Food Truck Info Session: Don't Quit Your Day Job Yet

PSTC panel discussion.JPG
Carol Blonder
Phoenix Street Food Coalition panel discussion

Judging by the crowd of more 75 people attending last night's food truck information session at Modified Arts, you can bet Phoenix will see new mobile food vendors up and running soon. The session was sponsored as a part of Roosevelt Row's Small Business Incubator series along with Local First AZ.

Questions from the audience distinguished the Dreamer (Why do I need a food manager's license?) from the Done My Research/Ready To Go Realist (Got my truck, got my county certification and licenses -- how do I join the local coalition?).

Brad and Kat Moore (Short Leash Dogs), Georgie Parker (Sunshine and Spice) and Jason Fimbrez, (policy director of Phoenix Street Food Coalition) were there to lead the discussion and distinguish fantasy from reality for a start-up food truck owner.

Brad explained the history of the coalition of food truck operators in Phoenix, emphasizing the desire to work with county and city agencies to avoid legal hassles and prove the legitimacy of a new breed of up scale mobile food vendors.

more food truckin' after the jump

A few audience members asked the same question in different ways: Why not try and push the envelope and force the county and the city to change the rules?

Jason Fimbrez doesn't have a truck yet, but his plans are in the works. He joined the coalition earlier this year, and soon after took three days off from his job to visit city halls from Scottsdale to Gilbert, gathering information on all the different permit requirements, ordinances and rules regulating food trucks. Jason currently serves as the coalition's policy director, and can riff off each cities' rules and regs.

Jason explained that mobile food trucks were common in Maricopa County cities when there was a boom in construction and development. After the construction workers packed up, he was told the cities didn't want "roach coaches" on their streets anymore, leading to the restrictions that exist on the books today. 

Each city in the county has its own set of restrictions -- like Glendale's total ban on food trucks, Gilbert's farmers' markets only policy, Mesa's requirement for a $5000 insurance bond for each employee on top of the insurance the truck normally carries, and Scottsdale's open policy (but with a restricted number of available permits). Sorting out individual city requirements comes on top of meeting expected food service business requirements to operate, and answers why food trucks operate in limited areas for now.

The coalition members also shared their collective knowledge on start-up costs (averaging at $50,000), planning for an income until truck is profitable (8+++months), commissary arrangements (the dirty fry oil and water has to go somewhere), mobile food courts, and partnerships with special event venues. Audience members acknowledged the advantage of playing by county and city regulations (no fines, no forced shut down).

There was a positive response to the leadership the coalition is providing and the bridges they are building in the community. Attendees left the meeting with that dreamy entrepreneurial glint in their eye and a coalition application in hand.

For more information and links to government regulations:
phoenix street food 
For information on Small Business Incubator Series:
roosevelt row



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15 comments
truckrentals
truckrentals

improvement , definitely it is the common things where company are trying to make it possible and easy as it is for good,.

hezelcrowns
hezelcrowns

Always stay connected in  a best way to create your days better at all , trough securing things at most,.

truckrental
truckrental

best way to create things at most ,,, make that sure through making a good part for you to attain the best,,.

movingtruckrental
movingtruckrental

to be on that part is nice , securing things at most through making a better decisions to handle on,. good ,.

truckrentals
truckrentals

MOVE YOUR DAYS THROUGH A  RIGHT CHOICES TO CARRY ON , A RIGHT TRUCK FOR GOOD.

truckrental
truckrental

a nice information that is good for you to carry on , have it for sure move.

Taylor1977
Taylor1977

I would love to open a good truck but I know it's hard in Arizona. Why not get together and lease an open lot. You can then have a few trucks and a seating area in the middle to share. Private property, different laws/rules.

Jan
Jan

Maricopa County is behind the times. Food trucks in other cities are thriving. No longer are they just serving crappy food. In some places it has been elevated to street food gourmet. A county our size needs to be pro little guy entrepeneur and not dominated by fast food chains like subway and mc donalds on every corner.

Lylah Ledner
Lylah Ledner

We would have loved {LOVED} to have a food truck at our recent (first semi-annual) Vintage Barn Sale the past three days {The Simple Farm - www.thesimplefarmmarketgarden....} We waited to late to connect with Truckin' Good Food & Torched Goodness (love them)....So, next time....we will need one or two! We had over 300 people per day at this farm event :-)

Lylah LednerFarmer at The Simple Farm9080 E. Cactus RdScottsdale, AZ

Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee

why work at all I say? I dont. work sucks! . I got the secret to bumming around doing what i want all my life.

jiazhuangde
jiazhuangde

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harleykimmer
harleykimmer

@Taylor1977 

I think the open lot idea is AWESOME... I just  started thinking about having a food truck. Was very surprised on how hard they make it.

Beachesinaz
Beachesinaz

That is a great idea.  We are looking to start a food truck business.  I am just stubborn enough to succeed!  I like how you think.  If they don't want to play, find a way aroung em.

ajm3
ajm3

Agreed. Maricopa is behind in the times in a lot of areas.  Which is why this economy is based soley on construction and they havent prepared for other areas.  Old regime is killing this city which is why im opening a food truck in another city out of state.  By bye maricopa good luck with your old backwards ways.  

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