One way to get noticed in the food truck industry is to have a unique concept/product. Sarahi and Hector of Ricos Pinchos Place saw an opportunity when they realized that there wasn’t a single Spanish food truck operating in Buffalo. This led to their decision to try the food truck business. See their story in the next section, and get some tips on starting and operating a food truck in Buffalo, New York.
FTE: Tell me a bit about yourself and Ricos Pinchos Place
Sarahi: Our names are Sarahi & Hector, owners of Ricos Pinchos Place, “The Best of Puerto Rican Homemade Foods.” We’re a couple born in Puerto Rico, married for 24 years, started our business in 1996 in Fajardo , Puerto Rico. We came to live in Buffalo in 2012. We came with the idea of starting a Food Truck as well over here because we saw there wasn’t a Spanish food truck in Buffalo. So my husband started constructing the inside of the truck we bought, and little by little, we finished it. It took two years, but finally, we got it out in June 8, 2015. The people were so proud of us. They made us feel at home and proud that we met our goal in being the first Spanish truck in Buffalo which we are more than glad to service.
FTE: Where did you get information about setting up a food truck business in your area?
Sarahi: We had an idea already. It doesn’t change much from P.R. so I went to City Hall and asked. They handed me a Vendor Application Package which instructed me what to do to get licensed as a food truck vendor.
FTE: Where should aspiring food truck entrepreneurs go to find information about the local health code?
Sarahi: The Erie County Health Department. They also hand you a package that instructs you and the also the Fire Department behind City Hall.
FTE: How’s the parking situation in Buffalo, New York?
Sarahi: We haven’t had any parking issues. It’s been a little easy going in finding a place to park for as long as you don’t break any city parking regulations.
FTE: What has been your biggest challenge in your food truck business?
Sarahi: Well for one, the winter. Just getting started and getting all the paperwork done and inspected by each entity. Other than that, it’s been pretty smooth.
FTE: Finally, what advice can you give to people who are thinking of starting their own food truck business?
Sarahi: For one, a Business Plan is important. Go to City Hall, and get the application package. Be persistent and patient because the process is a little tedious doing all the paperwork you need. Register your DBA. Get it done as soon as you have the name to the business. Before you know it, you’ll be out there spreading your joy in servicing your product to the City you pick to do your business in.
You’re amazing Sarahi. Thank you!
Are you ready to take the next big step? Good. Here are some sites to help you get started.
City of Buffalo – Here you can find direct links for license applications and license code requirements for food trucks.
Mobile Food Vehicle Vendors – Information on laws related to operating food trucks in the state.
Inspections & Food Sanitation Services – Important information about health and sanitation laws in Buffalo.
Buffalo Food Truck Association – Best place to get help for food truck newbies.
Ricos Pinchos Place – Don’t forget to say hi to Sarahi and Hector.