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burlington food trucks

BURLINGTON, VT – Burlington is taking an initial look at bringing food trucks into the downtown to open up more spaces to a growing industry.

The city’s Community and Economic Development Office began exploring the idea after hearing from vendors who want Burlington to become a friendlier environment for food trucks.

“We’ve just been inspired by other cities who are doing lots of innovative things with food trucks, but also by the demand that we have here,” said Diana Colangelo, economic development specialist.

A city ordinance currently prohibits larger food trucks from operating in the downtown area. Outside of that area, food trucks must park at non-metered spaces, and if trucks want to set up shop at a city park, they need to work out an arrangement with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront. Oakledge Park allows two food trucks for the first time this year.

So the idea of food trucks pulling up outside of downtown businesses at lunchtime remains several steps from becoming reality — including a significant amount of public input. Colangelo’s office has also yet to settle on a location for the trucks.

Colangelo said, however, that she hopes food trucks could be allowed downtown as early as next year.

Vendors say greater access to downtown would give entrepreneurs a leg up.

“For me, you cannot truly be endorsing food trucks without allowing them to access areas where our tourists will be,” said Marcelle Bunbury-Whitcomb, who owns a Caribbean food truck called Bunbury EAT with her husband, Robert Whitcomb.

The city also recognizes that trucks might be unwelcome neighbors for some downtown restaurants.

“I think our interest is supporting businesses of all types in the city,” said Colangelo.

The suggestions come as a Burlington City Council committee is separately reopening the ordinance that regulates peddlers, including food trucks.

Full plates, with limits

Burlington’s food truck scene is relatively small but growing.

In the last year, the number of traveling food truck licenses in Burlington has grown from 7 to 11, said Jean Poulin, who handles peddler licensing at City Hall.

There’s a waiting list for the seven food truck spots near the University of Vermont, and hip South End venue ArtsRiot fills its parking lot with food trucks and lines of customers every Friday in the summer.

Pam Bissonnette, whose Pam’s Deli truck has been parked on University Place for 31 years, said she has “definitely” seen an increase in food trucks in Burlington through the years.

However, Bissonnette said, she believes limitations are necessary. She remembers a time when 13 vendors packed into University Place, prompting the current regulations.

“I think there should be a limit, I really do, because I know the restauranteurs pay a lot more than what we do,” Bissonnette said as she and her husband, George, served sandwiches and burgers at lunchtime Tuesday.

“I just think there’s so much energy right now for food trucks, for food truck culture,” said Liz Carson, sales director for Queen City Pops, a new company that sells frozen chocolate truffles out of a cart. “It has so much less risk involved than opening a storefront or opening a restaurant.”

“In some ways it’s almost like an incubator program — to see how it goes to make some money, gain a customer base and then take it to the next step,” added her sister, Sarah Carson, who owns the business.

Since Queen City Pops operates out of a cart instead of a truck, the business is allowed to reserve a designated spot downtown.

The sisters say it is a challenge to be a new food vendor in Burlington because the most coveted spots are already taken — and they’d like to see some locations reserved as rotating vendor spots. Overall, however, they said they believe Burlington’s regulations work well.

Find the entire article at burlingtonfreepress.com <here>

In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry we have compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this past weekend from Atmore, Rochester, Burlington and Philadelphia.

OTW Logo food truck newsMarch 21

Wind Creek Hospitality Develops a New Recipe for Promoting Alabama Food – ATMORE, AL – On March 21st, Wind Creek Hospitality (WCH) will launch the first of a new wave of initiatives aimed at promoting great food in Alabama as its custom-built food truck leaves the Northeast and begins the trek to its new home in Wetumpka.

Find the entire article <here>

March 22

Food Truck Rule Change – ROCHESTER, NY – Mobile eaters have welcomed the concept of tasty bites served out of trucks, but food truck owners say city regulations in Rochester have made it a bumpy ride. “The market itself is great,” said Arthur Rothfuss, owner of “Hello Arepa,” “working with the city has not always been very easy.”

Find the entire article <here>

March 23

Burlington adopts food truck ordinance – BURLINGTON, NC – Burlington has adopted a food truck ordinance last week, which differs slightly from the proposal the Planning & Economic Development Department presented to the city council last month.

The operation of food trucks will be regulated by a “Food Trucks” section added to the code of ordinances’ chapter 26, “Peddlers.”

Find the entire article <here>

Food Truck Events Help Grow Small Businesses, Support Local Economy – PHILADELPHIA, PA – Following the success of The Food Trust’s Night Market Philly food truck events, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) pushed for a grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) that will assist in growing these businesses, facilitating job creation, and attracting patronage and tourism to emerging Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Find the entire article <here>

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