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Old 07-21-2009, 12:33 PM
 
122 posts, read 260,317 times
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As we are approaching our "golden years" we have given up the thought of retirement in Mexico & opening a restaurant to cater to ex-pats. Just too dangerous down there to think about that. Also - biggest reason - too d@mn hot!

A long time friend of ours has been trying for 20 years to talk us into moving to N.D. with him. His family lives there, and a few years ago he even bought a small farm near Medina. Now the temptation has turned to certainty! He's made us a deal on a place to live that we can't pass up, and the opportunity to get the blazes out of this insane state we live in is now the prime purpose in our life.

We aren't taking this lightly - it will be a HUGE change for us in many ways. Our plan for early retirement (for my husband - until I reached retirement age) was to get our Personal Chef business off the ground and let that sustain us for a few years. Not sure that this would be a good idea in N.D. Would anyone hire someone to come in and cook them nutritious, "gourmet" cuisine tailored to their tastes?

Would it be within the realm of possibility to open a restaurant that served local favorites (?) and a diverse range of meals; Italian, Asian, Mexican, and more - all with authentic ingredients. Would anyone want to eat something different from the usual?

Truck farm? Farmstead cheese? Greenhouse grown fresh herbs and ????? Is there any interest.

I have no doubt that we could manage the life there! We read, spend time on the internet, watch movies, listen to music, and love to cook literally from the ground up. Right now we are growing beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. and would love to grow more of our own food - but doing it in the flowerbed in a rented house is tough.

Well I guess that's it for now - any thoughts and comments will be appreciated.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:46 PM
 
122 posts, read 260,317 times
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I guess I didn't really come across well in my previous post.

I'm trying to get information and certainly didn't intend to sound insulting or patronizing. I guess this is why I need some accurate information - I'd been told that folks in North Dakota, for the most part, ate at home, wouldn't be interested in Thai, South American, etc. restaurants. Thinking about it - after browsing the forum for several hours; I think I should have considered my sources - that's what they like. Duh! Inviting them over for dinner is always a crap shoot. Will they like it, will they hate it? He's always asking if I put "eye of newt" in something on the table.

Sorry if I insulted anyone!
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,047 posts, read 23,044,204 times
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Not at all. I think you just posted while everyone was at work. Give it a bit and I'm sure you'll find some answers.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
6,922 posts, read 9,171,425 times
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I've never been to Medina.

You are talking about Medina, correct? Population 298? Ask your friend if there's a cafe in town. If not, I'd bet you'd be welcomed with open arms. (Open wallets might be another story.) If there's already a cafe, it might be for sale. Cheap.

It's just that there's not much population from which to draw your customers. The median age is 50, so I doubt it's much of a party town.

That said, I recall a steak house in west Texas that was in the middle of nowhere. It was huge. Customers probably drove an average of 40 miles to get there. Oh yeah, and there was a little landing strip next to it so customers with airplanes could make the trip faster. They were BUSY!

I visited a similar steak house in Iowa years later. I think it was in a "town" of sorts -- maybe population 50. Customers flocked to it. The food was... MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! I'd guess most customers drove 30 miles or further to get there. Both places were unique and offered something special.

It's been nearly 40 years ago when I sold advertising for a new restaurant in Gillette, WY that had a different menu every night -- JB Blues. I think they always offered steak, etc., but other than a few standard menu items, they'd offer German foods on Mondays, Italian foods on Tuesdays, Mexican foods on Wednesdays, etc. It was a nice restaurant, good food, good service, etc. I liked it, and I'd like to tell you it was a big success, but it went out of business -- nearly bankrupt.

Be careful with your retirement savings. And good luck! North Dakota is a pretty state.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:02 AM
 
1,016 posts, read 2,020,430 times
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Apparently, Medina already has that Barbeque place (see thread), so I don't know how much call there is for two restaurants in that particular town.

I think part of the lack of responses is that it's actually a pretty tough question to answer with any degree of certainty, especially since it's somewhat variable considering location. Medina is about halfway between Steele and Jamestown, which puts it in a fairly low-density population.

You might be able to make some headway if you're willing to drive to Jamestown and do something there? Again, it's pretty much shooting in the dark. I don't think there is anybody from there that regularly posts on here, but I think it's something that kind of has to be sorted out from the local level.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:03 AM
 
122 posts, read 260,317 times
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Thank you all for your information.

It sounds like the average age is just a bit younger than us - hmmmmm, here were the "old folks" among young families and we really miss the friendships we used to have. Of course then there were dinner parties every other weekend - big pot lucks, barbeques, etc.

Perhaps we need to look in the direction of what we can make at home and sell on line??? Custom smoked meat, double and triple smoked bacon, sausages, etc. Have to check on regulations and stuff for that.

I'll have to keep an ear open about the BBQ place.

Thanks again - off to do more research and . . . . I wish we were ready to go now. 6 days of 100+ days and I'm ready for cold and fresh air. We're so looking forward to this move.

Sharon
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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If you can make excellent deer sausage, you can definitely get business in the fall. Finding a niche like "salted, cured meats" is probably a good start, actually.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:45 AM
 
122 posts, read 260,317 times
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Curing and smoking meats is one of my favorite things to do and I just love it. I'm eager to try deer sausage - but no one out here shares their deer meat any more. May have to call my Daughter's brother in law - he usually has an over-abundance of venison in his freezer. Yum that sounds really good.

I was dreaming about making smoked duck sausage last night! Sounds really good to me.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Valley City, ND
619 posts, read 1,069,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanciesmom View Post
Curing and smoking meats is one of my favorite things to do and I just love it. I'm eager to try deer sausage - but no one out here shares their deer meat any more. May have to call my Daughter's brother in law - he usually has an over-abundance of venison in his freezer. Yum that sounds really good.

I was dreaming about making smoked duck sausage last night! Sounds really good to me.

Sounds good to me, too! We have a guest inn east of Jamestown in Valley City & hunters often leave us a gift of duck & goose & I'm never quite sure what to do with it. Have made duck & goose jerky that was pretty good.

Anyway, if you're any good at working w/venison or any wild game, you can be as busy as you wish in fall, and if you're 'really' good....word will spread like wildfire.



I'd call the state health dept and see what info they can send you as far as rules & regs. I'm sure they'd be similar to a 'commercial kitchen' which is what is required if you make any sort of food and sell it to the public. I'm not sure where the nearest locker plant is, so maybe there are more rules to check on if you'd be doing your own butchering (other than the wild game)

Good Luck!
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:42 PM
 
122 posts, read 260,317 times
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Thank you so much for your reply. I am hoping that I can find things to do with the culinary knowledge and credentials I have how. I know that I can b bake and sell cookies, cakes, breads, etc. here in CA. I will check the regulations back there.

I am thinking farmstead cheeses??? The sausages & cured meats (of course), perhaps cooking for special events. We are also thinking of so many other things we can do. Butchering is one thing that I have not learned to do - although my husband has done some; mostly smaller game.

So far here I've made a Spanish chorizo, bratwurst, and a turkey and dried cherry sausage, Canadian bacon, regular bacon, and a lovely fennel smoked salmon.

Well got to go shampoo the rugs, get the bacon ready to form a pellicle, the chickens spatchcocked and in brine, and a chuckroast or insane porportions in a rub so that everything can hit the smoker Saturday. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Thanks again for your kind words and information.
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