Tacofino Gets Vancouver Food Vending Permit

Food Network Canada’s Eat Streets filmed segments of its show at Tofino’s Tacofino in September, 2010. Tacofino is now permitted for street food vending in Vancouver while awaiting word on its fate as a mobile food vendor in Tofino. Photograph by : Westerly file

By Yasmin Aboelsaud | Westerly News

 

Food Network Canada’s Eat Streets filmed segments of its show at Tofino’s Tacofino in September, 2010. Tacofino is now permitted for street food vending in Vancouver while awaiting word on its fate as a mobile food vendor in Tofino. Photograph by : Westerly file

Tofino’s Tacofino Cantina was chosen as one of Vancouver’s 19 new street food vendors, making it through a two-phase evaluation process and beating out over 100 other applicants.

“It has indeed been an exciting week for us in Vancouver,” said Kaeli Robinsong of Tacofino.

Due to uncertainty around whether their vending truck can remain in Tofino, Robinsong and partner Jason Sussman began working on two applications for downtown food vending licensing in Vancouver.

“We had heard that the street food scene there was vibrant and growing, and frankly the thought of joining a community that was excited about food trucks was especially appealing,” Robinsong said.

In attempt to keep all their options open after a winter with no income, the duo applied for two Vancouver permits — one for Tacofino and one for a Vietnamese food truck.

On Monday, it was announced that both their permit applications were accepted.

“While we will be opening up a Tacofino truck in Vancouver for the summer, we are still hopeful that [Tofino] council will grant us a second temporary use permit in Tofino,” said Robinsong.

The pair purchased a second truck for the Vancouver location, as ultimately, Robinsong and Sussman still call Tofino home.

“If we receive the temporary use permit that we applied for, we will keep our residence in Tofino, and one of us will open our truck there with our amazing local Tofino staff, while the other makes a go of it in Vancouver,” she said. “We feel like Tofino is our home, we hope to be able to stay.”

“We hope that [Tofino] council doesn’t view our success in the Vancouver street food program as an indication that we are withdrawing our application for a temporary use permit. We are not,” Robinsong said.

According to a City of Vancouver media release, the food vendor applications were reviewed by a Vancouver-based panel of experts including Vancouver chefs Vikram Vij and Karen Barnaby; Ian Tosteston, CEO of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association; representatives from the local Business Improvement Associations; nutritionists; specialists from the farmers’ market and fair trade sectors; and two youth members.

An online survey was also provided to collect public input on food preferences.

The 19 winners were chosen by their menu diversity that included “healthy local ingredients.”

Each winning vendor was awarded a confirmed street location, mostly in the downtown area.

“Adding these new flavours to our street food this summer will certainly kick things up a notch and at the same time offer people nutritious food choices that benefit our local economy,” said Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. “This is affordable street food and it reflects Vancouver’s cultural diversity, and it creates some truly new opportunities for local entrepreneurs.”

The City of Vancouver estimates close to 100 food vendors will be set up on the streets offering residents and tourists diverse, international food options.

Tacofino will be located at 1800 Morton Street in Vancouver, while the Vietnamese truck, Kiss Kiss Banh Banh will be located in the Northwest corner of Howe and Robson streets.

http://www2.canada.com/westerly/story.html?id=69514f73-0e3b-4faa-ab59-7cffcf1465ec