selling smoked cheese question

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by driedstick, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I had a co-owner of a winery come to me the other day and asked if I would sell him smoked cheese?? He does not have the time or want to do it but wants to sell it at his winery?? After talking I told him I was not set up at the house to do it, he said to bring my smoker out whenever I wanted and smoke it on his facility under his regulations, I would buy the cheese, any flavor I wanted and sell to him and keep him stocked up.

    Anything I should be looking out for this just sounds like a too good of a deal?? he wants all different flavors and some he wants slice and vac packed to go with some gourmet crackers he has. I will have to look into the labling and all that too, or vac pac the original label with the cheese, maybe a double vac so label would not touch cheese again.

    I told him I would do some research and get back with him. We never talked prices yet.

    any input would be great - Wondering if MR T or Chef Jimmy could help me out on this.

    Thanks in Advance

    A full smoker is a happy smoker

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like a hobby turning into a job, run away!!!
    humdinger likes this.
  3. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks DS,, I thought the same thing but If If the money is good I may try it for a while, or just have him buy me a bigger smoker (like my fridge smoker) to where I could do a lot at one time I am by no means a wine drinker so we will see how it goes

  4. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Suggest you get your ducks in a row. Start by checking with the county health department.  There should be no problem, other than, they may want to have a look at your smoker.  There may be regulations as to whether or not you need to be an employee.  Liability wise, it may be the case, then not worth it for a limited product unless you did a big load of cheese at a time.

    When working at a couple different restaurants, I would transport my Cookshack Amerique for smoking chickens and there were no problems.

    Hope this helps,

  5. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    MR T Thank so much for your input I really appreciate it. I will talk to him more and find out what the deal is? I was wondering also on the employee part,  I don't want to do that, how do these guys do it a the farmers market with their bread they are making at home selling with no restrictions???? 

    I will check with the County HD This week.

    Thanks again

  6. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Baked goods are a whole different ball game.  Here in Montana, I can sell my breads at markets.  The only thing is, I have to personally be the one who does the selling.
  7. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    The upside is anything smoke related you buy would be a tax write off!!!
  8. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Something else to consider.  The winery will be able to serve the cheese most likely with no problems.  To sell it to the public will be a weeeee bit different.  I would imagine nutritional info, specific packaging and such other governmental red tape could make it very difficult.  Your heath agent will help answer that.

  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    One more thing to consider.  Not being familiar with Idaho's laws, it may be required that workman comp be required.

    After going through all the legal requirements to manufacture a food product (license, bar code, nutritional facts) at some cost, a casino/bar wanted exclusive rights to my dressing/dipping sauce that I developed to replace the common ranch dressing.  They wanted me to make it on their premise and would pay by the gallon.  The straw that broke the camels back was they wanted me to pay for my own workman's comp which would greatly decrease my profit margin.  I politely bowed out.

  10. DS, I've looked into a similar type of set up over here in Illinois. The regulations will vary county by county and also will change depending if he's looking to serve or retail your final product like Mr T said. 

    I was looking at doing my own weekend catering using another person inspected kitchen. First thing that was needed was me to be a registered business and have insurance and 2nd was a contract with said kitchen giving me permission to produce my food in their space. The contract could stipulate the kitchen owner's level of liability upon any accidents I'm sure. It might be prudent for him to check with his own insurance just in case. 

    Something to think about is the fact that you're not selling to an end user. I have a feeling that additional labeling will be needed if you attempted to operate on your own as a separate business. I wonder if you could be hired on as some sort of consultant on a contract basis. Again, a consulting agreement could be used to stipulate levels of liability by the kitchen owner (many consultants aren't employees of said company and carry their own insurance). He would supply equipment (you could just bring your smoker I guess) and you would bill him for your time.

    Now, you might run into issues with using your own smoker or possibly needing to be a commercial grade smoker to to the job. A call to your health department is needed in this case.

    Keep us updated on how it goes.
  11. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You then will be required to send samples out to members of this forum for periodic quality control inspections [​IMG]
  12. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    rgautheir rang the bell again,

    Although Mr. T's is my legal company name, a $1,000,000. bond was also needed, at my expense.

     Who said getting old was fun?  I forgot.  [​IMG]

  13. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Another issue that hasn't been mentioned yet is the fact that you wont be using cheese that you make yourself. I'm not sure what the legalities are surrounding that. Say you use brand X cheese. Brand X cheese has a listeria outbreak and is recalled, but you don't hear about the recall. The wine swillers eat your smoked cheese that came from brand X.

    Another thing do you have to have permission from a cheese manuf to smoke and then sell their cheese? What if Brand X finds out you're using their cheese, but did not have permission to? Can you take Brand X's cheese smoke it and sell it under your label? To many legal things for me to even think about.

    Just more things to think about.
  14. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Correct ds, the reason for the $1 million bond.

  15. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    I was in the same boat.  County health regs prohibit any manufacture or selling of smoked items out of my home.  I had to have a separate brick and mortar place with water, drains...almost a restaurant.  Not what I intended to do so I opted a little different route.  Frankly, I'd be interested in keeping an eye on this thread.  
  16. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All good info above.....I've been approached often about the same ideas with my spice rubs, marinades, PP etc.....Case is correct, the 'hobby' can become work quickly. The MAIN thing to consider IF you do anything is to become a LLC so you don't lose all your goodies and house due to a frivolous lawsuit. I just cook for spare change now but have owned restaurants, pizza joints in the past and it seems everybody makes decent money but the owner.....Willie
  17. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks everyone for the replies, I don't think I will be doing this too much with the job I already have.
  18. all that has been said above is great spot on information  in my opinion. I have also been approached by many to escalate my brisket, pulled pork, fish, cheese and sauces. it all sounds great but as DS said  Hobby turned into work (really a lot to think about) . here is one thought that has not been completely addressed


    1) a place of business with a full kitchen (such as a pub) willing to put in the smoke pit/unit.

    2) you are on board to oversee the smoke pit/smoker only

    3) they supply all products needed

    4) you supply consultation and ability to make the products (part time?)

    5) your business you create should have lower liability this way. mine was 1,000,000.00 as Mr "T's" but it was not much more than a lower amount so affordable.and my thoughts has always been a little more on the front end was or would be better than the alternative on the back end.

    I was not an LLC but was a Sub Chapter "S" this could be argued till the end of the day

    this might have  a few flaws in this thought and there are many here that have been there and done it so would have more accurate information than myself and as said each state and or county will have different regulations/requirements.

    good Luck,

    will be watching this,

  19. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    No better advice out there than this lol
  20. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Sound advice right here. Once it becomes work it will no longer be enjoyable

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