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Birmingham

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expect delays signBIRMINGHAM, AL - The Birmingham City Council again delayed a vote on a mobile food vendors ordinance that has been under consideration for nearly a year and a half.

The council voted 8-0 to delay the vote until its Dec. 17 meeting in two weeks. Councilor Lasunda Scales was not present for the vote.

Assistant city attorney Alan Foster told the council members that because of the short Thanksgiving holiday week last week, the city’s legal department needed more time to address all of their legal concerns and to ensure the ordinance is fair to both food truck vendors and brick-and-mortar restaurant owners.

Key ordinance points:

  • Create food zones within the city where food trucks and push carts could set up — either in a permanent location within the city limits or on a rotation cycle at specific locations within the “premier area” of the City Center.
  • Require food truck vendors to pay an annual fee of $300 for a general permit to operate with the city limits or $500 for a “premier” permit to operate within the City Center; for push carts operators, those fees would be $80 or $100, respectively.
  • Establish a Mobile Food Vendors Committee made up of representatives from various city departments, as well as REV Birmingham and the Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition, to review all applications and approve their locations.
  • Restrict food trucks from operating with 150 feet of an existing restaurant.
  • Limit, with some exceptions, the hours during which mobile food vendors could operate within the City Center to between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, plus some late-night hours determined on a case-by-case basis.

The Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition, which represents the food truck and push cart vendors, has been vocal in its opposition to the ordinance as it it currently written, calling it “restrictive and oppressive.”

Find the entire article at al.com <here>

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Greater Birmingham Street Food CoalitionBIRMINGHAM, AL - The Birmingham City Council could vote Tuesday on a much-debated and long-delayed mobile food vendors’ ordinance that food truck owners say is “restrictive and oppressive” and, if passed, could put them out of business.

The Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition, which represents the food truck and push cart operators, is opposed in particular to a provision in the proposed ordinance that would restrict them to certain designated zones and limit their ability to move around the city.

“The GBSFC is fighting this ordinance because, as it stands now, it is restrictive and oppressive,” Paget Pizitz, co-owner of the Melt food truck and vice president of the coalition, wrote in an email to AL.com. “If passed, it could put many of the trucks, carts and trailers out of business.

“This means countless loss of jobs and there is the potential that Birmingham would be a city without food trucks. This is particularly upsetting because the people of Birmingham have been so welcoming and supportive of the food truck community.”

The coalition has adopted the slogan “No Zones, Let Us Roam,” and is urging councilors to vote no on the ordinance as it is currently written.

“The Birmingham Food Truck Coalition is concerned with the proposed Birmingham Food Truck and Mobile Vendor Ordinance, as it currently stands,” the group said in a statement. “Among other provisions, the proposed ordinance would limit food truck operations to currently unknown ‘food zones’ to be designated in the future by the City Council.

The ordinance the council could vote on Tuesday would, among other things:

  • Require food truck vendors to pay an annual fee of $300 for a general permit to operate with the city limits or $500 for a “premier” permit to operate within the City Center; for push carts operators, those fees would be $80 or $100, respectively.
  • Establish a Mobile Food Vendors Committee made up of representatives from various city departments, as well as REV Birmingham and the Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition, to review all applications and approve their locations.
  • Restrict food trucks from operating with 150 feet of an existing restaurant.
  • Limit, with some exceptions, the hours during which mobile food vendors could operate to between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, plus some late-night hours determined on a case-by-case basis.

Find the entire article at AL.com <here>

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In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this past weekend from Jacksonville, Birmingham, Houston and Helena.

Off the Wire Food Truck NewsNovember 8

Food trucks may be coming to Jacksonville Beach – JACKSONVILLE, FL - They’re tough to miss. The food truck trend is growing and basic economics can possibly explain it. They are in demand.

Johnny Hassan just cut into the business four months ago with his Cravings Mobile Kitchen. A new comer who saw an opportunity.

Find the entire article <here>

Birmingham leaders to vote on mobile vendor ordinance – BIRMINGHAM, AL - Change and regulations are on the way for food truck vendors and other mobile business operators in the city of Birmingham.

The Birmingham City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on an ordinance outlining laws for the businesses to follow. The guidelines include hours of operation, zones in which to operate and licensing rules.

Find the entire article <here>

November 9

Foodies unite at Houston’s Food Truck Festival – HOUSTON, TX  - Parked on the southwest side, the city’s favorite food trucks idled together for the 2nd Houston Food Truck Fest at Stereo Live.

The Bayou City rolls quite a few of gourmet food trucks aimed at showcasing the mobile chef driven business. The industry is growing into a close 4% of all restaurant sales…and on Saturday the best held a fest.

Find the entire article <here>

November 10

Chavela’s taco truck owner sees bright future, if he makes it through lean months – HELENA, MT - The owner of Chavela’s is the first to say that operating the mobile Mexican eatery has been a learning experience.

Leon Sanchez, 61, fired up his food truck in July upon retiring from more than 30 years as a postal worker in Helena.

Find the entire article <here>

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In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this labor day weekend from Lansing, Huntsville, Tampa, Birmingham and Mundelein.

August 30

Off the Wire Food Truck News8 Michigan food trucks win nearly $78,000 in state grants to launch or expand their business – LANSING, MI - Eight food trucks throughout the state won a total of $77,775 in grants to either launch their business or expand it.

The trucks are from East Lansing, Kalamazoo, Flint, Pontiac, Southfield, Traverse City and Marquette. They were chosen among 65 applications requesting $601,372.

Find the entire article <here>

Food trucks could serve downtown Huntsville 7 days a week if proposal passes – HUNTSVILLE, AL - Food trucks would become a more regular part of the downtown Huntsville dining scene under a proposed change to the city zoning ordinance.

A rule adopted earlier this year let mobile eateries set up along Clinton Avenue and Cleveland Avenue as part of the new downtown arts and entertainment districts. However, they are limited to serving food from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

Find the entire article <here>

August 31

Tampa smashes world record for food trucks – TAMPA, FL - Rain was in the air Saturday morning, but it didn’t stop a world record-breaking effort at the World’s Largest Food Truck Rally.

More than 80 trucks paraded from downtown Tampa to the Florida State Fairgrounds after Mayor Bob Buckhorn rang the ceremonial dinner bell. At the fairgrounds, 99 trucks was the final record-breaking count. The previous world record was 62, set at Magic City Casino in Miami in April.

Find the entire article <here>

September 1

More UAB Dining Options to Come – BIRMINGHAM, AL - UAB Campus Restaurants is expanding more rapidly than ever with new additions of restaurants and food trucks across campus.

 UAB has contracted local food trucks to be available for students, faculty and alumni at the Mini Park Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The food trucks include Cantina on Wheels, Melt, Off the Hook, and Spoonfed Grill. Dining dollars will be accepted at all mobile sites.

Find the entire article <here>

September 2

Taste of Paris in Mundelein adds mobile food truck -  MUNDELEIN, IL - Claude Bouteille is no stuffy French chef bound to a secretive kitchen.

The Mundelein transplant opened Taste of Paris four years ago in, of all places, an intimate space he shared with an Italian pizzeria and bistro sitting in a strip mall.

Find the entire article <here>

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - Food truck operators around Birmingham have circled the wagons, and recently announced they have formed a coalition to promote the city’s growing street food industry and guard against too much government regulation.

birmingham alabama

The group, which calls itself the Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition, began as a Facebook movement last year, when the Birmingham City Council first considered an ordinance that would enforce when and where food trucks and push carts may do business in the city. According to the group’s website:

The Greater Birmingham Street Food Coalition is a group of culinary entrepreneurs who sell high-quality, diverse and exciting cuisines from vehicles, push-carts and other portable vending facilities. The Coalition seeks to promote and protect our industry as a viable and beneficial business model and to assist members in with the legal, regulatory, and public relations issues that arise in connection with the operation of members’ businesses. Specifically we hope to:

  • Provide a single point of contact for local government officials, owners of “bricks and mortar” restaurants, and members of the public to foster and maintain positive relations with all concerned.
  • Work cooperatively with municipalities and governmental bureaucracies to review codes, ordinances, procedures and enforcement so that they better address the realities of this new industry and not try to apply out-dated and inapplicable rules to this novel and dynamic business model.
  • Assist members with legal and regulatory compliance issues and concerns.
  • Provide assistance to members to assist them in providing positive additions to this new culinary movement.
  • Create a system of addressing issues that may arise from our presence and develop equitable solutions to resolve any problems.
  • Provide contact information for members of the community who wish to avail themselves of the services our members.

The group also plans to promote and raise money for the mobile food industry by hosting food-truck festivals similar to the Trucks By the Tracks event last year at Railroad Park.

 

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In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this weekend from Tallahassee, Birmingham, Tampa and Norfolk.

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December 7

Florida Food Trucks Becoming Big Business – TALLAHASSEE, FL - Today, it seems almost any random gathering of people is likely to attract at least one food truck.  Tom Flanigan reports the number of these restaurants-on-wheels is growing in Florida, as well as their impact on the economies in which they operate.

Find the entire article <here>

Birmingham City Council urged to reconsider ordinance on mobile food vendors – BIRMINGHAM, AL – An attorney for a group of food truck and push cart vendors has written members of the Birmingham City Council to say the vendors have “serious concerns” about a proposed mobile food ordinance that they say is “extraordinarily restrictive” and, if passed as written, could drive them out of downtown.

Find the entire article <here>

December 8

Food trucks serve at Tampa General Hospital during cafeteria rehab – TAMPA, FL - Ev Barnes coordinates a fleet of special trucks and vans, 28 and growing, that cycles into the parking lot each night near the former emergency room entrance at Tampa General Hospital.

They’re not ambulances.

“Truck Daddy” Barnes, as he’s come to be known, is bringing much of Tampa’s growing collection of eclectic private food trucks to TGH to satisfy the late-night hunger of people visiting and working there while renovations are under way at the cafeteria kitchen.

Find the entire article <here>

December 9

Food trucks in Norfolk get yellow light from agency – NORFOLK, VA - A group that’s been pushing the city to allow food trucks downtown got a mixed response from the city’s planning department last week.

The city’s planning staff is recommending the food trucks be allowed, but with several limitations that are more stringent than proponents desire.

Find the entire article <here>

 

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - Birmingham’s street food scene is still young, but it’s already cooked up some creative meals.Fresh Off the Bun vends Vietnamese Tacos, while Spoonfed Grill serves quesadillas, goat cheese and cranberry lime turkey burgers. Then there’s Shindigs Catering which offers very upscale lunch fare like “seared quail with grits,” sweet potato buns and burgers with “humanely raised” beef. Too bad Birmingham bureaucrats are trying to crack down on food trucks.

birmingham food trucks

Image from ij.com

The city council is currently debating a newly proposed 17-pageordinance to regulate food trucks. A vote is expected on December 11. Recently revised, this new ordinance came about after complaints from some owners of brick-and-mortar restaurants. Yet the proposed ordinance is so onerous, a few food truck owners are even threatening to quit vending altogether. Take Mac Russell, co-owner of the Shindigs Catering Truck: “If this goes through, there is no way I’m going with this. I will go a different direction in business other than try to keep up with all the stuff they are trying to get us to do.” Using the power of the state is one way to muscle out the competition.

For starters, the revised ordinance would ban food trucks from selling within 230-foot of an open brick-and-mortar restaurant. Street food vendors could stay no more than two hours in one location, while “suggested hours are 7 to 9 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch, and 4 to 6 p.m. for dinner.”

Find the entire article by Nick Sibilla at the Institute of Justice <here>

 

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - The Birmingham City Council moved a little closer today toward approving a proposed food-truck ordinance that has been idling since September.

birmingham food truck spoonfed grill

The Spoonfed Grill food truck is often parked along Fifth Avenue North downtown. (Tamika Moore/al.com)

At a council work session this afternoon, six councilors went over a 16-page proposal that, among other things, would help establish the hours and locations where mobile food vendors could park their trucks and carts and would determine how much those vendors would pay in annual fees.

As proposed, the ordinance would:

  • Establish a Mobile Food Vendors Committee to approve applications for food truck permits and regulate designated food zones throughout the city.
  • Require prospective mobile vendors to pay a $200 non-refundable application fee, plus a $300 annual fee to operate within the city limits or $500 to operate within the downtown City Center.
  • Limit hours of operation for food trucks and carts to no more than two hours at a time at any location. Suggested hours are 7 to 9 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch, and 4 to 6 p.m. for dinner. Late-night hours would be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Restrict food trucks and push carts from doing business within 230 feet of any existing restaurant during that restaurant’s regular business hours.

Click on the link to read the entire article about Birmingham getting closer to allowing food trucks by Bob Carlton at al.com.

 

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - One food truck company didn’t mind making less money yesterday. Shindigs Catering donated 10 percent of their food truck sales to Children’s Hospital yesterday between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Shindigs Catering

The event was part of the Miracle Makers for Children’s program, a year-round statewide campaign designed to increase awareness and funding support for the nationally-recognized specialized programs and services offered by Children’s of Alabama.

As a Miracle Maker, Shindigs Catering joins numerous stores and restaurants across Alabama in supporting Children’s through a variety of fundraising efforts.

“As a not-for-profit hospital, we depend on the support of our donors, corporate sponsors and friends to help meet the ever-changing healthcare needs of patients at Children’s of Alabama,” Janie Jones, Community Development Coordinator for Children’s, said in a release.

“We are excited to have Shindigs Catering as one of our Miracle Makers. Every dollar that is raised stays in Alabama and has a direct impact on our patients, families and the community. Community support is essential to making Children’s what it is today and what it will be tomorrow,” Jones said.

Find the original article at myfoxal.com <here>

Shindigs

Twitter: @ShindigsTrucks

We satisfy the demands of the modern client who has little time to eat, but is not willing to compromise on their health or the quality of their food.

Birmingham, AL · http://shindigscateringtrucks.com

 

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In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this weekend from Jacksonville, Baltimore, Napa Valley, Columbus, Birmingham and Auburn.

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September 14

Food trucks to appear at Jaguars games – Jacksonville, FL - Jacksonville food trucks will be a part of the experience at Jacksonville Jaguars games this year.

Jax Truckies and the Jaguars partnered up to create the “Truck of the Week” program at each home game. The truck will park inside the Fan Entertainment Zone inside the stadium’s south end zone starting Sept. 16 when the Houston Texans come to Jacksonville, according to a news release.

Find the entire article <here>

Not everyone in Little Italy loves the food trucks – Baltimore, MD - Not everybody loves those food-truck rallies. Residents in Little Italy received a sarcasm-laced flier in their mailboxes, from parties unknown, protesting the Friday night event in their neighborhood.

The letter is written as if from (fictional) greedy and thoughtless promoters of the event. “Please support us, instead of your local residents.” the letter concludes, “Sincerely, non-property owners/non-renters, non-residents.”

Find the entire article <here>

September 15

City fervor to regulate food trucks cools – Napa Valley, CA - The long-awaited food truck ordinance that had been the talk of the city for more than a year is on the back burner and may not materialize anytime soon, according to city staff.

The issue bubbled up in early 2011 after a food-truck round-up event, Food Truck Fridays, drew the ire of city officials who said it did not comply with city rules and created fresh problems.

Find the entire article <here>

Fat Chicks’ truck slows, Sunflower looks to roll – Columbus, OH - Uncertainty hit Columbia’s food trucking industry this week, with an announcement that the owner of Fat Chicks Chow Wagon was selling her truck and the owners of Sunflower Waffle are leaving Mojo’s to get their truck on the road.

Fat Chick’s Chow Wagon, which opened in March 2011, closed in early July because of mechanical problems with the truck, according to a July 9 tweet from proprietor Lisa Nichols. On Monday, her Facebook post was brief: “For sale. $13,000 :(

Find the entire article <here>

September 16

Simmering food truck debate in Birmingham City Hall – Birmingham, AL - A small convoy of food wagons will pull into Railroad Park today at the first Trucks By the Tracks festival, billed as a celebration of Birmingham’s growing food truck scene.

On Tuesday, though, the Birmingham City Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would limit where those food trucks could park and the hours in which they could operate, as well as create an annual fee that some truck vendors say might cause them to move outside the city limits.

Find the entire article <here>

Food Trucks Battling Auburn City Council’s Limitations – Auburn, CA - There’s a feud simmering in Auburn, food trucks versus standing businesses. Now, city council is stepping in. Maria Moreno has quite a following. “I love it. I love my cooking. I love to be with the people and I like it,” said Moreno.

Her food truck, Maria’s Mexican Tacos, attracts a lot of customers in Auburn and is serving as a great source of extra income. “With the economy right now, it’s quiet in the restaurant. I try and go out to pay the bills,” said Moreno. The only problem, there are restrictions on food trucks in downtown and old town Auburn.

“I’m not trying to take away business from everybody,” said Moreno.

Find the entire article <here>

 

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