Hey dude glad to hear there are some other possible coffee builds going on out there.
One thing real quick(have to get to work), my wife called they HD and they said as long as we aren't PREPARING food, we don't have to deal with them. Department of agriculture is what you have to go through.
My main concern with having a commissary is having a place to dump grey water, have a place to properly clean dishes, and having a space to store milk, milk products, and any other consumable liquids I might have with me. In theory, I know I can properly clean the amount of dishes I'd need (air pots, espresso shot glasses, etc) in a small three compartment sink, but storing them overnight in an outside cart or kiosk might not go over so well with the health department unless I've got a good way of keeping dust, dirt, and bugs off them. An enclosed trailer or truck might be more "sanitary" in that regard.
Storing milk and dumping grey water is what concerns me the most in regards to dealing with regulations. From the bit of info I've managed to find on Alabama's health department website (which seems a bit hard to navigate to me), I need a fridge capable of keeping cold stuff under 40F. That's fine as long as I'm plugged in during the day to some electrical supply, whether it be to generator, battery, or to the electrical supply of the building I'm parked near, but I'm pretty sure, unless I get a fridge with uber awesome insulation, it's going to drift above 40 at night. I guess I could try to estimate how much milk I go through in a single day and attempt to keep that much in fridges and then dump the rest, which is something I'd rather not do; the cheapest good milk around here is Target brand milk at a bit over $3 a gallon (I think $3.09 or $3.19 or something like that). If I had a good battery source or could plug in at night to the Arts Center (again, assuming I can get the required permission and permits, etc), then there may not be a problem.
I'm going to try sending an email to the arts center today or tomorrow and try to find the proper people to get in touch with to ask about such a business venture
Also, we've been talking About doing a kiosk for two years. Finally our truck broke down and we saw the proverbial light. Haha. Anyways it has been a lot of nitty gritty details that might overwhelm you if you don't have a serious plan.
I feel like I'm thinking through this process fairly well. I'm trying to find as much regulations on the state and county building codes, health codes, etc on the respective websites, but eventually I'm going to have to call, email, or go up there to talk to someone. From dealing with health regulations at Starbucks (you guessed right! :D), I know, what the health inspectors look for at our store (temp log sheets, cleaning logs, thermometers in the fridges, separate hand washing sinks and dish washing sinks, proper sanitizer and test strips, dishwashing water temp, handwashing technique, etc)
ALSO. Do you subscribe to fresh cup magazine? Last month they had an article entitled "go mobile, make money" it was a good little article. A sister article to that was in the "cafe finance" section And it showed you how to see wether or not the kiosk/truck would be a good investment or not.
I do not subscribe, but I'll check it out. I'm looking for any bit of info, advice, or research I can find.
Also, no offense, but if you work at the chain that starts with S and rhymes with "Farbucks", you may want to look into a barista school with some respect. Any time I've been through there I notice how everyone there knows how to press the buttons and put the milk under the wand, but have no real understand at all of what they are doing or what is even the correct way to make espresso. Not trying to be meAn. Most coffee shops don't understand either, they just do it the way they were taught. Without understanding the drinks, most make them horribly bad but don't know the difference. Anyways have to run right now, but check out my thread. Ttyl.
Yeah, the unfortunate thing about the chain is pretty much everything is automated: x pumps of coffee or flavor, y amount of shots from the superautomatic espresso machine, z scoops of over roasted coffee in drip machines or French Press (which is a waaaayyyyy underused method, in my opinion).
The chain, from my experience working there, isnt about making great coffee as it is about selling as many overpriced drinks to as many people as fast as possible to make the most money possible. I'm in no way anti-capitalism (I want to make more money than I do now selling the same stuff *$ is selling), but when you cater to people that are caffine-addicted and need a fix even for $5 for a large drink that like up out the door every morning, you have to let automation and efficiency come before the art of making great coffee. I understand that'll probably happen to me a bit if this thing gets off the ground.
There's only one adjustable function on our espresso machine, and it's the fineness of the grind. I've learned to tweak it so that the espresso comes out properly (strong, but not bitter), and that helps the drinks taste better, but it's also the only control I have; the beans are ground, tamped, and the water flows through the puck of coffee in to the cup; at the end, the puck is dropped in to a catchment container that fills up at the worst possible time and has to be emptied every time I have a massive line.
but, I do agree that I need "proper" training. I dont have an espresso machine (because I dont want a machine that costs more than my car for personal use), but I do grind my own coffee and use a french press as well as drip coffee machine, a Mr Coffee drip machine, nothing fancy. I mean, I've studied how manual and semi automatic espresso machines work, and I could probably figure it out with a bit of experimenting, but at this point, I havent used anything other than our completely automated espressobot. I will look in to any local barista training programs; I might have to spend a day or two in bham or nashville, but I'm up for it if it'll allow me to be a more profitable, educated barista.
Still, I'm in the whole conception / brainstorming phase. I'm willing to take the risk if I think it can be profitable; it it looks like I'm destined to fail at this, I'll look for other options with the corporate mermaid
Also, thanks for your time to share your thoughts. I really do appreciate it. I was prepared to wake up to a few posts like "What are you thinking? This is a horrible idea!" :D