How To Set Up as a Food Vendor

To participate with a food cart you must complete the following steps:

  1. (Optional) Submit an application to the CPS with your proposal and a check for $5.00. We have a policy that we will not approve a new food item if an existing one is too similar. So it’s good to find out if the jury thinks that type of food item is open, before go through the effort of coming to a meeting with your equipment ready to demonstrate. We are looking for foods that have character, not simple foods, gourmet foods, showing some personality from the cook.

  2. Appear before the Participation Committee and present your proposal and a very rough draft drawing of your proposed cart or if you have a cart, a photograph of it, allong with a list of items you want to sell. Be prepared to make your food items in front of the committee on site in person (Complete Setup Guide). There is a $20.00 jury fee. DO NOT ASSUME YOU WILL BE ACCEPTED AND SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON EQUIPMENT. First come to a meeting and apply. .

  3. If accepted, and the cart is approved by us, get the cart approved by either the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants or the Florida Department of Agriculture. This is the hardest step. it can take months and thousands of dollars to build a food cart. if you can find a cart that’s already been approved for Mallory for sale, this is much easier.

  4. If accepted obtain a tax number from the Florida Department of Revenue.

  5. Get in contact with the PC Committee with your cart and, licenses.

  6. Set up within 30 days of acceptance.

There is a limit of 10 food vendors permitted in the festival each night so check to see if space is available.

For more detailed information see the Complete Set Up Guide or e-mail the Participation Committee at

Food Vendor Guidelines

All participants shall sign a registration and release form

Food items must be created by the participant from basic ingredients, (for example: fruits, vegetables, unprocessed meats, flour, etc.), or substantially embellished. No food pre-processed by a 3rd party can be served in an un-embellished state but can be used an element in a more creative food item, (for example: hot dogs in a shies-ka-bob, breaded fish in fish tacos, whipped cream on key lime pie)”.

All food participants shall go through a 3 step process with the PC Committee prior to acceptance by the PC Committee:

  1. Acceptance of food product and a rough draft of food cart design. All food carts must fit in the allotted 6’ x 8’ space provided by CPS.

  2. Jury process for approval of all required paperwork, such as State License, Health workers card, etc.

  3. Final approval of cart size and design in accordance with CPS Guidelines.

  4. All food items must be prepared by the participant. A helper shall be allowed only with the participant on site.

  5. No national franchise food items will be allowed

  6. No partnerships are allowed in more than one business at the same time

  7. Food participants must arrive 15 minutes prior to the artist lottery

  8. There will be no more than 10 food vendor spaces. CPS will designate these spots.

  9. No food vendor may exactly replicate another food vendors product

  10. Butane or propane are the only acceptable fuels allowed

  11. Fire extinguisher are required for vendors using an open flame

Jury meetings will be held on the first and third Monday of each month at 10:00 AM at Bayview Park in Key West.