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Food Truck News

In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry we have compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this past weekend from New York City, Milwaukee, Provo, Portland and Worthington.

May 23

As New York City Crushes The Food Truck Business, Mexicue Pushes A New Model – NEW YORK, NY - The arrival of food trucks to New York several years ago was greeted by a City hungry for refined street food, willing to pay higher prices to reward hard-working culinary entrepreneurs.  But, what was initially a story of success, as the Mexicue truck can attest, quickly became a nightmare riddled by surging competition, conflicting and arbitrarily enforced regulation, and dwindling profits.

Find the entire article <here>

Owner of food truck that caught fire speaks out – MILWAUKEE, WI - The owner of a food truck that went up in flames on Milwaukee’s south side is struggling to get back on his feet to support his wife and three kids.

“As days go on, I feel it more and more… not having a job, not having income for my family,” said Francisco Hernandez, about losing the food truck that he called “How many for you?”

Find the entire article <here>

May 24

The explosion of Provo’s food truck scene is mouth-watering – PROVO, UT - When Christian Faulconer opened a Sweeto Burrito in Provo last summer, he joined a very short list — basically, a handful — of food trucks in the area.

Now less than a year later, Provo’s food truck landscape has changed drastically.

Find the entire article <here>

May 25

Building boom displacing food-cart pods – PORTLAND, OR - Portland gave the world the concept of the food-cart “pod” — clusters of mobile eateries stationed semi-permanently in parking lots.

Now, one by one, Portland is taking the pods back.

Find the entire article <here>

May 26

Worthington getting first taste of food trucks – WORTHINGTON, OH - Driving through the heart of Worthington recently, Sharon Powers did a double-take.

“Was that a food truck — in Worthington?” she recalled thinking.

It was. And it will continue to be there, one night a week, for at least three months — all part of Worthington’s first flirtation with the growing food-truck trend.

Find the entire article <here>

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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>

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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>

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Food Truck News

In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry we have compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this past weekend from Houston, Toronto, Fitchburg and Portland.

April 4

Detox Truck brings a healthy change to Houston’s food truck scene – HOUSTON, TX - The Detox Truck is helping put a fresh spin on the food truck scene in Houston.

Husband and wife team Aaron and Melanie Greeley created a menu of fresh-pressed juices, protein-packed salads, and nutritious smoothies that promise big nutrition without busting your calorie budget.

Find the entire article <here>

Mayoral candidates come out to talk food trucks – TORONTO, CANADA - Council’s food truck regulation debate lured all three major mayoral candidates to Nathan Phillips Square Thursday, where four popular vendors staged a rally at lunchtime.

Find the entire article <here>

April 5

Massachusetts couple gets deeper into farming - FITCHBURG, MA — Jim Lattanzi is no stranger to hard work. At 29, he has operated a highly successful food-truck business, started a farm in his Hollis Hills backyard with wife Allison and expanded the business to include maple sugaring.

Find the entire article <here>

April 6

Food carts downtown hit by string of break-ins – PORTLAND, OR - Half a dozen food carts in downtown Portland were hit again Friday night after more than a month of break-ins.

Find the entire article <here>

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portland maine food truck mapPORTLAND, ME - Food truck owners want Portland to make it easier for them to operate in all city parks, including Monument Square.

James Dinsmore of Wicked Good Truck feeds the parking meter Monday. The food truck’s owner wants Portland’s ordinance changed.

But the proposal, which will be reviewed Tuesday by the City Council’s Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee, is facing resistance from the city staff and at least one restaurant owner.

Mike Roylos, who owns the Spartan Grill in Monument Square, said that allowing food trucks to park in the square and serve food would hurt his established business.

“We’ve been barely able to survive this winter,” he said.

Roylos said he supports food trucks as long as they don’t compete with traditional restaurants, which pay rent and property taxes. Monument Square is lined with restaurants that cater to lunch and after-work crowds.

“It would be nice if they went along with the original idea of having food trucks in areas where there was no food,” he said. “There is quite a bit of food out here.”

Portland began allowing food trucks in 2012, joining a growing number of U.S. cities that have embraced mobile restaurants and providing a new fleet of dining choices to Portland’s foodies and downtown workers.

Find the entire article at pressherald.com <here>

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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>

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In our quest to keep our readers up to date with the latest stories relating to the food truck industry we have compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this past weekend from Lafayette, Tonawanda and Portland.

OTW Logo food truck newsMarch 7

Food on wheels: Is it safe? – LAFAYETTE, LA - Hungry patrons flock to Lafayette’s food trucks like kids chasing down an ice cream truck on a steamy July afternoon.

The popularity of food trucks has led to more than 20 of them in Lafayette selling anything from waffles and Italian food to hot dogs and fries with unique toppings.

But can you trust that the food is safe when it’s served from a truck instead of a restaurant?

Find the entire article <here>

March 8

Tensions flare in Tonawanda between food trucks, restaurants – TONAWANDA, NY - Visitors to Niawanda Park may soon be able to purchase a burrito, sandwich or hot dog from their favorite food truck if a resolution before the Tonawanda Common Council goes forward.

But, as in other municipalities that have considered allowing the popular rolling kitchens, tensions are flaring between the trucks and their bricks-and-mortar competitors, Mississippi Mudds and Old Man River.

Find the entire article <here>

March 9

Food-cart scene tastes like a global scavenger hunt - PORTLAND, OR - The many accolades earned by chefs in this city are rooted in what the land offers. They succeed by adaptation to their environment.

That’s especially true with the city’s bustling food cart scene, which has become an incubator for great restaurants. Whether inspired by Norwegian comfort food, Peace Corps missions to the Republic of Georgia, or Thai “chaos in a bowl,” the menus reinvigorate and challenge both customer and chef to think harder and dream bigger.

Find the entire article <here>

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GREENVILLE, S.C. —The operators of the food truck that led the way for others in the city of Greenville made a shocking announcement on their Facebook page Monday.

Neue South Portland

Neue Southern Food Truck owner and Chef Lauren Zanardelli’s post says,

“Graham and I have some news we’d like to share with you. It’s kind of a bomb, so I’m just gonna drop it. Graham and I are moving to Portland, Oregon this spring. We know this comes as a huge surprise. It’s all happened extremely quickly. What seemed like some vague, distant idea became a reality overnight, and we’re still in a state of shock ourselves!

“Graham and I knew when we started our business that our future would always be a little unpredictable. From the time we opened until now, we’ve been asked what our next step will be, and that question, at best, has been met by us with shrugs. We’ve known that in a few years time we want to be working toward opening our brick and mortar restaurant. But until recently, we didn’t know what the years in between would hold. We spent the last six months exploring every possible direction. What can I say. We’ve both dreamed about one day living on the west coast. And we’re so fortunate to have this opportunity to spend a few years in a progressive culinary city. We’ll be learning and absorbing everything we can before we move back east to kill it in OUR restaurant. We feel like we need to take it.

“Bittersweet is too ineffectual a word to describe this move. Still having so much we want to learn, we’re ridiculously excited to be moving to a city that revolves around its dining culture and has city blocks lined in mobile eateries. And at the same time, I cry like a baby when I think of what it’s going to mean to say goodbye to all of you as this adventure comes to a close. I struggle to find the words… I’ve rewritten this post more times than I care to publicly admit, and every time I reread it, I hate it. It just doesn’t begin to do our feelings justice.

“We know how much this sucks for our fans, but we hope that you can be happy for us. It’s not going to be even a little easy to leave, so we could really use your support! It would make a world of difference for Graham and me. We seriously don’t know what we’ll do without you. Our very last service is on Saturday, March 15 at The Community Tap –the parking spot that brought our truck to Greenville, and the place where this all started.

“We hope we get a chance to see and feed all of you these next two weeks. But it’s not goodbye yet! We’re going to make the very best of every minute we have left on our truck. You’ve made this the most remarkable experience of our lives to date. To say we love you for it barely scratches the surface.  Cheers to you, Greenville.”

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Love Cupcakes Portland

image from Facebook

PORTLAND, ME – Love Cupcakes, which describes itself as “Portland Maine’s First Food Truck,” is for sale with an asking price of $52K, according to a flyer posted on its Facebook page. Included in the asking price are a mobile kitchen in a renovated 1987 Chevy van (with generator), a renovated 1967 trailer with a freezer and small kitchen, the recipes, website and social media accounts.

The cupcake truck could most recently be found in Newry, slinging treats at Sunday River. The price is negotiable and owners Anna and Joey Turcotte are willing to consider selling off the pieces separately. From Facebook: “We’d love to sell the business as a whole, but we’ve already been approached by multiple people who are interested in specific assets. Please contact us as there has been a price reduction from when this ad was initially created.”

Find the entire article at eater.com <here>

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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>

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