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Food truck tank a no go for bar crowd

A Penticton woman's proposal to serve food from her mobile kitchen late at night has been turned down by city council.

Councillors decided Monday, to not go ahead with Jennifer Teichroeb's  request to extend The Food Tank's hours to 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Currently the truck is parked beside Gyro Park.

Councillor Helena Konanz, who supported the idea, said the argument against it, was it was too late at night for people to be going into the area where the truck is parked.

"It is near residences, so noise would be a concern," she said.

Teichroeb admits she was disappointed by the decision but hopes to submit her proposal again.

"It was kind of like aw bummer," she said. "I understand their concerns, but I will try again, somewhere nearby where there is better lighting."

Teichroeb has always been a foodie. She loves cooking and baking and spent the last 17 years working in the hospitality industry.

She went into the mobile food vending business because  she has a lot of kids and wanted a job she could do during their school hours.

She finished building her truck at the end of July and initially parked it at Rona because the city didn't have any food vendor permits.

Customers started to drop by, eager to sample her pub style comfort food.

"It's beef dips, quesadillas, tacos, wraps and homemade soups", she said. "Kind of whatever I like to eat."

Hoping to get a higher traffic area, she contacted the city, and they opened up the spot for her beside the park and behind city hall.

Chuck Loewen, general manager of recreation and facilities, said she was permitted to operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. any day of the week from Nov. 15, 2013 until April 30, 2014.

Since November, Teichroeb  has tried to work five days a week in her insulated truck.

The whole idea of it was to run year round, she said. 

Recently, she put in the request for the late night hours, because she saw the hot dog guy who has a cart outside The Mule making a killing on the weekend.

"It was really to make extra cash to help out during the slow season," she said.

She approached staff about it and was directed to write a letter to council.

The issue was subsequently discussed on Monday.

Konanz says she thought running it as a pilot program was a good idea

"She's an entrepreneur trying to make it in the dead of winter, and I admire that," she said. "And we could have canceled it if it caused too much noise".

For now, Teichroeb will continue working at her usual spot during the day.

"I will be back as soon as this cold snap ends," she said. "And I will keep catering to the city council until they change their minds."


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