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READING, PA – A 15-year-old boy was arrested on his birthday moments after Reading police said he robbed a food truck at knifepoint.

The holdup happened around 11:20 a.m. Monday on the parking lot of a car wash in the 1800 block of Kutztown Road. The teen, armed with a knife, approached the truck and demanded money from a worker inside, police said.

“That is very sad that our society has come to this, you know holding up other children.

Children holding up children, that is sad,” said Wilma Herrera, the owner of El Carreton Del Sabor.

The suspect made off with $20, but he didn’t get very far before he was apprehended by responding RPD officers.

Andrew Butler, an employee at nearby H&B NAPA AutoCare, said he’s seen the teen often leaving trash in the business’ parking lot, but he never expected this. “The kid is always around. He always seemed like a little bit of trouble, but I guess I was surprised he actually did it,” Butler said.

The food truck’s owner said she is just happy police caught him so quickly.

Find the entire article at wfmz.com <here>

carlisle pa sign

CARLISLE, PA — Once illegal in Carlisle, food trucks are now legit for residents’ culinary pleasures.

Council voted unanimously to allow food trucks in the borough’s industrial district in what most of them called a trial run or pilot program with potential for expansion. The decision followed a public hearing during which the majority spoke in support of food vendors.

“I’ve shown personally that there’s a want for this, a demand for this,” said Jason Turner, owner of the mobile food business Unlawful Falafel, who has been fighting to have food trucks allowed in the borough.

Since last year, Turner has been operating his food cart business through a loophole in the borough ordinance by setting up on private property. That won’t be necessary now.

Brenda Landis, member of the West Side Neighbors Association, joined Turner in support of the new ordinance allowing food trucks and carts during Thursday’s public hearing.

“I think food trucks give another dimension that enriches Carlisle,” Landis said.

Besides being new businesses operating in the borough, they also spark a whole new set of events and programming that can attract young people, she said. That type of business diversity can only help, she said.

No one spoke out against the ordinance or mobile food businesses even though in the past some downtown restaurants had expressed concern and opposition over them.

Turner, in speaking about his business during the hearing, said this is an opportunity for anyone in the borough.

“I’m creating a market that any and all establishments in Carlisle can entertain,” he said.

Find the entire article at pennlive.com <here>

Healthy Food Truck Initiative Banner

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Healthy usually doesn’t describe food trucks.

Yet the masterminds behind local food trucks Chez Yasmine and Schmear It convened last night to discuss the challenges and rewards of serving healthy fast food.

The Healthy Food Truck Panel was held in Huntsman Hall and drew in nearly 75 students. College and Wharton junior Robert Hsu and Wharton sophomore Jessica Chen organized the panel as part of the Healthy Food Truck Initiative, an organization that they co-founded. The two food trucks, along with Magic Carpet, have been working with Philadelphia Healthy Food Initiative to offer and advertise healthier options since fall.

Over the past year, HFT has fostered relationships with Chez Yasmine’s owner Jihed Chehimi and Schmear It’s owner Dave Fine, a 2011 College graduate. HFT does not have specific criteria for the food trucks that they partner with, but according to Chen, “We do all the reaching out. We have an idea of which food trucks are healthy.”

Before Chehimi opened Chez Yasmine, he worked in a research lab and enjoyed lunch from food trucks for 20 years. His familiarity with food trucks inspired him to take a different approach.

“Healthy, clean and different. I didn’t want to sell hot dogs,” Chehimi said.

Chehimi offers a Swedish Berry Salad, which earns its finishing flair from fresh mint and rose water. He also serves quinoa, a grain that is “the best you  can eat in terms of health.”

When Chipotle and Sweetgreen became successful on Penn’s campus, Schmear It’s Fine noticed that people were willing to pay more for quality food. Fine saw that a niche for Schmear It and envisioned it as part of Penn’s array of food trucks. However, both Chehimi and Fine admit that the biggest challenge is balancing cost with fresh, healthy ingredients.

“I think when you’re trying to offer healthy options, they are more expensive. Sometimes they are reflected in the prices, but [the customers] recognize it as a special offering they can’t get elsewhere,” Fine said.

Find the entire article at thedp.com <here>

Meadows Racetrack and Casino

WASHINGTON, PA – Parking a food truck inside a casino makes perfect sense to Kevin Brogan.

“We are a casino. We are supposed to have things you don’t normally see,” says Brogan, the director of marketing for The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County.

Within the next week or two, visitors to The Meadows will find the Band Wagon, an 18-by-8-foot food truck, cooking and selling fast-food items next to the Casino’s Headliners entertainment lounge. Food-truck hours will be 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

“We have music (in Headliners) three nights a week. So, while watching the bands, you can have a snack,” says Ari Sobel, food-and-beverage director.

The food truck is Sobel’s brainchild.

“We want to appeal to a younger demographic – (age) 30-60 – but once people see it, they will appreciate it,” Sobel says. “The menu will change every week with 100-percent, made-from-scratch, locally sourced food items. The emphasis is on high quality and fresh, fun food.”

Look for $3-$5 casual eats, such as brisket burger and lobster-roll sliders, french fries and fried Twinkies.

The Band Wagon is one of two new food options that the Casino is offering. Both are designed as efficient venues to fuel visitors who are eager to get back to the racetrack or casino floor.

Find the entire article at triblive.com <here>

free-foodPHILADELPHIA, PA – If you’ve ever polished off a successful meal with a hyperbolic “I could eat that every day,” get ready to be called out for your gastrointestinal hubris.

A trio of University City-based mobile operations is offering all comers the opportunity to win an entire calendar year of free food – for not much more than you tend to spend on lunch in the first place.

Spot Burger, Taco Mondo and Mac Mart, all of whom have cultivated nice followings for themselves at the corner of 33rd and Arch, are collaborating with the Drexel student body with the goal of raising a big chunk of cash for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Earlier this month, the trucks began selling $10-a-pop raffle chances for a shot at acquiring a magic ticket that’ll grant its wielder a gratis entree, side and drink from one of the three street-food specialists once a day for one year.

That means your typical eating week could begin with a signature SPOT Burger and fries, continue with chorizo quesadillas and chicken-cheese empanadas and conclude with a “Return of the Mac,” an out-of-control mac ‘n’ cheese grilled cheese.

Find the entire article and instructions how to enter at philly.com <here>

carlisle pa signCARLISLE, PA — Mobile food vendors could be asked to pay an annual fee of $250 if the first draft of a proposed ordinance gains approval by the borough council.

Sean Shultz, chairman of the borough council’s sustainability and community planning committee, said there is “no hurry” to bring the ordinance to a council vote. The ordinance was presented at a meeting of that committee Wednesday morning.

“It’s a starting point,” said Borough Manager Matt Candland.

The ordinance would allow the vendors to operate in the general industrial zoning district, which is primarily comprised of the warehouse district to the western edge of the borough. Some members of the borough council, however, see the move as a foot in the door for the eventual appearance of the vendors downtown — a move they say raises concerns about the town’s image.

“My concern is that it will creep into downtown eventually and we will be looking at another ordinance,” said councilwoman Linda Cecconello.

Cecconello also said the $250 annual fee wouldn’t be enough to cover the inequity between the responsibilities of the mobile food vendor and the traditional restaurant owner, who pays taxes in the borough.

The draft ordinance defines a mobile food vendor as a “vehicle-mounted food service establishment.” It would require vendors to have a current permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and to gain the written permission of the owners of the private property on which they would operate.

Find the entire article at cumberlink.com <here>

Central Penn MFACENTRAL PA – Today mobile food vendors from Central Pennsylvania are announcing the formation of a new organization, the Central Pennsylvania Mobile Food Association. Representing 22 mobile food vendors from York, Adams, Dauphin, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks Counties, the immediate goal of the association is to increase the dialogue between York City Council, York City restaurants and the mobile food vendors of Central Pennsylvania, following the tabling of Article 332 “Mobile Food Carts” of the York City Codified Ordinances.

The original Ordinance proposed to increase the number of cart licenses from one to six and expand the food-cart district to several blocks surrounding Continental Square in the City of York. Opposition to this proposal had been raised by several restaurant owners in York. As additional dialogue and research had been requested on this legislation, Council moved to refer this Bill back to committee for further discussion at a future work session.

Mobile food vendors pose no threat to the restaurants of York or any other city in Pennsylvania. In fact, food trucks improve local business scenes–including restaurants, as they increase foot traffic in communities, keep the streets safe and activate less-populated areas. In New York’s Lower East Side and Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market, food trucks were banned and nearby restaurants took a hit. Food trucks draw people out of their offices and homes and into the community, opening their eyes to all of the meal options their neighborhood has to offer. Mobile food vendors and restaurants serve two different customers and are not competing for the same dollar.

“Right now, cities across the U.S. are considering how to regulate food trucks,” said Jordan Pfautz, owner of Lancaster-based Baron Von Schwein. “With progressive legislation, York has the opportunity to plant their flag and be on the forefront of the food truck revolution instead of driving it out of town.”

“York’s City Council can serve as an example of government done right by passing a law that protects the public’s health and safety–as a good government should, rather than protecting established businesses from competition. We are looking forward to working with York’s City Council and York City restaurant owners to craft effective legislation for all.”

Find out more about the CPA-MFA at facebook.com/CentralPennMFA.

Coming in at number seventeen in our Top US Cities to Open a Food Truck is Philadelphia, PA.

Philadelphia skyline

Home of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the former US capital is making history again with a food truck culture that has truly taken off in Philadelphia. Food trucks can be found all over over the city, serving cuisines from around the world. The current trucks are swamped by hungry workers, students, and tourists in Love Park and City Hall as well as the Navy Yard. Open air markets have also welcomed mobile vendors giving a new food truck owner plenty of areas to operate from.

Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the second largest city on the East Coast of the United States, and the fifth-most-populous city in the United States. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 1,526,006, growing to 1,547,607 in 2012 by Census estimates.Philadelphia is the economic and cultural center of the Delaware Valley, home to over 6 million people and the country’s sixth-largest metropolitan area.

Philadelphia is a city as diverse as it is full of opportunity for mobile food vendors in 2014. Its state tax breaks reward start-ups in the city’s under-served areas, while its suburban neighborhoods offer business owners a wealth of affluent clientele right in their backyards, making Philly and its surrounding suburbs a good fit for food trucks targeting any demographic.

Many of the existing food trucks are represented by The Philly Mobile Food Association with over 40 members. This association has been and will continue to be a strong advocate for the growth of the industry in Philadelphia.

Find the city’s documentation for Starting a Food Truck <here>

Find the entire list of Top US cities to Open a Food Truck  <here>

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