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Toronto

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TORONTO, CANADA – Summer is the season for food trucks, but many vendors say despite the new regulations it’s still a challenge doing business in the city.

“That’s the hardest part. There is nowhere to park cause there are restaurants all over Toronto,” said Bryan Siu-Chong who is co-founder of MeNU Food Truck.

On Tuesday afternoon, MeNU Food Truck was parked along University, just outside Toronto General Hospital. When Global News was there, a security guard approached Siu-Chong at the truck to tell them they were not supposed to be there – apparently, because there was a food court in the hospital, they were violating the 50-metre rule.

Global News checked with City Hall’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department. We learned that MeNU was in the right place and did not have to move.

Carleton Grant is the Director of Policy and Strategic Support for the department. He said the rule is only for restaurants that are facing a street, not food courts inside a building.

“Now we need to educate the businesses, the parking lots , the hospitals the security guards, what the rules are,” said Grant.
When the city introduced the permit system it allowed for 125 permits at a cost of $5000 each. To date, only 14 permits have been picked up by gourmet food trucks.

Zane Caplansky owns a food truck and a restaurant, Caplansky’s Delicatessen. He says he opted not to get a permit. “It is the most expensive mobile vending permit in the world, and it’s useless.” Said Caplansky.

Find the entire article at globalnews.ca <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 Washington DC, Sioux Falls, Surrey, and Toronto.

June 13

Food truck executive sees room for improvement with vending regulations – WASHINGTON DC - On April 1, Che Ruddell-Tabisola, co-owner of the BBQ Bus and a longtime activist, became the first paid executive director of the DMW Food Truck Association. Ruddell-Tabisola is a founding member of the association and previously served as its executive director in an unpaid capacity in 2012. He also served as the association’s political director last year, as it fought for new vending regulations.

Find the entire article <here>

Former office worker starts food truck – SIOUX FALLS, SD - A Sioux Falls man has given up an office job to follow his passion of cooking.

Rich Stevenson has opened Richy Rich’s Silver Spoon Mobile Bistro. He’s serving lunch outside various businesses on weekdays and taking his food truck to festivals and fairs in the evenings and on weekends. Today and Saturday, he’ll be at Harrisburg Days.

Find the entire article <here>

June 14

Surrey chooses 10 food trucks for pilot program – SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Ever tried a tasty torpedo? How about a hillbilly hotdog?

Surrey residents will have the opportunity to try these delicacies and more now that the city has chosen 10 mobile food vendors to be part of its new food truck program.

Find the entire article <here>

June 15

Ed Sheeran Arrives at the MMVAs in a Food Truck, Serves French Fries to Fans – TORONTO, CA - Ed Sheeran never ceases to amaze us. The “Don’t” crooner shocked everyone this year when he arrived at the MMVAs in a food truck. Yes, a food truck.

The outside of the truck was plastered with pics of hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries, but once people found out Ed was inside, the fans couldn’t have cared less about the food.

Find the entire article <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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TORONTO, CANADA - More food trucks will likely soon be on Toronto’s streets following a council vote Thursday night.

In a 34-3 decision, councillors voted in favour of new regulations aimed at loosing restrictions for street food vendors in the city.

Under the new rules, food trucks will be allowed to set up in a pay-and-display parking spot for up to three hours. Trucks can only operate for three hours in a 24-hour period, however, and only two trucks can operate on the same block at the same time.

Additionally, trucks must keep at least 50 metres away from a licensed restaurant that is open and operating. The condition does not apply when a food truck is parked on private property or in one of 58 licensed parking lots, however.

While the new program is not perfect, it’s an improvement, according to one local vendor.

“It’s better than it was,” food truck operator Zane Caplansky said of the new program. “It’s progress, it’s a step forward, and I think it’s something that we can look at as baby steps, but not certainly the victory we wanted.”

The city will issue 125 permits this year to vendors, including the 27 food trucks already operating.

Find the entire article at cp24.com <here>

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TORONTO, CANADA - Council has yet to swallow any changes to the city’s street food rules.

Despite spending several hours debating the licensing committee’s proposal to slice and dice the red tape around Toronto’s food truck industry, councillors failed to wrap up the debate Wednesday.

The debate is expected to continue Thursday but it isn’t clear whether council will be able to digest the changes or end up chewing them up and spitting them out.

Food truck advocates Councillors Josh Colle and Mary-Margaret McMahon predicted it is going to be a close vote.

“It seems we just move at a snail’s pace sometimes,” Colle said after council finished Tuesday night without finishing the food truck debate.

A fight is expected on the council floor around how far away from an existing restaurant a food truck must be before it can serve food. City staff have recommended a 50 metre rule. If approved food trucks would only be able to operate in street parking spots that are at least that far away from the nearest restaurant.

Mayor Rob Ford said Wednesday he was in favour of reducing the restrictions.

“The less red tape the better,” Ford said.

Find the entire article at torontosun.com <here>

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rob ford toronto mayorTORONTO, CANADA - Supporters of Toronto’s food truck movement have a new — if unexpected — ally at city hall: Mayor Rob Ford.

The mayor was asked about the new street food bylaw recommendations from city staff.

Ford said he supports loosening the notoriously restrictive rules and that the latest proposal doesn’t go far enough.

At present, food trucks aren’t allowed to sell on city streets. They can sell in private parking lots, but only for 10 minutes at a time. The new regulations, which will go to council next month, would allow trucks to set up anywhere with “pay and display” street parking provided venders are 50 metres away from a bricks and mortar restaurant.

But there’s a catch.

City staff has also said that Business Improvement Areas — which are largely made up of restaurant owners — and local councillors can request that food trucks be banned from their neighbourhoods.

Ford said that restriction could jeopardize the point of the review, which was to make it easier for food truck drivers to operate.

Find the entire article at thestar.com <here>

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toronto food trucksTORONTO, CANADA - Toronto food truck owners are unhappy with the long-awaited liberalization proposal unveiled by city bureaucrats on Monday, saying it gives an unfair near-veto to established restaurateurs who want to keep them away.

The proposal is intended to launch a street food renaissance. It would allow the trucks to sell food from all “pay-and-display” parking spots on city roads — for the first time — as long as they stay 50 meters or more from a restaurant and 30 meters or more from school property.

That is a major victory for a food truck movement that has long struggled under a repressive regulatory regime. But the proposal would also permit councilors or local Business Improvement Areas — made up of bricks-and-mortar establishments — to ask the city to ban the trucks from a particular area.

If the city agreed, the truck owner would have to file an appeal. A final decision would be made by the local community council, made up of councilors from the general area.

BIAs would have even more power over applications to operate trucks from streets without “pay-and-display” spots. The proposed bylaw says the city “shall” reject the applications if the BIA objects. Those battles, too, would have to be settled at community council.

Caplansky’s Deli owner Zane Caplansky, who also operates a food truck, said he will take legal action against the city if the “ridiculous” BIA provision is approved.

“That provision will gut the entire initiative,” Caplansky said.

“The BIAs are caving to the restaurants who don’t want the food trucks there. Therefore, what BIA is going to let us set up where we need to set up, which is where the people are?” said Scott Fraser, co-owner of the Hogtown Smoke barbecue truck.

“What they’re going to do is give us a little hole-in-the-wall parking lot, a mile and a half away from the nearest office building.”

Find the entire article at thestar.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 has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this past weekend from Fayetteville, Wilmington, Toronto and New Orleans.

Off the Wire Food Truck NewsJanuary 17

Momentum builds for more food trucks in Fayetteville – FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Thanks to recent efforts, Fayetteville may be on the verge of some major growth in the number of food trucks in the city.

A recent update to city law makes it much easier for food trucks to set up in Fayetteville. The “R Burger” food truck is the first example of how the change is helping entrepreneurs who are interested in operating a food truck business.

Find the entire article <here>

Pop-ups, Food Trucks Find Stationary Spots – WILMINGTON, NC - On a Friday afternoon, chef Matthew Gould would normally be last-minute shopping and prepping exotic dishes such as pork belly with smoked wood jus and juniper or snap pea panna cotta for his weekend pop-up restaurant Canape.

This particular Friday, however, Gould was scheduling contractors, managing commercial kitchen regulations and wondering where to find time to refurbish a bar made out of whiskey barrels.

Find the entire article <here>

January 18

Free Toronto’s food trucks from the shackles of bureaucracy – TORONTO, CANADA - We’ll know we’re world class when you can buy bugs-on-a-stick for lunch on a downtown street.

Or panfried snails, roasted duck heads, or fricasseed rat.

Right, maybe not fricasseed rat, though I did enjoy some in the Amazon once.

Anyway, I hunger for the day our street meat measures up, when our bureaucrats quit mucking it up.

Find the entire article <here>

January 19

NOCCA high school will launch a food truck – NEW ORLEANS, LA - Not all the students at NOCCA are old enough to drive, but soon they’ll be operating a truck. The students in the high school’s culinary arts program are preparing to open the Boxcar food truck to serve the surrounding Bywater neighborhood.

Find the entire article <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 has compiled a list of the stories that hit the wire this weekend from Wichita, Modesto, Chicago, Toronto, Dallas and New York.

Off the Wire Food Truck NewsAugust 9

Food trucks help make Wichitans’ restaurant dreams come true – WICHITA, KS - Starting any business requires money and risk, but some local entrepreneurs have found a way to lower the barrier to entry in the food-service business — food trucks.

The Wichita Business Journal’s cover story this week looks at growth in the number of Wichita food trucks and the awareness about them.

Find the entire article <here>

Modesto ponders regulating its food trucks – MODESTO, CA - Modesto has a number of taco trucks and a cupcake truck, but has not experienced an explosion of mobile food vendors like the variety seen in Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento and other big cities.

Nonetheless, we think and hope they’ll be coming.

Find the entire article <here>

August 10

Food Truck 101 – CHICAGO, IL - The budget for launching a food truck is a bit like a restaurant tab. When the bill arrives at the end of the meal, the number at the bottom is often bigger than you’d expected.

“With food trucks . . . it’s going to cost 20 percent more and take twice as long,” says Dan Salls, 25, owner of the Salsa Truck. “Very few people come in under budget and on time.”

Find the entire article <here>

Send in the food trucks – TORONTO, CANADA - Coun. Josh Colle wants to see a Tov-Li food truck near Toronto’s Union station. Or a Dr. Laffa truck rolling down Bloor Street.

And King David’s pizza?

“I’d love for King David’s to do a truck,” said Colle, who’s no stranger to Jewish cuisine as the councillor for Eglinton-Lawrence, also known as Ward 15.

Find the entire article <here>

August 11

Popular Dallas food trucks open restaurants at iconic shopping malls – DALLAS, TX - It’s a sweet story of food truck success, as two Dallas food trucks expand from mobile to permanent restaurant status. Coincidentally, both new restaurants are in shopping malls.

Nammi, already open at Valley View Center, comes from Teena Nguyen and Gary Torres, owners of the highly popular Vietnamese food truck of the same name. The restaurant offers the truck menu, including the award-winning Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, plus new dishes created specifically for the restaurant.

Find the entire article <here>

NY Food Trucks Selling Phony Marijuana Pops – NEW YORK, NY - Selling marijuana from a New York food truck would be completely illegal, but there’s apparently no law against pretending to do so. Weed World Candies joined New York’s food truck scene with an unbeatable business model: Selling allegedly marijuana-spiked candy from a fleet of bright green vans and Hummers to gullible New Yorkers. It would, of course, be illegal, except that the trucks are actually just selling regular candy.

Not that the vendors are owning up to any of that.

Find the entire article <here>

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toronto food trucksTORONTO, CANADA - The announcement on Thursday that the City of Toronto will allow food trucks to operate in five city parks is a disappointment to anyone who hoped the city would allow more trucks on city streets. It seems Toronto’s food truck strategy has been driven into the ditch by political and bureaucratic bungling and special interest interference.

Food trucks, serving a variety of well-prepared, high-quality cuisine, were supposed to bring jobs, vibrancy and more good food choices to the streets of Toronto, for residents and tourists alike. It hasn’t happened.

Toronto’s politicians and city bureaucrats should be embarrassed by their inaction. Hamilton, Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver have all moved ahead, allowing food trucks to serve a hungry public, while Toronto dithers.

For two years I’ve been fighting the good fight, trying to work within the system to nudge things along. My goal is simple: to get the City of Toronto to allow food trucks on public streets and in private parking lots. I never imagined it would be this difficult or maddening.

When I drove the Caplansky’s Deli big blue truck, nicknamed “Thundering Thelma,” into town in July of 2011 I was full of excitement and optimism. I was a man with a mission: I was going to help change the street food culture in this city, a supposedly “world class” city that has too long settled for hotdogs carts and those old-timey chip wagons as the epitome of street food vending, many of which, ironically, are parked in front of city hall, the epicentre of gastronomic inaction.

At first things were pretty good. Thundering Thelma, parked in a lot on Queen St. East, attracted good, hungry crowds. More trucks started appearing. In fact, Thelma’s visibility caused people to reconsider the notion that the city hated food trucks.

Then I got a call from a city bylaw enforcement officer who said that bylaws prevented the sale of food in parking lots, so we’d have to stop. Who complained? None of the local restaurants, but “someone at city hall,” according to my source.

The same “someone at city hall” was insisting that all food trucks be visited and charged with bylaw infractions if our workers were not licensed by the city: the “Mobile Refreshment Vehicle Bylaw” stipulates that the operator of the truck must have a licence which costs $400 and each worker must also be licensed at a cost of $300 each. Plus, everyone has to pay $45 for a criminal-background check.

Find the entire article by Zane Caplansky at TheStar.com <here>

Zane Caplansky is the proprietor of Caplansky’s Deli on College St. and the proud owner of Thundering Thelma, Toronto’s first modern food truck.

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