Author Topic: Selling food in your neighborhood  (Read 1106 times)

Roadrunner53

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Selling food in your neighborhood
« on: February 18, 2018, 04:03:34 PM »
Have any of you considered making money on the side by making food and selling in your neighborhood? Like for instance, making chicken pot pies, lasagna, casseroles, etc. An under that table deal? There are a lot of old people who can't cook anymore or find it difficult and would appreciate a home made meal. Kind of like meals on wheels but you sell it to them. I know there are issues with food safety and rules and regulation so it is probably a bad idea unless you rent a kitchen that has a license to make food. What do you think?

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Selling food in your neighborhood
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2018, 04:14:07 PM »
Love it, for several reasons:

1. Lots of people who need prepped meals can't access or use programs like Meals on Wheels.

2. I was one such person once, and did indeed pay a neighbour to make me meals. The person stopped almost as soon as they started. I found it impossible to find someone who'd do it reliably. (Like many "tiny gigs", most people won't commit until they have a large customer base.) i.e., In at least my neighbourhood, there was a need and it wasn't yet being met.

3. When FrugalZony mentioned people at Slab City can't get meals outside of certain times, my first thought was similar to the one you had! I'll move to Slab City and sell meals to people out of my RV :)

lhamo

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Re: Selling food in your neighborhood
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2018, 10:57:38 PM »
In a lot of places local zoning/health department rules don't allow it -- you have to use a commercial kitchen.   I would want to have a very large liability or umbrella policy if it was legal.  You might be very careful about your sanitation, but some people are hoarders with food as well as other stuff and if someone gets sick eating something you prepared a week ago you might get blamed even if you put warnings that it needed to be eaten within 24-48 hours, etc.


CDN_Dreamer

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Re: Selling food in your neighborhood
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2018, 11:48:13 PM »
Perhaps try finding a niche in your area.
Things like pickles or hot sauce are easy to make in batches compared to meals, have good shelf life and you don't need to worry about refrigeration.

This would allow you to get into the market without huge investment and then see what your potential customers need/want/would pay for...

gooki

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Re: Selling food in your neighborhood
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 12:30:32 AM »
If you do it, I encourage you to do full meals.

I used to buy frozen meals from a local lady for lunch when my kids were very little and I was sleep deprived. Price was $25 NZD for 5 meals, she even delivered to my office. It was awesome, but she was just doing it on the side while unemployed. Eventually she got a job and stopped.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Selling food in your neighborhood
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 04:10:06 AM »
When I worked, I was sent to CA for two weeks at one of out facilities and a woman there would make Tamales and sell them to her coworkers. Another gig would be to go to a persons home and prepare the food. However, that could prove to be a huge challenge. You never know if their stove top/oven would work properly. You'd have to bring your own utensils, pots and pans because you'd never find what you need in someone else's house. Seems like renting out a licensed kitchen would be the way to go. Food trucks do it so maybe it isn't as complicated as it seems. I was thinking of maybe doing freezer meals. Where all the ingredients get dumped into vacuum bags or ziplock bags. The person would thaw the bag and dump in crock pot or bake in oven. Not sure I'd ever do this, but it could be kind of a hobby/job type thing without getting too over your head. Not sure how you'd find customers. It would be either feast or famine! If any of you buys from Omaha Steaks, they have added crock pot meals to their items. Might be worthwhile to buy some to analyze size and what they are charging for it. To analyze, I would thaw the bag and weigh out the total meat, veggies and amount of gravy to determine what is considered a meal for 2 or 4 people. https://www.omahasteaks.com/buy/Meals-and-Occasions/Skillet-Meals

Mezzie

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Re: Selling food in your neighborhood
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 04:28:38 AM »
A few of our neighbors make and sell tamales seasonally. One of our city council members lives in the neighborhod, and he buys them, so it's either legit, or he really likes tamales.

We looked into food sales at one point because my husband makes excellent gluten free food that the rest of the celiac world should experience, but just the fact that we had a dog made it impossible.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Selling food in your neighborhood
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 05:19:45 AM »
Cooking for people in their homes seems to be the one way to get around laws. I think if you organized yourself and had all your cooking supplies in a roller suitcase you could have a sort of kitchen on wheels. You'd have to go into the person's house and analyze where your work station would be. Do they have adequate counter space, if not, maybe you need to bring a folding table to work at. The more I think about it, the more I think it is too much hassle. You'd be lugging a table, a suitcase and groceries to make this food. Would it really be worth your time? There is this other thing that I have seen. It is called Dream Dinners: https://dreamdinners.com/main.php?page=session_menu

GuitarStv

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Re: Selling food in your neighborhood
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2018, 12:15:19 PM »
In a lot of places local zoning/health department rules don't allow it -- you have to use a commercial kitchen.   I would want to have a very large liability or umbrella policy if it was legal.

I'd think the risk of being busted for selling food from an unlicensed, uninspected kitchen would overpower the small potential earnings benefit.  Definitely worth checking your local laws on this one.

limeandpepper

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Re: Selling food in your neighborhood
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 12:25:59 PM »
I would love to do something like that but as mentioned regulations and laws make it too much hassle, though I'm sure some people risk doing it on the down-low.

Cooking for people in their homes seems to be the one way to get around laws.

I would definitely be interested in doing grocery shopping and cooking for people in my neighbourhood!

Roadrunner53

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