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Lmarion
(@Lmarion)
Advanced Member

I'm trying to discern if having a Food Truck is financially feasible. I've been told that they are not mobile and must lease space. Any info or opinions would be welcome - wanting to be on St. Croix.

Quality of food currently available?
Crowded market?

Thx L

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Topic starter Posted : September 14, 2014 12:29 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Nothing to add to the information I posted on another thread a few days ago where you asked similar questions - but maybe someone on STX can answer the questions apart from those already answered.

I will add to the practicalities that it's inadvisable in general to set up a business here without first living here for at least a year and getting the lay of the land! Good luck!

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Posted : September 14, 2014 12:58 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Check with Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs to see if they are licensing food trucks and what the requirements are.

Yes, you have to lease space and you need to make sure the person leasing you the space has authority to do so.

The only food trucks on.St Thomas that make it are either doing bbq or local food. There may be one or 2 vegetarian trucks.

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Posted : September 14, 2014 1:40 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

I always wonder where the workers in the permanent trucks wash their hands. Yech.

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Posted : September 14, 2014 1:44 am
Lmarion
(@Lmarion)
Advanced Member

Thx Old Tart and Alana. Yes, I did get some information in the two posts on the other thread, just trying to cast a larger net with the title.

I wouldn't jump in without being there a while, just trying to do research. A possibility for making a little money. L

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Topic starter Posted : September 14, 2014 4:00 am
ghjr
 ghjr
(@ghjr)
Active Member

A little preview of the competition

Food Trucks in St. Croix

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Posted : September 14, 2014 4:18 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i hear the red food truck by tutto bene has good food

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Posted : September 14, 2014 10:27 am
Beeski
(@beeski)
Trusted Member

Great link ghjr, thanks.

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas in their white Food Truck that parks at WAPA Richmond around 12:30 every day make the best Pate's I've ever eaten.

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Posted : September 14, 2014 11:53 am
Lmarion
(@Lmarion)
Advanced Member

ghjr that was a great link - thanks! makes me hungry. I look forward to trying them all. A food truck , I think, would be a lot easier than a restaurant - something I could do by myself. No set hours, not a lot of overhead - except for leasing the space. ms411 good tip about making sure the person leasing space has authority to do so.

I'll keep checking Craig's & classifieds to see if a Food Truck comes up for sale to get an idea of investment costs.

Thanks for all the comments.

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Topic starter Posted : September 14, 2014 5:42 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I only mentioned it because it happened to a food truck a while back. They got permission to use a spot, but that person did not have right to sublease and truck was evicted.

Your best bet of finding one is driving around and see if there are any for sale. I think the new ones were brought in.

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Posted : September 14, 2014 6:03 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

And, btw, there are several food trucks that specialize in providing food for the many outdoor events. The gelato truck is hoping to find a permanent spot, but for now he's doing events.

The most popular truck, it seems, sells fried chicken and hot dogs or something similar.

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Posted : September 14, 2014 7:44 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

The one located just after entrance at Sapphire does BBQ and they always run out early so get there early for the ribs, brisket and chicken. Can't recall the name. The food truck in front of MVD/STT has good pate's. I miss the one that used to be in the Red Hok Ferry parking lot. The best pate's!

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Posted : September 14, 2014 9:33 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Why can't a truck be mobile here?

Oh and the sapphire is Off The Grid BBQ. BEST BBQ ever. It's sooo good! Chef Greg also just helped open MELT. Best Ruben I've ever had also. Truffled bacon mac and cheese and compressed watermelon. The watermelon is to die for. We ordered it three times throughout the night last night lol. So refreshing.

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Posted : September 14, 2014 9:37 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I don't think I've seen anything but ice cream trucks mobile. No place for them to pull over for people to buy. Ice cream trucks generally go.through neighborhoods in town.

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Posted : September 14, 2014 9:48 pm
Lmarion
(@Lmarion)
Advanced Member

Why can't a truck be mobile here?
Chef Greg also just helped open MELT. Best Ruben I've ever had also.

Good question: ms411 said there are trucks that specialize in events, gelato truck looking for a permanent spot but doing events. Sounds like a truck can be mobile?

AandA2VI is MELT a Food Truck or a restaurant ?

Is there one or two spots where most Food Trucks are located on STX? Do they seem to cover the food choice spectrum pretty well? Breakfast, hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ, Italian, French, etc. Island cuisine of course.

Thanks for input. I think it would be fun to do. L

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Topic starter Posted : September 14, 2014 9:59 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

I only visit Blues Backyard (not a truck but is mobile, southern & Lousiana cuisine) and Roadside BBQ (mostly local food)... There was a Hindu one at the Gas City Station but, I don't know what happened to it... Quality Deli, at Castle Coley, is also mobile... At Golden Rock there is one of the newest ones and sells Caribbean Food in general...

Blues Backyard has the best ribs I've ever had and excellent BBQ chicken...

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Posted : September 14, 2014 11:38 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I don't consider setting up at special events mobile. Anybody can rent a spot whether they have a food truck or not. When you mentioned mobile, I was thinking driving around.

Which brings to mind that on STT there are quite a few people who go from place to place in regular vehicles selling food. Not sure if they're licensed, but they have their regular customers. I buy from a few every now and then.

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Posted : September 14, 2014 11:40 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

The owner of Blues Backyard promotes his trailer for activities... He told me it can be on the road in about 30 minutes...

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Posted : September 15, 2014 12:06 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Why can't a truck be mobile here?.

Finding a safe place or room to pull off the road and park may be one reason the majority aren't mobile here, not to mention the lack of sidewalks. I've never seen a mobile Ice-cream truck here in STT/STJ while they were common in PR and would service the large housing developments/neighborhoods. Completely different situation from ours.

Our steep hills and road conditons amy also have something to do with it unless you plan on staying in town and then one has no-where to pull over and finding a regular parking spot would be challenging.

One would have to check with Licensing to see if even possible.
Even the fellow Rowdy mentions on STX is parked up most of the time, it seems and rolls out for special events.

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Posted : September 15, 2014 12:00 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

One would have to check with Licensing to see if even possible.

I''m guessing they're likely mandated to be stationary and not mobile.

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Posted : September 15, 2014 12:05 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

I am surprised that no one has mentioned the Teas Pit BBQ mobile food stand on the waterfront in STT - they have been successful there for over 20 yrs.-[even have copycat competition] - with production facilities off site and even fixed locations in Red hook and Sub Base - they tow the food trailer into town and back each night. They also do special event catering.
There are 2 trucks working the beach in Brewers Bay, a good one at Lindbergh, a long time one located by Ulla Muller school, one or two downtown, the Lechon truck out in Tutu on the weekends is a favorite of many people too.
I have seen them for sale in many stateside cities and shipping one here could be a good plan - it is a current craze in some places and I am sure that the failure rate is comparable to restaurants so with some research a good used one shouldn't be too hard to find in the states. The many fairs, festivals, flea markets and varied events all over the states have mobile vendors of every cuisine.
Licensing one here in the USVI can obviously be done but in truth I have no idea of what and how many hoops you would have to jump through - a good expediter familiar with the agencies and personnel would be a worthwhile investment if you feel you have a solid business plan in hand.
IMHO it will be a tough business to make a living at - long hours and hard work with slim margins and shopping for supplies, a storage or production location and even trash handling will take some dedicated logistical energy and time.

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Posted : September 15, 2014 2:51 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I like Texas Pit BBQ better than the Off the Grid ribs as they are very tender and fall off the bones. Off the Grid is pretty good but not as tender. Got some brisket from TBBQ the other day and it was so succulent! Not stringy or tough at all. Delish!

I don't get out east often so when I have, there's been slim pickings left at Off the Grid so maybe that accounts for my liking TBBQ better. Their product is very consistent.

AandA2VI - What's MELT and where is it located? Whay does it have to offer?

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Posted : September 15, 2014 3:32 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

The Melt is the latest venture of the STT food group out east - in the old entertainment room of the famous East Coast Bar and of late, The Cellar.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147407-i958-k7798975-New_Restaurant_The_Melt_Now_Open-East_End_St_Thomas_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

Is a thread from Tripadvisor that talks about the menu and a variety of melted cheese options.

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Posted : September 15, 2014 4:03 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

Heh Texas BBQ pit goes back farther than 20 years. When did they start OT, like '85?

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Posted : September 15, 2014 4:08 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

So this thread is now reviewing food trucks and posting restaurant reviews instead of helping OP decide if he wants to or can start a food truck? BTW, Melt is not a food truck, but the menu would work for a food truck.

OP needs to visit whichever island he's thinking about moving to and see the food trucks in operation. He will soon see that the food trucks in the Caribbean don't offer the variety you see on the food channels.

Most offer variations of foods popular in the Caribbean. French food? Not in the VI. Most Caribbean people stick with the familiar foods they grew up with for the most part.

Old Tart, can you please post the link to Licensing? I'm on my phone.

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Posted : September 15, 2014 4:45 pm
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