Food Carts - Extra Storage Space - "Warehouses"

Updated: May 31

Mobile units started out as just that – food carts that actually moved around the city everyday, hitting good locations where there were lots of people needing snacks, coffee and treats or lunch. They would load up food from their commissary or warehouse (if all pre-packaged) and head out for a profitable day of selling their goodies.  


This storage space outside the unit is considered a warehouse and requires a separate license and inspection.

With over 1000 mobile units in Multnomah County and dozens of pods, the mobile unit idea has definitely evolved. With more of you stationary, you need to make sure you have proper space for storing back- up goods safely. 



Many mobile units have warehouses because they have more ‘stuff’ than can fit into their mobile units. Remember everything must be contained within your mobile unit, unless you have a warehouse unit attached to your unit.

A warehouse can be an outdoor storage unit that is sold at a home improvement center, something you build with doors and a lock or even a specified place in a garage at your home. Warehouses must be able to prevent food from becoming contaminated from dust, rodents, flooding, and drainage. Warehouses are inspected just like your mobile unit and therefore have a separate license and license fee in addition to your mobile unit license.




This space is large enough to hold an extra refrigeration unit. Remember it is only for storing foods not cooling, marinating or prepping foods.


Warehouses are used to store products only. A typical storage unit might have paper towels, to-go containers, soap, extra utensils, bags of rice or flour – it all depends of your menu. A larger warehouse space might have a refrigerator in it to store extra foods like dairy or meats. 





Warehouses are used to store products only. A typical storage unit might have paper towels, to-go containers, soap, extra utensils, bags of rice or flour – it all depends of your menu. A larger warehouse space might have a refrigerator in it to store extra foods like dairy or meats. 

If you have a place in your garage that you set aside specifically as warehouse space, it must follow the same rules as above and it will also be inspected. 

Owning a food cart can be rewarding and successful venture, if you do it safely. The rules in place are designed to keep your food safe from getting people sick, so be sure to follow them! Creativity comes in when you design your menu and build up a loyal following.  Food Carts PDX

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