KOi Fusion is super grateful to you, our customers and readers, and to the strong cart scene both here in Portland and beyond. We here at KOi appreciate all your support, and we try our best every day to bring scrumptious K-treats to a street near you. KOi Fusion also has a philosophy of sorts, looking at food carts as a positive national movement that benefits diners and cities alike.
That’s why this recent LA Times article rubs us the wrong way. It appears that Los Angeles is cracking down on mobile food cart vendors (AKA our food cart homies) in some dubious ways. According to the article:
“Some drivers said they were cited for minimal violations such as parking too close to the curb, or parking too far away. Others said they were ordered to pack up and leave.
Police officials said the crackdown Wednesday was part of a one-day operation to clear the area of illegal vendors.”
So now you’re thinking, “KOi peeps, have you inhaled too many grill fumes? Of course we don’t want illegal vendors serving us food!” But the real problem came from one of the officers quoted in the article:
“Restaurants complain because the lunch trucks are taking their business, and they don’t have [proper] permits.”
KOi’s view? Food carts don’t “take” business from non-mobile eating locals any more than the stationary folk “take” from us. We know you’re making choices based on the food factors that are most important to you – whether it’s local, convenience of location, price, or degree of deliciousness. All we (and our food cart brethren) are out to do is meet your wants the best we know how.
This also means we know you can’t eat KOi 24/7/365 (oh that it could be so…but we digress). You’re going to support other food vendors, and we think that’s great! A strong dining scene, from high end fancy places to food carts, makes a stronger economy overall. Portland has one of the most diverse food scenes you’ll ever come across, and we want to keep the community hopping as much as anybody. The cool thing is that YOU – not the cops and certainly not us or other vendors – get to decide what to support and what to eat. It’s all about consumer choice.
So, for the record, we want you all to know that KOi Fusion supports our mobile vendor peeps in LA. They create jobs, start independently owned businesses, and bring positive and active uses to somewhat stale and empty parts of the city. Food cart vendors also provide good food that is affordable to just about everyone. The City of Los Angeles should take note.
What do you think about the role of food carts in the PDX economy? Leave a comment and let us know!