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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 04-13-2013, 04:38 AM   #1
mostwanted
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Default Wanting to start vending

Hi Folks! I have been lurking around this site for some time now and have frequented the catering area often. There is some great information here. Anyway, the past couple years I have contemplated (dreamed) of the idea of traveling the country selling 'q as a retirement plan. I know that some of you will say that sounds like too much work for someone who is retired but considering my previous occupations it sounds ideal to me. Anyway, I am still years from actual retirement age, but I have been thinking lately of what I could do to work my way into what I would love to do.
My ultimate goals would be to have a big trailer with big enough smoker to do major festivals like Sturgis Rally, state fairs, rock concerts, etc. I would fill in the time between doing catering gigs and prepping for next festivals. But that is a long ways away. For now I am trying to come up with a reasonable plan to get started.
What I would like to do to get started is concentrate on equipping myself for smaller catering gigs and street fairs. I was thinking of buying a tent, say around 20’ x 30’, setting up a kitchen area and a area for serving and looking for equipment that could be loaded (pushed) into a enclosed trailer: A medium sized smoker, a deep fryer station, a grill/ griddle of some kind, etc. The biggest issue with this idea is that it seems most HD require enclosed structures for prepping. Which leads me into my next thoughts.
I am slowly learning about the different requirements that vary widely by the HDs. What I am confused about is the jurisdictions. If I prep everything to make the HD happy in the county I live in, then pack up and head to another state, how am I too know what the HD will require in that area? It seems my local HD requires a commissary; however I am not clear on if a trailer COULD be approved as such. If I lived in another county that did approve my trailer as a commissary, then I seek a permit in a county that does, how can they expect me provide an address to a HD inspected commissary if my county doesn’t require one?
Well it seems like a lot of questions for now. I wish I could hook up with someone experience locally. I am open to any suggestions and comments. Thank you.
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Unread 04-13-2013, 06:27 AM   #2
kurtsara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostwanted View Post
Hi Folks! I have been lurking around this site for some time now and have frequented the catering area often. There is some great information here. Anyway, the past couple years I have contemplated (dreamed) of the idea of traveling the country selling 'q as a retirement plan. I know that some of you will say that sounds like too much work for someone who is retired but considering my previous occupations it sounds ideal to me. Anyway, I am still years from actual retirement age, but I have been thinking lately of what I could do to work my way into what I would love to do.
My ultimate goals would be to have a big trailer with big enough smoker to do major festivals like Sturgis Rally, state fairs, rock concerts, etc. I would fill in the time between doing catering gigs and prepping for next festivals. But that is a long ways away. For now I am trying to come up with a reasonable plan to get started.
What I would like to do to get started is concentrate on equipping myself for smaller catering gigs and street fairs. I was thinking of buying a tent, say around 20’ x 30’, setting up a kitchen area and a area for serving and looking for equipment that could be loaded (pushed) into a enclosed trailer: A medium sized smoker, a deep fryer station, a grill/ griddle of some kind, etc. The biggest issue with this idea is that it seems most HD require enclosed structures for prepping. Which leads me into my next thoughts.
I am slowly learning about the different requirements that vary widely by the HDs. What I am confused about is the jurisdictions. If I prep everything to make the HD happy in the county I live in, then pack up and head to another state, how am I too know what the HD will require in that area? It seems my local HD requires a commissary; however I am not clear on if a trailer COULD be approved as such. If I lived in another county that did approve my trailer as a commissary, then I seek a permit in a county that does, how can they expect me provide an address to a HD inspected commissary if my county doesn’t require one?
Well it seems like a lot of questions for now. I wish I could hook up with someone experience locally. I am open to any suggestions and comments. Thank you.

Going state to state would be tough, you have to buy permits in the states that require them, some want to visually inspect the trailer, and they don't rush the paper work through just so you can vend so you need to contact them months in advance, I don't think you could deep fry under a tent either.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
Smoke House Moe
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Do it man. Live it.

Do the research. Like Kurt said, you would have to be health dept. compliant and have a license for each place you sell.

There are some guys on here who get licensed on two or three states, but not much more.
Become amazing in your one location first.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
Triple T BBQ
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Time to sit down with your local HD and walk through what you want to do. Another great aspect of getting to know you health inspector is that they know all the local owners and might be able help you connect with an owner who might let you rent and or barter for use of a certified kitchen. Which you need anyways. Go for it!
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