IOWA CITY, IA - Vendors were hammered with lunch orders on day one of the Iowa City food truck and mobile food vendor pilot program at Chauncey Swan Park.
Thursday marked the beginning of an experiment that will run through Oct. 31. The program is intended to test interest in allowing more mobile food vending permits, outside of six issued for the pedestrian mall.
Thursday’s vendors included Bread Garden Market’s gelato bicycle, Keepin’ Up with the Jones’s, Local Burrito and The Box Lunch.
Kyle Sieck, owner and chef at Local Burrito, said he ran out of food and needed more employees. Sieck said the rush could have been an “anomaly” due to the program’s novelty.
“That aside, I’m still really impressed that the community came out to support it on the first day,” he said.
Sieck said he is optimistic about the months ahead, and is excited to see how the students’ return to Iowa City affects business.
Sieck said he hopes to see officials keep working to make mobile vending in Iowa City more inclusive.
“I would just like to see a more comprehensive mobile vending ordinance and increase opportunities for us to be involved in the community,” he said. “The reason being we’re small businesses and entrepreneurs, and we can bring food to people at certain places and times where they aren’t currently being supplied.”
Jane McCune, of Blank & McCune real estate agency, said the location is a block from her office, making it a convenient lunch destination.
“I think (adding more food trucks) would be a good idea because I think there are plenty of people who are out and about, especially on the ped mall, and I think they would embrace the idea of eating local food outdoors,” she said.
Claire Myers, who works downtown, said she learned about the program through Twitter and came out to support local food.
“It’s convenient and obviously it’s worth a little more money to support local business,” she said.
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