KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA – You’ve heard of food trucks and food carts, well how about food bikes?
What’s being billed as North America’s first self-contained, fully operational street food kitchens are making their debut on Kelowna streets this week.
The concept, the brainchild of local entrepreneur Donnie Ungaro, is simple. Have a small, self-contained kitchen attached to a hybrid peddle/electric bicycle and ride it to different locations around the city to preparing high quality food for passersby with the proceeds going to partner charities while employing and training people in need of work as riders/cooks.
“Our motto is a play on that biblical phrase about teaching a man to fish. Ours is ‘Give a man a meal – he eats for a day. Teach him to cook – he eats for a lifetime,'” said Ungaro as he unveiled the first food bike at one of the three charity partners, Metro Central, on Thursday morning. The two other partners are Soles4Souls and the Kelowna Community Food Bank.
Ungaro said in addition to splitting the profits from each food bike among the three charities – an total amount amount that has been estimated at between $18,000 to $22,000 per seven-month season in Ungaro’s business plan, 20 per cent of the money the company behind the endeavour, Culinary Inc. Kelowna, makes will go to other local charities.
“We want people to know that they can change a life by what they have for lunch,” said Ungaro.
The self-contained kitchens will initially set up outside Metro Central on Water Street downtown and at other downtown locations and will be covered by Metro Central’s patio licence and a general mobile food concession licence.
While the first food bike was unveiled Thursday, another two will appear next Friday at the TedX event in Kelowna and by the end of the year, Ungaro hopes to have six on them on the streets of Kelowna and four in West Kelowna.
After that, the plan is expand the concept nationwide and into the United States as a franchise operation.
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