TOMS RIVE, NJ – Carlos Serrano, the Empanada Guy, a wildly popular food truck vendor in Monmouth County criticized the Toms River Council over the township’s interpretation of a law he feels is dated and no longer should be on the books.
Serrano wanted to expand his popular latin based food cuisine to Toms River but was told he couldn’t operate in the same way he does in other towns.
That’s because of a law put on the books in 1973 which he feels is as irrelevant today as the 8-track-cassette which was also wildly popular that year.
“I wanted to apply for a permanent location for one of my food trucks in Toms River,” Serrano said. “The ordinance is from 45 years ago.”
That ordinance requires food trucks such as ice cream trucks and “roach coaches” to relocate every thirty minutes. Today’s modernized food trucks are not built the same as those vehicles were built in the early 1970’s.
Serrano said the ordinance was created at a time when technologies in automotive manufacturing, design and environmental standards were different than they are now.
“These trucks are state of the art, full-blown restaurants on wheels,” Serrano said. “They’re not cheap, but they’re very presentable and produce enough food to serve thousands of people.”
The antique ordinance on the books in Toms River does allow for a food truck vendor to park a truck on privately owned land, but dictates that an operator must move their truck every thirty minutes, regardless of who owns that land.
“You cannot setup a modern food truck in that period of time, we don’t work like ice cream trucks, we’re in a different time,” he said.
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