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Grand Rapids

grand rapids food truck
(Lauren Petracca | MLive)

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The food truck fleet is on its way downtown.

Grand Rapids Art Museum managers expect to feature of rotation of food trucks on the Wege Plaza next to Rosa Parks Circle this summer, starting with the first confirmed truck, A Moveable Feast, which soft-opened downtown this past week.

“Hopefully, food trucks will be a staple at the museum from now on,” said Wendy St. John, food and beverage manager at the GRAM, which received city approval to host food trucks downtown late last summer.

St. John said the museum this summer is hoping to maximize usage of its permit, which allows for two food trucks on the plaza every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week and until 11 p.m. on the weekends.

The GRAM is currently the only private landowner downtown approved to host food trucks under zoning rules passed by the city in 2012. The museum’s permit allows for year-round truck hosting, but harsh weather has kept trucks away from downtown since the end of ArtPrize last year, she said.

St. John is reviewing about eight truck applications. “We’re definitely interested in taking more,” she said. “We feel like a rotation will be nice for the pedestrians and business crowd.”

Brennan Summers, owner of A Movable Feast, is eager to set up downtown.

Find the entire article at mlive.com <here>

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 Louisville, Grand Rapids, Fresno and Golden Valley.

September 13

OTW LogoHealth Dept. Official: Food Truck Letter Grades ‘Should Be a Reality’ – LOUISVILLE, KY – “Potentially so, yes,” said Matthew Rhodes, deputy director of Louisville Metro Department of Health & Wellness, when asked if he saw food trucks being able to receive letter grades as brick-and-mortar restaurants do. “We have discussed some of the pros and cons. Just the primary concern is that they are a mobile operation. And if we can overcome that obstacle, which I think that we can, it should be a reality sometime in the near future.”

In mid-August, food truck operators and health department representatives met for the second time in the wake of WAVE 3 Troubleshooter (pew pew) Eric Flack’s reports about possible health-code concerns involving food trucks.
“We just talked about different things that would be required in order for them [the trucks] to comply with A-B-C regulations, as well as some policy changes that would be necessary on our part and some programmatic concerns,” Rhodes said.

Find the entire article <here>

Planning Commission approves request to allow food trucks downtown – GRAND RAPIDS, MI – On September 12, the Planning Commission passed the request of the special land use of food concessions on the corner of the Grand Rapids Art Museum. This was the first request for food concessions on private land in the downtown area. The request was made by Randy Van Antwerp, the Deputy Director of Administration and CFO of the GRAM.

The proposed location was the southwest corner between Rosa Parks Circle and the GRAM. The location is approximately 68 feet by 75 feet. The food trucks would be allowed on a yearly basis and would be permitted to be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays through Thursday. On the weekend, hours extend to 11 p.m.

Find the entire article <here>

September 14

Food Truck Explosion – FRESNO, CA – Just before 6:30p.m. Friday a food truck exploded on the field of Fresno Christian. Three people were injured and investigators say it could have been far worse.

People gathered for a high school football game at Fresno Christian and watched in shock as a trailer exploded and was reduced to a pile of rubble.

Find the entire article <here>

September 15

Share in it all Food Truck: Donate to help end hunger in the Twin Cities – GOLDEN VALLEY, MN – September is Hunger Action Month and KARE 11 is partnering with Coborns and Second Harvest Heartland in a unique effort to help end hunger in the Twin Cities.

The Share in it all Food Truck is a Coborns Delivers vehicle that works like a food truck in reverse. Instead of providing food for the public to purchase, the truck will be in three metro locations during month of September collecting food and cash donations to support the work of Second Harvest HeartlandOnline donations to this cause are also accepted.

Find the entire article <here>

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Food trucks, those controversial purveyors of gourmet street fare, are poised for a return to the city center after a yearlong absence.

Rightous Cuisine Food Truck
Righteous Cuisine, a Lakeshore-based food truck owned by Nicholas Mika and Matt Varley, is expected to be at Rosa Parks Circle for ArtPrize 2013. (Courtesy Photo | Matt Varley)

On Thursday, city planners will consider a request by the Grand Rapids Art Museum to host food trucks on its Wege Plaza property next to Rosa Parks Circle, where a pair of local trucks were stationed last year for ArtPrize.

While the public hearing comes just in time for ArtPrize 2013, the approval would allow the museum to host food trucks up to 200 days annually, effectively giving them solid footing in the center of downtown for much of the year.

“We like the variety,” said Randy Van Antwerp, deputy director at the museum. “The food they bring is food that is not normally available downtown. It can be picked up quick. People can grab it and go.”

The development is the latest in Michigan’s growing embrace of food trucks. In the past few years, trucks selling everything from tacos to squash tarts have appeared in cities like Detroit, Kalamazoo and Traverse City, the latter of which is home to a bar with a dedicated food truck court and some of the most truck-friendly rules in the state.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation even got behind the trend this year by awarding $77,775 in grants to help launch or expand eight food trucks throughout the state.

In Grand Rapids, the museum’s request is the first by a private landowner downtown since the city amended the zoning rules in June 2012 to allow food trucks on private property in the downtown district boundaries for extended periods of time.

Planners at the time chose the “lowest hanging fruit” to facilitate food trucks downtown by opening up private land to the mobile kitchens rather than trying to untangle the various ordinances that prohibit them on public land and streets, said Suzanne Schulz, city planning director.

“We tried to strike a balance,” she said. ”It’s not perfect, but we thought it was a reasonable compromise.”

Find the entire article by Garret Ellison at MLive.com <here>

You may have missed it, but the mobile food industry is growing faster than anyone would have guessed two years ago. It can be difficult to keep up with the new trucks and carts as they pop up throughout the country. Because of this, Mobile Cuisine Magazine assists our readers weekly by posting the names and information about these trucks, so if they happen to be in your area, you can begin to follow them, or at least keep any eye out for them on the roads and cart pods.

Sals Roadside Eatery

This week’s new entries are:

Columbus, OH

Sophies Gourmet Pierogi

Twitter: @SophsGastrogi

Gastrogi: The art or science of good eating by way of marrying diverse cultures through a perfect dumpling!


Fort Mill, SC

Sals Roadside Eatery

Twitter: @SalsRdsideEatry

A cool looking food truck serving up some amazing eats!


Grand Rapids, MI

The Silver Spork

Twitter: @sporkfoodtruck

The Silver Spork Gourmet Food Truck serves fresh, local Michigan fare throughout GR. Follow us for great food – cooked from scratch on the truck!


Nashville, TN

Retro Sno

Twitter: @RetroSno

Nashville’s Original Shaved Ice Truck! Click to see where you can get some fun, fresh, unique shaved ice today!


New York City, NY

Jamaican Dutchy

Twitter: @Jamaicandutchy

The Jamaican Dutchy Cart has world famous Jamaican cuisine that brings Caribbean taste alive….



Twitter: @OkadamanNYC

Serving up the best Okonomiyaki in NYC! Coming soon to a street near you!

666 Burger

Twitter: @666burger

We make burgers from a mobile truck. Beef. Bread. Maybe cheese. No Bullshit. Anything else is not a burger.


Providence, RI

Plouf Gastronomie

Twitter: @ploufplouftruck

plouf plouf gastronomie is an organic, rustic french, scratch cooking mobile bistro like you’ve never seen! a food truck with a French Master Chef? mais oui!



Mobile food truck specializing in lobster Rolls, fish sandwiches, clam cakes, clam chowder and lobster bisque! Traveling across R.I…WE BRING THE BEACH TO YOU!

San Francisco, CA

The Slider Shack

Twitter: @slidershacksf

We are a mobile food truck that specializes in delicious sliders with an island flair.



If you are aware of any new rolling bistros, please let us know so that we can add them to our weekly listing of new food trucks as they hit the streets near you. Email us at MFV@mobile-cuisine.com


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 Boise, Grand Rapids, Brookline, Redlands, Malibu and San Jose.


April 13

Foodies eat their way through Boise food truck rally – BOISE, ID – They came. They saw (each other). They chowed-down.

Organizers estimate more than two-thousand local foodies showed up for Boise’s latest food truck rally on Friday — likely setting a new record for the emerging event.

Find the entire article <here>

Food truck proposal in Grand Rapids clears early hurdle – GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A proposal to permit food trucks will come before elected officials, despite continued opposition from restaurants with a more permanent downtown presence.

Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Wednesday voted to recommend approval of an ordinance that would allow food trucks and other kinds of temporary concessions sales, with certain regulations. City Commission is expected to hold a hearing on the issue in June.

Find the entire article <here>

April 14

Brookline selects food trucks to launch pilot program – BROOKLINE, MA – Food trucks could roll into Brookline this week after the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved licenses for five vendors to participate in a pilot program this spring and summer.

Baja Taco, Compliments, Paris Creperie, Pennypackers, and Renula’s Greek Kitchen won approval to set up food trucks in town at specified locations and times for the next six months.

Find the entire article <here>

Inland Empire Gourmet Food Trucks coming to Redlands school – REDLANDS, CA – Get your palates ready because Redlands East Valley High School and the community is in for a gourmet treat.

On Saturday, IE Gourmet Food Trucks will bring 13 gourmet “meals on wheels” at the campus, 31000 Colton Ave. Proceeds will help support the REV football program and the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Find the entire article <here>

April 15

Food Trucks Coming to Malibu Pier – MALIBU, CA – The trucks will serve visitors everything from salads, soups, sandwiches and tacos from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 18-30, according to an organizer. Gourmet food trucks will offer an alternative meal to visitors at the Malibu Pier starting this Wednesday.

The trucks will serve visitors everything from salads, soups, sandwiches and tacos from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 18-30, according to Joann Lundeen of the Malibu Beach Supply Co.

Find the entire article <here>

San Jose Taco Festival spices things up – SAN JOSE, CA – They came in droves. The young and the old, with families and friends. They congregated together under the potent California sunshine in search of one thing: tacos.

“For the first time in San Jose, we’re doing a large-scale festival that isn’t run by baby boomers,” said event organizer Ryan Sebastian, founder of Moveable Feast, a food truck collective that organizes and hosts events with local Bay Area trucks.

Find the entire article <here>

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Food trucks and other vendors could be allowed to set up shop in parking lots and other vacant properties under revisions to the city’s zoning ordinance expected to be taken up Thursday.

What the Truck

But many local restaurant owners are crying foul, saying allowing food trucks and other temporary food vendors to set up shop on vacant lots undermines businesses with more permanent investments in the city.

“I’m a proponent of free enterprise yet I worry about the ability of brick-and-mortar restaurants to compete with food trailers and food trucks from the standpoint that restaurants have hundreds of thousands and, in some cases, millions of dollars in buildouts,” said Jeff Lobdell, owner of The Omelette Shoppe, Sundance Grille, Grand Coney and Beltline Bar, among other eateries. “They pay large rents, large utility bills, they pay property tax. They contribute to all of these things that help support the community and police the community.

“If they’re competing directly with food trucks that employ one or two people and don’t have the high rent and overhead, it’s not a fair playing field.”

Paul Lee, owner of The Winchester restaurant and What the Truck food truck, sees the debate in a different light.

“I understand the argument that some of these restaurant owners are making, however there is nothing to prevent them from getting a truck,” Lee said. “If this is just this amazing business that is so unfair for them why not just get a truck and do it themselves?”

Molly Clauhs, owner of The Silver Spork, another food truck based in Grand Rapids, said the changes would open the doors for more entrepreneurs and help make the city a cooler place to live.

She also said it would help her develop a consistent schedule, providing more stability for her truck, which specializes in homemade food made from locally produced ingredients.

“This can help result in a busier downtown that can really sustain retail and ultimately bring people to downtown,” she said. “By eliminating food trucks, I think it’s kind of old school. I think this is an opportunity.”

The proposed ordinance changes would allow vendors to set up near sidewalks on private property as What the Truck did in downtown Grand Rapids via a special permit during this year’s ArtPrize. The ordinance language would allow such temporary food vendors to operate for up to 200 consecutive days in a given location provided they have received permission from the land owner and the city.

Find the entire article from MLive.com <here>

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