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portland sidewalk
Photo Credit: Aimee Green/The Oregonian

PORTLAND, OR – A woman who claims she broke her foot while standing in line in front of a food cart on a crowded downtown Portland sidewalk is suing the food cart’s property owner and the city of Portland for $58,970.

According to the suit filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Bonnie R. Colaiuta claims the food-cart line she was standing in on July 13, 2013, was blocking the sidewalk nearSouthwest Ninth Avenue and Alder Street, so she stepped aside to let pedestrian traffic pass.

But as she did, she stepped into a square-shaped hole in the sidewalk — a tree well that was uncovered, her suit states. The misstep broke Colaiuta’s fifth metatarsal bone in her right foot, according to the suit.

Colaiuta’s suit faults property owner Goodman Generations LLC and property management company Downtown Development Group LLC — both for allegedly failing to follow city code by keeping the sidewalk free of hazards and failing to erect a barrier around the tree well. City code specifically places the responsibility of maintaining sidewalks in good repair on property owners.

Find the entire article at oregonlive.com <here>

salem oregon

SALEM, OR – Salem could be on the verge of joining the street food craze.

At a meeting Monday, the council approved changes in city code to ease restrictions on mobile food vendors. The council’s action strikes down regulations that had banned groups of food vendors from gathering on private property. It also loosened restrictions how long food trucks could stay at one location.

“I think this is the right thing to do. We have government barriers keeping these businesses from operating,” said Salem City Councilor Diana Dickey. “This is only going to enhance our food culture.”

The change in the code is effective immediately. Mobile food vendors say it could clear the way for food “pods,” similar to those found in the Portland area, to pop up in Salem.

Richard Foote, a representative of the Salem Food Truck Association, said food vendors were already discussing gathering in groups for “food truck rallies” this summer.

Find the entire article at statesmanjournal.com <here>

cartopia portland

PORTLAND, OR – A popular Southeast Portland food cart pod may be headed for redevelopment as an apartment building.

The pod known as Cartopia at Southeast 12th and Hawthorne had assembled a lineup of carts including Perierra Creperie, Potato Champion, Pyro Pizza and Whiffies Fried Pies.

Plans submitted to city development officials describe a four-story apartment building with ground-floor storefronts on the site.

Contacted Wednesday, developer Vic Remmers said he had a contract to buy the site. The lot’s owners couldn’t be reached.

Remmers said the project was still in its design phase, led by TVA Architects of Portland. The project has been complicated by a sewer line that runs thought part of the site, but he expects the building will include 27 to 30 apartments in an L-shaped building with an outdoor courtyard.

“We’re really trying to provide a cool outdoor experience for people to be able to enjoy living in the building or eating at a restaurant,” he said.

The building won’t include parking. Remmers said he doesn’t expect many of the residents to own cars.

“We’ve really been trying to improve the bike-friendliness of these buildings,” he said.

Gregg Abbott, who opened Whiffies Fried Pies at the lot in 2009, said he’d seen pre-development work at the lot in recent months and had expected a sale was in the offing. He said it was disappointing — though maybe inevitable — that food carts like his would be displaced by new development.

Find the entire article at oregonlive.com <here>

salem oregon

SALEM, OR – It’s a foodie’s dream. A collection of food vendors, assembled in a bustling “pod” on an inner-city lot. Each small-time entrepreneur sells made-from- scratch foods, often for modest prices. Cuisine choices cover the gamut from Mexican to Middle Eastern.

If that sounds appetizing, head to Portland.

City of Salem regulations dating to 1994 ban clusters of food trucks and trailers from gathering on private property. No vending is allowed in the public-right-of-way. And food trucks that call on multiple locations can stay in one spot for no longer than two hours.

“The rules in Salem pretty much make it impossible for most of us to make a living at it,” said Richard Foote, a representative of the Salem Food Truck Association. He has a vested interest in seeing food trucks succeed: his Oregon Crepe Company includes a specialty bakery that supplies breads to food vendors.

But Salem may yet catch-up with the street food craze. Salem City Council recently asked city staff to draft an ordinance that would loosen restrictions on food trucks and trailers.

“Council asked us to fast-track this item so we are intending to do that,” said Glenn Gross, they city’s community development director. The city hopes to have a new ordinance ready by the summer, he said.

Most mobile food vendors in Salem have a second job, or rely on income from a spouse to pay the bills, Foote said. He estimated that about 20 food trucks and trailers operate in Salem.

The only way for several food vendors to gather in one spot, even temporarily, is obtain a special events permit, such those issued for the city’s World Beat festival.

” I would love to see a little taste of what Portland’s got, or even Eugene,” said Chad Lewis, owner of Chad’s Smoking Barbecue, a food truck and catering service.

Lewis figures he could be selling more brisket, pulled pork and ribs if Salem its relaxed rules. He sees plenty of potential customers in industrial areas with few nearby restaurants, as well as in Salem’s downtown where state employees, Willamette University students and others might want to grab a quick bite.

Since October, Carmen and Minh Nguyen have ran “Fusion Semi-Authentic Vietnamese Foods.” Finding places to park their food truck, however, has been an obstacle.

For example, the couple once did a good business selling curry rice bowls and Vietnamese sandwiches in the parking lot of a Salem shopping center. But restaurants in the shopping center soon complained to the landlord about the competition. Fusion, which was initially invited to the location, had to leave.

“It was really unfortunate. It was a fun place to be,” Carmen Nguyen said.

Find the entire article at statesmanjournal.com <here>

portland food cart brewery

Portland food cart pods are showing that adding alcohol to their menus hasn’t been negative to the city at all.

PORTLAND, OR – A couple of years ago, Portland’s food carts — beloved by hipsters, downtown business people, neighborhood folks and tourists alike — offered strictly PG fare.

Now, they’re all grown up.

Nearly a third of the city’s food cart pods now serve beer, wine or cocktails.

Thirteen of the 36 food cart pods citywide have in the past two years sought and received liquor licenses from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Thanks to a set of OLCC restrictions on the licenses, the infusion of alcohol hasn’t had any ill effect on the industry.

“We haven’t seen any public-safety impact at these businesses,” says Christie Scott, an OLCC spokeswoman. The OLCC board approved the restrictions as permanent rules last Friday, for the first time differentiating food carts from other outdoor areas like patios and sidewalk seating.

The rules limit customers to no more than two drinks at a time (16 ounces of beer or cider, 6 ounces of wine, or 2 ounces of distilled spirits); except to allow two people to share a standard 750-ml bottle of wine, and three people to share a 64-ounce pitcher of beer.

“No minors” signs must be posted, and there’s no drinking or amplified music past 10 p.m.

Finally, boundaries for the “alcohol consumption area” must be enforced by the licensee.

The more social, community-minded vibe is a big draw for the carts, especially out in East Portland, says Roger Goldingay, owner of Cartlandia, on Southeast 82nd Avenue, as well as the 10-cart Mississippi Marketplace in North Portland.

“There’s nothing cool out here, except us,” he says.

Two years ago, he was the first in the city to be granted a food cart alcohol license, after a bureaucratic struggle.

Two weekends ago, Cartlandia opened The Blue Room, an on-site bar and restaurant that will offer live music on the weekends and a place for people to enjoy a beer with their food cart fare.

The space features its signature teal walls, a stage for live music, five large-screen TVs to play sports and “Portlandia,” and a bar made from a salvaged piece of an 1860s church and an old pipe organ. They offer beer 18 beers and ciders on tap, along with cocktails and a short menu of five items, required by the OLCC.

Find the entire article at portlandtribune.com <here>

Jordan Epping Food CartPORTLAND, OR – He owns a business and he doesn’t even have his driver’s license yet.

A Keizer boy was thrilled to get his business cooking in a mobile food cart that he’d saved up to buy.

But it was stolen right after he bought it.

“I’m taking French class and we made crepes. It’s really interesting,” said 14-year-old Jordan Epping.

That lesson inspired Epping to make crepes and sell them out of a food cart.

“I’ve always been interested in starting a business and this crepe business sounded like a really good idea,” he said.

Last week, Epping bought a cart off of Craigslist.

He used all his savings.

“It was originally listed for $400, but the guy was on Craigslist so long I got it for $150,” he said.

Jordan had plans to fix it up with corrugated metal, install a sink and sell crepes.

“I’ve actually already registered as the sole proprietor with the IRS,” he said.

His menu cover shows the name of his business: La Crepe Ape.

“I actually had my grandpa lined up to be an investor, for three percent,” he said.

But on Monday, someone stole the cart from a locked storage lot in Salem.

The storage lot was closed that day and they don’t have cameras.

“It would really be nice to get it back because of the time and the money,” said the teen.

Jordan just wants the cart back so he can get his business rolling.

The cart was so new that it wasn’t insured, yet.

His mom filed a police report with Keizer police.

On Friday afternoon, Epping said someone found his cart on the side of Gregg Butler Auto Body Shop in Jefferson and that he’s got it back.

Persistence is the first ingredient to any success.

Find the original article by Erica Heartquist at KGW.com <here>

portland-oregonPORTLAND, OR – Food carts have been part of Portland’s downtown street scene for decades but they weren’t specifically called out as a key to Portland’s retail strategy.

Indeed, the 2009 Downtown Retail strategy identified the parking lot at Southwest Tenth Avenue and Alder Street as a prime redevelopment opportunity. Tell that to the dozens of food carts operating at the lot or their dedicated fans and customers.

Scott Andrews, chairman of the Portland Development Commission and a real estate industry executive, went so far as to call the proliferation of carts and pedestrian activity a form of development.

Find the entire article at katu.com <here>

BBQ truck opening soon is no April Fools Joke

The Pacific Northwest has had a very strong influence on the national growth of the mobile food industry and coming up in April; the growth will increase by one more truck. This opening is scheduled for April 1st in the city of Salem, Oregon. The owner Don Charpilloz is primarily a self-taught chef who wants to serve up street food style barbeque paired with some Southwest/Mexican flavors from his mobile kitchen to the entire Salem/Keizer area.

The Karnavor Gourmet BBQ truck was created to help Chef Charpolloz share his love for cooking and barbecuing, but also his joy of serving others the food that they love to eat. When asked to describe himself Don replied, “determined, motivated, dedicated, comical, friendly, caring, and easy going”.  We wondered what cuisine that he was unfamiliar with that he would you want to learn more about and why?  “I would like to learn more about Southwestern & Mexican Cuisine. I love the bold flavors of the peppers and chilies; it seems like a true art form to be able to pair the right foods with the right spices.”

While working on the name of his truck, he wanted something “unique and original”. Don explained that he wanted a name that was easy to remember but also described the kind of food they serve. Giving all of the credit to his wife, he felt Karnovor “was a perfect fit”.

When interviewing mobile entrepreneurs we have a standard group of questions we like to ask to help our readers learn more about these business owners, here are a sample of some of these questions and how Don answered.

One food you can’t live without?

DC: Bacon!

One food you detest?

DC: Liver & Onions…..yuk

Culinary speaking, your region of the country has the best…

DC: The Pacific Northwest has the best Diversity. Fosho!

Favorite celebrity chef?

DC: Bobby Flay

Best culinary tip for the home cook?

DC: Practice…and some classes don’t hurt either

If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be?


Proudest moment as a chef/restaurant owner:

DC: The first time somebody ever paid me for my food!

Favorite music to cook to?

DC: JayZ, Johnny Cash, ACDC, Kanye West, Eminem, Kid Rock, etc…

Best food city in America?

DC: Portland Oregon

Favorite restaurant in America?

DC: Gritty’s Restaurant and Pub, in Freeport Maine

What show would you pitch to the Food Network?

DC: “Restaurants on the Road” Featuring a different Food Truck (or cart) every episode.

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten:

DC: Chocolate covered Grasshoppers

The Karnavor Gourmet BBQ truck was purchased from AA Cater Truck in Los Angeles, California and to date has taken about a year to get it ready to start up. Don has never been part of the food industry; and because of this, food costing has been his biggest challenge in starting up his mobile food business.

The average price for a meal off the Karnavor Gourmet BBQ truck will be 6-8 dollars. The chef describes his food as, “fresh, bright, savory, unique, fun, homemade, smokey, sweet, and delish.” Currently the menu looks like this:

Everyday Classics

  • Tacos: (Chicken, Pulled Pork or Brisket) Served on warm corn tortillas, our BBQ tacos overflow with freshly BBQ’ d chicken, pork or brisket smothered in our sweet and savory barbecue sauce. We top each taco with fresh cabbage slaw, made w/ toasted almonds & dried cranberries.
  • Sandwiches: (Chicken, Pulled Pork or Brisket) Over a 1/4 pound of slow smoked chicken, pork or brisket served on toasted buns, covered in homemade slaw & Kar na Vor BBQ sauce (comes w/ a side of BBQ beans or Mac ‘n’ Cheese and a pickle spear).
  • K-sa-dillas: (Cheese, Chicken, Pulled Pork or Brisket)

Kar na Vor Favorites

  • Loaded Bacon Dog: Served up w/ glazed bacon and topped w/ sauteed onion & sweet peppers
  • Glazed  Bacon & Chipotle Shrimp Taco: This is a true treat, served on warm corn tortillas. Brown sugar glazed bacon & chipotle shrimp lay on top a bed of house slaw and topped with guacamole & cilantro.

Chefs Specials

  • BBQ pork ribs
  • Chipotle Shrimp & Sausage Kabob

Om na Vor Specials

  • Garden Salad
  • Garden Burger: Custom made. Tell us how you want it!

Sides: Smoked Beans, House Slaw, Mac ‘n’ Cheese

When asked what advice the chef would have for others thinking about starting their own food truck he responded, “Make sure that you take full advantage of your local Small Business Development Centers, Chamber of Commerce, and don’t be so in love with your idea that you cannot see the realities of the business!”

We wish Chef Charpilloz the best of luck with this endeavor, and will keep our readers up to date if additional news comes up before the launch on April 1st.

You can find the Karnavor Gourmet BBQ truck website <here> or follow the truck at Facebook or Twitter.

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