Local entrepreneur Dylan McCulloch didn’t realize he’d be caught in a net of community politics when he opened the first food truck.
He and his partner were issued a city permit and assigned a spot at the southeast corner of Grandview-Woodland park. They invested about $125,000 in the truck, with three deep fryers, an oven and custom paint job. They hired local chef to whip up beer-battered fish and chips, fish cake sliders and calamari po’ boy sandwiches.
Despite brisk business over the past month, opposition from some residents and businesses has put the future of the truck and other proposed food trucks in doubt.
The neighbourhood Business Improvement Association asked them to move the truck from the park to an on-street parking spot, after some business owners said the truck blocks the view of the park from Renzo’s Cafe and that its generator is too noisy.
Brick and mortar food businesses see the trucks as competition and as a nuisance — too loud, too smelly — and worry that the truck will affect the sidewalk patio that are planned for this summer.
But there are a lot of advantages to having a food truck in the park. It brings good people to the park. People can come and picnic. Most don’t see any problem with it. A few small merchants may see them as competition. They don’t know why, because 99 per cent of people like it.