Jason Turner, gourmet chef and owner of Unlawful Falafel has been fighting for over a year in a hard-won battle to gain the right to sell his gourmet falafels on the streets of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. On the heels of his victory, I look forward to the culinary possibilities that the new ordinance brings, but I am forced to wonder - why the big, long battle?
Other more progressive communities in Central Pa have tried food truck festivals with success. Foodstruck, in York, had so many customers that on August 31, 2014, the festival area will be expanded 8.5 times the size of its former self.
Lancaster has had food trucks for lunch and late night. Harrisburg’s food truck festival is in its 3rd year.
Food trucks can only set up on private property, must pay a $400 annual fee and must maintain a minimum of one million dollars of insurance. One would think struggling downtowns would receive innovative ideas to attract hard won customers with open arms. Although we’ve had many consultants study how to revive and revise the downtown area, you don’t need a half-million dollar study to know what attracts customers ~ it’s the basics; good food, reasonable prices and easy parking & access.
Food trucks, if working in cooperation with local officials and reasonable regulations, could attract these valuable foodie dollars to the downtown area and help capture hard won customers which would benefit all local businesses. In fact, looking at the food trucks and dishes that are available at some of the local festivals, my mouth is watering.
August 31, 2014, Foodstruck in York is on my calendar, and I am sure I will spend some non-food dollars along the way. I can only hope in this trend, Carlisle will decide to Keep on Truckin’ along with the rest of the mid-state cities.