Gourmet food truck rolls into Sudbury's downtown

Sudbury's first food truck will be setting up on a downtown street this weekend.

In some cities food trucks operators are accused of stealing business, not paying property taxes

Sudbury's first gourmet food truck, co-owned by Natalie Lefebvre, will roll into the city's downtown this weekend. (CBC)

Sudbury's first food truck will set up on a downtown street this weekend.

Mobile trucks selling gourmet eats are a big trend in other cities, but in cities like Hamilton and Montreal, food trucks have become a hot, steaming political issue.

Restaurants accuse them of stealing business while not paying property taxes — prompting some city councils to pass restrictive bylaws or even designate specific food truck zones.

Little of that uproar has come with the Dee-lish food truck in Sudbury, which is covered by several existing city bylaws.

The truck needs a vendor permit, just like a hot dog cart, plus a $35 permit to park on Larch Street. It also must rent a parking spot.

Co-owner Natalie Lefebvre said downtown restaurant owners she's spoken with are supportive.

"They kind of want the business," she said.

"They want more stuff happening downtown, because it's all good for the downtown, right?"

Not according to Janet Lacroix, who owns Michelle's Cafe on Larch Street.

"They're definitely getting a better deal than I did," she said.

"My rent over here is $3,400 a month. Restaurant business downtown is very competitive. Since I've been here four years, I've seen quite a few cafes go under."

Sudbury city council in recent years has talked about restricting mobile businesses that sell gold and furniture, but so far food trucks haven't been on its menu.

In the meantime, Lefebvre said she appreciates that most downtown businesses seem to be very receptive.

"But who knows once we're out there," she said. "We may encounter some issues."