South Hadley, MA Officials Bullied this Buisness Until they Left.
When Drunken Rabbit Brewing initially opened their Brewery in Dec. of 2017, they began hosting food trucks to help feed their taproom customers. Many food trucks opted not to return (since permitting in South Hadley is very frustrating process).
Owners of the brewery decided to have their own food trailer built (which was called "El Gringo"), so they can consistently be able to offer food (7 days a week) to their beer and wine drinking patrons. Whats the harm in that, right?
Initially we weren't going to post anything about this ordeal, but after strong consideration, we felt the public should know about the bullying going on here (especially if any of you are considering starting a small business in South Hadley).
The following timeline should give you a good idea of what these town officials are capable of.
Drunken Rabbit Brewing (Opening Day)
18 Months of different food trucks/trailers.
An Electrical Outlet was Installed in the parking lot of Drunken Rabbit (to plug food trailers in)
This Outlet was Inspected/Approved (by South Hadley's Electrical Inspector)
"El Gringo" Inspected/Approved (by South Hadley Board of Health & Fire Dept.)
No Issues. We are fine and dandy the next 8 months serving food from our own "El Gringo" Food Trailer.
Time for El Gringo's "2020 Health Inspection".
Inspected/Failed (by South Hadley Board of Health, for disposing dish water down a mop sink (without a grease trap).
We disagreed over the necessity of the grease trap, but it was either shell out 3 grand on one -OR- or our beer/wine drinking customers won't have on-site access to food, so we agreed to install a grease trap.
Violation Notice (from South Hadley "Building Commissioner" David Gardner),
stating "the trailer is hard-wired to the site rendering it non-mobile and permanent in nature", and that the Trailer is NOT parked in stalls originally recommended by South Hadley Planning Board.
Why on earth would the Building Commissioner now be involved with a food trailer you ask? Apparently the Board of Health reached out to him to help come up with reasons we should not be in business.
We explained to the Building Commissioner (and other town officials) that:
"The trailer is NOT hard-wired in. It is plugged into the outlet that the town approved for us on 5/15/2019", but the town felt we were making all of this up.
The parking location issue is a stretch (though we did work on amending the site-plan),
because the planning board felt the safest area to put the trailer would be right along side New Ludlow Rd. (cause why not make customers stand near a busy parking lot entrance to wait for food orders?).