways?

Is it legal to ask how much you want to spend, and cut a slab of meat roast that size (with or without weighing)?

or is the following leagal as I've done on occassion?

Sell meat by the piece. They choose a $12, $15, $18 or $24 slab of pre-wrapped meat. Same thing with slabs of ribs some are real big and some are real small resulting in a + or - $5 per slab price swing. Naturally, I've weighed it and priced it fairly, but am selling by the piece, by weight.

Similarly, I go to a seafood restaurant that sets market price for the whole red snapper meal and the price is dependent on the market and size of the fish. Sometimes that meal will run you $14 (with a 1+lb fish), other times it will run you $18-$20 (with a 2lb fish).

Chuckwagonbbqco
10-13-2009, 03:14 PM
Racks of ribs I sell by the "Rack" It is kinda like selling a "Bale" of hay---some bales weigh 75 pounds some way 120 pounds. There is no standard of measurment for a "rack" of ribs---so I stay out of trouble. I can divide the number of racks of ribs in a case into the price of the case and average the price that each rack costs me. I price the ribs according to what I paid for them.

I sell whole tri-tips in the same manner. I either wrap them whole or slice them for the customer.

The dept. of weights and measures here have been very active in enforcing any measurement that is well defined. Local firewood sellers have been getting busted because their advertised "Cord" of wood is not really a cord. I would not buy fuel by the gallon from a fuel pump that has not been certified---so why would I expect people to buy meat by the pound from me when I can not weigh it correctly.

CajunSmoker
10-13-2009, 03:31 PM
Kind of off the topic of Q, but when I was running a commercial Shiitake mushroom farm we needed to be able to sell mushrooms by the #. We bought a used scale for about $50 if a remember correctly and called the Dept of Agriculture which sent a representative to the farm and certified our scales. Didn't cost anything. Louisiana law, so your mileage may vary:wink:

Jerk Pit Master
10-14-2009, 10:42 AM
Racks of ribs I sell by the "Rack" It is kinda like selling a "Bale" of hay---some bales weigh 75 pounds some way 120 pounds. There is no standard of measurment for a "rack" of ribs---so I stay out of trouble. I can divide the number of racks of ribs in a case into the price of the case and average the price that each rack costs me. I price the ribs according to what I paid for them.

One probelm with that method is you usually end up a few real heavy and real light slabs in a case. Customers get a gift with the heavies and screwed with the lights. Since most of us don't like gipping our customers, we usually sell the lights at a discount and let the heavies slide. Bottom line you end up with lower revenue per case than projected. I add $5 for the heavies and discount $5 for the lights.

Garth57
10-14-2009, 11:24 AM
I'm selling my St. Louis cut racks for $14 a rack, so I don't think anyone is getting slighted. I guess if customers saw differant racks to compare, it might alter their perception of a good deal though.

Chuckwagonbbqco
10-14-2009, 11:41 AM
Sounds like a good deal to me. Are you trimming spares into St Louis Cut and selling the tips also? $14.00 seems very inexpensive especially if you are buying them at St Louis Cut prices. Good luck and keep up the good work.

Bbq Bubba
10-14-2009, 11:45 AM
Don't be giving your food away bro. :)I'm selling my St. Louis cut racks for $14 a rack, so I don't think anyone is getting slighted. I guess if customers saw differant racks to compare, it might alter their perception of a good deal though.

big brother smoke
10-14-2009, 01:01 PM
Don't be giving your food away bro. :)


Especially in the golden state!

jbrink01
10-14-2009, 01:12 PM
I trim my ribs down to St. Louis and sell for $16. I cook the tips I trim off and chop onto a sandwich for $5.00. You need about 1.5 slabs worth of tips to make a nice sandwich, but im stil getting $19 a slab average.

Jerk Pit Master
10-14-2009, 01:29 PM
I'm selling my St. Louis cut racks for $14 a rack, so I don't think anyone is getting slighted. I guess if customers saw differant racks to compare, it might alter their perception of a good deal though.

Definitely alter their perception. Plus, in the case of Farmers' Market vending you are dealing with repeat customers.

I sell my slabs of baby backs for $25. Smalls are $20 (sometimes $18 if they are real small); heavies are $30.

BBQ_MAFIA
10-14-2009, 05:05 PM
Congrats on a great first day.

Bbq Bubba
10-14-2009, 05:39 PM
I believe its time for some pics bro! :shock: :biggrin:

scottyd
10-22-2009, 04:13 PM
Yes lets see some prices.

Garth57
10-22-2009, 10:09 PM
I'll try to take some pics this weekend of the booth and some pron. Thanks for the support and input

Marsha
10-23-2009, 12:20 AM
If we are at a vending event and end up with extra ribs towards the end of a weekend we sell them for $25 per rack, $13 for half a rack. Most of the time these are events where people are spending a lot of money anyway.

Garth57
10-23-2009, 12:33 AM
Might raise my prices on the ribs a couple of bucks. I usually only make 8 racks and sell at least 7. Selling rib plates as well, 3 bones/$5.

gandcwatson
10-23-2009, 10:54 AM
Hey Garth you thinking about going back to your day job or are you hooked?

Garth57
10-23-2009, 02:03 PM
Only do it on Saturdays. I am having fun, but it is a lot of work. Not sure how folks do it 3,4,5 days a week. Hoping to get some small catering gigs. Is that Oak Harbor, WA? I grew up in Bellingham.

Bigmista
10-24-2009, 12:50 PM
Definitely alter their perception. Plus, in the case of Farmers' Market vending you are dealing with repeat customers.

I sell my slabs of baby backs for $25. Smalls are $20 (sometimes $18 if they are real small); heavies are $30.

My price are:

1/4 rack (3 bones) $5
1/2 rack (6 bones) $10
Whole rack $18

My prices are constant and I have never had anyone say, "Can I have a bigger rack?"

I also usually try to mix large end and small end in a box so no one ends up with all small end ribs unless they request them (yes that does happen.)

big range bbq
10-25-2009, 06:47 PM
We made it down to the farmers market in corona to try some BBQ. It was our 11th wedding anniversary and getting ready for our Halloween party that night. Yeah we know not very romantic but thats how we roll (which didn't end till 5:30ish this morning Whoo hoo thats right party like a rock star). Anyways about the BBQ It was great I love brisket more than anything ever. It was like butter had a great bark and tons of flavor with just the right amount of smoke, The beans and the macaroni rocked wish we would have bought some in bulk for the Halloween party. The wife had the pulled pork and same went for that it was great. Its great to know we have somewhere to go to get great Q when we are out that way. We will be sending friends out for sure.

Bbq Bubba
10-25-2009, 08:21 PM
Only do it on Saturdays. I am having fun, but it is a lot of work. Not sure how folks do it 3,4,5 days a week. Hoping to get some small catering gigs. Is that Oak Harbor, WA? I grew up in Bellingham.

Call me sometime, i'll tell ya some stories. :roll: :cool:

fireman_pete
11-08-2009, 10:35 AM
Hey Bill,

How has it been going the last few weeks in Corona?

Still worth it?

Pete

Garth57
11-08-2009, 08:19 PM
It's slowed down a bit past couple of weeks, not as much foot traffic. Still making a small profit (not if you count the hours put in though). Just trying to get our name and reputation out there. Getting more customers coming and saying they heard about us and came to try it out. Still waiiting on some large orders or drop off gigs. More folks are buying by the pound as well.

jbrink01
11-08-2009, 09:03 PM
It's slowed down a bit past couple of weeks, not as much foot traffic. Still making a small profit (not if you count the hours put in though). Just trying to get our name and reputation out there. Getting more customers coming and saying they heard about us and came to try it out. Still waiiting on some large orders or drop off gigs. More folks are buying by the pound as well.

We have days when wonder why we go, and the answer is because there is no substitute for exposure. Then you go out and clear 3k - 5k in a weekend and you remember why.

Rib-O-Lator
11-08-2009, 09:21 PM
hi G57 just want to say great job. my son and i know it's a lot of hard non stop work, but there is nothing like the felling of people buying your food because it tastes so great. it's almost better than the money they give u.

fireman_pete
11-09-2009, 10:31 AM
Glad to here. Like you said, it is about exposure.

We are trying to get things lined up here to hopefully start at our market after the first of the year. Still having a heck of a time getting access to a kitchen.

Best of luck, keep up the great work.

The smiles on the folks buying your food is almost as good as the cash they give you for it.

Pete


It's slowed down a bit past couple of weeks, not as much foot traffic. Still making a small profit (not if you count the hours put in though). Just trying to get our name and reputation out there. Getting more customers coming and saying they heard about us and came to try it out. Still waiiting on some large orders or drop off gigs. More folks are buying by the pound as well.