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Setting up shop at local stores


Fire Starter
Joined Feb 17, 2013
Does anyone have any information/ help getting me started on setting up my smoker at the local party store to sell smoked food? I have talked to the owner and he said it was fine as long as I get all the paperwork in order for the township and the state. Have any of you done this? Any help would be awesome.


Smoking Fanatic
Group Lead
Joined Oct 27, 2012
I have never done this but would think you need to call the township and health dept to get regulated.  You might want to start another thread in the general discussion area so that members that are not in the Michigan group can answer you.  Good luck!!



Smoke Blower
Joined Feb 7, 2009
You'll need to get a STFU license. Google it & you can see all that is required. I've had one for a couple years now and you need 2 inspections a year and to do more paperwork. Other than that its easy. Just need a good set


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Jun 27, 2012
OMG LOL - I thought "STFU" was the internet acronym for a license needed to keep the health dept off your back (in other words, shut the f#!k up), but after googling it, I see it's a special transitory food unit (STFU) license; a temporary food establishment licensed to operate throughout the state. HA! Great info. Thanks.

hiltzys bbq

Joined May 15, 2014
I am in the midst of the ServSafe Manager certification required by the State of Michigan to be licensed.  The instructor is the Health Inspector in St. Clair Shores.  I talked with her about starting a catering business.  The STFU License is for specific locations so she has suggested that I  use a Trailer and have Mobile Food License.  You would need to still be "associated" with a commercially licensed kitchen and return there once a day for "servicing and maintenance"  But basically all you need is a three compartment sink on your trailer to qualify.   

This is right from the State of Michigan Website:

"A mobile  food service establishment means a food service establishment operating from a vehicle, trailer, or watercraft which is not fully equipped for full food service and, therefore, must return to a licensed commissary at least once every 24 hours for servicing and maintenance. The commissary license number must be recorded in the appropriate place in order for this application to be processed. "

This way I can cook where ever just need to return to my "home kitchen" once a day while in operations.  It is cheaper this way too than special event licences.  This website features four sink (one for hand washing) with pressurized cold and on demand hot water with fresh and waste water containers all contained in a stand alone unit.  She told me this would qualify for certification and licensing.


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