Kettle corn stand - help!!!

Junior Burger
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  • Joined: 2008/10/07 13:51:00
  • Location: Venice, FL
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2008/10/07 19:02:15 (permalink)

Kettle corn stand - help!!!

Hey everybody! I have never used one of these forums so please bear with me as I have no idea what I am doing. I have many, many questions to ask of all you "pro fooders" but I will only ask a few at a time. I truly appreciate anyone who will take the time to answer these for me. I just have nowhere else to go for answers. I own a kettle corn stand and have recently moved to Venice Fl.from N.Y. I have written e-mail after e-mail to chambers of commerce, counties and city governments etc. and no one can tell me what licenses and permits I need to operate my stand. They also will not tell me if I can set my stand up on a street corner or some retail stores' parking lot. I drive down Rt.41 everyday and I see vegetable vendors but they won't give me any answers. I have read some of your profiles and know some of you are from Florida, can you help me? Also, if anyone else has a kettle corn stand can you give me advice on how to get into events. Every time I send in applications I get rejected. I'm beginning to think that this was not such a good idea (buying this kettle corn stand). Thanks everyone and thanks for this forum

6 Replies Related Threads

    Junior Burger
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    • Location: N. Miami, FL
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    RE: Kettle corn stand - help!!! 2008/10/07 19:38:45 (permalink)

    Im new here too, but I think a kettle corn stand is more of a fair or festival type thing. I dont think I would pull off the road to get it. Just my opinion.
    • Total Posts : 6028
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    RE: Kettle corn stand - help!!! 2008/10/07 21:14:55 (permalink)
    First off, don't write them... Pick up the phone and start looking for answers. Start with the health department and work outward from there.
    Junior Burger
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    • Location: South Denver, CO
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    RE: Kettle corn stand - help!!! 2008/10/07 21:28:19 (permalink)
    Hey Man.... :)

    I was exhibiting next to a Kettle Corn guy a few years ago at a weekly street fest that happens in White Bear Lake, MN during the summer.

    I love the stuff, by the way. :)

    A few concerns:

    1. Seems kettle corn takes quite a bit of effort to set up and tear down. So keep that in mind.

    2. The mess. I know that the guy I was talking to said that he had a hard time getting into some venues because of the popcorn mess that happens.

    So... if it were me... I would make sure that I would be trying to be sensitive to promoters' concerns... I'd be keeping an open ear for the real reasons I was getting "no's", and I would try to be prepared to meet those objections.

    All of that said, KC has got to have a great profit margin that would make it worth working, in my opinion... You just gotta get the right venues for it.

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    • Location: Neodesha, KS
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    RE: Kettle corn stand - help!!! 2008/10/08 01:25:32 (permalink)
    Man: We operate a concession trailer and work only festivals and events. We do no street vending and I don't believe kettle korn would work well for street vending either. At almost every event we work there is a kettle corn booth but normally only one. Perhaps when you are being told NO it is because they already have one signed up or one that has been there in years past. We are from the midwest (Kansas) so I can't help you any on Florida rules and regs. It seems like government people never return emails. When we wanted to get our trailer inspected, I walked in to the regional office for the State Department of Health, walked up to the counter and said "I'm here to pick up the health permit for my trailer". The lady looked confused and said "Well you will have to get it inspected first" That got me started and when I left I had the phone number of the inspector and the rules and regs. If I had emailed her I would probably still be waiting.

    As to getting into events, that is tough. Most of the major events already have vendors that have been there in the past and return year after year. Our state has a web site run by the Department of tourism that list every craft show, festival, fair and activity going on. In Kansas, they update it every December and last year was our 1st year so in February I searched the list and found almost 200 events taking place within 100 miles of our location during the year. I emailed every one asking for applications and guess what, I got a total of 8 replies so you can forget email. I started working 3 months in advance and used the telephone and snail mail. As a result we were booked every weekend from the middle of April through the end of October, with the exception of 2 weekends (we decided to take a vacation). Everyone thinks working a booth or trailer is the hard part. The real hard and time consuming part is booking the events.

    Don't think you have to work a great big event to make money and get started. A lot of communities will have one day street fairs, flea markets, craft shows and such. There may even be new festivals that are starting up and you can get your foot in the door for years to come. Of course you must remember, "sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince" We have booked about 24 shows this year and out of them I rated 12 as good, 7 about average and 5 were poor and we won't be back next year. You will find your first year is trial and error and believe me, you will learn a lot. Just hang in there and keep swinging. A home run is nice but remember a single is still a base hit. Good luck.

    Mike S.

    Curbside Grill
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Kettle corn stand - help!!! 2008/10/08 03:47:31 (permalink)
    Hey get off your butt and go to the Health Dept.,inquire about rules and regulations, they have print-outs. Hell with e-mails. Then go to the county code and city code Departments. Hit them in the face with questions. Hell they can't bite you, not legally. Why are people scared of gov't officials, they are there to answer your and our questions. You want to do this, show them. Every new business needs inspections of every type, expect this and a bunch of huddles to jump. You went to school to learn to over come small road bumps. Just don't use the computer to get action. You want it,go and get/do it. Don't expect every answer here, you have to go show you want it. Gov't is slow-- speed them up. Little work for the out come. Can be more than you think. Kettle corn can work at weekend events and Flea Mkts, see it all the time. Just because they turn you down doesn't mean a thing. Input=Output Not going to happen overnite, but with a little effort can happen. Get er done.
    Junior Burger
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    • Joined: 2005/11/26 15:43:00
    • Location: Asheville, NC
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    RE: Kettle corn stand - help!!! 2008/10/08 08:04:36 (permalink)
    Find a guy from here, his screen name is Spud, and write him, I think the name of his 2 trucks are "Mobile Delusion"Ask about his business plan too.
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