Merced County looking for mobile food vendors for recreation sites

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comJanuary 8, 2013 

Merced County officials announced on Friday their search for local food vendors who can provide mobile services to the county's public parks.

"We are looking for people to provide food at some of our parks as a convenience to people," said Merced County Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Peggy Vejar. "It's a great business opportunity for vendors and a great amenity to our patrons."

Vejar said the mobile vendors can offer any food options, as long as they feel they can sell those items. In the past, the county has contracted with hot dog stands, taco trucks, tri-tip sandwich providers and a frozen yogurt stand.

The selected vendors would provide food in one of the following county parks -- Courthouse Park, Lake Yosemite, Hagaman Park in Stevinson or Winton Park.

Winton Park already has an ice cream vendor, Vejar said, but there may be other public locations in the park that haven't been considered. Interested vendors are encouraged to contact the county with any ideas.

The food providers should be prepared to sign a two-year contract with the county.

Vendors must have all the required licenses and permits, including a valid food preparation permit from the Merced County Health Department's Division of Environmental Health, according to the county's request for qualifications.

Vejar said this could bring huge growth potential for the right food vendor.

"It's a great business opportunity and it can really grow, especially from May to October," she said. "They can make lots of money if they offered the right product with consistent services."

The application deadline is Jan. 31, then county staff will review all bids before offering a contract. Vejar said the county may choose to work with more than one vendor.

"We want everyone to know about the opportunity to submit their bid," Vejar said. "We will review the bids and determine the best offer for each particular park."

Local food vendors interested in bidding should contact Vejar at (209) 385-7426 or visit the county's website.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at

(209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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