By Amanda Sterling | The Rapidian
EatGR, the local foodie group dedicated to exploring local restaurants and sharing their experiences, will be hosting Get the Truck Out, a food truck rally at the Downtown Market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 30. Rally participants will include: A Moveable Feast, Gettin’ Fresh,Love’s Ice Cream, Dallas Deli, and The Organic Gypsy.
Chris Freeman, founder of EatGR was inspired to create the event by a lack of presence of food trucks in Grand Rapids.
“Grand Rapids has food trucks out there that are slipping below the radar because of strict city laws which make it difficult for them to sell their products,” says Freeman. “Many of these laws just make the barrier to entry too high for mobile vendors.”
Abbie Sterling and Emily Kelly, co-owners of Gettin’ Fresh, the area’s newest food truck, agree.
“We had to get creative when we realized that we weren’t going to have flexibility in how we bring our food to our Grand Rapids customers,” they say.
There is currently only one site in downtown Grand Rapids that has the required Special Use Permit, which costs $1900 to initially set up – the plaza at the Grand Rapids Art Museum – meaning that food truck customers have to seek out the trucks rather than the other way around.
Sterling is hopeful that there will eventually be a relaxing of the regulations and fee structure that has deterred other vendors from operating in the city limits.
“Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. has been really great in helping us find events that are food truck friendly,” Kelly says. In addition to the rally on May 30 at the Downtown Market, Gettin’ Fresh and a number of the other local trucks will be set up at Movies in the Park this summer, as well as the New Belgium Clips and Beer Film Tour at Ah-Nab-Awen Park on Thursday, June 11.
For more info about EatGR, visit the group’s Facebook page or website.