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Food Trucks A Growing Trend In Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Popular in big cities, it's an idea that is now catching on here in Springfield.

Food trucks are an easy way for customers to grab lunch and a fairly low-risk way to start a business.

"We didn't want to get stuck in a three or four-year contract in a brick and mortar," said Neil Gomme, owner of London Calling, one of many food trucks in a parking lot on North Glenstone.

Neil Gomme was introducing a new product, British pasties, and didn't want to be limited.

"A food truck is great and you can move it somewhere and try the concept in a different part of town," he said.

London Calling opened about three years ago sharing the parking lot with other trucks.

After culinary school and fine dining restaurant experience, Mark Yount thought it was time to start his own thing.

"We opened the Paddy Wagon in August of 2015," he said. "It's a family business."

Gomme and Yount say a food truck is a business model people are curious about.

"At least once a week someone asks me questions about: 'I want to start a food truck'. And asking me for advice," said Gomme. 

And it's a type of business that is slowly gaining popularity in Springfield. Business expert Ellen Rohr says trucks are a fairly low-risk way to start a business and one that brings along several other benefits.

"You can get a loan on a truck or a lease on a truck maybe a lot easier than you can get a line of credit for a business," she said. "And now you have wheels; you can get from place to place. And you've go a billboard, a massive way to market your business, all in one cool packet."

But don't be fooled, these owners say because challenges still exist.

"We work silly hours," said Gomme. "The waste management, you're outside in the elements a lot of the times, you have to empty water, fill water."

"It's just a different type of restaurant, one that moves around and has to be bolted down every day when you leave," said Yount.

Same park, different menus, these trucks are friendly neighbors trying to grow the food truck movement in Springfield.

"The more businesses that are functioning and profitable and making some cash, the better for all of us in Springfield," said Rohr.

When it comes to location, the food trucks can park and sell on private property with permission or at sites designated by the city.

Yount says there are many restrictions for the trucks including how long they can stay at a certain area and how close they can park. And that'd he'd like to see the city consider a food truck park. Right now, the trucks rent the space on private property.
 


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