Espresso Outfitters
We cater to the food service and beverage industry nationwide.
Tel: (360) 949-3662
EspressoOutfitters@Gmail.com
12004 NE 4th Plain Road, Suite D #235
Vancouver, Washington 98682
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we accept credit cards and paypalwe accept credit cards and paypalwe accept credit cards and paypal
we accept credit cards and paypalwe accept credit cards and paypal

Many people start an espresso operation and don't realize how closely they are needing to work with the health department to open their shop.  Your local County Health Department should have an extensive packet of information in regards to what is required to pass their inspections, but not all do, it's necessary to address regardless, afterall, if you decide to get out of the coffee service world, a cart that is up to code nationwide "expept a few" sells much better then something that was built under slack conditions.  In King and Pierce county (located next to each other), for example when starting an espresso cart, it not only covers the requirements, but even includes example diagrams of what a generic cart layout will look like.  It's something that's going to give you a great reference in order to assemble our own written proposal necessary to submit to them in most cases nationwide. If you are just starting out, your first phone call should be to your local County Health Department, ask them for what ever package relevant to what you are trying to open, with some of them, they will refer you to the local plumbing authorities, with others, they will be very hands on themselves so will require their approval prior to opening shop.

You may think, well, these guys have it all in their corner and I will not bore readers with the necessity for sanitation standards, luckily this end of the traditional governmentally produced establishments keeps an open mind, you should think more along a mode of thought with what you are presenting to them rather then the final, this has to include this at all times and if it's not that way the world ends :)  In special circumstances, as long as the request is sound, or the requester simply needs a little slack while they establish their new business, they will make accommodations and variances.  You as a business owner should do your best not as much just working within them, but surpassing them, I'm sure all of you do NOT want to make your clients sick, much less have a dirty looking retail store front, it's just bad business when it all comes down to it and if you have not established a positive, working relationship with your local health department, it needs to be addressed, even if it means bringing in an outside party to give new perspective.  

What they are looking for "generally" is pretty much common sense, I'll cover a few of these:

Clean ability, The ability to clean the surfaces that come in contact with food, this is imperative, this is why surfacing the area with something that is designed to withstand it, unfinished plywood will not pass code.  In a drive through for example, all cabinets need a back splash to repel liquids rushing over the edges of the counters.  In your local Cafe, you'll typically have a combination of those as well as sneeze guards. 

Facilities,  If you are opening any coffee related operation it will require milk storage, this is where and why the regs and procedures come into play, milk spoils quickly, they will require a commissary.  A commissary is a 3 compartment sink and a mop sink, all you need is access to them if you are running an espresso car .  The reasoning behind this is you need to wash, rinse and sanitize your utensils in order to sterilize them at the end of the day.

They test the temperature of the water, so you need to have a water heater and pump built into it to get it up to par. Typically, under counter sinks in a coffee kiosk require 12" from the bottom of the counter to the top of the sink to allow for ample ease of use. It's all about what you are trying to run mainly, but many codes intertwine, and especially in the espresso industry, closely.

Equipment is the final deciding factor.  In general, home equipment simply doesn't handle the job on a commercial basis, the same thing goes with the requirements along that end.  The refrigeration for example, in a catering cart, you can get away with using a home model, but in a commercial cart, one that has to keep the same temperature all day every day, only a commercial model is allowed.

Written/Visual Inspection, you'll be submitting a set of plans and then schedule an on hands inspection; On average it's a $450.00 process expense wise, This in a nutshell covers the common issues many people have run into when starting up their own espresso business, so, taking this info as well as your own local Counties packet, you have everything you need to insure everything is safe and passes all inspections.

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