During my freshman year of college, my morning routine was pretty typical….after my soccer workouts, I hobbled up the hill to my first class and then made a b-line to the mobile vendors parked just outside our school of business to make my coco bread purchase with butter and grape jam. The woman handed me my food and followed that with the most pleasant smile and her usual “pretty lady” compliment. I’m sure that compliment had become her most effective one over the years because it seemed that greeting had made her quite a popular vender on campus.
But in 2006 I had no idea that this simple concept of mobile food vendors would catch on…..
Seven years later the food truck phenomenon has become a growing culture in DC. It’s the perfect choice for a quick and satisfying dish in the middle of the day, and we’ve seen tons of people in their professional attire flocking down during lunchtime . But just about two weeks ago, there was a decision looming in the council that could’ve threatened the future of the DC food truck industry and left most of us in a food truck daze searching desperately throughout Maryland and Virginia to find something to fill that void.
The mayor proposed legislation that would limit the number of food trucks in certain areas. These venders would be forced to enter a lottery to determine what communities they could occupy. He claimed that his decisions were based on concerns for public safety…….I’m not so sure that I believe that. Many of the food trucks are parked in areas where other restaurants occupy space; so I wouldn’t doubt that the restaurant association has felt a bit threatened by this new concept.
But let’s just consider for a minute how difficult it could be for food trucks to thrive in any city with tight restrictions and regulations. For one, the parking enforcement is out 24/7 and food truck vendors are not exempt. With the stresses of competing with the bigger businesses and restaurants, strict regulations on venders could potentially cause some to go out of business. And let’s be honest….no one really wants that to happen.
So, I’d like to take a moment to express my gratitude. Because of the council’s rejection of that proposal I can still satisfy my cravings at any one of these mobile goody wagons. Not only that, but to me it’s about what the food truck business represents: The small business owner, with culinary skills, a little money in his pocket, and some creativity, in pursuit of success. So when this community felt the future of their success was targeted, they organized to combat that. It is through this determined and unwavering perseverance and unity that led them to a positive outcome.
So, as the residents of DC gather Tomorrow for the Truckeroo Food Truck Festival, they’ll have something to truly celebrate. Residents can continue to indulge in those delectable Curbside Cupcakes or wait in one of those long lines to curve their appetite at Takorean.Tomorrow, I plan to let these vendors put their culinary skills to good use!
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