New territory sought for Richmond food carts
(QMI AGENCY FILE PHOTO)
Food carts work, but it’s not the same for flower shops.
Those are some of the lessons the City of Richmond has learned from its pilot project to have food carts in the high-traffic area of No. 3 Road and Westminster Highway.
Coun. Bill McNulty said now the plan is to figure out where else the city could host the mobile vendors without impacting established businesses.
Since last summer, Japadog, Fooda International and the Richmond Hospice Association had a booth each set up at the intersection to sample demand.
Japadog’s hotdogs and Fooda’s chestnuts sold well — though pedestrian traffic fell during the winter — and both want to continue working the space.
But RHA’s flowers didn’t draw enough pedestrian traffic to be sustainable and is expected to close this coming fall.
There have been no complaints about the vendors, McNulty said.
“We’re looking to see if there’s other areas we can do this,” he said.
Richmond does have food carts set up at its two summer night markets but they only run for a few hours at night on weekends during the six months of the year they’re around.
There’s no mechanism for the city to collect money from the vendors apart from business licence fees, but McNulty doesn’t see this as an issue.
“I look at it as a service to the community,” he said.
“You’re running between appointments, you’re late to a meeting — you got to grab a sandwich somewhere.”