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maui420

outdoor flea market food trailer

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do well? i am planning my future food business and am pretty well....excited and undecisive of what food id like to specialize in. i want to have a specialty, a name, a following...you know, the small popular food joints that show up on good eats food channel. ive already did my research on licenses, permits, locations, equipment, process, recipes, etc...now i just cant decide on what to serve.

my favorites that i would like to serve are.......

something seafood related. something like garlic shrimp scampi like what they serve over in hawaii, lobster rolls, etc...

fried chicken and chicken wings

bbq. ribs, pulled pork sandwhiches, chicken quarters

grilled kabobs. chicken, pork, beef, vegatable

everything i plan to serve, i plan on using the best tasting ingredients and cook them as perfect as can be.

at the columbus flea market i know that there are plenty kabobs, spanish food, and fried chicken.

so what does egullet think?

thanks

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Salt baked potatoes, french fries and soup. Seriously. You can stick a tongue depresser into the salt bakeds, serve the fries in a paper cone, and the soups in a coffee container, with lid. Rotate your soups and you'll have a major hit. Distinctive, too!


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wow, thanks all for the quick replies. i also forgot to add fresh cut fries to the list.

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I like the wings idea they are still hot (ha ha)...and if you are deep frying the wings ya can add the hand cut fries...

and Twinkies or Oreos too

tracey


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yup, there are no better wings than the ones served stright out the fryer dipped in buffolo wings sauce and crispy as heck.

I like the wings idea they are still hot (ha ha)...and if you are deep frying the wings ya can add the hand cut fries...

and Twinkies or Oreos too

tracey

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At one of our big markets we have girls who sell Tamales. They have many flavors including sweet and my little guys favorite, enchilada tamales with olives. They also sell them frozen in family packs for another day. The girls do quite well.

At the Ferry building there's a guy who makes rotisserie chicken with roasted potatoes, he seems to sell out early. The smell is tremendous! In a good way.

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I'd go with any kind of fresh shellfish. The one thing I can't walk away from. And it would put you ahead of the rest.

But I have a question, and believe me, I don't mean to be rude.

Sanitation.

I'm in Houston, not California. But we have hundreds if not thousands of these food trailers everywhere.

From many conversations with co-workers (there's one within walking distance of my office) most non Hispanics will not buy food there. (that's at least 130 people in my office).I never have myself, although it smells so GOOD.

They are afraid these trailers are run by people who are not supplying sanitary and fresh food, are possibly illegal and can't be found or prosecuted if someone gets sick.

Our city unfortunately is riddled with news articles about illegals, TB, etc.

It spooks people.

I hope I have not been out of line. I'd go with with shelfish, and tout my cleanliness and health department approval bigtime.

If you do lobster and move into my neighborhood, would it be more convenient if I just signed over my paycheck to you?

Good luck!!

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There used to be a food truck in parlin/sayreville that had great food in it.

They served 3 types of pierogis, ravioli and different sauces on occasion, sausages 3 types hot dogs and cheese steaks and burgers. They were always busy. The only other things I can think of is adding a "fast starch" such as those oversized pretzels or home-style fries or cookies or some good snacky type starch.


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As a flea markt devotee, but also an egullet subscriber, I would suggest that any successful food would have to be portable. Empanadas are filling, can be stuffed to the gills, and are portable. If you've never been to Union City, my suggestion is to go to La Gran Via, at 39th St and Bergenline Ave...they have the best empanadas.

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I'm withholding my opinion until I find out more... A local flea market? A "selling used craap or hot goods" place with mulltiple gold by the inch and tube socks place? A true antique Saturday mornig treasure find kind of place? N or S Jersey?


Edited by Kim WB (log)

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I'm really liking the seafood idea too. I dunno about your area, but I'm thinking of typical food stalls I've seen at various festivals in various states, and I don't remember seeing too many offering seafood. Even in Seattle, the most I usually saw was salmon burgers, and one booth that did cajun blackened fish. So I think you'd have a lot of unexplored marketing territory in which to play.

If you did New England-style fried clams, with bellies intact, I can almost guarantee you would pick up an immediate following of clam junkies fed up with the nasty little strip clams served at most places outside of New England. And then you could follow through on the theme with lobster rolls, clam chowder, hand-cut fries, roasted corn on the cob, coleslaw etc. All of these are easily packaged for portability, and re-arrangeable into combo plates, a la carte choices, etc. You could even build in a little mystique in terms of special "secret recipe" coating/seasoning on the fried items, a signature souped-up tartar sauce, etc. I know I'd sure go for this.

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As much as the thought of lobster or shrimp sets my mouth a-waterin', when I imagine walking through a flea market on a warm Sunday afternoon, the thought of seafood from a food truck does not make me want to run and order it. I think its that same instinct that has me never ordering seafood at a diner.

I'm sure you'll be using the freshest ingredients and the most sanitary food storage & prep methods, but food off a truck always makes me think twice before ordering and SEAFOOD off a food truck makes me hesitate even more.

WTC

(last time I ordered something 'fresh' from a food truck, I ordered a chef salad. Half way through the salad, I hit upon a square of ham stuck to a square of cheese with mayo in between. It was then I realized that the salad was made from chopped-up old hero sandwiches that didn't sell. UGH.)

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If you did New England-style fried clams, with bellies intact, I can almost guarantee you would pick up an immediate following of clam junkies fed up with the nasty little strip clams served at most places outside of New England. And then you could follow through on the theme with lobster rolls, clam chowder, hand-cut fries, roasted corn on the cob, coleslaw etc. All of these are easily packaged for portability, and re-arrangeable into combo plates, a la carte choices, etc. You could even build in a little mystique in terms of special "secret recipe" coating/seasoning on the fried items, a signature souped-up tartar sauce, etc. I know I'd sure go for this.

1)I was going suggest this as well as waffles and ice cream sandwiches, funnel cakes, fries, milk shakes and lemonades.. There is money to be made in serving sugar and water at a ridiculous mark up..

2)Mexican corn and taco truck.. Make breakfast burritos and at lunch make tacos..

3)I think copying the basic menu of a New Brunswick Grease Truck would certainly be a good thing as well..

I have a couple years of flea market experience.. I use to have booths and sell to vendors at the Englishtown Flea Market.. There was a semi decent BBQ Truck that did a lot of business.. There was always a line, half because of the people, the other reason was the guy was painfully slow.. Besides that truck , there really was just a few run of the mill "roach coaches", serving basic cuisines..

We would all show up to get table space around 5 am.. At this time we would get breakfast.. So there were Bacon egg and Cheeses.. Taylor hams and cheese, hamburgers, coffee, fries... Then the same truck would start serving lunch to the crowds arriving... So if you are planning on making a full day out of it, you should make a breakfast menu too.. So the waffle idea might work for breakfast and lunch..

Also, I dont know who frequents the Market over there.. The race or ethnicity of the customers or income levels..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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hi thanks for the reply, oh your not being rude at all, the more i get to think the better off ill be.

here in NJ, some counties want the food trailer/truck to be working out of a certified comissary where other can have the truck/trailer be the commisary, just as long it is inspected and everything meets the laws, regulations, etc...

i plan on setting myself apart from the other vendors by not only the food but also by an image. that image being cleanliness, presentation, etc...i think cleanliness alone would be a big help and that my trailer would be brand spanking new.

I'd go with any kind of fresh shellfish.  The one thing I can't walk away from. And it would put you ahead of the rest.

But I have a question, and believe me, I don't mean to be rude.

Sanitation.

I'm in Houston, not California.  But we have hundreds if not thousands of these food trailers everywhere.

From many conversations with co-workers (there's one  within walking distance of my office) most non Hispanics will not buy food there.  (that's at least 130 people in my office).I never have myself, although it smells  so GOOD.

They are afraid these trailers are run by people who are not supplying sanitary and fresh food, are possibly illegal and can't be found or prosecuted if someone gets sick.

Our city unfortunately is riddled with news articles about illegals, TB, etc.

It spooks people.

I hope I have not been out of line.  I'd go with with shelfish, and tout my cleanliness and health department approval bigtime.

If you do lobster and move into my neighborhood, would it be more convenient if I just signed over my paycheck to you?

Good luck!!

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when you mean portable, do you mean where people can order and walk around with it? yes, that is also whats in my mind. how many people actually would want a meal at the flea market where they have to sit down or stand still to enjoy. if i go the meal route, i will have to set out some small tables or somthing.

As a flea markt devotee, but also an egullet subscriber, I would suggest that any successful food would have to be portable.  Empanadas are filling, can be stuffed to the gills, and are portable.  If you've never been to Union City, my suggestion is to go to La Gran Via, at 39th St and Bergenline Ave...they have the best empanadas.

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haha, everyone i know always mentions the tube sock guy.

well, the tube sock flea market was one of my planned places to setup shop. i also would like to setup anywhere that is nice, like a real farmers market, outdoor events, parades, festivals, fund raisers, etc...

I'm withholding  my opinion until I find out more...  A local flea market? A "selling used craap or  hot goods" place with mulltiple gold by the inch and tube socks place? A true antique Saturday mornig treasure find kind of place?  N or S Jersey?

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same here. so far the only seafood ive ordered off of a truck/trailer was from kauia HI, the shrimp truck lady. now that was good and well worth it.

As much as the thought of lobster or shrimp sets my mouth a-waterin', when I imagine walking through a flea market on a warm Sunday afternoon, the thought of seafood from a food truck does not make me want to run and order it.  I think its that same instinct that has me never ordering seafood at a diner.

I'm sure you'll be using the freshest ingredients and the most sanitary food storage & prep methods, but food off a truck always makes me think twice before ordering and SEAFOOD off a food truck makes me hesitate even more.

WTC

(last time I ordered something 'fresh' from a food truck, I ordered a chef salad. Half way through the salad, I hit upon a square of ham stuck to a square of cheese with mayo in between. It was then I realized that the salad was made from chopped-up old hero sandwiches that didn't sell.  UGH.)

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hi, thanks for the reply.

the majority at columbus seem to be white, spanish, some asians and blacks. i am not sure about the income level, maybe average? i know that the asian and spanish kabob stands, there is always a line.

if the income level is average, i question how much people would be willing to spend on a good quality lunch.

the guy who served bbq, was he/she any good? my plan would be to cook the bbq the morning of, store in a holding oven, and finish the ribs and chicken on the grill right before serving.

how many customers do you think he was able to serve a day? is 100 considered a lot?

If you did New England-style fried clams, with bellies intact, I can almost guarantee you would pick up an immediate following of clam junkies fed up with the nasty little strip clams served at most places outside of New England. And then you could follow through on the theme with lobster rolls, clam chowder, hand-cut fries, roasted corn on the cob, coleslaw etc. All of these are easily packaged for portability, and re-arrangeable into combo plates, a la carte choices, etc. You could even build in a little mystique in terms of special "secret recipe" coating/seasoning on the fried items, a signature souped-up tartar sauce, etc. I know I'd sure go for this.

1)I was going suggest this as well as waffles and ice cream sandwiches, funnel cakes, fries, milk shakes and lemonades.. There is money to be made in serving sugar and water at a ridiculous mark up..

2)Mexican corn and taco truck.. Make breakfast burritos and at lunch make tacos..

3)I think copying the basic menu of a New Brunswick Grease Truck would certainly be a good thing as well..

I have a couple years of flea market experience.. I use to have booths and sell to vendors at the Englishtown Flea Market.. There was a semi decent BBQ Truck that did a lot of business.. There was always a line, half because of the people, the other reason was the guy was painfully slow.. Besides that truck , there really was just a few run of the mill "roach coaches", serving basic cuisines..

We would all show up to get table space around 5 am.. At this time we would get breakfast.. So there were Bacon egg and Cheeses.. Taylor hams and cheese, hamburgers, coffee, fries... Then the same truck would start serving lunch to the crowds arriving... So if you are planning on making a full day out of it, you should make a breakfast menu too.. So the waffle idea might work for breakfast and lunch..

Also, I dont know who frequents the Market over there.. The race or ethnicity of the customers or income levels..

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Maui420,

Where exactly are you thinking of doing this? --Hawaii, Ohio, NJ--I'm confused>

Dana

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If you have "chairs" definitely consider armless for handicapped folks and folks like me with "BIG" hips and easily portable tables like fold up cafe style.

The best type of foods are ones that are easily holdable in one hand for the folks who like to shop or "run" through it's ok to have "sit down foods" but then you need to provide seating w/umbrellas if it's outdoors in case it's sunny or rainy. That is why smaller sandwich stands and the like usually do well. If you're at a flea market you also have to keep in mind that the fellow vendors are your friends as well as your customers over time... once the word gets out!

Most I knew were coffee fiends (I hate coffee) one stand gave away free cruellers or a reusable "coupon" buy 3 cups get one free or 5 cups get one free etc. So that if you're a "weekender" you'd be covered for 2 wks by the coupons. I used to have a stand at Collingswood for a long time - if there's anything I can help you with please let me know. Goodluck on your endeavors!


Stacey C-Anonymouze@aol.com

*Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads!-G. B. SHAW

JUST say NO... to CENSORSHIP*!

Also member of LinkedIn, Erexchange and DonRockwell.

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same here. so far the only seafood ive ordered off of a truck/trailer was from kauia HI, the shrimp truck lady. now that was good and well worth it.

That's what I figured you were talking about.

People just go nuts over that stuff and it's not available on the mainland that i know of. I bet it would do great. Identify it as Hawaiian.

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"if the income level is average, i question how much people would be willing to spend on a good quality lunch."

I have to agree with the fear of eating seafood comments as much as I'd love to get some at a flea market. My thought is more around who are the customers and what do they want. When I was younger, I used to go to flea markets with family. The food was always the same. Whether you were selling or buying, more than likely you are a regular. So, if your customers are regular then variety (but consistency) would be important. In other words, you can only eat so many corndogs, but if you had a good one you would go back for a curry dog or a panko dog...get what I'm driving at.

So, whatever you end up with, I would suggest finding variations within food families. And then consider what you serve it on/with. A napkin and white plastic fork sends one message v. nicer serving utensils/containers.

Once you get going...post a pic!

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I live over in Medford and have been to the Columbus mart quite a few times. Knowing the average person that goes there I wouldn’t think any kind of quality, out of the norm food would go over. I know personally I would be very leery of buying any kind of seafood there and I would think most would think it out of place. My suggestion would be the standard for the location, pepper and sausage, cheese steaks and something you would sell a million of, corn dogs.

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Someday I'M going to open the place I've wanted to find at the flea markets, I tell you! I am a flea marketer. Almost full time. I want really high quality french fries in a paper cone, vinegared, with a pick, so I can eat them while I'm moving. I want a salt baked potato on a stick. I want a decent cup of home made soup. I want a decent pickle, too. I DON'T want seafood, eggs, tacos, bbq, funnel cakes, sausage sandwiches,or another corn dog stand. Every one of those items takes away from my time to deal, and is MESSY. Plus, I feel so full, and sometimes icky from the greasy intake, afterwards, I can't function. It reminds NOT to eat at those places as often. Maybe a fried Twinkie or Oreo from time to time, but not as a steady item. Fresh juice, and lemonade, oh yeah! The Englishtown guys make me a lemonade without sugar all of the time, that and a pickle are quality food items that are distinctive to the market, I can walk around with them and not feel sickly full and gluttonous after eating them, and that is nice!


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Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

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