After delays, new food trucks make up for lost time
Several food truck vendors who expected to be serving Ottawa's lunch-hour crowd say they didn't expect the many health and safety inspections and regulatory delays required before they could pull up at a street corner.
The City of Ottawa allowed 17 new vendors in May, saying the trucks would increasing the variety of street food available.
But mid-way through the summer, some vendors are only now getting into business.
Mario Burke, the owner of the seafood truck Ad Mare parked at Slater and O'Connor Streets, said he didn't open until a few weeks ago because of the battery of inspections.
"There's four or five different inspections on this truck. It's really regulated. Which I have no problem because there's lots of propane, gas, fuel. And I want it be safe. My family's on the truck right? And everybody around us," said Burke.
Burke said the delays caused his business to miss out of the beginning of lobster season in May, but the truck has done brisk business since then, as customers now form long lines for his fish tacos and other fare.
Song Prak's said her ChowDown food truck opened in mid-June at Woodroffe Avenue and Richmond Road instead of mid-May.
Prak and her partner didn't anticipate an inspection by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority that required them to reconfigure their second-hand truck at a cost of thousands of dollars to meet regulations.
"I don't expect us to break even because it set us back... a lot," said Prak. She said the ChowDown truck is in it for the long haul now, dishing out Asian food for both the lunch crowd and people who pick up a meal on their way home from work.