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LA

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monroe la downtown

MONROE, LA - The much-debated mobile food vendor ordinance is back on the Monroe City Council’s agenda Tuesday night, but most of the controversial language has been stripped from its earlier version.

The ordinance was designed to allow for and regulate mobile food vendors within the city of Monroe.

Council Vice Chairman Ray Armstrong, District 1, authored the ordinance but pulled it before the final adoption vote a month ago over concerns from vendors and restaurateurs.

Mobile vendors worried about a lack of a level playing field because of restrictions to advertising and proximity to brick-and-mortar restaurants. Both restrictions have been removed from the new version of the ordinance.

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Grilled Cheese Truck Give Mobi

We’ve all heard of THE Grilled Cheese Truck of Los Angeles.  It’s been everywhere in the media over the years.  It’s one of those success stories that America loves to hear – “Local guy makes good.”

Well, “makes good” is an understatement for sure.  Dave Danhi started The Grilled Cheese Truck in 2009.  Danhi is a professional chef that just wanted his life back.  He created the truck’s signature sandwich, the Cheesy Mac ‘N Rib, and a new chapter to his story began.

In this new chapter of his life, he’s done something he never dreamed of — creating a new American iconic brand.  The Grilled Cheese Truck is the only verified food truck on Twitter (that little blue check mark) and is the most followed food truck on Facebook.

Not wanting to stop the momentum, Danhi added more trucks to his fleet in Southern California and expanded into Arizona. Wanting to do “more,” Danhi’s expansion plan includes reaching out to returning U.S. veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Danhi is thrilled to be working with General Wesley Clark on this endeavor.

Despite his amazing success, Danhi has always kept an eye out to give back to his community.  He recently teamed up with the Orange County Rescue Mission to assist veterans.  Most recently he’s joined the food truck initiative Fighting Hunger In America.

Mobile Cuisine has partnered with the GiveNetwork to promote the food truck initiative Fighting Hunger In America.  This initiative allows trucks to facilitate donations by their customers.  While using their smartphones, customers scan unique QR codes posted on trucks that will allow them to easily donate.  The proceeds are split between two great non-profit organizations, Meals On Wheels Association of America and Convoy Of Hope.

At the close of every month, food trucks will receive by email a list of the donors that scanned their QR code.  We believe this is a great way to speak directly to those customers that have shown deeper brand engagement.  Danhi and The Grilled Cheese Truck are in the process of creating a customer loyalty program and will single out donors with special offers.  He mentioned a “get out of line pass,” but nothing has been confirmed.  Special offers to donors are a great tool to encourage repeat donations AND purchases.

Trucks that register by May 31 are entered to win a $500 gas card.  What truck couldn’t use that?

We are thrilled that Dave Danhi and The Grilled Cheese Truck are Fighting Hunger In America.  Welcome aboard and we can’t wait to hear more about your future successes.

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Grilled Cheese Truck Campaign

We’re super-excited!  The Grilled Cheese Truck has joined in Fighting Hunger In America

The Grilled Cheese Truck, consistently ranked the best food truck in LA, is now helping raise funds for Meals On Wheels Association of America and Convoy Of Hope.  This initiative will allow their customers to donate by scanning a QR code while waiting for their award-winning grilled cheese sandwiches.  We hope their thousands of passionate customers are generous in their donations to these two incredible non-profit organizations Fighting Hunger In America.

Convoy of Hope

There is so much more to tell about The Grilled Cheese Truck and the many other trucks joining this initiative.  We’re honored to promote Fighting Hunger In America with our country’s food trucks!

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Monroe LA map

MONROE, LA - The Monroe City Council has voted to introduce an ordinance that would allow for and regulate mobile food vendors in the city.

The ordinance would allow vehicles properly permitted with the city to set up shop throughout the city to sell food, but that ability comes with several restrictions.

A vendor must be at least 20 feet from intersections, traffic signals and stop signs and at least three feet away from handicap ramps. Vendors cannot set up tables, chairs or other fixtures, except for trash cans.

Vendors are not allowed to operate within 150 feet of a land-based restaurant without written permission.

The ordinance was introduced Tuesday Council Vice Chairman Ray Armstrong and it passed on a 4-1 vote.

Find the original article at knoe.com <here>

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follow-your-nola-food truck

After years of fighting and preventing food trucks from operating on the streets of their own city, NOLA recruits a food truck to travel the country and invite tourists to visit the Crescent City.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) summer ad campaign offers even more reasons to travel to the ‘Crescent City’ in 2014. The additions include an event activation, more robust paid advertising, and an enhanced website that will engage the experiential traveler.

“There are endless options available today to engage visitors and prospective visitors and we intend to engage as many as possible in our quest to encourage experiencing our city,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC). “By using the tools in our “Follow Your NOLA” campaign, people will experience and interact with New Orleans in a very personal way.”

A “Follow Your NOLA” food truck will premiere food, prizes, and fun at Jazz Fest, then hit the road, traveling to three cities in Texas, including Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Locals and visitors will be able to follow along on Twitter, via #followyournola on @visitNewOrleans.

Besides tasting authentic New Orleans food prepared by Chef Brian Landry, a spinning compass will award prizes with every turn, such as cultural experiences including live music and a Mardi Gras Indian; “Follow Your NOLA” gifts; and even a chance to win a trip to New Orleans. Twitter users can also enter into the sweepstakes by using the hashtag, #TasteOfNOLA on @visitNewOrleans.

“Sending our “Follow Your NOLA” food truck throughout Texas will remind our neighbors that they are just a short drive away,” continued Romig, “It is a rolling advertisement that should generate enough interest to keep New Orleans top of mind and encourage those who see it to plan their own personal trip on our website.”

Joining the food truck activation, beginning today, a paid media campaign will launch with fifteen and thirty-second spots featuring the voice of New Orleans actor John Goodman, who has a deep passion and love for New Orleans, as well as the soundtrack of Professor Longhair’s iconic song, “Big Chief.” The commercials are targeted toward key ‘fly markets’ with non-stop service to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport as well as regional ‘drive markets’ via broadcast television, national cable, and digital video.

Additionally, the campaign will be promoted via a national integrated digital media campaign on partners such as Afar, Bon Appetit, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Garden & Gun, and Pandora.

Targeted fly markets include Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Nashville, TN; Kansas City, KS; San Francisco, CA; and St. Louis. MO. Drive markets include Baton Rouge, Monroe, Lafayette, and Shreveport, LA; Columbus, MS; Houston, TX; Memphis, TN; Mobile and Montgomery, AL; and Pensacola, FL.

“The New Orleans experience is what attracts people to our city and keeps them coming back. This campaign has all of the touch points that highlight our culture and we can’t wait to see the reaction of our friends and neighbors in Texas when we bring great food, music and cultural experiences to them with the “Follow Your NOLA” food truck,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Visiting New Orleans in the summer is a great value with festivals nearly every weekend and plenty to see and do.”

The “Follow Your NOLA.com” website includes a new feature allowing lovers of New Orleans to build a personal travel experience by creating a map-based itinerary. Or users can experience the city following in the footsteps of favorite celebrities, who have posted their favorite haunts in New Orleans. Musician Irvin Mayfield, and artist Terrance Osborne signed on, as well as famous chefs Emeril Lagasse and Anthony Bourdain, and New Orleans Pelican’s basketball star Anthony Davis, among others.

The campaign is also being promoted on New Orleans’ official social media channels via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and the GoNOLA.com culture blog. Join and follow the campaign at followyournola.com, NewOrleansOnline.com, or via hashtag #followyournola and #TasteOfNOLA.

The campaign was created by digital marketing agency 360i in collaboration with NOTMC.

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la cocinita food truck

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Food trucks have been all the rage for years in places like Los Angeles, Portland, Austin and even Baton Rouge. When, about four years ago, these trucks serving gourmet grub on paper plates began rolling into New Orleans, they hit a few bumps. And most of those weren’t potholes.

Everyone agreed that the city’s laws governing food trucks were antiquated.

After a legislative tussle between the City Council and the mayor’s office, new food truck laws were passed last July. They went into effect this January.

Local food truck operators see those laws as a vast improvement. And four months later, eaters looking for a quick bite at mid-day or midnight are finding more delicious options. New trucks are about to debut with everything from vegetarian burritos to Toronto-style Italian snacks.

At-large councilwoman Stacey Head took the lead in reforming food truck rules.

“It’s hard to attract national companies to put their headquarters in New Orleans,” Head said. “Building on the indigenous culture and the talents we have in New Orleans, that’s what’s going to keep us strong.”

The first rules the City Council approved — a modified version of the original ordinance sponsored by Head — were vetoed by Mayor Landrieu over constitutional concerns.

The mayor then proposed even more liberal food truck laws, which the City Council went on to pass unanimously.

Find the entire article at nola.com <here>

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Foodiecall Nola Vendy Awards
Owners of Foodiecall NOLA show off their Vendy Award (photo: Facebook)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Food trucks might have taken a while to really take off in New Orleans compared to other American cities, but there’s no doubt that mobile food vending has wholly captured the love and attention of Big Easy diners. Nothing proves this more than a return of the Vendy Awards to the Crescent City on April 3rd, when trucks and event caterers alike will battle it out to see who reigns supreme.

The Vendy Awards, a non-profit established in support of the Street Vendor Project and the Urban Justice Center, holds street food events in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles. This will mark its second year in New Orleans.

Last year, the food truck Foodie Call took home the “Vendy Cup,” but not without stiff competition from Empanada IntifadaFat FalafelHot Tamale MamaLa CocinitaMs. Linda’s Soul Food Catering Company,Taceaux LoceauxVaucresson Sausage Co., and Woody’s Fish Tacos.

“We’re so happy to come back to New Orleans,” said Vendy Awards managing director Zeina Muna. “It has such a rich food history, and that’s one of the reasons we picked it as a place we wanted to expand. And also there’s a great culture of street fairs and parades and of course there’s always food, so we’re just hoping to celebrate that and be a part of it. Also, for all of the chefs at local businesses that have worked so hard for so long, this is a great way for them to really break through and show people what they’re all about.”

The list of competing vendors is still shaping up and not final, but early confirmed vendors include returning champ Foodie Call, as well as finalists from last year La Cocinita, Empanada Intafada as well as the Queen of Yaka Mein, Ms. Linda Green. An official list of finalists and their bios will be announced soon on the Vendy Awards Website.

Find the original article at bestofneworleans.com <here>

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theos pizza signNEW ORLEANS, LA - For some food truck operators, their rolling restaurants are a first step towards opening a “brick and mortar” operation. Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza, which has three area outlets, took the opposite route. In next few weeks, the purveyor of pizzas with cracker crisp crusts will roll out a food truck.

“I spent a decent amount of time in Austin,” said Jammer Orintas, one of Theo’s owners, “and I love going to the food trucks. Nobody was doing pizza in the city. I thought there was a void.”

Orintas bought an old FedEx truck, which is currently being outfitted with a full kitchen by a Florida company. The truck will even hold a 2,000-pound oven identical to the one at Theo’s Magazine Street location.

“We want to do it exactly like Theo’s pizza,” he said.

On the truck, Theo’s will sell three different pizzas by the slice along with a salad and a meatball sandwich.

Find the entire article at NOLA.com <here>

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central city food truck nolaNEW ORLEANS, LA - A permanent for food trucks and vendors is under development in Central City at 2000 OC Haley Blvd., the site of several recent food truck gatherings.

Construction on the lot, a project of the non-profit organization Good Work Network, should begin in early summer and finish a few months later.

The lot will provide booths for six vendors made from recycled shipping containers along with parking on the edges for trucks. It will operate Tuesday through Saturday from mid-day until early evening. The goal of the project is to serve both a lunch and an after-work crowd.

A delivery service is under consideration for workers in the CBD.

Good Work Network hopes the project will both create 20 jobs and help more vendors become established businesses.

The project is funded by a federal Community Economic Development grant.

Find the original article by  Todd A. Price at NOLA.com <here>

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La Cocinita NOLA food truckNEW ORLEANS, LA - Food truck permit registration has begun. The rules found at the city’s “one-stop shop” for business permits and licenses. There are 100 mobile food vendor permits available, thanks to legislation that passed last July allowing for trucks and fewer operating restrictions.

New Orleans City Council vice president Stacy Head kicked off food truck legislation discussions last year. After a lengthy back-and-forth with food truck advocates, City Council members, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, and even the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Head wrote in a statement, “I believe that food trucks are an excellent small business model, they can contribute to community development and commercial corridor revitalization (as evidenced by Freret Street and O.C. Haley Boulevard), they can provide healthy and delicious food options in areas of our city that are considered food deserts, and they can even deter crime by creating more walkable communities.”

Find the entire article at bestofneworleans.com <here>

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