On Monday of this week I got a call from the city inquiring as to whether there was truth in my parking my pink taco truck in downtown Boulder, next to a private business, on private property with permission from the business. It wasn’t a threatening email, just one requesting clarification regarding my purpose for being there. I was told there had been several phone calls and one visit from the Boulder Police asking if this was legal yet. And because I have worked this last year as closely as I have been permitted with the people whose office emailed, I immediately went downtown to their office to meet face to face. These are hard working, good people. And as I have said before, there are other pressing issues with which they most certainly deal. The long and the short of it is this. Until the cities’ proposed Land Use Code is changed, we have been asked not to come anywhere near downtown. Because it upsets people, other restaurateurs.
So we won’t. We promised and pinky sweared. After all, it is easier to play by the rules when they present themselves.
But what we won’t do is go away. We will be back downtown and we know this because so many other business owners (including restaurateurs) and fans of Comida and street food in general are supporting us. And we have a burgeoning group of new Street Food Truck owners that are creative and fearless and ready to stand up for what we/ and soon they will be a part of. The fact that the code doesn’t actually get voted on until May 3, and even then doesn’t go into effect until 30 days later only means we wait a little bit longer. And so will every one else that has applied for a mobile vending permit.
Thankfully, we’ve gotten good at waiting. And clever. Surviving requires it.
But there is something I would really love to get off of my chest. I know I asked it before, but I feel it is time to ask it again. Just because what we are doing upsets other restaurateurs or deli owners or who ever it is that calls or stops by my window pretending to be someone they are not, does it make what we are doing wrong? What about the reality that we are all responsible for the business we do each day? If as a Bricks and Mortar owner (which I was for 10 years in 2 different restaurant groups) your sales are down and one food truck pulls into your hood or down the street from you or into an industrial area, (for 2 to 3 hours) what does it say that you are blaming that one truck for a drop in your sales?
As a food truck owner I go regularly to restaurants all around Boulder. I pay, eat, enjoy and love my community of food and taste makers. I have chosen to have my business in Boulder because it is where I live and love and have done so for over 20 years. And I have been fighting for mobile vending within Boulder for the last 16 months because this community has always supported the small business owner, the entrepreneur, the hammock seller, the wine maker, the book maker, the peddle/ petal pusher and even the pot grower.
And while fighting gets tiring and I regularly have to filter the first 150 things I really want to say when I am told someone called the cops or whatever, it is worth it.
Whether you own a bricks and mortar restaurant, food truck, food cart or food cooler, just do what you do well and be nice. How does the saying go…. “It works when you work it.”
Be well, stay tuned and eat more truck food.