- Joined: 1/3/2012
- Location: Duluth, MN
Re:1993 Chevrolet P30 Food Truck Build
Fri, 08/31/12 12:50 PM
Dr of BBQ
The HD said I should befriend a local restaurant and ask them to sign the agreement.
That's neat that they would go along with a local restaurant and all they really want is a signature. Your very lucky. There isn't any one on RF that wouldn't jump on that.
It's not that easy Dr of BBQ. For one, put yourself in the restaurant owner's shoes. Someone, a stranger, approaches him/her and asks them to sign an agreement stating that the food trucker can park the truck overnight at the location, make use of the restaurant's three stage sink and mop sink, cold and dry storage equipment, fresh water supply, waste disposal, etc. If I was a restaurant owner, I probably wouldn't sign it, unless I got enough money to make it worth my wild. So how do I get a commissary without paying an arm-and-a-leg? Without a commissary secured, at least a verbal agreement, it's senseless for me to press forward with a truck build. One of the other forums suggested I contact the local VFW, since many have kitchens. The HD only requires that a commissary be a currently licensed/permitted commercial kitchen. The VFW hasn't answered the phone yet and I'm not even sure they have a kitchen. Just wish I could find an easy answer...anyone???
Am I missing something? The health dept in Minnesota only requires a commisary if you don't have 3 comp sinks etc. Do health dept else where actually require commisaries even though you'll have all the necessary equipment to be licensed as a mobile food unit / mobile kitchen or arent you planning on putting all that stuff in your build? Just curious
kingofcreams, it's hard to believe, I know, but in my research I've found that Alabama, and every other state I assume, requires that a food truck have a commissary. A commissary is defined as a brick-and-mortar commercially licensed kitchen permitted by the health department. It can be an individual restaurant, church, VFW, etc, but the kitchen has to be permitted and the permit must remain current. If the restaurant loses its permit, so does the truck. Some states offer large kitchens, and multiple caterers/food truck vendors rent a space in the kitchen. I've researched several state codes, just to see if Alabama was clueless, but all of them required a commissary. Not only do you have to have a commissary, but you're supposed to park the truck there every night, re-provision your truck from the commissary to include fresh water, waste and waste water removal, mop sink, utensil sanitizing, dry and cold food storage, etc. This is all inclusive, even if your truck has a three sink setup with a separate hand-wash sink. They don't make it easy, and I still haven't found a solution for me. I'm going to call around to the local restaurants today and see if someone will sponsor me as a commissary. Oh, and in addition, you're required to have the address of the commissary, in one inch letters, on your truck. This is an Alabama requirement, but most likely applies everywhere else. So, my hook; I'll put the restaurant name on my truck, in say 4 inch letters. They get free advertising and I get a commissary. Don't know if this will work, but wish me luck.
Wow well I certainly wish you luck!! I do understand what a commisary is and it's function. I can say for sure that Minnesota and Wisconsin arent that way. And according to the Doc of BBQ.) neither is Illinois. If I was you I would go to a church and offer weekly donations in exchange. Also, I wouldn't even bother putting in 3 comp sinks or anything but absolute minimum if I had to have a commisary.
I do also understand that people COULD wash or store food at their house but I for one wouldn't. Why would I want to add all that extra moving of stuff around. It's hard enough work just stocking the rig from the Sysco truck. LOL. Theres just too much regulation going on in my opinion.
Good Luck anyway though!!