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Old 07-19-2019, 02:08 AM   #1
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 06-25-19
Location: Roseville, CA
Name/Nickname : Dave
Default Looking for some honesty

I live in Northern commifornia and the red tape out here from state and county for food handling is frustrating. Being in the restaurant industry for 15 years I am used to road blocks when opening restaurants. I am finally taking the plunge into making a lane for myself and doing what I want to do. I originally was going to dive right in head first and pick up a 70,000 dollar bbq trailer, but I decided to scale it back. I got 2 kids and a wife so I figured better to start safe then ramp up. So Instead picking up a smoker combo on a trailer to tow and start off doing catering and hired to cook events. Sending in my deposit over the weekend and should be ready in 3-4 weeks.

Let me start off by saying I have opened an LLC purchased the 800 dollar insurance. Logged my business with the county. Supplied my applications and statements. Locked in contract with a commisary kitchen. Now I am waiting for my smoker to arrive and I am ready to go. So to speak....

The issue I am having is what I have read and been told is law from the health department vs. what I see online (California only)

With the license and catering business from what I read is:
I must have a commisary kitchen.
All product must be bought and cooked on site IN THE SAME DAY. (Unless stored at commisary)
Limited prep can be done unless hiring has a permitted kitchen.
Zero prep can be done at home of cook.
There can be no vendor to consumer sales while catering unless community event and site has a permit.
Cook to hire are events where 1 person or company is paying

So what is with:

1. "Backyard popups" seems like a grey area for people to come pickup some lunch or dinner literally from a backyard.
2. Making posts about putting on brisket ribs pulled pork and advertising for customers to put in there "1 meat 2 side orders for $10 until sold out" and delivery available.
3. Advertising for meats to be delivered or picked up
4. Folks with smokers doing pop ups at breweries that do not have concession trailers. Some people just have a smoker. Table and tent.
5. Lastly, the folks that do catering lunches from 11-3 serving briskets, but they show up at 10am and set up.... we all know the time it takes so are they smoking briskets at their home or "commisary" and holding them until the show up?

I asked all this to the health department and she straight up said..... "thousands of illegal catering and food sales happen every month". She admires me trying to go about it the right way.

Am I looking into this too much?

I have so much passion for cooking and service but I also want to do things the right way. There is not a big community where I am from that do bbq catering or hire to cook. My goal is to be outside all these breweries but it sounds like I cannot do that until I get an enclosed concession trailer. The rig I am getting is a nice set up and I am exiceted. I was going tp spend 500 on a serve safe tent with screens but she said that the county no longer observes those as food safe.

Any help and advice is appreciated. I have spent weeks researching and making phone calls. Even tried reaching out for help to the people I see doing business as mentioned and of course they are radio silent which I think gives me my answer.
BigDaveBBQ is offline   Reply With Quote