Tags Posts tagged with "MA"


food truck lottery

BOSTON, MA – Boston’s food truck vendors are 10 weeks from opening for the season, but they already have some idea of where they’ll be hawking their wood-fire pizza, fish tacos, and other moveable feasts.

The city held its annual food truck lottery to assign sales locations on public ways Tuesday evening at Faneuil Hall. Some 22 locations around the city were made available for food trucks, with each location divided into different time slots — breakfast or lunch, for example.

Altogether, 351 time slots were raffled off during a long and tedious process. The available spaces did not include some of the popular food truck spots in the city — those on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, which the nonprofit Greenway Conservancy awards separately.

As in sports, a high draft pick can be a big win. A primo spot can mean getting to park within sniffing distance of thousands of hungry people. But with food purveyors planning to roll out 81 trucks this year — 23 more than last year — the odds of landing a top selection weren’t great. While the city has not capped the number of licenses it issues, it does limit the number of trucks that can sell in one place at any given time.

For example, at the Innovation and Design Center on Drydock Avenue in the Seaport District, there are just two lunchtime spots available each day. City Hall Plaza has three.

“If you’re in the first tier in the lottery, you can count on getting one good shift,” said Toirm Miller, the co-owner of Stoked Wood Fired Pizza. “After that it’s a crap shoot.”

Miller didn’t do too badly: Stoked snagged a lunchtime serving on Clarendon Street in the Back Bay.

It took three hours to divvy up the daily schedule for the 22 locations, as officials and truck owners labored through a low-tech selection process.

Returning vendors were split into two tiers, with those rated highest on inspections and compliance with city rules in the first lottery group and those with lower rankings put in a second round of drawing. New trucks comprised a third tier and were picked last.

Business names were printed on scraps of paper and drawn at random from a bowl; owners claimed a shift — a Wednesday lunch slot at the Boston Public Library, for example — by placing a sticky note on the schedule at one of 22 stations set up in the hall that corresponded to available locations. A worker from the city’s Office of Food Initiatives tracked the picks in a spreadsheet that was projected on a screen far too small for most people to see.

Find the entire article at bostonglobe.com <here>

Evans Deli Truck

SOMERVILLE, MA – Food Truck Festivals of New England has announced the list of participating trucks in the first-ever Somerville Food Truck Festival, coming to Assembly Row on Saturday, June 7th. Launching the 2014 Food Truck Festivals of New England season, the Somerville Food Truck Festival will also launch the second season of ASSEMBLED: The Handmade Arts Market at Assembly Row and will include New England Etsy artisans and food trucks, plus a beer tent, specialty food vendors, live music, sampling tents, and children’s activities.

The festival will run from 11 AM – 4 PM with over 20 of New England’s most popular food trucks. New food trucks participating include: Cameo Macaron, Evan’s NY Style Deli, Uyghur Kitchen and Makin’ Jamaican. Plus longtime favorites such as: the Bacon Truck, M&M BBQ Ribs, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and so much more.

Participating trucks in the Somerville Food Truck Festival include:

  • The Bacon Truck
  • M&M BBQ Ribs
  • Bon Me
  • Makin’ Jamaican
  • Cameo Macaron
  • Munchies Food Truck
  • Chicken & Rice Guys
  • Pasta Pot
  • Compliments Food Truck
  • Pennypackers
  • The Dining Car
  • Plouf Plouf Gastronomie
  • Evan’s NY Style Deli
  • Roxy’s Grilled Cheese
  • Frozen Hoagies
  • Sweet Tomatoes
  • Fugu
  • Trolley Dogs
  • Gabi’s Smoke Shack
  • Uyghur Kitchen
  • The Latin Spoon
  • Whoo(pie) Wagon 

The Somerville Food Truck Festival is being produced in partnership with the City of Somerville and the city’s newest neighborhood, Assembly Row, which also hosted ASSEMBLED last summer as well as Riverfest and Holiday Arts & Eats. Assembly Row will be offering festival-goers incentives, discounts, and perks, plus a complimentary coupon booklet with savings at their retailers that extend through 2014.

Somerville is the first of six food truck festivals being produced by FTFNE in 2014, with the Fork in the Road Food Truck Festival at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion next on June 14th, and the Worcester Food Truck Festival on June 21st. In addition, FTFNE is also producing a variety of monthly and weekly food truck and arts events, all of which can be found in the coming weeks at www.foodtruckfestivalsofne.com.

Also new for 2014, all FTFNE festivals will be gated with an admission fee of just $5 with children 12 and under free.

Assembly Row is located at exit 29 on I-93 North and exit 28 on I-93 South, via Route 28 North.

Metzy’s Taqueria

NEWBURYPORT, MA — A taste of the Southwest has been popping up in Newburyport and is causing quite a stir.

Metzy’s Taqueria is the first gourmet food truck in Newburyport and it has been drawing about 75 to 100 customers a day at the Plum Island airport and the Lord Timothy Dexter Industrial Green since it started rolling last Saturday.

“I’ve always been interested in food,” owner Erik Metzdorf said. “Last year I was deciding that I needed to make a change and trying to figure out the business I was going to go in. Having been a small business owner for the past several years, my resume looked funny. None of the stuff had been my passion. This is something that I wanted to do for a long time.”

A Plum Island resident, Metzdorf has worked in the importing and sporting goods businesses, as well as in the restaurant world. Although he enjoyed his past work, Metzdorf felt it didn’t fill a deeper need. When a good friend came home from San Diego lamenting the lack of good food trucks on the North Shore last year, it rang a bell Metzdorf had never thought about before.

“I love what I am doing right now and I didn’t love what I was doing before,” Metzdorf said. “That’s a big difference in life. People are noticing it and I think they are feeling it.”

Over the winter, Metzdorf began researching what kind of ambulatory cuisine the area would support, taking surveys and traffic counts at the industrial park as well as the Route 1 traffic circle. Metzdorf entertained many different ideas on what to serve, but Tex Mex was the answer. He and his wife Kelly began the process of getting their permits together from the city, eventually rolling the truck for the first time at the Lucky Duck Derby last weekend.

Find the entire article at eagletribune.com <here>

Worcester city hall

WORCESTER, MA – A City Council committee looking to create a more friendly environment for food truck vendors has broached the idea of establishing areas in the city where they would be allowed to conduct business by right.

The focus would be in the downtown, especially around Worcester Common, but it would also include other neighborhoods and parks.

As part of the idea being bandied about by the City Council Economic Development Committee, food truck operators would be required to pay a fee and be permitted by the city for the right to operate in those designated areas.

Councilor-at-Large Frederick C. Rushton, committee chairman, said Tuesday he would like to see the reintroduction of food trucks in the city on a “more populated scale” because they can bring greater economic vitality to an area.

He said current city regulations governing food truck operators make that difficult, in large part because they are required to get the permission from abutters within 50 feet of where they want to set up shop, and from restaurant owners within 250 feet.

“We have to get beyond the mobile food truck (owners) having to knock on doors hoping they’re going to find a friendly zone,” Mr. Rushton said. “Instead, we should move to establish some friendly zones throughout the city (where permission would not be needed).”

Find the entire article at telegram.com <here>

boston policeBOSTON, MA – The Boston late-night scene just continues to get better and better. First came news that the MBTA will be running trains until 3 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and now word has come down that the Boston Police Department has approved of food trucks serving dinner until midnight.

According to a report from Emily Benjamin Finn, interim mobile food truck coordinator for the Boston Food Initiatives department, the BPD has approved a late-night pilot program, extending dinner service by one hour at certain locations around the city. Starting on April 1, food trucks parked at the Boston Public Library, Northeastern University at Opera Place, and BU East at Morse Auditorium will have the option of staying open until midnight on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

Find the entire article at bostonmagazine.com <here>

changedotorgBOSTON, MA – While the subjects of the from a Boston area Twitter chat with Mayor Marty Walsh spanned a variety of subjects, culture and dining were two major talk points that Twitter users brought to the Mayor’s attention.

One participant in particular had one focus in mind when it came to vital growth of the city’s restaurant and dining lifelines: Food trucks, one of 2013’s biggest trends. Steven Leibowitz (a friend of Mobile Cuisine) tweeted several times to Mayor Walsh about increasing the number of spots open to food truck vendors in the city:

Not long after, Leibowitz tweeted a link to a Change.org petition, which had already garnered 100 signatures at the time of his Tweet, that pushed for more locations in Boston for food trucks.

The petition now has 104 supporters, with signers sending Mayor Walsh the following message:

Increase food truck spots in the City of Boston 
Food trucks have provided residents and people working in Boston options to creative, innovative menus. Prices are competitive with most of the alternative lunch options available, and the quality is often higher. We have seen events where food trucks draw people to the city. Many food trucks have expanded from their original business and added more trucks and/or establish brick and mortar restaurants. These entrepreneurs are job creators. Food trucks also contribute to success in other areas of food entrepreneurism, using local commissaries and purchasing goods from local farms and vendors. Therefore we ask that the city expand locations for food trucks to operate, especially in multi truck clusters. There are a number of areas that are not served at all in the present program including, Downtown Crossing and the Fenway. Opportunities should be made available in areas where there is night life, after Garden events, and other venues around the city. A broader program will be an even more effective job creator.

While more and more food trucks take to the streets to serve quick, on the go and innovative meals to the city, it’s true that the allotted space they have in which to sell is limited. Currently, every food truck must submit their business to the Live Lottery, which will determine the food truck’s home and schedule for the new season, with some locations considered ‘prime’ (high trafficked) and others ‘non-prime.’

As Leibowitz states in the petition description, he sees a void in certain areas like Downtown Crossing and Fenway, as well as other areas around the TD Garden and where there is a high density of night life.

If you would like to see more available locations for food trucks to set up shop in Boston, or are in the mobile vending business yourself, sign the petition here.

Find the original article at bostinno.streetwise.co <here>

Pittsfield-MAPITTSFIELD, MA – A proposal to regulate food trucks is back to the drawing board after a public hearing.

During a City Council Ordinance and Rules Committee hearing, a dozen downtown business owners and parishioners of St. Joseph’s Church objected to some or all of the ordinance’s provisions. A food truck owner also provided input and was supported by subsequent speakers.

Pamela Tobin, executive director of Downtown Pittsfield, proposed regulations in July after several merchants told her food trucks were unfairly competing with “brick and mortar” restaurants. She said those complaints focused on the fact restaurants, unlike food trucks, pay taxes and other overhead costs and the parking spaces the trucks utilize could be used by potential customers.

City Planner C.J. Hoss later drew up a proposal after researching regulations used in other communities. It specified areas of the downtown where food trucks may operate and specifies set-back restrictions and payments for use of parking spaces.

“There is just not enough business downtown for all of us to go around,” said Brenda Torchio of Brenda & Co., whose comments were echoed by several others in the restaurant business. She said the owners of the established restaurants are more “fully involved in revitalizing Pittsfield” and are struggling through a weak economy.

“I’m very concerned about this proposal,” said Mark Martin, who owns five restaurants in the city including the Subway restaurant on South Street.

“I don’t want them anywhere in the city, zero, none,” he said.

Susan Gordon, owner of Bagels Too, said that in addition to the competition from businesses that don’t pay taxes and shoulder the same overhead costs, parking space in city lots and on streets should cost more than the proposed $35 per month fee for a food truck to park.

Attorney Mark Brennan and others said they fear disruption of St. Joseph Church services, special fundraising events, as well as funerals and weddings, if food trucks are allowed to park in front of the church.

“There has to be some respect for the sanctity of these services,” said Paul Costello. He said there is a 50-foot buffer zone in the draft ordinance keeping food trucks that far away from restaurants, but none restricting them from the front of a church.

There is also the fear among parish members that the area would become littered with trash left by food truck patrons, Brennan said.

Find the entire article at berkshireeagle.com <here>

Springfield MASPRINGFIELD, MA — The City Council will consider a new ordinance to regulate roadside food trucks through a permit process and with conditions to protect public safely.

A proposed Mobile Food Truck ordinance was presented to the council’s Public Health and Safety Committee on Wednesday, and if passed by the full council would create a committee to oversee and grant permits for the roadside trucks, such as parked hot dog vendors.

Representatives of the police, health and public works departments and of the downtown business district said they believe the draft ordinance provides a needed course of action to regulate the businesses properly.

“It looks like a hopeful situation,” said John C. Verducci III, who has operated a food truck downtown for about 28 years and attended the meeting. “It looks they are really working on it fast and looks like they want to resolve this issue.”

In 2010, the council approved a home rule bill that was intended to set guidelines for licensing and regulating of food vendors. However, the bill never received subsequent approval needed from the state Legislature and thus never took effect, officials said.

City ordinances, in contrast, do not require state legislative approval, and the proposal considered Wednesday is similar to a local law in Boston, said Anthony Wilson of the city Law Department.

The issue resurfaced in November when Verducci appeared before the council and said he was getting parking tickets on a daily basis because the home rule bill never passed. He was ticketed for having an unattached trailer in the road beyond a two-hour parking limit.

Find the entire article at masslive.com <here>

Needham MA SignNEEDHAM, MA – 

New regulations could either hurt—or help—existing and new food trucks in Needham, said business owners.

Captain Marden’s Cod Squad owner Terri Beal looks forward to expanded locations for food trucks. The Cod Squad, which specializes in lobster rolls, has operated in Needham on Wednesdays and Fridays at 2nd Avenue under an informal agreement with the town since last summer. Next year, the Cod Squad could rotate among three locations in Needham’s business district.

But Beal isn’t sure about the $1000-per-truck fee required for a five-day permit.

“We’re permitted in many other towns. I haven’t heard of another town that has charged that,” she said.

Blue Ribbon BBQ owner and Needham resident Geoff Janowski said the regulations wouldn’t directly affect his business, which has operated on 2nd Avenue for two years. But restrictions make Needham hardly an ideal place for new food trucks, he said.

“The town doesn’t have enough viable locations,” said Janowski.

He and Beal already occupy the location on 2nd Avenue, and food trucks operating in other parts of the northern end of Needham likely won’t find much business, he said.

Janowski is afraid another food truck will ask to take up part of his current five-day slot because of the lack of other locations.

Find the entire article at wickedlocal.com <here>

CAMP EDWARDS, MA — Three airmen, a Coast Guardsman, three construction workers and the leader of a base groundwater cleanup program all walk up to the window of a food truck.

foodrunner food truck cape cod
Photo By: Cape Cod Times/Christine Hochkep

This isn’t the lead-in to a joke. It’s the latest phenomenon at Joint Base Cape Cod.

FoodRunner opened 14 weeks ago inside the gates of the Upper Cape military base through a one-year pilot agreement with the Massachusetts National Guard.

Since then Rob Mador and his crew have been serving up a menu of breakfast and lunch items from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. from a 35-foot yellow food truck to a welcoming group of military and civilian customers at the intersection of Generals Boulevard and Richardson Road.

“I usually get the salad, but today I’m rolling the dice and trying the pulled pork,” said Master Sgt. Robert Segrin, on his lunch break from the 102nd Intelligence Wing on Tuesday. “The food truck is always fresh and quite tasty. It’s not your typical takeout.”

Sandwiches on the menu have military names such as “The General,” a burger topped with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion rings and barbecue sauce, as do items such as “The Chopper,” which is a fresh fruit salad.

FoodRunner also features daily specials such as “The Tree Hugger,” a spinach, onion, pepper, tomato, avocado and provolone cheese wrap with chipotle aioli. The menu may be viewed at http://foodrunnerusa.com.

Mador pitched the food truck idea to the military as an opportunity to employ and train disabled veterans, Gen. Gary Keefe, executive director of Joint Base Cape Cod, said. Seeing that it fit with Adjutant Gen. L. Scott Rice’s goals of “people, mission and partnership,” Keefe said the military worked to find an available spot at Camp Edwards for the venture.

That might sound fairly easy on a 22,000-acre military installation, but much of the land is accounted for under federal and state leases, Keefe said.

Mador is responsible for paying for the truck’s utilities and any approved cosmetic changes to the site and pays $100 each month to the U.S. Coast Guard Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund to offset money the food truck may be siphoning off from the Coast Guard-run golf course.

Find the entire article at capecodonline.com <here>

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