NEW PORT RICHEY — It would seem mobility, the ability to move around to serve the hungry masses, would be the sole reason for a food truck’s existence. But in Pasco County, food truck vendors may as well have taken the wheels off their trucks, as they were limited to operating from a single location.
With the recent passing of a new county ordinance, they are now free to roam. They can set up in different parts of the county to serve new groups of customers, easily attend events or otherwise go where the business and winds take them. All that’s needed is a $100-per-year license, which permits them to set up on non-residential private property with the property owner’s permission.
To receive the license, mobile food operators must provide all state and Florida licenses and be certified as safe to sell food.
“We’re excited to share the delicious and diverse offerings food trucks provide,” said Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey. “Licensed food trucks not only enhance our festivals and events but provide economic opportunity beyond the traditional restaurant setting.”
Shelly Vinson, owner of Shelly’s Catering and owner of a mobile food business called YUM, said the relaxing of rules is something she’s been looking forward to. Her YUM food trailer has been operating strictly from a single location in the Bayonet Point-Hudson area, but she now looks forward to being able to attend events and otherwise move around to serve the Pasco population.
“This (the new ordinance) is something I’ve been following for a year,” she said. “It’s what I’ve been waiting for.”
Like other mobile food vendors, Vinson could operate providing she has a county permit and is sponsored by the owner of the property where she sets up shop but wasn’t allowed to move from that spot without starting the process all over for a new location. The new freedom to move under the same county permit benefits mobile food operators and residents, said Vinson.
“It’s something that’s good for all,” she said.
Details and applications for mobile food licenses are online at https://www.pascocountyfl.net/3379/Mobile-Food-Operations-License.