Food trucks had a 6-month trial in Maplewood from November 2012 to April 2013, and have not returned. The question came up when Pie Oh My unveiled a truck to use in places other than Maplewood.
Maplewood City Council approved food trucks to operate at Deer Creek and Sunnen Business Park for six months only, and had little impact. The Maplewood Chamber of Commerce and several individual businesses came out in opposition in several council meetings.
Jimmy John’s owners said they noticed a drop in business when a food truck had set up for lunch at Sunnen. Co-owner, Rollie Conner, said, “We took a heck of a chance coming here five years ago. Food trucks have zero skin in the game,” he said. “We have $300,000 invested.”
Ward 3 Councilman Barry Greenberg, in a statement on Maplewood-Brentwood Patch, said food trucks would need a location that doesn’t cause parking and safety issues, “but most of all, does not cannibalize customers from our established, permanent restaurants.”
Ward 1 Councilman David Cerven said a food truck event at a city park might work, but it’s important to level the playing field so food truck operators don’t have an economic advantage over the brick and mortar businesses.
Post Sports Bar co-owner, Adrian Glass was opposed, and said, “I don’t perceive food trucks being able to garner enough business out of Sunnen Business Park for them to remain in Maplewood all that long.”
Only one food truck obtained a license in the six months, and visited Sunnen Business Park on some weekdays during lunch.
Cerven said this week that the ban would remain unless a food truck owner with an interest approached the city to start the approval process again.
A food truck bill was considered in Brentwood Board of Aldermen meetings in October and November 2013 but was not passed.