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San Antonio Inspection

SAN ANTONIO, TX - Health standards are a common concern for food truck connoisseurs but fire safety standards are an important issue too.

A food truck explosion in Philadelphia last week served as a sobering reminder of the dangers.

Locally, fire safety inspectors do what they can to help make sure food trucks are safe.

Once a year, food truck vendors like Frank Collazo are required to pass a health inspection and a fire safety inspection.

“I don’t do any cooking in my truck. I don’t even have kitchen space, but you have to get inspected the same as if you were,” said Collazo.

“There’s a checklist. There’s a number of things we look for (such as the presence of) fire extinguishers,” said Chris Monestier, deputy fire marshal and assistant fire chief. “A potential hazard is the propane, so (the inspector is) checking for any leaks in the lines, making sure the hoses are approved for that use.”

Last Tuesday, in Philadelphia, a propane tank exploded inside a food truck injuring 12 people and severely burning two people.

Locally, it was a tragic reminder of the potential danger.

“Our division chief, (who’s) responsible for the fire prevention division, went ahead and put that out to all the inspectors and said, ‘Look, this is why we do these type of inspections. It’s because of public safety,’” said Monestier.

Food truck operators are required to have fire safety inspections once a year and they have to display the inspection sticker on the outside of the truck next to the health inspection sticker. They can also have pop-up inspections at any time.

Find the entire article with video at ksat.com <here>

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HOUSTON, TX – It sure is tough running a small business these days. Especially a restaurant. If you don’t believe us, ask the Fernandez brothers. Richard and Victor Fernandez decided to break into the Houston food truck scene three years ago with a concept sure to win folks over on summer afternoons: shaved ice. The truck: Texas Blizzard.

“We take great pride in our snow cones,” Victor says, “we make sure everyone gets the best snow cone they can get.”

Things were going great until a few weeks ago when they got a message from another purveyor of cold sweet treats. Ice cream giant Dairy Queen sent the brothers a two-page cease and desist letter telling them to drop the word ‘blizzard’ from their name or face the wrath of their corporate legal team.

“They found out who we are,” Victor explains, “we’re infringing on their trademarked blizzard and they want us to remove it from any of our marketing, any of our websites, anything, within 30 days of that letter being sent to us.”

Dairy Queen has been making ‘Blizzards’ since 1985. And the name is  trademarked. And unless the brothers Fernandez want to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to fight the challenge, they’ll just have to suck it up and find a new name.

“All this effort has gone for nothing because no they’re going to see a new truck selling what we sell and they’re going to be confused, ‘is that Texas Blizzard or is that somebody else?’”

We reached out to Dairy Queen for comment, but haven’t heard back. Like we said, it sure is tough running a small business these days.

Find the original article at newsfixnow.com <here>

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twisted texan food truck

LUBBOCK, TX - When Chris Clary started up Krazy Korn Gourmet Popcorn a few years ago, he had difficultly selling his product in prominent locations.

“We had a lot of obstacles with the city with certain ordinances and regulations,” Clary of Lubbock said.

Although he’s taken a break from selling at outdoor venues, Clary still wanted to show his support for other small businesses during the Free the Food Truck event Sunday at Garden Ridge in Lubbock.

Despite hot temperatures and long lines, more than 1,000 residents sampled food and signed a petition asking the City Council to “lighten up” the food truck regulations during Lubbock’s first Food Truck Expo.

The city’s ordinances prevent food trucks from setting up in most of the places people would visit to grab a quick bite to eat, leaving the majority of local food truck businesses reliant on catering jobs.

Stuart Walker, the director of code enforcement for the city, said earlier this week the current zoning ordinance only allows the vendors to set up in specifically zoned areas, primarily industrial.

Connie Olivas, an organizer of the petition, said those limitations hinder businesses from thriving.

Olivas has been operating her food truck, La Picosita, for about three years and said she’s limited in where she can park to serve her Spanish food.

“We do a lot of events and catering, so that gets us by, but we would really, really love to park where we want to,” she said.

Olivas said she’s been wanting to get a petition started since last year and finally decided to round up some of the other local street vendors and food trucks for the event.

“We’ll go against the city and see what happens,” she said. “All they can do is tell us no.”

Olivas said at least 1,200 people signed the petition.

Find the entire article at lubbockonline.com <here>

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cajun tailgators

PLANO TX - The Plano City Council unanimously passed an ordinance allowing restaurants to serve as commissaries for food trucks.

The decision will directly impact how the food truck industry operates.

Now food truck owners may serve from their trucks, but they must use a restaurant kitchen to prepare and store their food.

Ann Keady takes credit for pushing the legislation through. She and her husband Jason Key are living the ultimate food truck dream after their Cajun Tailgators truck expanded into a bricks and mortar location in downtown Plano. The two businesses now run in tandem, supplying the area with plenty of po’boys, gumbo and étouffée.

The food may have helped their cause. The Cajun Café happens to be located steps from City Hall, and according to Keady “they’re our biggest customers.” Keady says it took about three months start to finish to get the city to rewrite the code, and now their restaurant can serve as their commissary, saving them significant storage and waste disposal fees every month.

Find the original article at cbslocal.com <here>

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SAN ANTONIO,TX - A few months after making it big on Saturday Night Live, the San Antonio food truck named “CockAsian” is for sale on eBay.

Candie Yoder, owner of the Asian fusion restaurant on wheels, is selling the creatively named truck, including cooking appliances and even the original recipes to dishes such as the spicy Korean Fried Chicken, the inspiration for the truck’s name, just a few months after opening its doors. The asking price on the eBay listing is $80,000.

Yoder, 40, said the truck had more bookings than man power, and the business has been overwhelming for her family, which includes her husband and three children, ages 16, 14 and 11.

“It became too big of a time consumer and stress for the family,” said Yoder. “It was doing extremely well, we just could not keep up with it. One of my stessers was we had far more bookings than we could fill, I needed a staff twice the size.”

Yoder said the truck was an “experiment” and was meant to be a family-run busines, but there was just not enough time on top of school and her husband’s job. Although no bids have been placed on the eBay ad as of Tuesday morning, Yoder said many local chefs have offered to lease or staff the truck to keep the unique restaraunt in San Antonio.

Find the entire article at mysanantonio.com <here>

If they don’t get their asking price, they are more than welcome to add their add to our new Food Trucks For Sale section.

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Foodville Food Truck Park

EL PASO, TX - Until recently, Lydia Palacios could not remember the last time she had been downtown.

A lifelong El Paso resident, Palacios said downtown was more a childhood memory than a current event.

On her way to a doctor’s appointment on a recent Monday in June, Palacios said she and her husband, Sergio, were doing something they had not done in many years – lunching together downtown.“My father would take us on the bus downtown and take us to Kress to eat lunch,” said Palacios referring to S.H. Kress & Co., the five-and-dime with a lunch counter on the northwest corner of North Oregon Street and Mills Avenue.

The two sat at an umbrella-covered table waiting for the fish tacos they had ordered from The Reef Mobile Kitchen, a food truck on Mills Street that serves seafood Mexican fare. The couple said they were intrigued by the various developments and events that are reshaping the city center, including concerts at the Civic Center on Friday nights, the newly opened Southwest University Ball Park, and the nearly 2-year-old food park where they were lunching.

Their reaction is exactly what real estate entrepreneur Lane Gaddy was hoping for when he got the idea to turn a downtown parking lot he owned into Foodville, a food truck park.“They are reviving downtown,” Lydia Palacios said. “They are doing more, and I am coming more.”

“I was able to travel and see what other cities were doing for both downtown revitalization and get ideas behind tactical urbanism,” said Gaddy, 31, who looked at Austin, Portland and Dallas before determining that his parking lot might work well for food trucks in El Paso.

“It seems a much better use than a semi-functional parking lot, which is what it was when we bought it,” said Gaddy.

Launched in November 2012, the Foodville Truck Park opened as the city’s only dedicated downtown food truck park.

Find the entire article at borderzine.com <here>

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midtown mobile cuisine houston

HOUSTON, TX - Houston is getting yet another food truck park, the fourth one in less than a year.

CultureMap reports that co-owner Ren Garrett and her brother will open Midtown Mobile Cuisine at 4002 Almeda Road.

A major feature of this park will be electricity, meaning the trucks won’t have to use generators and there will be lights for nighttime service, CultureMap reports.

A status update on  Midtown Mobile Cuisine’s Facebook page midday March 27 shows the park had to cancel its sneak peek lunch Thursday due to the rain, but it still plans to open for dinner, weather permitting.

CultureMap reports the park will hold a grand opening April 4.

Find the entire article at bizjournals.com <here>

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DFW food truck associationDALLAS, TX - Dallas-Fort Worth area food trucks have banded together in the hopes of improving city laws that restrict the mobile eateries from doing business in certain areas.

The DFW Food Truck Association comprises more than 20 food truck owners that are aiming to work with Dallas city officials to change city laws so that the trucks can roam public and private property. Currently, food trucks are restricted to designated locations in the Central Business District.

The association has created a petition that it plans to present to the City Council showing community support for regulation reform.

The association also plans to defend entrepreneurs from politically active restaurateurs.

Find the entire article at bizjournals.com <here>

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Cockasion-Food-Truck-San-AntonioSAN ANTONIO, TX - The San Antonio Port has more than 12,000 employees scattered over 1900 acres, and today was to be the day Candie Yoder began selling them her spicy Korean fried chicken from her food truck, cleverly called “Cock Asian”.

Candie says the name of her business is not offensive, it’s descriptive; and besides, it’s an inside joke. Candie’s family and friends teased her because although she is white, her dream was to sell Korean fried chicken.

Port officials began a partnership with  the San Antonio Food Truck Association last year permitting a number of food trucks to sell their mobile cuisine to the workers. Candie’s Cock Asian truck was scheduled to make its first lunch run at the Port today. Then the Port officials Googled “CockAsian” looking for the menu.

What came back was not the menu.

Find the entire article at thenewcivilrightsmovement.com <here>

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Photo by Eric Sandler

HOUSTON, TX - At a time when established food truck are looking to move to permanent spaces, Goro & Gun co-owner Joshua Martinez has decided to revive his truck The Modular using a second truck he had originally purchased to sell wings instead of The Modular’s original trailer.

Why would he increase the daily stress level associated with running a restaurant by adding a food truck? With his typical frankness, Martinez provides a succinct explanation.

“I’m crazy and stupid. That’s pretty much why.”

Or is he crazy like a fox? Martinez has noticed that the emergence of food truck parks and an improved attitude from city regulators towards trucks has changed the landscape in Houston.

“The health department is very on board with food trucks,” Martinez tells CultureMap . “I’ve had great conversations with the head of the food truck division . . . It makes me feel like I’m no longer a pirate out on the sea with food.”

Another benefit of reviving the food truck will be exposing the restaurant’s menu to a wider audience. “Sometimes people are scared to come downtown, so I’ll just bring it to you,” Martinez explains.

Find the entire article at culturemap.com <here>

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