Health Department Victory

Today was one of the rare easy victories in starting a business. I walked into the Environmental Health Services Division at my local government complex and was prepared for a battle.  I went line by line through the health code guidelines for mobile food trucks.  I wrote a novel on how I planned to meet the guidelines for each requirement.  Seriously, I had over 50 pages of stuff in the binder to give them. Amy came out and sat down to talk with me.  I dug in, ready to go to war.

I handed her my binder and she looked at me with a puzzled look.  “What’s this?”, she asked.  I informed her that I had addressed everything the health code guide had laid out.  She was dumbfounded.  She had never had anyone present her with a binder with an entire plan, including a to scale drawing by hand, of how they would comply with the health code.  She asked me question after question and I responded time after time, “I answered than on page……”.  The only thing I couldn’t provide for in the binder was the location of my janitor’s sink.  I wasn’t entirely sure I would still need one since I was planning on having my truck certified as my commissary.  But I winged it when she asked me.  She told me we needed to meet at the location of the sink and once she laid eyes on it, everything would be approved!

After leaving the Health Department office, I collected some cleaning supplies and spent the rest of my day cleaning up the bus.  Yes, it took the whole afternoon.  I cleaned it from top to bottom, literally.  It appears that no one had cleaned that thing since 2001.  Filthy isn’t a strong enough word.  The worst part is that I need to hit the floors again.  I probably made the bus 2 pounds lighter by wiping up all the dirt.  Yuck!

I ordered the last of the equipment today.  All I need now is to go pick up the generator from the store and get the materials to build my sound barrier box.  After that, it’s go time!  I have shelves ready to go in and the sinks should be here any day.

This has been one of the most stressful undertakings of my whole life.  But things just seems to fall into place for this one.  Now, don’t misunderstand me.  It hasn’t been easy.  I have spent many days and nights getting stuff done for this truck.  I will continue to put in 18+ hour days to get it ready as fast as humanly possible.  But I am also making sure that my family is involved and this experience of starting a business is shared with my son.  I want him involved every step of the way so he knows what it takes to build his own business.  He needs to know that it isn’t easy.  He is learning that the hard way.

All in all, today was solid.  I have to remember to get my binder back from the Health Department.  I plan on using it to create an outline for a future eBook on how to start a coffee truck.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking but don’t worry.  If you aren’t interested in starting a coffee truck, you have nothing to worry about.  But if you are, you may want to pay close attention to what is happening.  Just some food for thought.

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