Browsing articles in "food trucks"
May 23, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck regulation taking step back to consult vendors

Josh Lynch

Josh Lynch

Josh Lynch sits next to his food truck, The Dog House, while it is parked at the Guthrie Green in April. He has worked with City Councilor Blake Ewing on developing proposed food truck regulation changes.  JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World file



Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 2:30 am
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Updated: 9:33 am, Thu May 22, 2014.

Food truck regulation taking step back to consult vendors

By JARREL WADE World Staff Writer

TulsaWorld.com

|
8 comments

An ordinance amendment aimed at increasing the distance food trucks would have to operate from restaurants is being reconsidered, a city councilor said Wednesday.


Councilor Blake Ewing said the proposed increase, from 150 feet to 300 feet, was a recommendation from city staff that came under criticism from some food truck owners.

The ordinance in question gives authorities the ability to issue tickets or warnings to any mobile food vendor that parks within a certain distance of a bricks-and-mortar restaurant. It is aimed at protecting restaurant owners who have additional overhead, including property taxes, from low-overhead mobile vendors.

Ewing, who owns three downtown restaurants, said food truck owners criticized the proposed change as a conflict of interest for him. Ewing, who represents the downtown district, sponsored the amendment.

Food truck owners argue that the proposed increase in distance would box them out of being able to operate in high-density restaurant areas.

“I pulled the ordinance, and we’re setting up a public meeting to discuss the issue before we even attempt to take any action on it,” Ewing said.

He said he supports food trucks and that the proposal is simply crafted to clarify and update all the rules for vendors and to prevent food trucks from being able to park directly outside a restaurant.

Ewing is even in the process of creating his own food truck, he said, adding that the proposed ordinance changes were crafted with the input of food truck owner Josh Lynch.

Lynch, owner of The Dog House, defended Ewing, saying he and Ewing disagreed with the spacing increase proposed by city staff but think something has to be done to regulate local food trucks, noting that many have begun operating in Tulsa in recent years.

“It’s growing so much that if they don’t start doing this, we are going to have a massive issue on our hands,” Lynch said. “Blake (Ewing) has been very proactive on this.”

Ewing said he would organize a town hall-style meeting with food truck vendors so that more input can be collected before more ordinance changes are made.

“I definitely think we are moving in the right direction,” Lynch said.


Jarrel Wade 918-581-8367

jarrel.wade@tulsaworld.com

on

Thursday, May 22, 2014 2:30 am.

Updated: 9:33 am.


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May 23, 2014
Kim Rivers

One food truck in DeWitt business park to stay put; challenge town over permit … – The Post

The STIR Mobile Eatery food truck that sets up each day in the Pioneer Business Park in DeWitt is not going anywhere, for now.

Despite a notice from the town of DeWitt that it needs a permit, or “site plan review,” partner Dave Marnell Jr. said STIR has no plans to comply, or to move out of the park. A second food truck in the park, Ossie’s Streatery, did move out this week after receiving a violation notice.

“We’re staying open, and we’ll see what they do,” Marnell said, referring to town officials. The truck will be in the park 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, weather permitting.

DeWitt planning and zoning director Samuel Gordon said town ordinances require a site plan review for any business, including the food trucks, which operate on private property in the park. The fee is $250. He said failure to comply will eventually lead the town to issue a ticket, requiring the business owners to appear in town justice court.

STIR has been operating without a permit at Pioneer Business Park, on Campuswood Drive, since the spring of 2013. Ossie’s had been operating since January.

Both had the permission of the business park managers, Anderson Barney Real Estate Group.

Pioneer park manager Mike Barney said he welcomes the food trucks. He said he only relayed messages to the trucks that the town required a permit for them to operate.

“STIR chose to stay and take the consequences,” Barney said. “Roy (Osborne, of Ossie’s), did as he was told.”

The park does not charge the trucks to set up, Barney said.

“We consider it an added value for our other tenants,” said Barney, who estimated about 900 people work in the park. “If this gets resolved, we’d absolutely want them back.”

Both food trucks have Onondaga County health department permits and have been inspected and approved.

“We’re on private property, we don’t hook into the electricity or the sewers and we have our county permits,” Marnell said. “So I don’t see that we need another permit.”

Don Cazentre writes about food, beverages, restaurants and bars for syracuse.com and The Post-Standard. Contact him by email, on Twitter, at Google+ or via Facebook.

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May 23, 2014
Kim Rivers

Fayetteville Food Truck Lottery Winners Disqualified

The City of Fayetteville had seventeen vendors apply for the food truck lottery; six were chosen, and eighteen days later all vendors have been told they don’t qualify.

The permit given in the food truck lottery would allow vendors to sell their food on city property, including streets, parking lots and parks.

Clayton Scott, the owner of Frickin Chicken, said he did his homework when he applied for the lottery. Scott said he read and reread the ordinance, and it didn’t specify what qualified as a food truck.

He said he found out on May 1 that he was a winner, and then he got a call on May 19 from the city saying he was disqualified because he had a trailer and not a truck.

“Lighten up the rules and back off a little bit,” Scott said, “Give us freedom, don’t restrict and constrict the aesthetics and beauty of mobile food vending in Fayetteville.”

City Planning Director Andrew Garner said a food truck has a motor and is mobile, and doesn’t have to be pulled by another vehicle.

Garner said the issue with Scott and the other five winners was that they had trailers. He said the vendors had concession trailers that needed to be pulled by a pick-up, not something like a truck that would be easily maneuvered on a busy city street.

“There’s just safety issues with somebody potentially backing up a big trailer like in a busy urban area trying to pull it into a parallel parking space,” Garner said, “It’s not really conducive to pulling in and out really quickly like you would with a truck.”

Scott said the controversy between a truck and a trailer was never mentioned until he got the call on May 19— eighteen days after he was told he would be getting a permit.

“Now I have $45,000 invested in my trailer,” Scott said, “It was more to invest in that trailer than it was to start this business, so for me to say OK I can’t use the trailer I guess I’ll just sell it and buy a truck… well that is not an option for me.”

Garner said they are now going back through all applications to see if there is anyone who may qualify. Thursday afternoon he said they only had 2-3 vendors left to contact.

He said the permits would only be valid until December 31. He said the city would have another lottery in November for 2015.

As for Clayton Scott, he said he isn’t giving up just yet.

“Only one out of seventeen has qualified or met all the requirements, so that it’s an indicator that what they thought was going to benefit food vending in Fayetteville has backfired,” Scott said.

He said he is planning to appeal the city’s decision as soon as possible.

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May 23, 2014
Kim Rivers

Curiocity: Food Truck Feature — O’Cheeze

Food Trucks

Foxy Falafel

Foxy

Nate Dogs

Nate

Simply Steves

Steves

Hola Arepa

Hola

SushiFix

Sushifix

With so many new — and delicious — food trucks hitting the streets of the Twin Cities each summer, it’s almost too tough to keep up. Well, fear not, we’re here to help. Here’s this week’s food truck feature!

There’s a few things most couples do during their first year of marriage — perhaps they buy a new house or get their first pet. But I’m guessing not many decide to buy and operate a brand new food truck.

That is, unless you’re Tony and Haley Fritz.

The couple, who wed in August, say they initially wanted to open their delicious grilled cheese-inspired food truck last summer but the wedding took precedence (and rightly so).

And yes, you heard that right. Let me say it again so it sinks in — they have a grilled cheese-inspired food truck.

O’Cheeze opened about a month and a half ago and while they’re still the new kids on the block, they’ve had great success, serving upwards of 300 grilled concoctions in a single day.

But enough teasing. Here are all the details you need to know about O’Cheeze Food Truck.

——-

Mac  Cheese (credit: CBS)

Mac Cheese (credit: CBS)

O’Cheeze
Find them on Twitter at @O_Cheeze, on Facebook at O’Cheeze Food Truck and on their website.

Owners: Haley and Tony Fritz

Date the food truck opened: Early to mid-April.

What kind of food do you serve? Inventive grilled cheese sandwiches and soups

Price range of menu: Anywhere from $7 to $9, plus soup is $2 to $3 more, depending on the size.

Hours of operation: Check twitter, Facebook or the calendar on their website (see links above).

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

What was your job before opening the food truck? Haley: I managed a couple bars and a restaurant. So a lot of front of the house. And just kind of day-to-day operations, ordering and inventory, stuff like that. Tony: I worked in restaurants as a server basically all through college and then in high school as well. And then I managed a nonprofit gambling in North Dakota for a while and back down here I was selling cars right before. That’s how we made a little bit of extra money before we opened up this.

Why grilled cheese? What was your inspiration? We always liked making grilled cheeses. We’d make just the weirdest concoctions at home and then we found a grilled cheese food truck in San Fransisco and chased it down. And we were like, “Why aren’t we doing this?” We fell in love with the whole concept of a food truck. We decided to go from what we graduated and then move towards this instead. We figured we’d do it now before we can’t do it.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

What made you want to open a food truck, instead of a restaurant? Haley: It’s obviously less overhead. It’s more fun and I graduated with a social media degree so I always fell in love with the twitter and Facebook aspect of saying where you are or having contests. For instance, later this week we’re going to be giving away Saints tickets on our twitter. Being able to actually be interactive with your customers, I think food trucks do that so much better than restaurants because of their mobility.

How is your food prepared? Tony: All of our sandwiches are made-to-order. We make our soups the night before. Each one of our soups are made daily, so we’ll always have two soups on all the time. And we make our pulled pork every night as well, so I’ll wake up around 3:30 a.m. or 4 a.m. to pull it and then go back to bed for a couple of hours. Haley: I think we’ll have one cold soup coming in too, so we’ll have one hot and one cold — maybe a cucumber or something like that.

Caprese grilled cheese. (credit: CBS)

Caprese (credit: CBS)

How did you come up with the name? We go up to (Haley’s) cabin every year for the Fourth of July and her little cousin at the time was about 3 years old and we were driving around together on a golf cart. We were in talks about starting this food truck, a grilled cheese food truck, and as we rounded this one corner, we took it a little bit faster because he likes it, and he goes, ‘Oh jeez, oh jeez, oh jeez.’ And then it just kind of clicked. So it came from that.

What’s your favorite dish that you serve? Tony: Oh my goodness. Haley: Our most popular is probably our mac and cheese. But I would say my favorite is probably the caprese. Tony: We generally like those kind of weirder things cause we like that idea. The pulled pork is on the menu because whenever I go anywhere, I always end up ordering pulled pork. I don’t even look at the rest of the menu. The mustard pulled pork is probably my favorite right now. It’s very, very good.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

What’s your craziest story from working at a food truck? Well, luck of the draw, it has nothing to do with anything else but we’ve had the worst luck with our equipment. We’ve almost had everything touched again — so replaced or fixed or anything like that. So we ended up buying that little lemon sticker (located above the back door in the truck) to ward off all the mechanical lemons. They’re all from the factory and like, a controller went out on the fridge, our circuit board went out on our generator, the coils in (the grill) all went out. Just freak accidents, nothing anyone can control. It’s all gone wrong.

Describe your truck in one word: (New) experience. Just because we try to do the whole package — we want people to come here, have fun, read the jokes on the side of the truck. We have a scooter that’s wrapped in the same jokes — unfortunately the starter’s broken right now so we’re getting it fixed.

What’s one thing you want people to know about your food truck? Tony: I think a lot of what we try to do everyday is push the envelope of what people think is a traditional grilled cheese. We’re not coming with just cheese on a piece of bread or just a tomato soup. We’re definitely going to try and incorporate a lot of our fun attitude towards food. Like I literally go to the menu and look for a pulled pork or the weirdest thing on the menu that I’ve never tried before and we really want people to be able to open up and branch out and try some of the fun stuff we’re putting together.

Catch the Food Truck Feature every week, in the Curiocity column. Know of a food truck you think should be featured? Let us know by leaving a comment below or tweeting your suggestion to @SaraPelissero!

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May 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck regulation taking step back to consult vendors

Josh Lynch

Josh Lynch

Josh Lynch sits next to his food truck, The Dog House, while it is parked at the Guthrie Green in April. He has worked with City Councilor Blake Ewing on developing proposed food truck regulation changes.  JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World file



Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 2:00 pm

Food truck regulation taking step back to consult vendors

By Jarrel Wade
World Staff Writer

TulsaWorld.com

|
2 comments

An ordinance amendment aimed at increasing the distance food trucks would have to operate from restaurants is being reconsidered, a city councilor said Wednesday.


Councilor Blake Ewing said the proposed increase, from 150 feet to 300 feet, was a recommendation from city staff that came under criticism from some food truck owners.

The ordinance in question gives authorities the ability to issue tickets or warnings to any mobile food vendor that parks within a certain distance of a bricks-and-mortar restaurant. It is aimed at protecting restaurant owners who have additional overhead, including property taxes, from low-overhead mobile vendors.

Ewing, who owns three downtown restaurants, said food truck owners criticized the proposed change as a conflict of interest for him. Ewing, who represents the downtown district, sponsored the amendment.

Food truck owners argue that the proposed increase in distance would box them out of being able to operate in high-density restaurant areas.

“I pulled the ordinance, and we’re setting up a public meeting to discuss the issue before we even attempt to take any action on it,” Ewing said.

He said he supports food trucks and that the proposal is simply crafted to clarify and update all the rules for vendors and to prevent food trucks from being able to park directly outside a restaurant.

Ewing is even in the process of creating his own food truck, he said, adding that the proposed ordinance changes were crafted with the input of food truck owner Josh Lynch.

Lynch, owner of The Dog House, defended Ewing, saying he and Ewing disagreed with the spacing increase proposed by city staff but think something has to be done to regulate local food trucks, noting that many have begun operating in Tulsa in recent years.

“It’s growing so much that if they don’t start doing this, we are going to have a massive issue on our hands,” Lynch said. “Blake (Ewing) has been very proactive on this.”

Ewing said he would organize a town hall-style meeting with food truck vendors so that more input can be collected before more ordinance changes are made.

“I definitely think we are moving in the right direction,” Lynch said.

Jarrel Wade 918-581-8367

jarrel.wade@tulsaworld.com

on

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 2:00 pm.


| Tags:


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Lynch,



Dog House,



Food,



City Council,



Restaurant,



Brick And Mortar,



Business

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May 21, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food-truck park gains following with diverse array of cuisine

Tirzo Ponce is convinced that food trucks are about more than creative food – though they do offer that.

“It’s more of a personal interaction,” said Ponce, co-owner of Houston Food Park. “Your food is being cooked right there in front of you and you can talk to the guy preparing it for you. You get to see the artistic talent of the chefs.”

Ponce, 36, sees that kind of interaction take place daily at the food truck park he launched last June with business partner Miguel Villegas at 1504 St. Emanuel.

It was the first food truck park to open in Houston.

“We started with three trucks and no one came,” Ponce said.

Eventually, with the help of social media and local publicity, people did start checking out the park.

Now it’s generating good crowds. The park averages five to seven trucks on site during weekdays and eight to 11 trucks on weekends.

“There’s absolutely everything there – Vietnamese-Mexican food, Korean-Mexican food, a lot of burgers,” Ponce said. “They’re all unique in their own way.”

The park also draws venders offering Brazilian cuisine, crepes, ice desserts, cake balls and pastries, among other selections.

“It’s a very unselfish business,” Ponce said. “The trucks sell their food. Artists put art on the walls, and we sell drinks.”

Ponce doesn’t charge the trucks or the artists to be there, and guests are admitted for free.

If people decided to buy some food, prices start at about $2 for desserts and rarely exceed $12.

Stephanie Ditto handles scheduling, events and publicity for the park. From what she can see, it’s a hit with the public.

“People love the place. They love being able to order sushi and fried Oreos and a piece of catfish all at the same time,” Ditto said.

“It’s a place where people can come and chill out. It’s a place for everyone.”

The park was designed with a relaxed, informal feel, Ditto added, and has a great view of the downtown skyline.

“People don’t know what to expect at first. They think it’s a lot of taco trucks. It’s more. It’s kind of a museum of food. You can go and admire the food and eat the food.”

Ponce, got his first taste of the food truck scene during travels to Austin, Chicago and New York.

He envisioned something similar for Houston, a casual gathering place where people could experience new cuisines and relax.

“I’m a passionate lover of food, life and culture,” Ponce said.

He credits the resulting business venture with nothing less than turning his life around.

“I grew up fast, and I got in trouble,” he said. “I wasn’t steady before this. I was in and out of jobs. I guess I had a moment of clarity.

“I’m very happy now with the staff, and my partner is a great guy. I finally found something that brings me comfort.”

Ponce said he has been applying much of the advice he received over the years from his late father, Gaston Ponce, who was an event planner, music manager and a composer.

His father didn’t live long enough to see Ponce open the park, but his mother, Genoveva Ponce, has told Ponce how proud she is of him.

“To be the first to do this in the Houston area has been very rewarding,” Ponce said.

“I’m very happy to have put together a place like this. It’s a pleasure of the senses.”

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May 21, 2014
Kim Rivers

Spokane City Council tables vote on food truck regulations

Chef Allen Skelton, who co-owns the Couple of Chefs food truck with fiancée Joile Forral, makes a signature burger for a customer on Thursday in downtown Spokane. The Spokane City Council has delayed a vote on proposed food truck regulations.
(Full-size photo)

Proposed regulations on mobile food trucks operating in Spokane were temporarily withdrawn from City Council consideration Monday night following organized opposition from owners concerned about fees and restrictions.

“We are all very glad to see that the city of Spokane is being proactive,” said Joile Forral, president of the newly formed Greater Spokane Food Truck Association. “However, we do not feel that the ordinances … are ready to be passed.”

The council agreed 5-2 to a one-month delay sought by Council President Ben Stuckart and Councilman Mike Allen. Both want to meet with all sides over the next month to try ironing out the concerns.

Among them are provisions enabling property owners to prohibit the food trucks and carts from operating in adjacent public rights of way such as city parking stalls or sidewalks, and a fee structure that charges an additional amount for each location mobile truck operators want to operate in. The regulations also would enable fixed-location restaurants to prohibit food trucks from setting up within 75 feet of their front door, though some council members indicated they’re unlikely to budge on that one.

Meanwhile, food trucks will continue to operate in a legal gray area.

State law requires that they comply with the same health and safety laws as restaurants, but none of the city’s business licenses adequately address the way the increasingly popular industry does business, leaving food truck operators potentially vulnerable if local authorities decided to crack down on them.

“This ordinance is, and always has been, about what we as a city can do to support the mobile food industry,” said Andrew Worlock, an associate city planner who has spent more than a year working on the regulations.

The vendors said that while they welcome the city’s effort to formally recognize their ability to operate, many feel they’re being held to different standards.

“If I’m legally parked in a city parking spot, paying the meter, why should the adjacent property owner be able to have a say over whether I can be there,” Forral asked during an interview last week as she took a break from her mobile operation, called the Couple of Chefs Catering Street Cuisine Truck.

Her partner, Allen Skelton, asked whether the city will consider placing restrictions on where pizza delivery drivers can park, too.

“Pizza Hut rolls up, parks in front of a building and delivers pizza to tenants all the time and the building owner can’t tell them where they can or can’t park,” Skelton said. “Why should we be any different?”

The restrictions are similar to what cities such as Seattle and Portland have adopted and are designed to keep a level playing field, Worlock said.

“In most cases, the mobile vendor and the property owner already have a relationship because the health department requires them to have access to bathrooms and they’ve probably already made those kinds of arrangements,” he said. “But we want to see those conversations take place up front.”

Under the ordinance, mobile food vendor licenses would cost $40 a year, plus a one-time $10 fee for each approved location. Those operating in downtown Spokane would pay an additional $90 per year that would go to the Downtown Spokane Partnership for promotion and improvement services that all property owners and tenants are assessed. There are nearly 100 food trucks operating in the Spokane area currently but only a handful in the downtown area.

The proposed permit fees are less than what mobile food operators pay in Seattle, officials said, while the DSP assessment is less than the average $500 paid by downtown restaurants, or the city’s annual $250 fee paid by restaurants setting up tables outside on sidewalks.

Property managers and restaurateurs say they’re supportive of the growing food truck craze but want regulations in place that protect them and their investments from any uncooperative operators who might arrive at some point.

“They are a great asset for downtown,” Andrew Rolwes, public policy manager for the Downtown Spokane Partnership, said last week. “Other cities have seen food trucks evolve into successful partnerships with neighboring businesses and we hope for their continued growth here.”

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May 20, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck teaches skills for those in need

Destination Desserts

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The food truck that travels around the St. Louis area is known for its sweets _ gooey butter bars, rocky road cupcakes.

In fact, it serves a higher purpose _ providing job training for people with head injuries and disorders such as autism.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1gb4j6O) officials at the Center for Head Injury Services came up with the idea after the economy soured in 2008. The economic collapse made it even more difficult to find work for those with disabilities.

Destination Desserts was born.

The business, a nonprofit, began in 2012 with help from grants from the Kessler Foundation and Developmental Disabilities Resources. It sold 15,000 dozen cookies to corporations and others that first winter, and officially hit the streets a little over a year ago.

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May 20, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food Truck Mondays Coming to Legacy Village in June

zy.PNG

  • Photo via Facebook

Folks looking for an East Side equivalent to Walnut Wednesdays are in luck: Legacy Village has just announced the launch of a new lunchtime series: Food Truck Mondays.

Beginning June 9, a handful of the area’s most popular food trucks will take up curbside residence at the Lyndhurst mall between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., including Hodge Podge, Chef Grey Wolf, The Orange Truk, Zydeco Bistro, Mobile Sushi Bar, Get Stuffed, The Nosh Box and Tony’s Truck Stop.

“There is nowhere else in the East Side suburbs where people can find a diverse array of food trucks in one location,” Susan Windle, general manager of the property, told Cleveland.com. “We’re excited to offer this event.”

Six Monday sessions have been planned so far: June 9 and 23, July 7 and 21, and Aug. 4 and 18. Live music will be featured at all of them.

Now see: 10 Cleveland Food Trucks We’re Totally Stoked for this Spring

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