Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it?

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bdasko
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2014/06/25 16:18:27 (permalink)

Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it?

Hello everyone!  First post :) 
 
I'm considering, in a few years, converting our 24' camper into a mobile bakery trailer for a cookie business I'm planning out right now, a place to contain the business which would in essence be a mobile commercial kitchen.  I wouldn't need a whole lot of equipment, just my small commercial convection oven to start with, storage space and maybe a bigger refrigerator, so I think it would be doable in terms of infrastructure.
 
But - I live in WA and I'm starting to see a lot of posts here about WA being one of the biggest PITA states in terms of licensing and regulations. I don't even know where to start looking at what's required.
 
So - I'm just curious and would love some opinions if anybody thinks it is even worthwhile to go that route.  There are other business structures I could use (aside from the "food trailer" setup) and one thing to consider is that this would not be a daily thing for us, but more likely a 1-2x/week plus major events kind of deal.
 
Thank you so much in advance!
#1

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    Everton
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/06/26 19:02:39 (permalink)
    Are you saying you would be gutting you camper to do this?  24" is a lot of space to do what you are talking about.  Sounds like a lot of work vs buying a 12' or 14' trailer and starting with a clean slate. 
    #2
    Everton
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/06/26 19:07:47 (permalink)
     
    In my state, they allow home baking as long as you get registered and follow a few rules about ingredients and labeling. In that case you don't need a trailer.
    #3
    bdasko
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/06/27 17:09:05 (permalink)
    Yes, would be gutting parts of it, remodeling other parts of it.  And yes, more work but less $$ and more in keeping with my look (kind of a vintage '50s rockabilly thing)  - I've seen some vintage trailers and Airstreams converted into cupcake trailers and I want something like that! I'm in no hurry for this, won't be doing anything for at least two years anyway, so I've got time to either renovate the camper or look for an appropriate truck. 
     
    But, to clarify, my question isn't so much about the realistics of converting a trailer vs. buying one, or even truck vs. trailer but more in terms of the legal hoops that I'd have to jump through.  I have made some contact with the county official who has been helpful, but having a hard time slogging through state regs.
     
    It looks like, from a county perspective, I can avoid the L&I if I have a commercial kitchen or commissary where I make the dough balls and then I can bake them on-site at my events.  Not sure how the state regs are, but that is attractive. 
     
    I almost wonder if I could even just start with a glorified hot dog cart with a fridge for my dough, although I'd really like to have an espresso component as well.  However, having everything contained in a camper is a very attractive thought, since I wouldn't have as much back and forth to a kitchen and I could also do more out of town events.  I wish I could find more in-depth writeups or examples of people actually converting a vintage truck or camper to a bakery.
    post edited by bdasko - 2014/06/27 17:12:50
    #4
    Everton
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/06/29 16:44:00 (permalink)
    Would you try to keep a living area in your trailer for when you travel?
    #5
    Foodbme
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/06/29 23:36:24 (permalink)
    Everton
    Double post, that was weird.

    You can delete one of them by going to the bottom bar where it says Manage Message and click on that to delete one of them
    #6
    Everton
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/06/30 10:51:17 (permalink)
    Got it.  Thanks!
    #7
    bdasko
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/06/30 18:57:48 (permalink)
    Everton

    Would you try to keep a living area in your trailer for when you travel?

    Probably not, although I can't imagine that would be very doable. I do have young kids and a family, so I wouldn't be wanting to do a whole lot of long-long-distance shows.  The main advantage for distance shows is for the dough production - I have to make my dough a day or so ahead of time, and if I were to go to an event where I was selling more than expected, then I'd have everything on-hand to make more, etc. 
     
    Having said that, it would be SUPER if I could have a designated area for my girls to sit and color or read, since that would make it a whole lot easier for them to come along with me but I'm thinking that would be a licensing nightmare.  Have you heard of anyone integrating a living area in with a commercial kitchen?
    #8
    Foodbme
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/07/01 02:08:53 (permalink)
    Most, if not all, HD's would seriously frown on having a living area in a commercial kitchen.
    #9
    marzsit
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/07/01 08:02:00 (permalink)
    washington is probably one of the most difficult states to operate a food truck/trailer in.. even if you have full refrigeration, power generation, 3-bay sink with running hot-cold water they will still require you to have a stationary brick-and-mortar commissary.. and a food truck/trailer cannot be anything other than a food truck/trailer (no daycare for kids allowed...) even hot dog carts are discouraged......
     
    and, a wood-framed converted rv is an absolute no-damned-way-in hell....... there are a lot of converted airstream trailers in seattle, but that's the only converted rv trailer that i know of that is allowed since they are all aluminum.
    #10
    marzsit
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/07/01 08:02:43 (permalink)
    i have no idea why my posts keep doubling.......   crappy web software
    #11
    Everton
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    Re:Considering bakery food trailer in WA - is it worth it? 2014/07/03 18:22:47 (permalink)
    "Have you heard of anyone integrating a living area in with a commercial kitchen?"
     
    No, never.  That is why I was curious.
    #12
    carmine1
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    #13
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