By Jennifer McGraw

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The growing popularity of food trucks is prompting the city to consider changing the rules and opening doors for more mobile vendors. The change would create designated “outdoor markets” for food trucks and others.

Jagmeet Jasuja has owned The Pizza Plug, a food truck, for less than a year.

“I’ve always wanted to get into the food industry and I thought this was a great opportunity, low-cost and you get great value from it,” Jasuja said.

Jasuja said it was hard to get his business up and running through the permit process, and he supports the city’s efforts to expand more opportunities.

“We are trying to help folks who just need a hand up to get their business going,” Sac City Councilman Eric Guerra said.

Right now, only food truck vendors can get permits while food carts are confined to the central city.

A new proposal would allow ‘pods’ of several food trucks or trailers on private property like those in Portland and other cities.

The city classifies the ‘pods’ as outdoor markets.

“Expanding the definition slightly just opens it up to a broader population as well,” said Tessa St. John, the program manager for the business department.

Brick and mortar restaurants have expressed some concerns about these mobile food options in the past. The city said these new rules help address their concerns.

“No one has really objected because it’s two different clientele. Someone who’s going out there to buy a Paletta or ice cream or a hotdog, they’re not going to be competing,” Guerra said.

The city also hopes it will encourage more entrepreneurs to open their own business.

“It’s a company that we started, it’s part of the American dream, you know get on the ground, get rolling,” said Karina Talamantes, owner of Frutazo.

Her family has been in the agriculture industry for many years and owned a restaurant. Talamantes was finally able to open a food truck with her brother.

She hopes others will get the same opportunity.

More food trucks mean food truck fans also get a chance to try new treats.

“It gives us more opportunities to eat and more choices,” said one Sacramento Resident

Even with the increased competition, supporters say there will still be a slice of the pie left for everyone.

“More food trucks here means more business and a lot of people love food trucks,” said Jagmeet.

Currently, the city has a list of more than 75 businesses who want to roll out their shops and the city gets weekly calls from vendors interested in getting a permit.

Leaders will hold a preliminary meeting next Tuesday. If approved by the full council, the new rules could go into effect before the end of the year.

Jennifer McGraw


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