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Jacksonville Food trucks

JACKSONVILLE, FL – In a closely watched issue for local food truck owners and fans, drafted legislation for Jacksonville’s food truck ordinance will go before City Council committees this week.

Councilman Reggie Brown proposed new rules for food trucks back in February, including regulations for business hours and where they can operate.

Critics of these rules said they would essentially legislate food trucks out of existence.

How can the City Council and food truck owners balance concerns about health and safety, while at the same time making sure they’re not suffocating a growing business and popular cultural trend here in Northeast Florida?

Chef Chriss Brown, owner of Beaver Street Commissary, where many of the food trucks park, joined First Coast Connect guest host Karen Feagins to discuss the legislation.

Find the original article with audio at wjct.org <here>

deland fl downtown

DELAND, FL – Food-truck vendors looking to operate on private property in DeLand will have to jump through a few new hoops before they can open their serving windows to hungry customers.

An ordinance requiring trucks and the sites which host them to get permits from the city passed 4-0 — with Commissioner Vonzelle Johnson absent — on second reading at Monday’s meeting of the City Commission.

Several commissioners had previously expressed concern that food trucks parked long-term in vacant lots were acting as de facto restaurants and competing with the town’s brick-and-mortar eateries.

The ordinance requires each food truck “host site” to get an annual license from the city.

Each site would be allowed to have food trucks up to 12 times each year.

The food trucks themselves will be required to undergo an annual fire safety inspection, as well as obtain a business tax receipt if based in the city.

The new rules wouldn’t apply to food trucks operating in the city as part of a special event.

While the idea for the ordinance was first brought up last summer, protracted negotiations with private land owners who would have been affected delayed its adoption.

Find the entire article by news-journalonline.com <here>

World's Largest Food Truck Rally

New record set with 121 food trucks in attendance

TAMPA, FL – A Tampa food truck rally has set a new Guinness World Record for holding the largest food truck parade.

More than 121 food trucks took part in the World’s Largest Food Truck Rally on Saturday at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Jennifer O’Brien, a Florida State Fair Authority spokeswoman, said 62 trucks set last year’s record in Miami.

The Tampa Bay Times reports about 170 trucks participated in the event, but only trucks that displayed photographs of food were included in the official number. The event continues Sunday.

jacksonville fl food trucksJACKSONVILLE, FL – It’s something that’s giving “heartburn”, and could lead to some changes for Jacksonville’s food trucks before any regulation is on the books- a pilot program letting trucks serve in Hemming Plaza.

“That’s why they call it a pilot program, we didn’t realize the impact it was going to have,” says Councilman Reggie Brown.

Brown is leading the push for new regulations on food trucks in Jacksonville, and during the second workshop on drafting legislation he raised the idea of relocating this program from Hemming Plaza. The intent of the pilot is to figure out how to “program” Hemming Plaza, but many of the “brick and mortar” restaurants in the immediate area are not happy with how the pilot has grown.

Several came to Monday’s workshop to voice this concern, as well as their thoughts on the limited foot traffic in Downtown, and therefore blow their business would take from allowing food trucks to operate in the area. The wrong way to frame the debate, according to the truckies.

“We’re not trying to impede in their business, but I think it’s about free enterprise and they [customers] make the choice of where they want to eat that day,” says Jennifer Kline with Up In Smoke BBQ.

Find the entire article at wokv.com <here>

Photo by: Trent Penny

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Brown and city food truck operators met on Wednesday to discuss new regulations for the rolling eateries.

Several changes were made to a proposal introduced by Brown last month to satisfy the concerns of truck operators. The proposed legislation was the focus of public outcry after food truck owners said it would make running a successful food truck business impossible in the city.

Food truck vendors will be allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. The draft previously shut down operations at midnight.

The language was modified to allow food trucks to be in residential neighborhoods if it has a written agreement with a homeowner to cater an event.

City lawyers clarified confusion over language requiring bathrooms, saying the policy applied to those giving away food like a church to the homeless and not where it’s being sold for profit.

Other guidelines, like where the trucks can park, will follow state regulations.

Jennifer Kline with Up in Smoke BBQ said she’s happy Brown and other city officials are listening to their concerns.

“I just hope that we can come to an agreement which I think we can. I hope that we can start getting some more space for food trucks to park downtown as well as other areas of Jacksonville,” she said.

Reggie Brown said he learned a lot from the food truck operators about what state regulations they already work under.

Find the entire article at wjct.org <here>

on the fly jacksonville food truckJACKSONVILLE, FL – A City Councilman is working on a bill to impose more regulations on Jacksonville food trucks — regulations that supporters of the mobile eateries say could put the brakes on the city’s food truck scene.

Councilman Reginald Brown has drawn up an ordinance that would limit the number of hours food trucks can operate — no later than midnight and no earlier than 6 a.m. — as well as the areas in which they can operate.

Trucks would be banned within 500 feet of a single-family residential dwelling, a residentially zoned neighborhood, a commercially zoned neighborhood or a residential subdivision. They would also have to be more than 500 feet from city-owned parks, although they could get a permit to waive that restriction.

Trucks could operate only near a curb space, and only where the zoning is commercial or industrial. They would have to be 75 feet from other permitted vendors.

Brown said Tuesday he began to look into food truck regulations after issues with trucks on Lane Avenue and at the intersection of Ray and Cleveland Roads off of Edgewood Avenue on the Westside.

He is holding a public meeting at city hall at 3 p.m. Wednesday to invite public comment on the issue.

Find the entire article at bizjournals.com <here>

Generation Food truckTAMPA, FL – The record-setting food truck rally that served a reported 20,000 hungry customers in Tampa last summer will take another spin at the Florida State Fairgrounds this spring.

Organizers for the “World’s Largest Food Truck Rally Part II” have set the second mass gathering of mobile eateries for March 29 and 30, expanding the event to two days.

The goal is to break the world record for most food trucks gathered in one place, set at last year’s rally with 99. This time they hope to more than double that number with 200 trucks.

The hugely popular 2013 rally exceeded organizer Jeremy Gomez’s most optimistic expectations by nearly 10,000 customers. Some trucks ran out of menu items by midafternoon, and some had to make runs to nearby grocery stores to restock as many as three times during the event.

The event will be free admission, with a fee of $6 to park at the fairgrounds. Trucks will be charging individually for food.

Find the original article at tbo.com <here>

on the fly jacksonville food truckJACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL –  Some restaurant owners in Jacksonville Beach say now that the city has approved food trucks, the one-year pilot program test puts stationary businesses at a disadvantage.

John Hayes opened up The Hot Dog Spot on McCormick and Monument roads seven years ago and over a year ago, he expanded his business to Jacksonville Beach. He said getting wheels to compete with food trucks is not an option.

“Since it’s only going to be for one year, I don’t think that will be really cost justifiable for me to outlay that kind of money and then in a year they might not even approve it again,” said Hayes.

The City of Jacksonville Beach voted Monday to release the brakes on food trucks and allow the businesses to operate under a pilot test program that will expire in April 2015. Business owners who have been against food trucks coming to the beach say the temporary approval has no benefits.

“In the winter time down in Jacksonville Beach, it’s a little bit slower and with the mobile vendors. They don’t have to be down there during that time,” said Hayes.

Food trucks are a part of a multi-million dollar industry of mobile vendors that continues to gain momentum across the US.

Find the entire article at firstcoastnews.com <here>

grilled-cheese-truckPLANTATION, FL – A food truck company with a loyal following in California for its grilled cheese sandwiches has moved its corporate headquarters to South Florida, with plans to begin serving the region via franchise partners.

The Grilled Cheese Truck, now based in Plantation, says it wants its first South Florida franchises to be run primarily by veterans.

Veterans — both as owners and employees — “know how to follow standard procedure. They understand service and discipline,” said Peter Goldstein, director, president and interim chief financial officer of The Grilled Cheese Truck. “We believe that training, leadership and skill-sets learned will help us grow the company by having good, long-term employees.”

The company is in the process of raising about $5 million to help fund its growth and franchise system, Goldstein said. It expects to have a set of accredited investors by the end of April. Franchise fees will be $25,000.

The business needs to take care of logistics and legal paperwork needed to set up franchises in South Florida, Goldstein said. Once all that is set, he said, it takes about 90 days for a franchisee to enter the market.

The food trucks should begin serving the area as early as this summer, he said.

Find the entire article at sun-sentinel.com <here>

Congratulations to the Saucy ‘Stache as Mobile Cuisine’s 2013 Rookie Food Truck of the Year!

2013 rookie of the year food truck

New to the Miami food truck scene, they’re already making their saucy mark on south Florida.  The Saucy ‘Stache was conceived by sisters Nichole and Michelle.  While Nichole attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, she learned early on she had a knack for creating yummy sauces.  Upon returning to south Florida, she and sister Michelle, a marketing professional, decided to open a truck.

We’re so happy they did.

To aid in the kitchen, Michelle’s husband Anthony was trained while their folks round out the Saucy ‘Stache support team.  With a tight-knit group in place, the sisters love going to work every day.  Nichole takes great pleasure in creating dishes where customers order seconds for their next meals.  Michelle’s strengths are outside of the kitchen, basically keeping the engine running.  Outside of truck responsibilities, Michelle also runs an online marketing agency and coordinates catering events for food trucks.

The sisters offer a couple of tips for food truck owners, especially those just starting out.  When you think you have all of your bases covered with permits and licenses, another requirement will always come up.  Be flexible and prepared.  Once you’re on the road, know your audience.  The Saucy ‘Stache has many options and the sisters tailor the menu for the day’s or event’s audience.  If they are serving at a brewery, they “bring foods that are a hit with drunk people.  Our fried macaroni balls seem to make them very happy,” says Michelle.  If they go to a wellness event, they “load up on salad and brown rice.”

Whatever the event or menu offering the Saucy ‘Stache has combinations that will tempt you to lick your bowl clean.  Nichole’s favorite is the latest special — sautéed steak in the ninja garlic sauce over brown rice with mandarin teriyaki sauce.  Michelle likes the maple bacon bourbon sauce (um, I personally believe everything is good with bourbon sauce) with their truffled sweet potato mash side.  We’re drooling here.

The Saucy ‘Stache sisters are having fun meeting their customers and creating fun, tasty dishes for them.  They are going to be fun to watch as they grow and evolve.  What’s next on their to-do list?  World domination.  If it’s covered in maple bacon bourbon sauce, we can’t wait!

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