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Food Cart

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Jordan Epping Food CartPORTLAND, OR - He owns a business and he doesn’t even have his driver’s license yet.

A Keizer boy was thrilled to get his business cooking in a mobile food cart that he’d saved up to buy.

But it was stolen right after he bought it.

“I’m taking French class and we made crepes. It’s really interesting,” said 14-year-old Jordan Epping.

That lesson inspired Epping to make crepes and sell them out of a food cart.

“I’ve always been interested in starting a business and this crepe business sounded like a really good idea,” he said.

Last week, Epping bought a cart off of Craigslist.

He used all his savings.

“It was originally listed for $400, but the guy was on Craigslist so long I got it for $150,” he said.

Jordan had plans to fix it up with corrugated metal, install a sink and sell crepes.

“I’ve actually already registered as the sole proprietor with the IRS,” he said.

His menu cover shows the name of his business: La Crepe Ape.

“I actually had my grandpa lined up to be an investor, for three percent,” he said.

But on Monday, someone stole the cart from a locked storage lot in Salem.

The storage lot was closed that day and they don’t have cameras.

“It would really be nice to get it back because of the time and the money,” said the teen.

Jordan just wants the cart back so he can get his business rolling.

The cart was so new that it wasn’t insured, yet.

His mom filed a police report with Keizer police.

On Friday afternoon, Epping said someone found his cart on the side of Gregg Butler Auto Body Shop in Jefferson and that he’s got it back.

Persistence is the first ingredient to any success.

Find the original article by Erica Heartquist at KGW.com <here>

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black marketVANCOUVER, CANADA - Vancouver City Hall has halted new food cart applications for 2014 after realizing some venders were flipping their permits by using a “loophole” that allows card holders to sub-lease their licenses.

According to a letter sent last month to street venders, city street activities co-ordinator Alan Rockett said council would be asked to ban the so-called “renting” of street vending permits.

The proposal would additionally limit the number of permits each business can have.

The city currently has 138 food cart permits issued.

The recommendations are expected to go to council in February.

Coun. Kerry Jang said on Tuesday the subletting problem is an issue that wasn’t foreseen when the city’s food cart program was first set up in 2010.

“Somebody would get a couple of licenses and sublet it to somebody else at a higher profit, that’s sort of a loophole,” he said.

“So somebody would pay a $1,000 fee (to the city), and say, ‘Hey, I got two. So here you can have (one) at $10,000.’”

Staff, he added, had also been tasked to monitor the program also to ensure “brick-and-mortar” businesses weren’t being impacted unfairly by the street venders.

According to city hall, applications for the street vending program are assessed based on food safety requirements, business plans, ingredients used, among other factors.

Find the original article at vancouver.24hrs.ca <here>

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food cart cityNAPERVILLE, IL - When we first read the headline of the original article we were thrilled to see another Chicagoland suburb open their arms to (or continue to in Naperville’s case) to the mobile food industry. Then as we read into the article the thrills turned into eye rolls. Wow, the city is is going to allow two whole food carts to operate…how generous.

Downtown Naperville likely will continue to be home to two mobile food carts for the foreseeable future, but the fare may not always be limited to red hots and ribs.

The city’s Downtown Advisory Commission members agreed Thursday to recommend to the city council that the 3-year-old food cart program be allowed to continue in perpetuity with the number of permits restricted to two. The recommendation also suggests the city annually seek requests for quotes from all interested companies, with a deference to established vendors.

Councilman Joe McElroy, who also sits on the commission, said he supports renewing the food cart program as long as the permits are capped at two.

“We finally have this thing working well so let’s leave well enough alone,” McElroy said.

“If we expand it, we’ll cause more unrest and I really want this to be less of staff’s life.”

So the reason they left the program at two permits was because if there were more, the life of the council would be disrupted by angry brick and mortar store owners? Well, now I understand their thinking…*rolls eyes again*

Find the entire article at dailyherald.com <here>

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food cart vendors arrestedNEW YORK, NY - Omar is mad. He grabs a hot dog, quickly slices it in two, and presses the meat down into the sizzling aluminum grill of his Halal food cart in New York’s Times Square.

“They treat us like garbage,” he says. “I’m not garbage. I’m human.”

The ”they” Omar is referring to is the city police, who he claims often harass, arrest, and fine street vendors for alleged violations of street space. The “they” is the city government, which imposes a host of licensing rules that make it hard for low-income workers and immigrants like Omar to turn a decent profit and develop their business. The “they” is storefront restaurants and businesses that vending activists say have been vocal advocates for keeping these restrictive rules in place.

“I’m the economy!” Omar insists. He has bulging brown eyes, slick black hair and the week-old beginnings of a beard. “I give people good cheap food that they can afford.” He emphatically points to the factory-made bulk goods in his cart — the bags, straws, wipes, pretzels, condiments, meats and more. “I buy these things and help to employ the people in those factories,” he says. “I am important. I’m like security, I see everything that goes on in the streets!”

It’s 9 at night and Omar opened his cart two hours ago just as an October chill set in. He’ll stand at the corner of 42nd and 8th until midnight selling cheap drinks and Americanized versions of “Eastern” dishes like kabob and chicken and rice. He knows all the vendors in the area, and many of the customers who go by.

Omar came four years ago from Port Said, a coastal town in Egypt, seeking stability for his family, including four kids. For centuries street carts have been a part of the American immigrant story. Each vendor has a different impetus. For Omar, it’s his family. For them he has learned the ins and outs of a bureaucracy that most Americans never have to think about: what hours and days certain streets are banned, in which zones the police officers are friendlier, how to navigate certain courts for different fines, and more. He’s just trying to make decent money.

Find the entire article by Miriam Berger at Salon.com <here>

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Mobile Cuisine is an online trade magazine that covers the mobile food industry; we cover the industry as a whole and have strayed away from covering one specific region of the country.

With that said, there are numerous blogs across the country that cover specific cities and regions where food trucks operate. From New York to Miami and Toronto to Dallas there are bloggers that cover the gamut of mobile food businesses. This poll has been set up to find out which local mobile food blog is the favorite in North America.

Last year, our winner was Alex Levine’s Food Truck Freak out of Chicago. Can she retain her title or will another blogger be able to take the title from her?

Favorite Food Truck Blog 2012

To find out, we have listed the Top 17 local food truck blogs. Your job is to vote for your favorite.

This poll will run through Friday, November 8th (11:59 PM Central Time). Once the votes have been tabulated, the winner will be announced. The winner will be able to claim the title of Favorite Local Mobile Food Truck Blog as well as have the chance to be part of a feature story here at Mobile Cuisine that delves into the individuals who run these blogs and why they write what they do.

So help us spread the word for your favorites.

List of local mobile food blogs as well as links to their sites:

Atlanta Street Food Coalition – Atlanta, GA

Austin Food Carts – Austin, TX

DFW Food Truck Foodie – Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

Food Carts Portland – Portland, OR

Food Trailers Austin – Austin, TX

Food Truck Fiesta – Washington DC

Food Truck Freak – Chicago, IL

Hub Food Trucks – Boston, MA

Looking for Food Trucks – Los Angeles/Orange County, CA

Miami Food Trucks – Miami, FL

Nashville Food Truck Junkie - Nashville, TN

New York Street Food – New York, NY

San Diego Food Trucks – San Diego, CA

Seattle Food Truck – Seattle, WA

Street Food Columbus – Columbus, OH

Street Grindz – Hawaii

Toronto Food Trucks - Toronto, Canada

The Poll is Closed!!!

We apologize to those bloggers we may have missed. There are many mobile food blogs that didn’t meet our criteria for this contest as many bloggers cover other topics than mobile food, have not posted in the last month, or have their blog solely set up as a Facebook page.

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Mobile Cuisine is pleased to announce a new contest for the readers of our site. This contest will be used to determine what food truck menu items are their favorites.

As many of you may already know, Richard Myrick; the editor-in-chief of Mobile Cuisine is also the author of Running a Food Truck for Dummies. Last year he was contracted to write a second book relating to the the mobile food industry. Unfortunately due to timing issues this contract was cancelled.

Since that time he has been planning to continue this project on his own and now is the time we are asking for your help on this book. This book will not center around the operations of a food truck, but more about the cuisine that mobile food vendors are creating from their rolling bistros.

This food truck cookbook will be a recipe/cookbook that shares the best of the mobile food industry with the world. From appetizers to deserts, every food imaginable that is sold from food trucks will be covered in this tome.

Last year’s winner was What the Fork from Scranton PA and their Sriracha Taco.

what-the-fork scranton-pa

The cuisines and style of meal items covered in the book will be:

Breakfast:

  • Egg Dishes
  • Waffles and Doughnuts

Side Dishes

  • Appetizers and Sides
  • Salads
  • Soups

Entrées

  • African
  • Asian
  • European
  • American (this includes North and South American cuisine)
  • Fusion

Desserts

  • Cookies and Cupcakes
  • Other Desserts
  • Beverages

The winners of each of the of cuisine types will have the opportunity to have their recipes published and featured in the upcoming book. Submissions can be vegan,vegetarian or packed full of meat.

Please note that each of these vendors will have the option to not have their recipes published…that will be their choice.

To be eligible, the menu item must come from a food truck, food cart or trailer. The vendor can be located in any country from around the world but must have been open since September of 2013. This contest will be run in two parts, the first will be suggestions from the readers. The initial submission portion of this contest begins today and will run through Friday, October 18 at 12PM CT.

Fill out the contact form below or send in your submission to contest@mobile-cuisine.com. Let us know:

  • The name of the truck and their location.
  • The menu item name and what type of cuisine or meal type it is.

Food truck owners can submit themselves and anyone can submit a vote for multiple food trucks or multiple menu items, just make sure your submission is clear or we will not be able to count your submission as a vote.

The top submissions will be part of the top 5 from each area which will be opened for voting on Monday, October 21st.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

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CHICAGO, IL - The Vendy Awards have been described as “The Oscars of Street Food,” and for the first time they made their debut in Chicago ( at Kendall College) this past weekend. Our editor-in-chief Richard Myrick was on the judging panel that helped determine the winner of the Vendy Cup.

2013 Chicago Vendy Awards

Overhead view of the Vendys during setup.

The Vendy Awards have been given out to vendors in New York for the last 9 years by The Street Vendor Project, which helps street vendors. The Street Vendor Project helps street vendors connect with small business training as well as loans, to help the culture and ecosystem thrive. In addition, the Vendy Awards also help support Slow Food Chicago as well as Asociación de Vendedores Ambulantes (AVA), a non-profit organization that unites street vendors and their supporters to work towards regulations that allow vendors to sell their products in public spaces.

This year’s participants were:

There were two awards given out at the event.

The People’s Taste Award was determined by the votes of the attendees…

Chicago Vendy Awards Toasty Cheese

Although close, the winner was the Toasty Cheese Mobile Eatery.

The Vendy Cup Award was determined by the judges panel. Richard Myrick explained that coming up with a winner required some deliberation as many of the vendor dishes were delicious but also came with fantastic stories. Once the judges determined their choices, the winner was…

Chicago Vendy Awards Olgas Snacks

OLGA’S SNACKS!!!

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Japadog Vancouver food cartVANCOUVER, CANADA - Some food cart owners are upset with the City of Vancouver, saying they are being ripped off for food cart permits when new entrants are paying just a fraction of their rent.

Many operators have been forced to close up shop on their food carts after paying up to $10,000 annually. The operators have been subletting prime spots all over the city, long before the city’s food cart program with its lower rents came into effect.

A city food cart permit today costs just $1,000 a year under the city’s new program.

Disgruntled food truck owners have been petitioning the city for changes to the system for months, and now it appears the city is finally listening.

Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnston tells Global News that the city is planning a new bylaw to address the subletting of vendor leases.

“In November, staff plan to bring forward a new bylaw to City Council to address the issue of subletting vendor leases. City staff will be recommending to City Council that no subleasing be allowed for food cart permits and that a transition plan be developed for the vendors that are currently working on subleased locations. The City is working to find a balanced approach which ends the practice of subleasing but minimizes the impact on existing vendors whose businesses rely on subleased sites. The transition strategy will be developed with input from vendors over the coming weeks.”

Find the entire article by Peter Meiszner  at globalnews.ca <here>

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softshell-crab-burger euro trash food cart portlandPORTLAND, OR - It should be no surprise that a Portland food cart menu item is listed on Foder’s recent list of 12 “Must Eat” World Street Food Dishes list. Along side dishes such as Currywurst from Germany and Fried Tarantulas from Cambodia, the soft shell crab burger from the EuroTrash cart made their favorites list. Here is the write up from Lawrence Ferber:

Portland’s “food pod” scene is the mothership of still-spreading food truck culture, with hundreds of amazing port-a-kitchens serving everything from Chinese dumplings to salmon chowder. An “Americanized spin on European street food,” the EuroTrash cart is beloved for its fried Spanish anchovies (aka Fishy Chips), fresh potato chips with chorizo, cilantro, and curry aioli, and their signature Soft Shell Crab Burger, an addictive tempura-battered creation on a toasted bun with a dollop of spicy mayo-yogurt.

Where to Get it:EuroTrash at Downtown’s SW 10th & Washington or the Good Food Here pod on SE 43rd & Belmont.

Find the entire list on Foders.com <here>

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Thanks to propane-powered patio heaters, fire pits, fireplaces, and fire tables, food trucks and grilling now extends well beyond Labor Day. But since it’s tough to tell how much gas is in a propane tank, the fire often goes out just when you least expect it – which, on a chilly fall night, means the outdoor fun is over.

So how can food truck owners avoid running out of propane gas on a frigid fall evening? Moscap Engineering proudly releases a new product to accurately determine liquid propane levels.

gas check moscap

The GasCheck from Moscap Engineering, is a new device that allows users to determine exactly how much gas is in a propane tank before it runs dry. To operate, the rubberized tip of the pen-sized GasCheck is simply pressed against the outer wall of the tank at a 90-degree angle. It emits a high-tech ultrasonic signal to determine the liquid levels in the tank, signaling with a red light that there is no liquid at that level or a green light to indicate liquid is present at that level.

“As people use more and more propane-fueled products on their patio, it becomes impractical to keep a spare filled tank for each one,” says Thomas Tarantin, president/CEO of Moscap Engineering. “Shaking your tank or banking on temperature based products to determine the level of gas in your tank is not a reliable way to determine your gas level. The Gas Check liquid level indicator lets you monitor the propane level of all your tanks to prevent unexpected run-outs.”

GasCheck is powered by only two watch batteries. Intrinsically safe, GasCheck can be used in conjunction with flammable gases and complies with EU EMC Directive 2004/108/EG. Its readings are consistent regardless of external temperatures or weather conditions. GasCheck, which comes in a sleek cyan blue finish, has a suggested retail price of $49.95 – half the price of similar propane-level testing products in the marketplace. GasCheck is manufactured in Germany and distributed in the USA by Moscap Engineering, an affiliate of Tarantin Industries, Inc.

Moscap Engineering has been a leading manufacturer of specialty products for over 20 years. To locate a dealer or order online, visit http://www.moscapeng.com or call 732-780-9426.

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