Member Meet ups

Starting next week, the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors’ Association will have two member meet ups a month on the second and fourth Tuesday at 5pm.  They will be held at the Victorian in Santa Monica: 2640 Main St. 90405.  If you are not yet a member, this is your chance to come by and ask questions about the Association.  If you’re already a member and want to discuss issues pertaining to policy, advocacy, lots, event or anything else, please come by.

These meetings will not replace our normal quarterly meetings.  We will have another quarterly meeting in March.  Date TBD.

Thanks
Matt

Hurray for the DCMFVA

Hurray for the DCMFVA!


Last week I had the pleasure of witnessing the DC Mobile Food Vendors’ Association elect its board.   A few members of DCMFVA reached out to me in December asking for regulatory advice.  After some correspondence we decided that it would be helpful if I could speak to a few council offices and meet with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).  Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Mobi Munch, I was able to make the trip.

The Gourmet Food Truck trend is sweeping the nation, unfortunately there are laws that have been in place for decades that aren’t designed for this new industry.  For example; “the ice cream truck rule” in DC states that a food truck must be hailed and can only stay in one place as long as there are customers in line.  This makes sense for ice cream trucks that service residential neighborhoods looking for kids because there is plenty of parking and they must move from place to place to find their next customer.    Conversely, modern day food trucks service densely populated commercial areas that have more people at each stop and less places to park.  It seems like a reasonable proposition to let them do their business in one place, even if they get a lull in traffic.

My purpose for attending the meetings was to give some background on Los Angeles area regulations.  There are 88 cities in the County of Los Angeles and every municipality has its own version of food truck regulations.  The council offices and the DCRA were very receptive to my input and seemed to appreciate the Los Angeles perspective.  As usual, I was advocating for fair and equitable regulations that enhance public safety.   Food truck regulations in California must have a reasonable connection to public safety in order to be valid.  Regulations that are enacted to protect one industry (or business) over another are prohibited by California code and recent case law.

The newly elected board of the DC Mobile Food Vendors Association  includes Kristi Whitfield (executive director) of Curbside Cupcakes. Justin Vitarello (assistant director) of Fojols and Mike Lenard (assistant director)of DC Street food.  The group is at the beginning of an uphill battle.  Local (well-funded) special interest groups are lobbying very hard for new regulations that would make it nearly impossible for these small businesses to survive let alone thrive.  Luckily the plight of the DC food trucks has caught the eye of some local talent that have offered up pro bono services to help the cause.   I’m confident that this organization will do great things for the mobile food industry in DC.

As the food truck revolution spreads across the nation, it’s important for everyone to get organized.  I’m doing my best to reach out to trucks nationwide to answer questions and provide assistance in forming associations.  I’ve partnered with Mobi Munch, Inc. (mobimunch.com), the nation’s first turnkey mobile food service platform provider supporting new and existing food truck entrepreneurs.  They understand the importance of advocacy in this business and have generously offered to sponsor my trips to cities with trucks that need help.

By Matt Geller CEO – SoCal Mobile Food Vendors’ Association

7th and Figueroa

Come down and check out the 7th and Figueroa plaza downtown.

Read about it here: http://blogdowntown.com/2011/01/6005-food-trucks-offer-a-solution-to-restaurant

Check the schedule http://tinyurl.com/7thandfig

One Year

One year ago today, we had our first SoCal Mobile Food Vendors’ Association meeting. We discussed the need for advocacy for this quickly growing industry. The next day 12 trucks got together and agreed to form the SoCalMFVA. This past year has seen quite a few new trucks on the road. Issues have arisen quickly with all the new trucks and we’ve done our best to stay in front of the curve. Most of our successes have come through working with communities and cities to give them a better understanding of how regulations can be enforced equitably.

Much of our success has come via consumer/follower support. The twitterverse has assembled strong email campaigns to let legislatures know how you feel about this industry. Without your support and activism, we would not be where we are today.

The next year we hope to continue our successes as we expand into Orange County, and San Diego County. Our hope is that we can continue to work with communities to diversify food service and increase consumer choice. Additionally, we will continue to actively engage in fund raisers for schools, museums and other good causes that can take advantage of our growing consumer base.

Thanks again for all or your support!

Matt Geller

Main St is back!

The Main Street Lot is back!  With all the rain in Los Angeles, the food trucks have been hard to find.  The Main Street lot has outdoor and indoor tables and chairs, with a festive full service bar to serve you!  If picnicking is more your style, there is a large lawn to set up on.  The line up for tomorrow evening is available here: http://tinyurl.com/mainstlot

Hope to see you all at: 2612 Main St.  Santa Monica 90405- 5:30-9:30

New Members

We are working hard to get new members signed up.  Please give us until the first week of the new year to process your applications.  We have been working hard to ensure regulatory fairness in both LA and Orange County.

Thanks

Matt

First Friday-Relocated

The recent decision of the Abbot Kinney Merchant’s Association has spurred the trucks into action.  This Friday the trucks will be on 87th and Truxton. If you get a chance come hang say hi!   Thanks to No Reservations Catering for organizing.  Follow them on twitter: @norescatering

Thanks
Matt