Junior Burger
2013/01/09 14:02:19
I realize I risk the usual internet forum barrage of Devil's Advocacy replies in posting a "hello" with some questions, but here goes:
I am a paramedic in MA, living in Cambridge. I have a few great locations nearby that would be a great place to set up a hot dog push cart, and am wondering if anyone here in the area knows some of the more sticky ins-and-outs of setting up a push cart in Cambridge.
-Do they allow push carts at all? 
 If so, are they allowed on sidewalks? Who do I ask about that?
I see a handful of food TRUCKS over by MIT, but haven't seen any push carts.
I've gleaned from reading here that I'll need a state hawker's/peddlers license first, then a city license, board of health inspection and sign-off, and probably a fire dept sign-off as well. I'd need to be set up to pay MA food tax as well. I'd have to set up as a sole proprietor.
What else?
How did you guys/ (and gals,) get set up with a commissary partnership? I don't know the first place to start there. 
Still, I'm intrigued with the idea of doing what it takes to be set up and do this for a living. Even with it's sundry requirements, it still looks like a fun way to make a living. I spent two summers working at carnival counters as a barker back in the early 90's, and loved it. I do realize that there is SO much more to getting it going than just showing up and selling wares, and I welcome any and all info.
I plan to just sell hot dogs, sodas, water, chips and maybe some pre-packaged cookies. (the kind of cookies that are labelled for individual sake, of course,). 
I'm sure I'll be having plenty of correspondences with my city BoH and offices, but I wanted to start here first, just to see what those "in the know" had to say.
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Hello! 2013/01/09 17:37:13
Did you read the "Sticky" above?
Go to Health Dept. first....Then your city, or county.
I'm in Bugtussle, VA...So I don't know Cambridge's rules.
Junior Burger
Re:Hello! 2013/01/09 17:55:46
Yes, jcheese, I've read it. I had read in another post that in MA, some of the procedures are different, like what to get first, etc.
Re:Hello! 2013/01/10 00:40:03
You're living in the "peoples republic" you know, right? hehe.  Definately start with the health dept, I dont think Ive ever seen a cart in Cambridge, although they could exist.  You might have to go with private property, such as a gas station, elks or legion.  Let me know what you find out, although the health dept would be the first that I would go to, no doubt being Cambridge, they have huge regulations...
Junior Burger
Re:Hello! 2013/01/10 10:45:31
Delta, you've got a good point. Not only do I live in one of the most prohibitive states to do ANYTHING, I live in one of the most regulated cities. Blecch.
Still, I see trailers, and if a cart isn't allowed, I may do a small trailer.  I'm going to talk to zoning as well... they'll probably know.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Hello! 2013/01/10 15:35:21
Next time, though, consider a topic like, "Thinking of setting up in Cambridge, MA". With just "Hello", people who can answer your question may well skip the thread, and people who have no interest or knowledge whatsoever will just be annoyed.