Friday, May 22, 2015

Food Carts Might Really Come To Nanaimo!!!

The following article appeared on Nanaimo Info Blog in September of 2010. To date we still do not have food carts/vendors in Maffeo Sutton Park. There are some new rumblings around town of an effort to finally drag Nanaimo kicking and streaming into the latest - greatest idea to hit North America.

There are even rumors that we might even see a food vendor or two in the park before summer's end, but I for one won't be holding my breath. I have been yammering about this since at least 2010 and all I have learned is that the wheels at city hall grind ever so slowly, and sometimes I don't think they are moving forward!!

Published on Nanaimo Info Blog in September 2010:
Maffeo Sutton Park NEEDS Food Carts
No Food Carts Acres of Space What A Waste
Vendors During Bathtub Days
Vendors During Dragon Boat Races
Diverse Food Vendors Become A Reason
To Visit The Park

Nanaimo is always looking for ways of promoting itself as a 'destination' city for visitors from around the world. We have a world class convention centre and casino of reasonable size, next year we will have a cruise ship terminal designed to entice world travellers to our shores.

With that thought in mind the city should encourage the addition of as varied a bunch of food carts as the business community can think up to occupy Maffeo Sutton Park and our delightful waterfront. Make no mistake, a specialty food, done to perfection will make people come downtown simply to satisfy their taste buds.

This idea of course is the opposite of the current city policy of limiting Maffeo Sutton Park to only one vendor. This is a policy which is difficult to understand and is opposed to the free market system. It is great news if you are the one vendor awarded the contract, but not so good if you happen to want a variety of food to sample.
I propose that city council give considerable thought to the idea of developing a diverse food cart business in our parks and along our lovely seawall. Leave the problems of what types of food to offer to the buying public. If vendors offer unpopular food, they will be gone soon enough. To encourage the development of what could become a reason for visiting downtown, whether you are a resident or a cruise ship passenger, I suggest they offer cart space for half price the first year to entice vendors to participate. This would be a win win win win situation as the business people operating the carts would make money, the visiting public can sample some great food, downtown businesses would benefit from increased traffic and the city would generate more revenue than a single vendor would be able to pay.

So, how about it, economic development committee, what do you say?

Story In Vancouver Sun Promoting Food Cart Ciusine
List Of Downtown Vancouver Carts
The city of Vancouver has gone all out encouraging a diverse food cart business and the above list, is the legend which accompanies a Google Map showing where the downtown vendors are. There are many different vendors serving the same type of food, but the list shows the wide variety that is offered by creative entrepreneurs.

Nanaimo is certainly not Vancouver, although we do want to convince cruise ship passengers to visit here rather than Vancouver. With that in mind, our vendors may only be viable during the best summer months and perhaps only on weekends during the late spring, early fall times.

But if properly done, a diverse group of vendors offering world class cuisine will draw a crowd wherever they are set up. People simply love to eat, and love variety. It could become something that Nanaimo becomes famous for, and in itself is a reason to visit downtown.

So, I repeat, Economic Development Committee, how about it? Will you provide staff some direction in this matter, or insist that only one vendor can operate in Maffeo Sutton Park and they must offer tofu and alfalfa grass even if people don't want it?


1 comment:

  1. ISLAND KABOBS & SHAVED ICE wants to be in the park . City says no


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