Helpful ReplyTexas, Arizona, or Florida?

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excelent3
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2013/12/09 20:58:50 (permalink)

Texas, Arizona, or Florida?

I am looking to head south for the winter months of Jan-April with a 20' food concession trailer, offering specialty German fare. I will be doing temporary events only. I live in northern Wisconsin, have a RoadTrek motorhome as a tow vehicle which also serves as my "home away from home".  My biggest challenge at this time is what state to go to. Florida on the surface appears to have a huge flea market industry, unlimited unique festivals, fairs, special events catering to locals and snow birds. Weather is near ideal. Texas appeals to me also, there is a large demographic of Germans and German style festivals in Texas, Flea markets, etc...but  it appears to me that most are in the summer and fall months, but I could be wrong on that note. Also the weather during those months may be questionable however.  Arizona has many specialty festivals, weather is great, and serious room to roam, you are in the desert in many situations, and what is there not to like about the desert climate that time of year. I just want to optimize my time. Once a make the decision it's pretty much where I will be for the duration as you many of you know, you have to build your business, customers expect to see you again...Any input appreciated...
 
 
post edited by excelent3 - 2013/12/09 21:04:35
#1
Foodbme
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/09 21:23:16 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
Phoenix, AZ has many, many events in the January to May period. Plenty of Mobile home parks to park your Motorhome as well.
I have a friend that I helped get started here. She goes Gangbusters.
http://www.mainelobsterlady.com/
post edited by Foodbme - 2013/12/09 21:30:20
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excelent3
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 04:21:26 (permalink)
Thank you for your response....very impressive business model you have put together. I also enjoyed your posture regarding posting a featured food truck....yes, there's room for everybody, it's a community. I want to learn more about the scene in Phoenix and surrounding area. The biggest challenge of course is events, the rest I have a pretty good grip on...
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MetroplexJim
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 08:10:04 (permalink)
Foodbme

Phoenix, AZ has many, many events in the January to May period. Plenty of Mobile home parks to park your Motorhome as well.
I have a friend that I helped get started here. She goes Gangbusters.
http://www.mainelobsterlady.com/


I agree.  Even though I live in Dallas-Ft. Worth (what recession?) and even though every kind of business is booming down here - including food trucks - I do think Arizona is your better bet.  They have snow-birds, Spring Training, PGA golf tourneys, their peak tourist season, and a "magical climate" there during the months you cite; DFW has none of that.
 
(And I think Foodbeme is licking his chops at the thought of German food!).
 
Good fortune and safe trip!
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excelent3
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 09:25:05 (permalink)
Talked to State of Texas yesterday regarding Temporary Permits. Pretty cut and dry as long as you are in their "State Retail Jurisdiction" $200 for two years is reasonable. However, if I attend an event that is not in their jurisdiction I have to pay to play in that city, county, etc...Arizona, every county is different, the state is out of it completely. Florida, set-up pay as you go, they come to you. Municipalities also may charge for "Peddlers /Sales Permits. Everybody wants in my pocket
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chewingthefat
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 13:44:27 (permalink)
Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, what's not to like?
Next to California, my favorite state!
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Michael Hoffman
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 14:18:22 (permalink)
Which explains why you live in Maryland.
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Davydd
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 15:21:47 (permalink)
We may be heading for Texas for the second year in a row. However, Texas is limited in the winter. It is not all that great. The most consistent place I've found in tracking the weather reports is South Padre Island from January through March. The rest of the coast from Houston on south can be OK but I've been in Houston when it was below freezing in January. Look at Dallas right now this December with ice storms. I'd rather be in Minnesota.
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excelent3
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 17:20:37 (permalink)
THanks for your input, I am finding out the same. I am also finding out that Arizona is a food vendors nightmare as they have regulations that are over bearing. Maricopa County (Phoenix) is so restrictive as to require Serf Save testing, 4 inspections per year, product not used that day must be discarded (most break this rule) Even temporary permits require the nationally approved licensing. Crazy. The food truck vendors in Phoenix have formed a coalition to begin to try to pass ordinances which allow more latitude....I can see why. Even though Florida is competitive as hell, much more workable. In fact I've been told by experienced event promoters that if you are there for only 3 days or less, you will never see an inspector of any kind. Too many shows going on apparently.....suppliers are plentiful everywhere also making it easy to get product/supplies.
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chewingthefat
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 17:23:03 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman

Which explains why you live in Maryland.

LOL! Michael, I love Maryland but I lived for 15 years on the Beach in Playa del Rey, I was single, successful, and lived within a 2 mile radius of about 60,000 Stewardess', back in the day when it took  at least an 8 to get that job. At one point I had an office in Beverly Hills, then one in Westwood. Susan and I own a couple of properties there and a Timeshare in Palm Desert.  Discovered Arizona about 10 years ago, got a bunch of friends, from my youth living there now, I hit Tucson twice a year, feel like I'm 24 when I'm there, great hangout bars, many laughs. Maryland now is a tough state for business to thrive and those in charge are not friends of mine.

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chewingthefat
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 17:25:58 (permalink)
excelent3

THanks for your input, I am finding out the same. I am also finding out that Arizona is a food vendors nightmare as they have regulations that are over bearing. Maricopa County (Phoenix) is so restrictive as to require Serf Save testing, 4 inspections per year, product not used that day must be discarded (most break this rule) Even temporary permits require the nationally approved licensing. Crazy. The food truck vendors in Phoenix have formed a coalition to begin to try to pass ordinances which allow more latitude....I can see why. Even though Florida is competitive as hell, much more workable. In fact I've been told by experienced event promoters that if you are there for only 3 days or less, you will never see an inspector of any kind. Too many shows going on apparently.....suppliers are plentiful everywhere also making it easy to get product/supplies.

In that case excelent, I think you have a winner! Good luck!

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EdSails
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 17:30:34 (permalink)
chewingthefat

Michael Hoffman

Which explains why you live in Maryland.

LOL! Michael, I love Maryland but I lived for 15 years on the Beach in Playa del Rey, I was single, successful, and lived within a 2 mile radius of about 60,000 Stewardess', back in the day when it took  at least an 8 to get that job. At one point I had an office in Beverly Hills, then one in Westwood. Susan and I own a couple of properties there and a Timeshare in Palm Desert. 

I grew up next door in Westchester. Playa del Rey and Dockweiler Beach were our go-to places. Ever go to Woody's Smorgasburger in el Segundo?
 
Next time you go to Palm Desert let me know and we'll have a get-together!
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MetroplexJim
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 17:37:12 (permalink)
Davydd 

Look at Dallas right now this December with ice storms. I'd rather be in Minnesota.

 
Me, too!
 
This was the worst since Super Bowl week a few years back, which was the worst since we moved here "for the warm winters" in 2005!
 
I'm blaming Bush.  And where is he now?  In South Africa enjoying summer!
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lleechef
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 17:37:32 (permalink)
For 8 years I vacationed (February) in Desert Hot Springs which is not far from Palm Desert.  Loved it there!
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Davydd
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/10 19:11:36 (permalink)
MetroplexJim

Davydd 

Look at Dallas right now this December with ice storms. I'd rather be in Minnesota.


Me, too!

This was the worst since Super Bowl week a few years back, which was the worst since we moved here "for the warm winters" in 2005!

I'm blaming Bush.  And where is he now?  In South Africa enjoying summer!

Well, when I went out to dinner last night it was a -7 degrees! Then it snowed overnight but just an inch. My snow plow service doesn't come unless 2" falls. So, I spent 3 hours today shoveling snow out of my driveway, patio and deck. I did that in lieu of my recreational walking or snowshoeing.  Guess what? It is going to snow about an inch again tonight. That's the nuisance stuff but it adds up. We have about 8" on the ground and I am afraid we are not going to see bare ground again until late March. I'm keeping my RV clear of snow. I should be able to get up and go anytime. Our plan is March again but my patience might end January 1. By that time I'll be starting my 8th decade.
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MetroplexJim
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/11 10:55:21 (permalink)
It's a 'helluva thing' and a sorry state of affairs when governmental rules and regulations determine economic and business decisions.
 
The entrepreneur built this once wonderous economy; I wonder what the 'well-intended' bureaucrats think they will find when they finally slice open the golden egg-laying goose.
 
 
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chewingthefat
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/11 12:00:21 (permalink)
EdSails

chewingthefat

Michael Hoffman

Which explains why you live in Maryland.

LOL! Michael, I love Maryland but I lived for 15 years on the Beach in Playa del Rey, I was single, successful, and lived within a 2 mile radius of about 60,000 Stewardess', back in the day when it took  at least an 8 to get that job. At one point I had an office in Beverly Hills, then one in Westwood. Susan and I own a couple of properties there and a Timeshare in Palm Desert. 

I grew up next door in Westchester. Playa del Rey and Dockweiler Beach were our go-to places. Ever go to Woody's Smorgasburger in el Segundo?

Next time you go to Palm Desert let me know and we'll have a get-together!


I never went to Woody's Ed, how about The Shack in PdR? Sounds good on Palm Desert, we go every year!
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excelent3
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/11 12:13:58 (permalink)
Just found out you need a "commissary " agreement to operate even a lousy hot dog cart in Maricopa county....another pain in the ass hurdle, Forget Arizona, to restrictive.....I will miss the desert climate!
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Davydd
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/11 13:36:48 (permalink)
MetroplexJim

It's a 'helluva thing' and a sorry state of affairs when governmental rules and regulations determine economic and business decisions.

The entrepreneur built this once wonderous economy; I wonder what the 'well-intended' bureaucrats think they will find when they finally slice open the golden egg-laying goose.



You really think it is a sorry state of affairs? We do need regulation for food safety. I don't think many would deny that and I don't think there is a municipality that doesn't have rules and regulations. Now think about it. We're discussing states differences as in state's rights. The rules and regulations vary from state to state, and as this thread is pointing out, there are winners and loser among states when people are free to choose. So far, there is not much evidence to indicate one state is safer than another that I am aware of. So, you would think that in the impetus to compete, rules and regulations would be carefully thought out and kept to an acceptable minimum. That is just plain old free market competition. But then if you centralized those rules and regulations as in Federal government the tendency would be to pool every state's concerns to get approval. Right now I would say the affairs are pretty good.
 
Of course, rules and regulations are just one factor and if you are set up and doing things safely and properly the differences probably are nil to you as an individual. Some might be a greater pain in the A but shouldn't affect your bottom line. Weather is obviously a big factor. Market is obviously the biggest. You have to have a place to sell your food be it a good location or events.
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Foodbme
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/11 23:37:45 (permalink)
excelent3

Just found out you need a "commissary " agreement to operate even a lousy hot dog cart in Maricopa county....another pain in the ass hurdle, Forget Arizona, to restrictive.....I will miss the desert climate!

It's not as tough as you've been led to believe. All you do is go to a place that's designated as acceptable, pay them a small fee. get a certificate that says they're your commissary and you only go back annually to pay your fee. No big deal.
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EdSails
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/12 01:15:00 (permalink)
chewingthefat

I never went to Woody's Ed, how about The Shack in PdR? Sounds good on Palm Desert, we go every year!

 
Tom,
I've heard of the Shack but never made it there. 
Give me a heads up next time you're planning on being here and we'll meet for a few meals. Palm Desert is not too bad a drive for me, unless you want to try some of the local specialties in my area.  I think it would be a fun get-together. And bring me some Chubby's BBQ when you come!
Ed
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MetroplexJim
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Re:Texas, Arizona, or Florida? 2013/12/12 07:54:45 (permalink)
Davydd

MetroplexJim

It's a 'helluva thing' and a sorry state of affairs when governmental rules and regulations determine economic and business decisions.

The entrepreneur built this once wonderous economy; I wonder what the 'well-intended' bureaucrats think they will find when they finally slice open the golden egg-laying goose.



You really think it is a sorry state of affairs? We do need regulation for food safety. I don't think many would deny that and I don't think there is a municipality that doesn't have rules and regulations. Now think about it. We're discussing states differences as in state's rights. The rules and regulations vary from state to state, and as this thread is pointing out, there are winners and loser among states when people are free to choose. So far, there is not much evidence to indicate one state is safer than another that I am aware of. So, you would think that in the impetus to compete, rules and regulations would be carefully thought out and kept to an acceptable minimum. That is just plain old free market competition. But then if you centralized those rules and regulations as in Federal government the tendency would be to pool every state's concerns to get approval. Right now I would say the affairs are pretty good.

Of course, rules and regulations are just one factor and if you are set up and doing things safely and properly the differences probably are nil to you as an individual. Some might be a greater pain in the A but shouldn't affect your bottom line. Weather is obviously a big factor. Market is obviously the biggest. You have to have a place to sell your food be it a good location or events.


Indeed, food and health inspections are a legitimate roles for government.
 
However, "business regulation & licensing requitements", are an entirely different matter.  They are in fact artificial barriers to entering markets. 
 
As such, those already in the business are constantly lobbying government at all levels for ever higher and more restrictive entry barriers; they do this to preserve - artificially - their markey share and lessen competition. 
 
This is anti-competitive and harms both the consumer and fledgling entrepreneurs.
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