Archive for February, 2008

Location Selection!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

By: Jonathan Harp

A bump in the road– “I don’t have a location for my new business!”

You’ve heard it before, over and over, “Location-Location-Location!” An important thing to remember is you don’t necessarily need a permanent location to get started. Many new business owners start off by serving at fairs and events, familiarizing themselves with the industry and setting up for success. For many entrepreneurs, this can be a very promising route. So if you don’t land that location you’ve been eyeballing, don’t worry! You can still get the ball rolling on your new business; there are many other avenues you can take.

The site selection process usually takes time, and it requires a strategic, professional approach. Someone just stepping into the field may face more difficulties than someone already familiarized with the process. Coffee Cart Biz has proved, with our clients, that working as a team on such a heavy project is so much better than working it out alone. That is a major difference between Coffee Cart Biz and other manufacturers. Their experienced Location Selection Consultants work with you on the process, sharing their knowledge and expertise along the way, making sure you have all the tools you’ll need to land a location you could only dream of.

There is so much involved with site selection that need serious consideration.  That’s why it’s important to get an outline and knowledge base before speaking with property management and losing locations. You must take your time and be prepared by utilizing Coffee Cart Biz Inc’s consulting services. They’ll even provide a physical evaluation of the location when you are approaching your close.

So maybe you have been having trouble getting that location you’ve been working towards. Don’t give up! Help is only a phone call away! Together we can do it. Think of it this way- it took Thomas Edison 10,000 tries to make light from a light bulb. Imagine if he gave up at 9,999.

Commissaries-Mobile Support Units Go Hand-in-Hand

Friday, February 8th, 2008

By: Tim Langdon

General uses for commissaries include mobile units or carts used for events, street locations, county fairs and carnivals. The reason a mobile unit could possibly need a commissary, where a stationary cart in specific permanent locations may not, is because of the sinks, storage, and space they have available. For example, if a unit is placed in a stationary location such as a hotel lobby, the cart can use the hotel’s restaurant facilities for storage, cleaning, and sanitizing their equipment and utensils. The restaurant becomes the cart’s commissary.

The health department’s logical reasoning for a commissary is they believe room for storage of product and the cart and also the use of facilities such as 3 compartment sinks is lost if you lack a stationary permanent location. They believe a mobile unit should be moving back and forth to the commissary on a daily basis, which is where Mobile Support Units come into play.

A Mobile Support Unit, or MSU, refers to a vehicle or cart that is used in conjunction with a commissary. In most cases a MSU is a cart on wheels that travels to mobile food facilities as needed to replenish supplies, clean the interior of the unit, and/or dispose of liquid and solid wastes. MSUs are normally under 4 foot long and 32” wide.

Mobile Support Units are most commonly found in the State of California. Most county health departments across the country will not require a MSU. However, it is the responsibility of the future business owner to check with local governing health departments prior to fabrication.

Most health departments have a list of approved commissaries and most commissaries will charge a fee for use of the facilities and storage.

New California Health Code- Requires 3 Compartment Sink on Carts

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

By: Jim Juliano

On July 20,2007, a new health code went into effect in the state of California requiring mobile espresso, smoothie, and foodservice carts serving any blended items to have a three compartment sink to sanitize their utensils. Below is an excerpt from the actual code:

114313. (a)Except as specified in subdivision (b), mobile food facilities where non-prepackaged food is cooked, blended, or otherwise prepared shall provide a ware-washing sink with at least three compartments with two integral metal drainboards.

To meet the demand for this new state-mandated cart, Coffee Cart Biz Inc. has developed a turnkey three compartment sink station cart that has been the first of its kind to receive health department approvals in more than ten California counties. Coffee Cart Biz Inc. can build you a three compartment sink station that can work in conjunction with your current coffee cart business configuration, or they can build this unit as part of a new business setup. With this innovation, Coffee Cart Biz Inc can help to make your espresso, smoothie, or foodservice cart business fully health code compliant.

What exactly is a commissary?

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

By: Jim Juliano

Have you ever heard of a commissary? Did you know that it’s required by law for most mobile food facilities? So what is it exactly?

Many customers ask this question. The definition of a commissary as described in the California Retail Food Code is listed below:

113751. “Commissary” means a food facility that services mobile food facilities, mobile support units, or vending machines where any of the following occur: (a) Food, containers, or supplies are stored, (b) Food is prepared or prepackaged for sale or service at other locations, (c) Utensils are cleaned, (d) Liquid and solid wastes are disposed, or portable water is obtained.

Mobile coffee carts are most often considered “mobile food facilities,” therefore they must have a health department approved commissary in order to obtain a permit for legal operation. The only exemption from this rule is if a customer plans to serve coffee at events, such as a county fair, or another community gathering. In this case their mobile coffee cart is considered a “temporary food facility.” A temporary food facility is described in the CRFC below:

113930. “Temporary Food Facility” means a food facility approved by the enforcement officer that may be readily disassembled for storage or for transporting, and readily assembled to its original integrity at a different location, is easily movable, and operates at a fixed location for the duration of an approved community event or at a swap meet.

Coffee Cart Biz Inc’s mobile coffee carts and kiosks will continue to be the leading units in the mobile avenue. The use of a commissary partnered with the intuitive design of each mobile cart will enable all new business owners to be successful.