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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Thanks for all the great feedback! And thank you Robin for answering the questions instead of telling me about delivery services we already know about.

This was an idea that was suggested to me by friends but I kept saying that there has to be more than just licensing involved and more than likely a commercial kitchen has to be used. Food handlers, been there done that from all of the restaurant and fast food managing stuff, and yes a ton of headache for probably very little financial gain aside from maybe having people enjoy home cooked food for a low price, but not realistic with all of the hoops to jump through :)

Posted on: 2016/5/12 7:52
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Quote:

dtjcview wrote:
Might be able to arrange a kitchen share with a local restaurant. Or perhaps get involved here first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxmk8AFkmVk.


A huge up vote for people getting involved at Grace Church Van Vorst. Not sure who put up that video (it is oddly labeled "CCJC" and that is followed by "St. Grace") but those scenes were definitely recorded at one the Breakfast Plus sessions held every Saturday and Sunday at Grace Church Van Vorst.

Each weekend day, regardless of weather conditions, at least 40 - 50 people show up for what is likely their only hot meal of the day. Sometimes, we have fed as many as 75-80 people. It is incredibly humbling and fulfilling to be able to participate in this program and help others in the community who are in dire need of some food and help.

Thanks for posting that video.
And, for those interested in learning more about the Church programs, look here: http://www.gracevanvorst.org.

(Disclaimer: I am not a parishioner, nor associated with GCVV, but do volunteer there from time to time.)

Posted on: 2016/5/11 13:04
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Quote:

tern wrote:
To sell food commercially it must be prepared in a licensed commercial kitchen, you can't make it in your home.

Getting licensed is difficult and will cost you, zoning approval, building permits, fire permits, sprinkler systems, commercial ovens, prepared food permits, food handler training.

You have no idea what you are getting into, forget all about it.

Robin.


Everything that Robin said... I didn't want to be the bearer of hard reality, but it really is a pain to try and (legally) do what you suggest/envision. Although, judging by some of the stuff I am told by vendors at the local farmers market, it seems like some people skip some (or, all) of these rules. Actually, does anyone know if there is an inspection process and specific regulations that cover vendors at the farmers market? I have been told by a vendor that he prepares his stuff at home using more than just his kitchen, and he is rather upfront about it. :o

Posted on: 2016/5/11 12:53
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Might be able to arrange a kitchen share with a local restaurant. Or perhaps get involved here first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxmk8AFkmVk.




Posted on: 2016/5/11 12:40
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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To sell food commercially it must be prepared in a licensed commercial kitchen, you can't make it in your home.

Getting licensed is difficult and will cost you, zoning approval, building permits, fire permits, sprinkler systems, commercial ovens, prepared food permits, food handler training.

You have no idea what you are getting into, forget all about it.

Robin.

Posted on: 2016/5/11 4:23
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Also, an affordable price would be a great asset to anyone buying. I can't really justify the $60 a week for Blue Apron when the supplies cost a lot less than that and you still have to spend sometimes up to an hour cooking the food after working all day.

Posted on: 2016/5/11 3:53
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Thanks for the input everyone.

I have used BlueApron, Fresh Direct, Dinner Thyme, and a few others but I really enjoy shopping for and cooking my own food.

I cook for friends often and a few have suggested I offer a service or possibly try to sell some of my meals at a farmers market, I just don't know where to start and what the regulations are to sell prepared food items at one of these outdoors events.

I am not necessarily asking for potential customers but just an idea of whether I need to have a registered business/health department inspections and a commercial kitchen or if these things can be cooked at home and sold plated and either frozen or refrigerated and ready to go.

Thanks!

Posted on: 2016/5/11 3:51
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Munchery looks really reasonable and a lot better than a similar heat up meal service I tried. I might just get this delivered to my office, bring it home for dinner and skip both the Farmers Market AND Two Boots.


Posted on: 2016/5/10 16:38
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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You might want to reach out to the folks at boneinfood.com . This was their initial model but it looks like they've moved away from it. Could be they didn't enjoy doing it or the demand was too unpredictable.

Posted on: 2016/5/10 16:15
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Quote:

HippieShowgirl wrote:
I would be into it and a regular customer if the quality was good and I could trust the source of the ingredients. Absolutely.


My thoughts exactly. Also, price point. My limit is $10. I would be into 2 or 3 meals per week.

I have no idea what the economics are of pursuing this, but my guess is that it's worth a try. It could possibly lead to a brick and mortar store with more offerings.

Fresh Direct is my source now and I'm somewhat satisfied but not completely. The number of healthy meals is limited. There's no one else that I know of though, even Whole Foods. WF doesn't offer low calorie / healthy meals except salads, at least from I've seen. FD's prices range is from about $8 - $15, not cheap. Their portions are also large for me and I end up discarding 25% of the meal.

Posted on: 2016/5/10 15:14
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Some background on Munchery. http://www.businessinsider.com/munchery-2015-3
I use it about once a week and I love it.

Posted on: 2016/5/10 15:07
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Two Boots owner Aaron and his sidekick Drunk Jeff would never allow this. I'd try any other modern city.

Posted on: 2016/5/10 14:44
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Guys, we should run it by Two Boots and see if he wants to get this banned or not.

Posted on: 2016/5/10 14:13
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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I can't say for certain where the food is being made, but they are a venture backed company that has raised millions and are in cities around the country. I imagine at the very least they have a commercial kitchen as they are providing food all over the greater NYC area. Check out their website for more: https://munchery.com/about/us/

All I know is I have been very happy with the food so far.

Posted on: 2016/5/10 14:00
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Quote:

Maise wrote:
You need to actually cook the Blue Apron meals. While they are very tasty recipes, I have found that it can take 45-60 minutes to actually prepare them.

TotalTheatreLab - What you are asking for sort of exists already. Check out Munchery.com - I started using them a few weeks ago and am blown away - the meals come refrigerated and you heat them up in the oven or microwave. They have a good mix of healthy options every day and the food has been delicious.

Use this code to get $10 off your first order - http://munchery.com/invite/99C6BXZ4 - (full disclosure, I get $10 too).


I got a flyer about the munchery and the website looks interesting, meals look great! My only concern is where is the food actually being prepared? I'm imagining someone's kitchen (I've heard those horror stories of take-out in NYC not really being prepared where they say they are)

Posted on: 2016/5/10 13:57
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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You need to actually cook the Blue Apron meals. While they are very tasty recipes, I have found that it can take 45-60 minutes to actually prepare them.

TotalTheatreLab - What you are asking for sort of exists already. Check out Munchery.com - I started using them a few weeks ago and am blown away - the meals come refrigerated and you heat them up in the oven or microwave. They have a good mix of healthy options every day and the food has been delicious.

Use this code to get $10 off your first order - http://munchery.com/invite/99C6BXZ4 - (full disclosure, I get $10 too).

Posted on: 2016/5/10 13:29
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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Sort of a health version of

https://www.blueapron.com

Blue Apron is made in a warehouse toward Bayonne

Posted on: 2016/5/10 13:16
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Re: Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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I would be into it and a regular customer if the quality was good and I could trust the source of the ingredients. Absolutely.

Posted on: 2016/5/10 13:10
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Selling gourmet yet healthy pre-prepped and portioned meals at Farmers Markets
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How hard would it be to start up a prepared foods kiosk at one of the farmers markets - pre cooked/portioned healthy meals for sale on a weekly basis. Think of it as lean cuisine without the preservatives and GMOs.

It's been something asked of me for a while and we have been toying with the idea of putting up a website and a weekly menu ofi items to buy at cheapear than those home delivery services that require so much prep work. These would be available in omnivore, gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options and packaged for easy transport and re-heating with fresh and local ingredients.

Also would be a selection of bone broths and homemade vegetable bisgues.

Anyone interested? Any idea who kind of licensing or food handlers and cooking facility would be needed or can it be done in a home? Thanks in advance.

Posted on: 2016/5/10 8:43
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