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The Happy Snapper Food Truck

The happy snapper food trailer was an interesting topic about seven years ago. While away for a soccer tournament we cooked for my sons teammates and all the parents. A few of them mentioned we should have a food truck or restaurant and continuously asked if we could cook again. So here we are seven years later with our very own food trailer. It has been a labor of love! We purchased a bare bones empty trailer and built our kitchen from the floor up. 

We are not professionally trained in any trades and really did surprise ourselves with all the work we were able to do without assistance. Anything is possible if you put forth the effort!!

Starting Design

A lot of research and planning went into the design of our “truck” before we even got started. 

First we needed to decide what concept we were going to roll with.  Did we want to go full Puerto Rican food or Seafood? We knew for sure we were not going to do BBQ or Burgers as our main items because thats just not us and the market has enough great trucks with similar items.  We decided to go with Seafood with a Latin Caribbean twist!

Now that we had our concept we had to account for all the cooking equipment necessary to create our food. I created a blueprint of all lights, electrical outlets, cooiking equipment, sinks, and storage before anything was started in the trailer.  We were literally going to take an empty box and turn it into something amazing! 

The first steps were to prep the trailer for “construction”. Since it was pretty much an empty box the only thing that had to be removed was a tin wood baseboard and stainless steel corner sheets. 

Let the work BEGIN!!

  • Electrical panel install– I would lie if i said i wasn’t crossing my fingers and praying for correct placement as we drilled a 3 inch whole on the exterior of the trailer.
  • Ran all the wriring for the electrical outlets and lights
  • Flooring-we used a durable high grade vinyl garage flooring. The process was a bit interesting as we had to let the giant roll of material sit out in the yard to let the sun warm it up so it could be easier to work with.  After a lot of measuring we were able to slide the material into the trailer. The flooring was layed down over a layer of commercial adhesive.
  • Ceiling-Talk about hard work! The cieling was probably the most frustrating and time consuming  part of the build! We used glossy flat white FRP boards for the walls and ceiling. Because the sheets are very flexible they first had to be glued to thing wood boards for support.  Before the panels were actually installed we placed very itchy  insulation to combat some of this florida heat.  This was the most taxing and frustrating install mostly because I am only 5’2 and the ceiling is 7ft! definitely a 2-3 person job.
  • WINDOW– I thought I was scared when we made the first hole on the exterior but it was nothing like watching Rafael cut a giant 78″ whole for the window!  After numerous measurements and outlining it was time to start cutting. Using a circular hand saw, the sparks started flying and  emerged a near perfect size window space!
  • Walls-FRP boards and stainless steel were used for the walls. All surfaces need to be wipable and non porous.
  • Hood-Once the walls were in place and the outlets were installed we were able to get our 8ft hood installed by a professional because lets face it….I could barely hold up a sheet of wood and there was just too much involved that we didn’t want to take a chance on. 
  • Plumbing-Every unit where food is prepped needs to have a 3 compartment sink and a handwash sink. We are also required to have 2 water tanks. one for potable water and one for grey water. We are also required to have a water heater. 
  • Cooking equipment– Everything was finally coming together and all of our cooking equipment was installed. This included 2 ovens a 36″ flat top griddle 2 deep fryers and a 4 burner stove. Other equipment like coolers and a freezer were also installed along with shelves. 
  • Last Step-The last step before state inspection was to have propane linesand fire supression system installed. We are not professionals so this was another install sent off. When its something that can effect other peoples lives we’d rather just have someone do the job right. 
The trailer build was definitely a process but there is no better feeling than that of accomplishment! Not only did we push ourselves to learn something new but we finished what we set out to do. 
Now we wait for state approval and inspection!!
While waiting I designed the wrap for the outside of the trailer. I don’t have a degree or background in graphic design but i knew exactly what I wanted the trailer to look like. I drew the fish and absolutely had to have the skyway in the background. Another important part of the design was to have bright vibrant colors. I want the truck to be noticed and recognized by everyone wether driving down the street or parked with other trucks.


 Finally the day came!!!  June 14th 2022 The Happy Snapper Food Truck was officially licensed in the State Of Florida!! The inspector couldn’t believe we built it ourselves and complimented us on our clean work! I was so relieved  I cried Happy tears!

  Little did I know the REAL work was about to be 10x harder!


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