Author Topic: Selling smoked goods in TX! Business model ideas - whilst retaining my 9-5  (Read 981 times)


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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?


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.

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).


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