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Thread: does anyone know how to go about catering the food booth at a quilt show?

  1. #1
    Super Member 3incollege's Avatar
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    My guild quilt show is coming up and we lost our caterer. Instead of looking for a new one, on short notice , a few members decided to make food and serve it .
    Do you think that they need a license ? They are going to make soom of the food at home and some will be brought it and sold for a profit. we don't want to do anything illegel, but this is only for one time.
    I know alot of you quilters belong to guilds, that do shows, so what do you think? Just do it with no big deal or follow the rules if there are any.
    thanks Donna

  2. #2
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    At our quilt shows, we've done the food a couple of different ways. One time, when it was held at a church, the ladies auxilliary made & sold the food. Another time, when we our venue dropped out a month before the show date (YIKES!!), we contacted our local Subway sandwich place. They made "sack lunches" for us, with their small round bread sandwiches & a bag of chips in each. We were able to sell them for a small profit. And we gave the leftovers to all the guild members who helped on take down! :D

  3. #3
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Sad to say, I think it is illegal to make food in a kitchen that isn't up to code and licensed. You'd be liable if something went wrong and people got sick. OTOH, people have been doing this for centuries, for bake sales, state fair contests, church fundraisers, etc.

    If the food is to be sold for profit, were you planning to collect and pay the sales tax? I suppose if it's a one-time-only thing, you could get by by saying you won't do it again. The tax collectors aren't going to push for a business license or legal kitchens after the fact. If you will be having any police security, they might shut it down, though.

    Wherever you're holding the show, do they have a licensed kitchen you could use? And then if a few people brought things from home, maybe you could just add them discreetly to the mix.

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    The first thing that I would do is to contact your local health dept and find out if you can legally do what you have in mind. Some places may turn a blind eye to selling home baked/made items, other's are very strict and will literally come in and shut you down.
    In my area, you would never get away with bringing in food that was not prepared in an approved kitchen, prepared by individuals who have food handling certificates.
    Our state does not bother with small events to collect state sales tax, especially if it is a once or twice a year event, unless you are talking a substantial amount of tax owed, a few hundred dollars does not get their attention. Nor do I think the IRS would come knocking on your door over that amount, either. But it always is a remote possibility....

  5. #5
    Super Member 3incollege's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input, I'm on the same page with your responses.
    But I quess i have other issues with this, that , I just don't think it fair to our quild that 2 members will be doing this all themselves, they want no help because they think quick cash for them.
    Now all members will be volunteering at the show, minus 2! Other vendors we have ,pay a fee, however they don't think that they should.
    It's just a bad feeling I have. hope it doesn't cause the guild to have problems.


  6. #6
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I think the only way you could do it without approval from the health Department is to do a bake sale, otherwise at least here in Michigan there are very strict rules.

  7. #7
    HMK
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    My daughter is a caterer and here in Canada you would be shut down instantly if you did as you plan. Anyone handling food NEEDS to have a Food Safe certificate - that's just for starters. Food needs to be prepared in an inspected and approved kitchen.

    When I helped serve with the Lioness (womens group of the Lions Club) for their annual fundraiser at a holiday event, they made sure we had these certificates and a license and our grill was inspected, etc. Those who sell at farmers markets are also inspected.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3incollege
    Thanks for your input, I'm on the same page with your responses.
    But I quess i have other issues with this, that , I just don't think it fair to our quild that 2 members will be doing this all themselves, they want no help because they think quick cash for them.
    Now all members will be volunteering at the show, minus 2! Other vendors we have ,pay a fee, however they don't think that they should.
    It's just a bad feeling I have. hope it doesn't cause the guild to have problems.
    That does sound like an unenviable situation. I would have expected the profits to go to the guild. Their expenses would be reimbursed, but it should be a volunteer effort on their part.

    Maybe use the regulations as a reason to insist on looking for a licensed food vendor. I'm sure there are people who advertise in the local papers or magazines who would love the business. make it clear that they'd be running a food concession, not catering.

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