Tags Posts tagged with "trucks"

trucks

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TRAVERSE CITY, MI - Traverse City is a foodie town.  You can find locally-sourced meals and treats everywhere.  So some people were surprised when the city commission doubled the cost for street vendors to do business in town.

Roaming Harvest

Now, the issue is back before the commission.

Roaming Harvest started rolling just as the commission decided to double fees for street vendors to do business.  The converted delivery truck operates at different locations around Traverse City, four days a week and at local events.

On Wednesdays, you can find Roaming Harvest across the street from the Munson Emergency Room on Elmwood and Seventh.

Simon Joseph and his wife, Rebecca, decided to try something new – and contribute to Traverse City’s reputation as a “foodie” town.  After two years of planning, they rolled onto the city streets.

The Cost To Do Business In Traverse City
“We’ve been open for a month and a half, and we paid the city of Traverse City 750 dollars to operate.”  Joseph continues, “This is on top of a lease we have on Cass Street—that is not in the city limit.”

If the Commission decision stands, Roaming Harvest’s fees will double, to 100 dollars a day, beginning September 15.  Joseph says they took the daily fee structure into account when they made their business plan.

“At 50 dollars a day, it was a stepping stone to have this conversation.  At 100 a day, I mean that’s almost forbidding me from coming downtown,” Joseph explains.  “I mean realistically.  We’re a food truck that can carry only so much food.  In order for us to do enough business to pay that, it seems a bit of a stretch.”

Find the entire article by Candice Ludlow at ipr.interlochen.org <here>

 

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Summer means big concerts, and this summer is no exception. Listening to Dave Matthews and Kiss at Cruzan Amphiteatre might make your tummy rumbly. While hungry concertgoers take in the biggest acts this side of the Mississippi, chef Dave Rashty and his Stocked ‘N’ Loaded food trucks will have them covered.

StockedNLoaded

No more soggy fries and overcooked meats; this summer at the Cruzan Amphitheatre means gourmet selections. While on a County Grind assignment at last Tuesday’s Unity Tour, Clean Plate Charlie was able to catch up with Rashty, a French Culinary Institute graduate and former apprentice to world famous chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud.

“Its strictly about good food,” said Rashty, who recently signed a contract with Aramark that tripled his number of active trucks. “When you use quality ingredients and make good food, people will know and taste the difference.”

That difference was one of many reasons Aramark chose Rashty and his Stocked ‘N’ Loaded food trucks to be their exclusive gourmet vendor at Cruzan. An Aramark representative approached Rashty through a mutual friend. At the time, Rashty was living in Boca Raton and working equestrian events In Wellington.

“I had a lot of good press,” Rashty said when asked what made him stand out among a slew of qualified vendors. “That was half the battle.”

Rashty’s truck won the Palm Beach Post’s Best Food Truck award in 2011 and was featured in last October’s South Florida Business Journal. The reason why was evident at Cruzan last Tuesday as 311 and Slightly Stoopid fans rushed Rashty’s food trucks, which now number three after the deal prompted and afforded him the opportunity to expand.

“My advice to anyone looking to start a food truck is to do research, talk to other truck owners, and make really good food using quality ingredients,” Rashty said. “I’m available anytime to anyone interested.”

Find the entire article by Kareem Shaker at browardpalmbeach.com <here>

 

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Rural Hill Event

Huntersville, NC - Rural Hill Farm will be hosting the first Food Truck Rally from 5 to 9 p.m. July 27. The event is free and will include food, live music, children’s activities, hayrides, games, living history, corn hole and more.

Outside food and beverages aren’t allowed. Folding camp chairs, blankets, pop-up tents and umbrellas are permitted. Admission to the event is free, but food is available for purchase from the participating food trucks. Craft beer will be sold by the Highland Brewing Co. Shelton Vineyards will provide wine and spring water.

This family friendly event will have a Kid’s Zone. Guests can learn how to cook over an open flame at the Rural Retreat Cabin. A scenic hayride will take visitors on a hayride around the Rural Hill property. The 2.5-mile hiking trail will also be open.

So far the following trucks will be in attendance:

Wingzza
Smoke and Go
TCBY
Charlie’s
Tasty-Yo
Outdoor Feasts
Roaming Fork
Harvest Moon Grille
The Homegrown Crepe
Sahlen’s Grillin Wagon
Maki Taco
I Scream 4 Ice Cream

No pets allowed for this event.

Rural Hill is located at 4431 Neck Road in Huntersville. For more information about this event visit www.ruralhill.net or call 704-875-3113.

Find the entire article at charlotteobserver.com <here>

 

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PEORIA, IL – Short sighted politicians have struck again. This time in Peoria, IL. Last night with a 6-5 vote, the cities City Council disapproved an ordinance which would have allowed food trucks to begin operate in within the city limits.

Peoria-IL

The ordinance, which if approved, would have charged truck operators $3,400 to serve food at approved locations within the Warehouse District, in front of the Peoria Civic Center and along Hamilton Boulevard next to the Peoria County Courthouse. The fee was $1,000 less for truck operators who already own a restaurant.

Outside the Downtown area, the ordinance restricted food trucks from being within 200 feet of existing restaurants. It also established a 500-foot restriction on food trucks from schools, carnivals, festivals and other special events.

While the fees and parking restrictions were way out of balance compared to most municipalities around the country, if it had been approved, it would have allowed mobile food vendors to begin operating.

Those who voted against the ordinance seem to be missing the point of the mobile food industry and this point appears to be proven by a comment made by the Mayor himself. According to Mayor Jim Ardis, “The existing brick and mortar business people have to pay for air conditioning when its 100 degrees out and pay for heat when it’s 10 below. The mobile vendor keeps his truck in the garage.”

Had the mayor really took the time to investigate the issue, he would have realized that when a food truck is parked inside a garage due to inclement weather, the food truck isn’t doing business. But why would that matter? The mayor is too concerned with protecting one business model (brick and mortar restaurants) from another (food trucks). The last time I checked, that wasn’t the role of local government.

If you would like to share your thoughts with the city representatives who voted down this ordinance, you can find their contact information below:

Mayor

Jim Ardis: JArdis@ci.peoria.il.us

Council Members

Gary Sandberg: illeone@aol.com

Bill Spears: wspears@ci.peoria.il.us

Dan Irving: dirving@ci.peoria.il.us

Clyde Gulley: cgulley@ci.peoria.il.us

Eric Turner: weturner@ci.peoria.il.us

 

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Amazon Plans

Seattle, WA – Amazon.com has released new details about its proposed three-tower office complex in Seattle’s Denny Triangle, including a dog park, off-street space for food trucks, a covered plaza for year round use and other amenities.

Amazon’s architects NBBJ presented more detailed plans for the massive development to the city’s Downtown Review Board Tuesday night.

The dog park is “not only for the Amazon employees, but the neighborhood,” landscape architect Mark Brand told the board. “There’s a lot of demand,” reported The Seattle Times.

The company announced plans earlier this year to build a 3.3 million square foot complex spanning three blocks, dominated by three towers reaching as high as 37 stories. Retail and restaurants would be scattered throughout.

The new proposal also features a large, landscaped plaza covered by a canopy of sorts it calls an “architectural trellis,” making the plaza “usable and enjoyable any time of the year,” architect Dale Alberda said.

The complex would be built in phases, with development happening first along Sixth, Seventh and Westlake avenues and Virginia and Lenora streets. The Sixth Avenue Inn hotel, the King Cat Theater and the Toyota of Seattle dealership would all be razed to make room.

The design-review board will meet again in July to continue considering Amazon’s proposal.

Find the original story by Josh Kerns at MyNorthwest.com <here>

 

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Sheboygan Food Truck

SHEBOYGAN, WI - The Sheboygan Common Council approved a new ordinance Monday night regulating mobile food trucks — but not before amending it to reduce the fee charged by the city and removing restrictions on how late they can operate.

Aldermen voted, 11-3, to amend the ordinance and then 12-2 on the final version, reducing the proposed fee from $500 to $200 and allowing vendors to operate at all hours instead of closing when taverns do.

There are currently two food trucks affected by the ordinance — one that sells tacos and one that sells gyros.

But Mayor Terry Van Akkeren said there are two or three other truck vendors interested in operating in Sheboygan.

“They’re ready to roll based on our decision tonight,” he said.

Greg Lee, owner of one of the currently operating trucks, Gyros 2Go, told aldermen that fees in much larger cities like New York and Philadelphia were only $150 to $200 and that trucks like his were allowed to operate to 3:30 a.m. on weekends in Milwaukee.

“I think 2:30 would really affect my business,” said Lee, who began operating his truck three weeks ago. “If people don’t want food at that time in the morning, they wouldn’t come to my truck.”

“I feel we are really overreaching,” Ald. David Van Akkeren said. “If this gentleman can sell gyros until 5 o’clock in the morning, I applaud his efforts.”

Ald. Don Hammond said raising the fee from $100 to $500 “seems kind of extreme. This needs to go back to committee and be looked at more closely.”

Ald. Darryl Carlson agreed, saying, “This $500 fee just came out of thin air.”

Ald. Julie Kath, a member of the Law and Licensing Committee that recommended the ordinance, said the committee’s research showed some cities have fees as high as $1,000.

Sheboygan Police Chief Christopher Domagalski argued that Lee’s truck and others should close when taverns do because police are trying to reduce the number of people loitering on Michigan Avenue and in other neighborhoods at those hours.

“From 1:30 to 4 a.m., crime is centered around the taverns,” Domagalski said. “The biggest problem is loitering and congregating outside the bars. I would not like to see people hanging out in those neighborhoods.”

Find the entire article by Dan Benson at sheboyganpress.com <here>

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Earlier this month on austin.eater.com Andrew Zimmern sat down with Andrea Grimes to discuss the upcoming Austin Food & Wine Festival where Zimmern will offer two different presentations on street food during the fest. During the interview the topic reached Austin’s food truck scene. Here is an excerpt from that interview where he shared his thoughts on the issue.

Andrew Zimmern

AG: You’re going to be presenting on street food, right? Austinites are going to love that.

AZ: The nice thing is that we’re talking about the audience in Austin really being willing to be experimented at. That’s a really good thing to have in terms of the cultural makeup of the city. That’s why the music scene is great. The food scene is great. Because there’s so much room under the tent for anyone, regardless of their style. It is a good place to do some of my street food demos. I try to vary it up a little bit. One of the advantages that I have with my day job traveling around the world several times a year and being exposed to so many cool ideas and cool techniques, so I’m going to get a chance to show that. One day I’m doing south American street food and one day I’m doing Asian. So it’s really fun to show people some cool techniques that they can take home to their own kitchens. And people can travel without leaving their living rooms.

AG: Austin’s a huge food truck city, so we’re really into street food culture.

AZ: I would agree 100%. I don’t think it’s only because of the nature of the Austinite’s personalities, the food trucks flourished. I think there were some economic reasons for it and some geographic reasons for it. The city layout and licensing is such that five, six trucks can all get together and plop down in a vacant lot. It works for a whole variety of reasons. But none of it would work if the audience wasn’t predisposed to enjoy that kind of thing.

You can find the entire interview <here>

Andrew Zimmern

Twitter: @andrewzimmern
Chef, Writer, Traveler, Host of Bizarre Foods & MSN’s Appetite for Life. Catch New Episodes of Bizarre Foods America Mon. Nights @ 9pm E/P on Travel Channel!

http://www.andrewzimmern.com

 

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Food Truck Revolution

If you want to see what eating in Los Angeles is like, beyond the gold-plated Beverly Hills bistros and the bottle-service clubs that count the Kardashians among their clientele, you could do worse than to pull into a deserted parking lot late at night, check the coordinates on your iPhone and watch the stretch of asphalt fill with hundreds of hungry people. They, and probably you, have been summoned here by a Twitter blast from the Kogi truck, a retrofitted catering van serving Korean short-rib tacos, kimchi dogs and other edible symbols of L.A.’s famous cross-cultural inclusiveness, dripping plates of food drawn straight from the city’s recombinant DNA.

In the city that gave birth to the celebrity chef, Kogi’s Roy Choi is the culinary star of the moment, with awards and an international renown usually reserved for those who command palaces of cuisine. His success has inspired fleets of similar trucks, with followings for their sushi, dim sum, Brazilian barbecue, Greek sausages, red velvet pancakes, Vietnamese sandwiches, cupcakes, Indian dosas, Filipino halo-halo, Texas barbecue and any of a hundred other things. You can wander between dozens of them on the streets near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Yahoo offices, Venice boutiques or the UCLA dorms.

At a time in America when finances are shaky, yet even modest big-city restaurant spaces involve multimillion-dollar build-outs, when consumers have wearied of giant chains but still demand food that is novel, inexpensive and fast, food trucks are the new incubators of culinary innovation. The food-truck phenomenon exploded in cities across the United States last year thanks largely to the success of Kogi, and before that to the mobile fleet of taqueros spread out across L.A. Who knew that the cult of tacos al pastor would become a nationwide sensation?

The intersection between food and wheels has driven culture in L.A. since at least the 1930s, when the city was already famous for its drive-ins and roadside hash houses designed to look like coffee pots. Food trucks may be nothing new in the U.S.—every Hawaiian can tell you her favorite plate-lunch wagon, and Portland, Oregon, can seem like a locavore food-truck plantation—but in L.A., where on some afternoons they can be as thick on the freeway as taxicabs are on New York’s Sixth Avenue, they define the landscape. Kogi represents mobility in a city that worships mobility; it is a vehicle for traversing lines of race, class and ethnicity; it is selling a social experience as much as it is selling Blue Moon mulitas and Blackjack quesadillas.

I was talking to Oliver Wang the other afternoon, a CSU Long Beach sociology professor who wanted me to see a file he had put together: an L.A. map streaked with dense ridges of blue markers connecting downtown and Hollywood, Glendale and the Westside. He could have been mapping lip piercings or subscriptions to the music-sharing service Spotify. But the chart, Wang told me, marked every stop made by a Kogi truck in the course of a year and was compiled from information gathered from Kogi’s Twitter feed. What the professor wanted to know was why, if Kogi represented a kind of utopian diversity, the trucks’ routes seemed to avoid South and East L.A., areas where loncheras, traditional taco trucks, were already well ingrained. The answer, he thought, might illuminate some of the social divides that still exist in L.A.

Wang speculated that unfamiliarity with Asian flavors might dampen interest in such Mexican-American neighborhoods as Boyle Heights and Belvedere, but I pointed out that the area was once home to a fairly substantial Nisei population, and that teriyaki was as familiar to the local palate as hot dogs. He supposed that working-class neighborhoods may have had less access to the Internet, but the Eastside and South L.A. are well represented on Twitter. He thought that price resistance may be a factor, and it is true: Kogi buys top-grade meat from a purveyor who does far more business with Beverly Hills restaurants than he does with food trucks, and at $2.10, its tacos are costlier than a lonchera taco, which tend to run a buck and a quarter.

Read the entire article by Jonathan Gold at Smithsonianmag.com <here>

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le food truck

Driving a food truck, as it turns out, is a lot like taking your family on vacation.

“The last thing you want to do is get out to your destination and realize that you’ve forgotten something really important,” Tony Hedger says as he double-checks the items being packed.

For example, the day’s menu includes an Asian salad, which requires a soy vinaigrette that’s been loaded into one of the many secured storage cabinets lining the truck’s interior. Without being able to make the salad, potential sales would be reduced by about one-third.

It’s a critical lesson in cooking and in business, and today, it really is a lesson. Hedger is a culinary instructor at L’Ecole Culinaire, a career college in Ladue. He also volunteered to coordinate the inauguration of Le Food Truck, a teaching tool designed to give students experience in a rapidly growing niche market in food service.

In addition to the Asian salad, the menu includes seared salmon, Yukon Gold hash and citrus salad; pulled pork with hand-cut chips; and a turkey burger with curried pickle relish. The price is $5 for any meal, plus $1 for a soda and $1 for a brownie, if desired.

“I figured we’d be doing some kind of burger, but salmon is probably the last thing on the planet I thought we’d be cooking on this thing,” says Andy Sims, a student approaching graduation.

“I think that because it’s a food truck, they’re looking for something a little more gourmet,” says Kirkland Pollard, another student.

Le Food Truck’s location varies each day.

“We have to be invited,” says John Womick, dean of culinary studies at L’Ecole. “We don’t want to be seen as competition for the existing food service at a given location, and we don’t want to be seen as competition for other food trucks. I booked some of the first dates through Facebook and via email.”

L’Ecole already operates the Presentation Room, a restaurant incorporated into its classroom building.

“This is just a logical next step in our curriculum,” Womick says. “When we first talked about doing a food truck, the chef-instructors really wanted to do it and the students were very eager for it.”

Womick and his staff tracked down in Florida an old Chevy truck with 180,000 miles on it that had formerly been, among other things, a hot dog truck. It was lined with stainless steel prep tables but needed a major overhaul.

In February, complete with a propane-fueled generator, running water — and, perhaps most important, a health-department inspection sticker from St. Louis County — Le Food Truck was deemed roadworthy. Menu items were tested at L’Ecole, and Womick drew on his days in catering sales to find venues where the truck could park. Meanwhile, he looked into the regulatory approvals needed to get licensed to sell in the city of St. Louis.
Find the entire article by Joe Bonwich at stltoday.com <here>

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tip of the day

Completing and filing a small business tax return for your food truck business is different than completing and filing your personal tax return. The primary difference is the number of forms that must be completed and the difference of your business’ write offs and deductions. While business tax returns are not overly complicated, ensure that you use the proper form and research any questions you have. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website is relatively easy to navigate and provides answers to most questions. If you don’t feel comfortable filing your business taxes yourself, reach out to your accountant for help.

Here are three tips to filing your food truck business return:

Keep Your Recipes

Hopefully, you’ve collected all of the receipts related to your businesses expenses. Any expense for which you can provide a receipt if requested you can comfortably deduct, but if you lack a receipt, think twice about whether the deduction is worthwhile. Small costs unsupported by a receipt can turn into a huge headache if the IRS decides to audit you and your return. Take a walk around your office to identify possible deductions. Miles driven on personal vehicles when doing business related driving, the mileage your drive your truck throughout the year, computer equipment and other expenses are deductible.

Don’t Forget Your Start-up Costs

The IRS allows all new businesses to deduct up to $5,000 in start-up costs. These costs can include attorney or accountant fees, training materials, employee training and other business expenses. Any personal training or education you completed for business purposes is also deductible (think culinary school).

Complete All the Forms

Unlike a personal tax return, a business return consists of several different forms. One form lists profit and losses, while another calculates the self-employment taxes. Determine which forms you must complete through the IRS website. Completing each one and submitting them together makes it less likely that you’ll be audited.

 

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