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Newbie trying to start a side business

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey guys I just found out about this website and have found alot of useful information from you guys so far. My name is Chris and have been debating for a couple of years now about starting a side business with a smoker trailer. I wanted to find something to do in my spare time since I am a teacher and have the summers off. So the journey began last Saturday.I bought a smoker trailer and found out today that  there are numerous obstacles to go through by the health department here in Georgia to setup at festivals. Does anyone have any suggestions how to add things to my rig to make it legal such as 3 compartment sink, hot water and so forth? I would truely appreciate any and all advice that you could give my wife and I. We were really looking forward to doing this and kind of got our bubble bursted today when we went by the health department and talked with them. We definitely should have done this prior to buying it.



post #2 of 15

Chris, first - welcome aboard!  Good to have ya here and best wishes to you and the Mrs's on your new "job"!


Hang in there man - I had a similar experience with an addition to my house a while back.  Went in with a smile and my checkbook to get my permit... came out with scowl on my face and a handfull of papers I had to complete before I could even apply for a permit!


I have not done this, but definitely thought about it... If I were setting up a trailer, I would do it like an RV - propane for the hotwater with an little on-demand water pump with fresh water and grey water holding tanks.  If you have a used RV place anywhere close, you can get really good deals on this kinda stuff.  Might also look around for wrecked RV/Camper that you could strip. 


?? That's how I would go about it, but there are others here who HAVE DONE IT!, so I'm interested in this thread as well.


Looking forward to your finished trailer.

post #3 of 15

Welcome to SMF glad you decided to join us. I would suggest the best starting point would be to ask the Health Dept what all is required. I'm sure theres more than just the sinks. Then figure out how to incorporate them all into your plan. Most of the approved rigs I have seen use a 3 compartment sink plus a separate hand washing sink and they have a propane water heater fed by an approved fresh water tank and they drain into a holding tank. You may consider looking at the on demand hot water heaters to save a little space and propane. Also check to see about refrigeration and if you put a fryer in you may need an approved hood system. Also ask them what food safety certifications your going to have to have to be legal. In Florida they have made it very hard to get into that type of business but of course I still see people with just a smoker sitting on the side of the road selling Q so I wonder how the people who are legal compete with that. Good luck and let us know how it all works out

post #4 of 15

I can help with the three comp sink. Shop every second hand and thrift store you can, look for a three comp sink, If you know how to weld great, if not find someone who can (and has a welder) and start welding. You can add a couple of small propane tanks, a small propane water heater, like the ones they use in RV's, run your plumbing and viola! I am doing a BBQ comp in August, my first one, the rules say I need a three compartment sink, I plan on using three meat tubs, and my turkey fryer to heat water, maybe you can come up with a system like that for your trailer...if the health dept would allow. I would think you would have done your research first....being a teacher and all. Maybe you could start small and just cater to your friends and family, say graduation parties etc... build your reputation and following.

post #5 of 15

Once you figure out all the things you will need...... try craigslist. It is full of used catering and restaurant equipment.

post #6 of 15
Originally Posted by PignIt View Post

Once you figure out all the things you will need...... try craigslist. It is full of used catering and restaurant equipment.

Thats funny you mentioned that, I just found this on CL. 



post #7 of 15


Originally Posted by MattS View Post

Thats funny you mentioned that, I just found this on CL. 



That's a real deal actually.


post #8 of 15

If the governement was as efficient at plugging oil spills as they are at cracking down on evil capitalists who would dare to try and earn an honest buck, maybe things would be better.

post #9 of 15

Well like everyone has told you the health department has alot of hoops for you to jump twist and wiggle thu for sure. Then when you get all of this done they want you to bring it to them and they will tell you if it good enough. Remember the water has to get to a certain degree in a certain amount of time too. Then you have to most likely have it all covered  because of the fly and other varmit's. That rig that Matt found looks good and if you cant't buy something like that then you might have to build one. That ones got a good price tag on it too. OH yea welcome to SMF Chris and wife. You'll like it here for there are alot of good folks here that would just love to help you out with just about anything to do with smoking meat and other things too.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks to you all for the advice. And of course keep it coming. I am new at this and it is good to find good people who is wiser to learn from. Again Thanks for all the welcomes to these forums. If anyone has pictures that would be greatly appreciated to see what their smoker trailers look like with all the health department accessories of course.

post #11 of 15

first off, Welcome to SMF ,Lots of great info to be found here.

 Now i'll give you my secret about abtaining 3 compartment sinks.

 Check with any plumbers in your area. alot of times they do a remodel and remove these sinks and all of them i know take them back to their shop. May be able to trade for some smoked goodies.

post #12 of 15

Welcome to SMF

I gotta tell ya - that trailer is a steal equiped the way it is. The installed equipment is worth more than the asking price by a lot not to mention a great trailer - see if you can figure out a way to attach the smoker and you are off an running - Good luck 

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

I think that is a scam because I was browsing on craigslist in Atlanta and the same description, pics and everything is the same. I am constantly on craigslist and have a hard time believeing that is that price. Usually on there if you see someones name with either letters or numbers after it then they will email and say that they want you to wire the money to them and they will deliver the item.

post #14 of 15

Welcome to the SMF forum, You came to the right place. Good people and good info.

post #15 of 15

Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.

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