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NOLA

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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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NOLA food trucksNEW ORLEANS, LA - The great City Hall food fight over food trucks could end at Thursday’s meeting of the New Orleans City Council. Then again, it might not.

The council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance proposed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration to replace one that the council passed in April but the mayor then vetoed. Debate is expected to start around 1 p.m.

The vetoed ordinance, sponsored by Councilwoman Stacy Head, would have loosened the city’s current extremely restrictive regulations for food trucks. Landrieu said he vetoed it because it was still too restrictive — specifically that it would have created a 200-foot “buffer zone” around brick-and-mortar restaurants where food trucks could not operate. The current law, in effect for many decades, provides for a 600-foot protected zone.

Head said she thought such proximity restrictions, designed to protect certain businesses against competition from other businesses, are unconstitutional, but she agreed to accept the 200-foot restricted zone and several other provisions she did not like as the price of winning enough votes to get her ordinance passed. The administration’s proposal removes most of those restrictions, such as many geographical limitations and a requirement that operators have guaranteed access to a nearby public restroom.

At a council committee meeting Wednesday, debate focused almost entirely on the absence of a buffer-zone provision in the proposed law, with Councilwomen Jackie Clarkson and Susan Guidry making clear they still want such a requirement to help protect fixed-location restaurants they said are one of the glories of New Orleans’ culture and vital to its economy.

In response, Eric Granderson, a former interim council member and now a top aide to Landrieu, indicated that the mayor is likely to veto any ordinance that contains a buffer zone. The city attorney’s office has said it thinks such a provision could not withstand a legal challenge.

The new ordinance would:

  • Authorize 100 permits for food trucks alone. At present, 100 permits are authorized for all types of mobile food vendors, including fruit and vegetable sellers, seafood peddlers and others.
  • In return for a $400 annual permit, food trucks would be allowed automatically to operate on the streets in most areas of the city zoned for commercial, industrial or mixed use.
  • The trucks would be able to operate at any one location for a maximum of four hours.
  • They would be prohibited in the French Quarter because the streets there are too narrow and congested to accommodate them.
  • The amount of the franchise fees would be recommended by the Department of Public Works, which must also certify that the proposed location would not interfere with traffic. The fees must then be approved by the council, which would be able to impose further restrictions. The fees would be capped at $28,200 a year.
  • Operators must have $500,000 in liability insurance, must comply with all city and state health laws, must pay sales tax and must clean up all debris within a 50-foot radius each day. They cannot sell alcohol and their trucks cannot be more than 26 feet long or 8 feet wide.

Find the entire article by Bruce Eggler at NOLA.com  <here>

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Mitch Landrieu food trucksNEW ORLEANS, LA - Calling it unconstitutional and unlikely to stand up to a legal challenge, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has vetoed a recent City Council ordinance easing restrictions on food trucks in New Orleans. Landrieu suggested that the ordinance, sponsored by Council President Stacy Head, did not go far enough in liberalizing a provision intended to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants from competition by food trucks.

“It would be unwise to sign this ordinance into law in its current form when it appears certain that it will be invalidated by the court,” the mayor said in a letter Wednesday to Clerk of Court Peggy Lewis.

It would take five votes on the seven-member council to overturn Landrieu’s veto.

Landrieu said he “strongly supports” the City Council’s push to redraw regulations for mobile street venders. But he noted that both Head and the ordinance’s “principal proponent” — a coalition of food truck owners and supporters — have expressed concern that parts of the law as written could be deemed unconstitutional.

Head, a frequent political antagonist of Landrieu’s, learned of the veto from an email sent to her office Tuesday night by Landrieu’s chief liaison with the council, Eric Granderson. Other council members learned about it during meetings Wednesday morning, staff members said.

During debate on the ordinance April 18, Head said she hoped that food truck backers would file a legal challenge to what she described as “egregious” and unconstitutional provisions in the final document, even though she voted for it.

Her principal objection appeared to be to a provision banning food trucks from operating within 200 feet of any part of a standard restaurant unless the restaurant is closed or waives the restriction. At present, the so-called buffer zone is 600 feet, or about two city blocks. Head originally wanted to cut it to 50 feet but agreed several weeks earlier to set it at 100 feet — one of several concessions she made in an effort to win more support for her measure.

Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson moved at the April 18 meeting to increase the buffer to 300 feet, as favored by the Louisiana Restaurant Association, but Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell offered a compromise of 200 feet, which Head agreed to support in preference to the 300-foot figure. Cantrell’s amendment passed 4-3, with James Gray and Susan Guidry joining her and Head in support and Clarkson, Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and Kristin Gisleson Palmer opposed.

Head said she agreed with leaders of the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition that any such buffer probably is illegal because it is designed merely to protect one type of business from competition by another type of business. “Economic protection is not a legitimate government purpose,” coalition attorney Andrew Legrand told the council.

Find the entire article by Richard Rainey 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 - Last Wednesday marked New Orleans’ first Vendy Awards, which crowns one local mobile food vendor king of the streets.

“Taceaux Loceaux is the first spot I hit of course. I love Taceaux Loceaux,” said Claudia Gehrke.

She was one of dozens who lined up at the French Market to get a taste of the New Orleans Vendy Awards.

“So far the brisket taco and the pull pork taco,” said Eric Brown, who is visiting from Kentucky.

From tacos to falafel to a cup of Yakamein, the dishes being served up showcased what’s become a growing food truck trend in New Orleans.

“I love the food vendor trucks. If it weren’t for them after Katrina. I probably would have starved in my neighborhood,” said Gehrke.

Nine local mobile food vendors spent the evening feeding a growing hungry crowd and hoping to win their votes.

The Vendy Awards, which lets foodies vote on their favorite vendor’s recipe, is part of the New York-based Street Vendor Project.

“We’re trying to build a national movement to support vendors, and New Orleans is a perfect fit for that,” said Helena Tubis with Street Vendor Project.

As these vendors try to work with the city to create new laws on where and how best to operate, on Wednesday night they had the greenlight to set up shop in the French Quarter to the delight of the crowd.

“I think food trucks are a great thing for the city. I think they provide an affordable option for people to eat,” said New Orleans resident Matthew Newman.

The winner of the’s competition was “Foodiecall Nola,” which won both the judge’s and people’s choice awards.

As for the proposed mobile food vendor law, it’s being reintroduced for a third time to the City Council on March 21. A vote on that pilot program is slated to happen in April.

Find the original article with video from wwitv.com <here>

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City-Council-New-OrleansNEW ORLEANS, LA - Tuesday’s City Council food truck fracas got heated, but it came to a halt before the the Councillors were able to reach a solution. Those in front of the dais shook their heads when Council President Head announced the meeting would have to adjourn due to an ‘advertising issue.’  According to Head’s office, the ordinance will have to be withdrawn and reintroduced because it was not billed in accordance with the City Charter.

In a statement from Head’s office, they explained that “The ordinance will have to be withdrawn and reintroduced again because it was not advertised in accordance with the City Charter.”

This was due to an oversight by the Clerk’s office.

According to the Charter, “An ordinance dealing with certain matters must be advertised in the paper between 7 and 14 days of introduction – not before and not after.”

Find the entire article at the NOLA Defender <here>

 

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