City of Launceston’s plan to trial food vans in Brisbane Street Mall has received a positive response from mobile food businesses that already operate within the city.
Nelson and Jolene Da Silva own Sailor Food Truck, which operates at Westbury on Wednesday nights; Longford on Thursday nights; High Street, East Launceston, on Friday and Saturday nights; and Deloraine on Sundays.
The couple are not going to submit an expression of interest for the mall, but applaud council’s plan for to trial the site.
“It’s good they are doing a trial. [Food van operators] can tap into the lunch bracket,” Mrs Da Silva said.
“We are still operating at High Street and council is very supportive, from our perspective. We have no issues whatsoever.”
Although they see the positives of a food van trial in the mall, the Da Silvas thought another location, like Civic Square, might be more appropriate.
“There’s somewhere for people to sit and it’s a bit out of the mainstream,” Mrs Da Silva said.
“If the mall had a specific area for food vans it would be easier. We have one of the biggest food trucks. I think we’d stick out a bit,” she said.
Fellow ‘Eat Street’ vendor Smallgrain, which is owned by Hedeh and Lydia Nakano, agreed the trial was a good way to boost foot traffic in the mall.
“It’s a great idea for the city,” Mr Nakano said.
Smallgrain has just renewed its High Street permit for a further six months.
“We thought about applying, but we already have High Street so we thought we’d give another vendor a chance,” he said.
“We try to operate about three or four days at Eat Street, but also have Mona Foma coming up next weekend and then Chilli’s Skyfire, so it depends on other events. We try to be there whenever we can.”
Smallgrain also operates at Harvest Launceston on Saturday mornings.
The Food for Dudes van is permanently stationed at Invermay Road, but owner Ben Chapman said the trial was a great idea and even had a suggestion for a vendor: Mexican.
“I think it’s awesome. More diversity and more options mean the CBD will thrive,” Mr Chapman said.
Council asked for expressions of interest from food van operators to set up for trade in the refurbished mall between Sunday and Thursday on January 4.
Submissions close on January 18.
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