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Mobile Vendor at fairs/festivals: is it worth it?

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  • Total Posts: 3
  • Joined: 1/4/2013
  • Location: Stamford, CT
Mobile Vendor at fairs/festivals: is it worth it? Fri, 01/4/13 12:46 AM (permalink)
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I'm new to this site -- came across it while brainstorming a mobile food business. My original thought was to travel to fairs and festivals across the country: "How cool would it be to have a small food cart (or food truck), and travel across the US while meeting new people, seeing new towns, and selling a great product!". The main draw being travel and a schedule that I could control. The more I think about it, I realize this is not entirely practical for a startup business;  travel expenses would be totally unaffordable, for one. Anyway, at this point I am just considering a small crepe business showcased at local farmer's markets and/or festivals until profit provides further travel. 
To give you an idea of my experience: I attended culinary school after high school and since then have gained 6 years of experience in quality restaurants (no chains, some farm-to-table concepts, some banquets & catering, some high-end hotel experience). I realize I will need more training on the business side of things (cost control, inventory, purchasing, etc), but I have a basic foundation of that knowledge and will better educate myself in the time leading up to my startup. I love this industry, and intend on making a career out of it. Lately I've been trying to answer the question, "Where do I want to end up?"...which leads me to all the above thoughts. I would like to own my own piece of the culinary industry, however a big operation or even a small cafe simply seems like too much risk for me. What this all boils down to is, IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE A DECENT LIVING BY RUNNING A MOBILE VENDING OPERATION? I know what my theme/staple item would be, and accordingly would create a sense of branding; I would avoid renting commercial kitchen space and instead do the prep at the cart/stand (I believe some states require that anyway?). 
If you have any advice for this particular situation, or have tried something similar, I would love to hear it. Also, I understand that this type of work is somewhat seasonal and perhaps I should have another steady source of income in the beginning?
Thanks :)
<message edited by on Sun, 01/6/13 12:15 PM>
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