Author Topic: Selling smoked goods in TX! Business model ideas - whilst retaining my 9-5  (Read 374 times)

zoochadookdook

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Hey all

Ever since moving (right before covid) I've started cooking - a LOT. Like to the point i'll fire up the smoker just to throw some food at the buddies on weekends.

I like the process/the learning that has to go into it. I have capacity in a middle size smoker on my apartment patio and a few grills to cater to maybe 100+ people.

That being said - there's a lot of business models I see and having never worked in the food/service industry - I'm struggling with seeing what my concept would be.

Ideally the easiest way to do it would be to sell larger items (i.e a whole tray/whole pork butt/brisket/chickens etc). The problem is that's a lot of food and a much harder vibe than say plate sales (a few proteins/sides).

I have a few factors that assist with this.

1. I have a friend who opened a bar about 30 minutes away. They have a unusued/rennovated unit next to the bar that are currently unoccupied/an empty train car on lot as well. They normally have a few food trucks on premise most nights and live music/similar other nights. I'll be going up there tonight to talk to my friend about possibilities of a soft plate sale/what he was looking to rent out units for/what he charges food trucks % wise etc.

2. I have another friend who has been wanting to turn this into a full time job. He's an older guy with more time on his hands and he has a truck/means to move a food trailer/smoker if it ever got to that point.

So far I've been putting together a spreadsheet as far as base costs and come up with a sample "menu". Still working on some easy high margin items that a bbq place back home had great success with (jerk chicken rice bowls/etc) and seeing it it makes sense.

Any input as to how to succeed trying to succeed making this a weekend gig or such?

thanks!

Frankies Girl

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State of Texas has a cottage food industry law, but it is illegal to sell any type of meat products from a home based business. One of the biggies is if you're cooking it at home and not in a restaurant/food truck situation, then you can't sell meat, period and nothing else that requires temp control (must be kept hot or cold). Also other weird stuff. 

https://texascottagefoodlaw.com/



Definitely get the details from the food truck people. I have a few friends that did this years ago, and I am pretty sure you have to get a food handler/catering license, and have regular inspections in order to not be on the wrong side of the law. And you'll also want to make sure and get insurance for a small business so that folks can't wipe you out if you end up having someone sue you for food poisoning or such (Texas is a pretty nice state, but there are also many assholes unfortunately).