By Matt Geller CEO | SoCal Mobile Food Vendors’ Association
Denver, Colorado, like many places in the US, is seeing the increase in mobile vending. This increase has led to some push back from traditional brick and mortar establishments as well as hot dog vendors concerned about increased street food competition. The new industry has caused some confusion among trucks and regulators alike. In January, there seemed to be a regulatory crackdown that left many mobile vendors unable to do business. In December, Shelly Drumm of DenverStreetFood.com contacted the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors’ Association (SCMFVA) to get some advice about starting a MFVA. She was concerned about increased regulations and unfair treatment of mobile food vendors. Through the generous support of Mobi Munch, the nation’s first turnkey mobile food service platform provider supporting new and existing food truck entrepreneurs, I was able to go to Denver and meet with trucks and City Council members about this fledgling industry.
Meeting with mobile food vendors is always exciting. They’re usually self-motivated trailblazers that combine innovation, hard work and persistence to come up with something truly special. Denver is no exception. Over the course of a Sunday afternoon, I shared some insights into the SCMFVA’s first year of advocacy. The SCMFVA believes in a fair regulatory framework that allows for healthy competition while protecting public safety. There were great questions asked, and I have no doubt that the MFVA in Denver will be very successful.
In addition to the mobile food vendors, Doug Linkhart, City Councilmember and Mayoral candidate showed up to the meeting to learn more about the industry. He asked substantive questions and was truly curious about the experiences we’ve had in Southern California with regulatory hurdles. I believe that new legislation is in the works, and it’s nice to see current councilmembers stepping up to learn about the industry that they will have the task of regulating.
The day after the general meeting, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Councilmember Carla Madison to discuss regulations in detail. Much like her fellow City Council member, Doug Linkhart, Councilmember Madison was open to hearing the SCMFVA thoughts on fair and equitable regulations. We spoke about health and safety, as well as municipal and zoning regulations that would encourage industry growth, activate public space and ensure public safety. By the end of the meeting Councilwoman Madison had a better understanding of different regulatory schemes from California, and around the country. I’m happy I was able to provide information to this burgeoning mobile food market.
I’m looking forward to working with the new MFVA in Denver, and I know they will be a great addition to mobile vending advocacy in the US.