Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Hot food stand at farmers markets

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 26th, 2018 8:58 am
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 14, 2018
1 posts

Hot food stand at farmers markets

My wife and I are looking into becoming vendors in a few farmers markets this summer. Our idea is to sell hot fried food cooked on a food trailer (fried dumplings and spring-rolls etc). Our initial idea included my wife making some of these items herself at home (her dumplings are delicious which is how the idea started). After looking into the health and safety regulation and food handling permits it is starting to seem like this is not possible.
After contacting a couple of market organizers we are getting the impression they won't accept our vendor application as it would be considered high risk foods. Does anyone have any experience in this area or suggestions on how to make this work?
We live in the Calgary area.
9 replies
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2013
8003 posts
3989 upvotes
Toronto
i asked about baked goods not long ago and the work involved in doing that.. to much effort/liability/ for not a lot of profit. im better off working a second job at minimum wage part time.. zero risk.
Deal Addict
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Aug 15, 2015
1568 posts
199 upvotes
Markham, ON
Why not contact the community centre and offer cooking classes.
Deal Expert
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Aug 2, 2010
15193 posts
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Here 'n There
The best I bet super-profitable low investment 'food stand' I see is Jamie Kennedy's son( Jamie being a noted 'signature' Toronto chef) who sells fresh potato fries with salt 'n fresh chopped thyme at the Brickworks. Always a huge line up and I've seen him around town at other venues.
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2013
8003 posts
3989 upvotes
Toronto
eonibm wrote: The best I bet super-profitable low investment 'food stand' I see is Jamie Kennedy's son( Jamie being a noted 'signature' Toronto chef) who sells fresh potato fries with salt 'n fresh chopped thyme at the Brickworks. Always a huge line up and I've seen him around town at other venues.
haha smart.
potatoes are still cheap!
Member
Jan 15, 2013
349 posts
29 upvotes
Oakville
yeah they are high risk food and can't be made at home unless you have another kitchen separately from your main home kitchen. Then the city can come inspect your kitchen and see if you get the approval... if not, then you have to rent a commercial kitchen which is probably like easily averaging $25/hour or so.

baked goods, jam, jellies and a couple things (can't remember) are the only exception that can be made at home with city approval of the main home kitchen (don't need a separate kitchen) and sell at the farmers market only. The only costs are paying the farmer market fee and insurance liability depending what the farmer market people want, which is probably 2 millions.
Member
May 28, 2012
436 posts
383 upvotes
ONT
daivey wrote: i asked about baked goods not long ago and the work involved in doing that.. to much effort/liability/ for not a lot of profit. im better off working a second job at minimum wage part time.. zero risk.
A few years ago a friend sold baked goods from original European recipes at a Farmer’s Market. Then the rules changed and he would have had to have each of the products evaluated for calories, fat content, salt content etc etc, all the facts you see on virtually all food products these days. The costs were prohibitive and he closed the business.
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2013
8003 posts
3989 upvotes
Toronto
mrct1944 wrote: A few years ago a friend sold baked goods from original European recipes at a Farmer’s Market. Then the rules changed and he would have had to have each of the products evaluated for calories, fat content, salt content etc etc, all the facts you see on virtually all food products these days. The costs were prohibitive and he closed the business.
yeah not worth it unless you go into as a full time gig.
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Aug 2, 2010
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Here 'n There
mrct1944 wrote: A few years ago a friend sold baked goods from original European recipes at a Farmer’s Market. Then the rules changed and he would have had to have each of the products evaluated for calories, fat content, salt content etc etc, all the facts you see on virtually all food products these days. The costs were prohibitive and he closed the business.
I am not sure that's the case. If you go to the Brickworks Saturday Farmer's Market there at many vendors selling baked goods with no labelling or requirement to have the products evaluated. Actually if you go to any farmers market in Toronto there are vendors selling all manner of baked goods without such requirements.
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
1323 posts
786 upvotes
Ottawa
My understanding is this an area which is a mishmash of federal, provincial, and local regulations. And targeted exceptions to those regulations since the generic regulations often make it prohibitive for people to do exactly what OP wants to do, and yet it would be desirable.

Since OP is in Calgary, what those of us who are Ontario residents will tell him/her will therefore unfortunately be of limited usefulness. To OP, good luck, and hopefully someone closer to your location will give you advice!

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