Over the past year food trucks have become wildly popular in the Hub City. Now surrounding communities are clamoring for them as well. The mobile restaurants are looking to meet that demand, but they're hitting a snag in one Acadiana city.
The people of New Iberia want in on the food truck action, however there are no guidelines and regulation to allow them to operate. Soon that will be fixed.
“Very welcoming. Everybody loved that we were here, very excited we were here and wanted us to come back,” says Tony Bailey.
Bailey is the owner and operator of Pelon's Mexican Hot Dogs. He says the demand for food trucks like his are expanding out of Lafayette. However he ran into some issues when he set up shop one day in New Iberia. “There's a lot of confusion as to what we can and cannot have, and how we can or cannot operate,” explains Bailey.
Because of that confusion, council woman Natalie Lopez-Robin is taking it upon herself to get the proper things in place.
“I want to make it a controlled environment, one that is pleasing to both residents, vendors and also current restaurant owners,” says Lopez-Robin.
Lopez-Robin says an ice cream truck ordinance created back in the 1970's is the only thing that addresses selling food out of vehicles.
“Mid summer would be even better to get the ordinance done. Get it to the attorney's office and get it back that can be a timely process,” says Lopez-Robin.
Council members and the community came out in support of doing what needs to be done to allow them in. Even one restaurant downtown, Clementine's, is all for food trucks coming in.
“We welcome any new business in the area. It'll provide a variety maybe people will come out for that,” says manager Brodie Meche, “we need different restaurants. We don't want to be the only ones.”
Over the next few weeks Lopez-Robin will meet with local restaurants and present a proper ordinance by the middle of June.