Montreal food truck vendors upset over rejected permit applications
Some vendors spent several thousand dollars sprucing up their trucks, but didn’t make the cut this year
Some food truck vendors were gearing up for another summer on the streets, only to find out their permit applications were not accepted.
“What explains this? We don't know,” said Louis-Pierre Charest, the food truck owner of L'Assomoire Mobile who was counting on doing daily business in the streets of downtown Montreal this summer.
So was Nicolo Morena of St-Viateur Bagel.
He got a permit last summer, but was rejected this year.
“By the end of the season [last summer], we were the only truck that was doing mornings. So I don't know who's going to cover mornings this year,” Morena said.
The Ville-Marie borough is the only one to allow food trucks on its streets every day for a period during the summer.
The pilot project began last year — the city gave out 35 permits.
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This year, the project is back for another instalment — the city received 38 applications, and accepted 30.
“It's hard to get in. The criteria is really high,” said Gaëlle Cerf of the Quebec Street Food Association, who spent the day fielding calls from vendors who were turned away.
Borough officials say every application was reviewed by a committee.
“They scored the 38 [applicants], and the 30 with the highest scores got a permit and the ones that were lower did not get a permit,” said Ville-Marie borough spokeswoman Anik De Repentigny.
The Quebec Street Food Association says vendors who were rejected this time around shouldn’t close their kitchens just yet.
This summer trucks will be allowed into other parts of the city during some festivals and special events.
“We're going to bring trucks to Rosemont too and to the Sud-Ouest. There's a bunch of festivals in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, and those trucks are going to go all over the place,” Cerf said.
But vendors who already spent money gearing up to serve street food downtown say they want the committee to reconsider its choices.
“We trained our staff — I’ve ramped up for this project. If that doesn’t happen, of course I will have to be satisfied with the other events, which does fill up the calendar quite a bit, but is it enough? I hope so,” Morena said.
“We want to be heard. We want to talk to the people responsible for those decisions,” Charest said.
Next week, the city will announce which food trucks vendors were accepted for this summer.