Food Trucks Debated in Edina

Chef shack vendor waving

The Chef Shack was a food truck vendor at the Southwest Minneapolis, Fulton Farmers Market during 2013.

 

Food trucks may be coming to a crossroads in Edina. Food trucks are prohibited but discussions are going at full speed.

Take a glance at Speak Up Edina. Food trucks are sparking lively debate.

Public Comments

The City of Edina is asking for public comment throughout January and not just from Edina residents. While no change is proposed at this time, a debate is going full gear. Speak Up Edina poses questions about food trucks in Edina, including:

  • Should food trucks be allowed? City code does not allow food trucks in Edina. Would you support food trucks coming to Edina?
  • Should protection in place for brick-and-mortar businesses against mobile food trucks?
  • If food trucks were allowed, should they be restricted to certain areas? Where would you like to see them?
  • Should the city limit the number of licenses available annually?
  • When should food trucks be allowed? What about time of day?

Opinions About Food Trucks

The census seems to be that brick and mortar restaurant owners are opposed. On the other hand, foodies love the idea of new food options on wheels. Somewhere in the middle, the rest of the general public varies in opinion from “yea” to “nay.”

“Yes” to Food Trucks at the Centennial Lakes Farmers Market

The Edina’s famers market could use more ready-made food selections. During my visits last year, the choices were limited to grilled hotdogs or bratwurst.

Sadly, Big River Pizza was not a vendor during the 2013 season and their slot remained empty. A food truck would be a perfect fit in that spot. A few more trucks could go in front of Hughes Pavilion and at the tail ends of the market beside the last vendors.

The market generates substantial foot traffic from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays in Centennial Lakes Park. Minnesota’s fickle weather is at its best during this period while the market is running from mid-June until the end of September. Food trucks would make a good fit at the market where all vendors are setting up a temporary shop.

 “No” to Food Trucks in the Rest of Edina

Location is everything. Consider Edina’s unique business climate and city dynamic.

  • Competition: Brick and mortar restaurants have huge year-round, fixed expenses operating in Edina where rent and land values are some of the highest in the metro. Some casualties of the high cost of doing business in Edina include:
  1. Tejas
  2.  Pandolfi Candy Gelato & Gifts
  3.  Alix In Candyland
  4. Franklin Bakery
  5. Premiere Cheese Market
  6. Bissinger French Confections
  7. In Season (in nearby Southwest Minneapolis)
  • Congestion: Edina has high traffic levels. The adjoining streets of the Crosstown and Highway 494 are not without bumper to bumper backups. 50th & France and 44th and France have ongoing parking issues, especially during peak business times. Food trucks would add to the traffic challenge.
  • Noise: Edina business areas already have noise from traffic, airplanes, construction sites and general city clatter. Truck engines and generators would add to the clamor.
  • Image: An upscale retail and restaurant mix is a draw for Edina Business. Would food trucks be upmarket additions?

Just About Edina

Remember food trucks in Edina are the focus, not the validity of food trucks as a whole in general terms. The debate is whether  food trucks would make Edina an even better place for living, learning, raising families and doing business. At the Centennial Lakes Farmers Market, they would do just that.

 

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