Should Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays Be Extended Indefinitely?

Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays could end this fall.

Since they first began in July, Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays have been regarded as a runaway success both in Smyrna and beyond. Now Smyrna city officials have to decide if the event should be extended indefinitely. 

Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays even attracted the attention of the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Food and More Blogger Jon Watson who was impressed by the more than 1,000 people in attendance at Smyrna Food Truck Tuesday calling it “more than I’d ever seen at any one ITP event.” 

“It was obvious that there is a need that they are filling within the community,” he said. 

But when Smyrna City Council approved Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays back in June they voted to permit the events through October. Now Council and city staff must decide if the event is worth continuing. 

Ward 3 Council Representative Teri Anulewicz thinks so. She’s posed the question to the constituents who follow her Ward 3 Facebook page and the said the response has been in favor of extending the event indefinitely.

“I would like to extend Food Truck Tuesdays indefinitely and frankly let market forces determine what happens,” she said. “In the winter as it gets colder, I have a feeling there are going to be people who come out on both ends. There are going to trucks who want to come out and there will be people who want to come out. I think it will be different, there won’t be the long lingering nights like we had in the summer and early fall, but I’m pretty sure residents would like to see this as an amenity that the city continues.”

Anulewicz said she thought most of her fellow Council Representatives would be in favor of extending the event indefinitely if it started at 5 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. as the days grow shorter, however she added that the body has not formally discussed it yet.

Do you support extending Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays? Tell us in the comments.

Chris Lawery September 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Yes! Please keep the Food Truck Tuesday going! We love it!
Catherine Bazley September 26, 2012 at 01:02 PM
As indicated by the signs displayed with the food trucks, a portion of sales are donated to the Smyrna Education Foundation, Inc. The Smyrna Education Foundation, Inc. is a properly registered 501©(3) non-profit whose sole mission is to promote public elementary and secondary education within the City of Smyrna, Georgia, for attainment of higher academic achievement and for improved perception of public education through advocacy, education, research, sponsorship, service and support. Since its organization in 2010 the Smyrna Education Foundation has donated over $15,000 Smyrna area schools and worked actively with school administration to promote the schools. More information can be found at smyrnaeducationfoundation.org
Leo Smith September 26, 2012 at 01:11 PM
The consumers have spoken, the vendors responded, and our bellies are approving! I agree with Councilman Anulewicz and hope the council will continue the food truck event.
Tony Simon September 26, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Paul, your comment is ... perplexing. What exactly is horrible about the location? Taylor-Brawner is a jewel. And how is the park not already a "large open place"? Have you ever been there? The Food Truck gathering is easily one of the best-behaved crowds of 1,000+ I've ever seen (I didn't realize the crowd was that big, actually). Anytime you have gatherings of any notable size (more than a few dozen people), police presence is a given. What sort of misbehavior have you observed? And how much is the city paying police in OVERTIME? Is it more than is being taken in through taxes and permitting fees? So many questions!
SmyrnaCitizen September 26, 2012 at 03:14 PM
The food trucks should not cost the city money. The vendors should pay (either with licenses or fee) an amount that makes them self-funding. This event should not be a cost burden to the city in any way!
Paul Smyrna September 26, 2012 at 06:55 PM
The only real problem with the location is that there is no where to park and the City is reliying on private property owners to assist. As far police presence, you are correct, it is needed and a given because of the crowd. However, the City has been paying four officers overtime for each event because someone said six officers were needed to control the parking lot. The police are getting at least two calls each week for illegal parking and that's not counting the double parking. As far as the fees and permitting, I'm not sure the City is making these trucks get business licenses like other businesses are required to have. Again, great event, bad location and planning. Seems like it was rushed and still is.
Roger N September 26, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Gee, it's not the greatest map but I found it pretty simple to understand. Maybe Ms. Busby's suggestions will help.
ken holewinski September 26, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Keep the trucks coming. Great food, great way to meet new people and see familiar faces. Excellent community builder.
beretverde September 26, 2012 at 11:25 PM
..."a portion of sales are donated to the Smyrna Education Foundation, Inc." How much? What is the %? Show me the money!
Marley September 27, 2012 at 01:26 AM
I was disappointed to learn that this is not put on by the City of Smyrna, but a private company, which leads me to believe that the city is not getting the profits to fix my roads. I also dislike when private companies profess "a portion goes to" but never give the actual percentage. These days, I looking harder at government and how they spend their time and money. I definitely think we should keep the food trucks, but I believe there is an open bid process before any private company is awarded a job.
Observer September 27, 2012 at 03:07 AM
The city does not receive "profits" from any business located in the city. The city receives fees from business licenses and revenue from sales tax. The food trucks have the appropriate permits and do indeed collect sales taxes, which are sent to the county and distributed to the city. What you seem to be objecting to is police assisting in the traffic issues caused by "Food Truck Tuesdays". Does the city asses special fees for the events held on the green or in Market Village to cover police services? If not, then why should the event at Brawner be required to do so?
Marley September 27, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Observer - You are comparing apples to oranges. Every business within the city owns their own building and should not have to share profits. However, Taylor Brawner Park is owned by the city and essentially its residents. In fact, I do not see a business license for this private company to even do business at Taylor Brawner Park - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiNiqS1siGyqdGZuNjBxU2RVaHg2b2tleE00ekkzTFE#gid=0 Where is the city getting the business license fees? This should either be run by the city with proper business contracts for the vendors or extended to a bid process.
Observer September 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Each individual food truck is an independent business. They have permits from Cobb County as well as business licenses issued by the City of Smyrna. In the spreadsheet you provided I see at least one of the food trucks listed, there may be others, but I don't know the name of the business entities that they use. However, do you think that the city would let them operate if they weren't properly permitted and licensed? What you see to be suggesting is that the city charge additional fees for the food trucks to be setting up on Tuesdays. The City of Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department, which would be in charge of coordinating usage of city parks may already be doing this, easy enough to give them a call and ask if it really bothers you this much.
Lynn Woodall September 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM
We love Food Truck Tuesdays. I'm happy to keep attending until the weather turns cold. After that, no thanks. However, I really hope this event will start back in the spring. Something to look forward to in March: the return of Food Truck Tuesday!!
LisaB September 27, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Absolutely! Keep the Food Trucks coming for as long as the weather is good. This was much needed for the Smyrna Community and it's great to see crowds of people walking up and down Atlanta Road to get there every week. I can't understand how anyone could possibly have anything negative to say about this event. Unfortunately, there's always people that are never satisfied. Get off the couch and out of your house, meet your neighbors, and enjoy the gorgeous Georgia Fall weather!
30080 September 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The Smyrna Education Foundation has lofty goals for Smyrna schools but where did the $15,000 in donations go? Scholarships? Equipment? Supplies? The Foundation's Web Site doesn't list where monies have been spent. Also I have questions because there is the Cobb Schools Foundation which is a non-profit that supports Cobb schools. Its Web Site lists where its donations have gone. Its funded several scholarships which is wonderful.
Observer September 27, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Why don't you go to GuideStar, http://www.guidestar.org/, and do a search for Smyrna Education Foundation. There you can take a look at their form 990 tax forms that are filed with the IRS.
Bettie September 27, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Hi Paul, Just to clear up any misconceptions about permitting, as the the event planner, I ensure that each and every truck have a mobile vending permit as well as a Cobb County Health Permit to even be considered as a vendor in the event. (along with other guidelines) I imagine that sometime in the near future there will be a "City of Smyrna Mobile Vending Permit. You may not know this but each and every truck/vendor goes through 2 full inspections, one of their commissary kitchen and one for the truck! However, we will have to agree to disagree on the location, in my opinion, the beautiful grounds is much of the reason we have received so many people from outside of Smyrna who attend as well as the attention from the media, no one has what we have here! Thanks for commenting! Bettie
Bettie September 27, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Hi Joe, We donate 10% to SEF here in Smyrna. If you would like to learn more about them please go to their website : http://www.smyrnaeducationfoundation.org They work to improve our City Schools! Thanks for the comment. :)
Marley September 27, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Hi, Bettie, You sound like you are the person who owns the company that runs this. Is that right? Can you tell me the name of your company? Also, can anyone become a part of the food truck Tuesdays? What is the cost? Thanks.
Bettie September 27, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Hi Marley, I am the event planner and Smyrna Food Truck Tuesday organizer. Do you own a food truck that you would like considered? :) Thanks.
Michelle September 27, 2012 at 10:05 PM
You could also call the Principal of Brown Elementary School and ask him how the funds provided by SEF have been used to benefit the children in that school. I know for a fact he is extremely grateful for their support, as well as the families of the children who attend this school and are provided even more opportunity for learning and growth.
Jennifer September 28, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Yes, I agree with Anita, especially if it is costing the city money. Start back up again in March. It's a nice compromise.
Marley September 28, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Hi, Bettie, yes. A dear friend has offered their food truck. It's actually a trailer, just like a truck, but we are able to set up the trailer and remove the front cab. We like that idea because the trailer is self contained with our items and it's easier to drive and set up. I've had numerous people tell me we should do this and I'm excited that you can provide us with a space. What is the cost?
c October 01, 2012 at 05:06 PM
yes i would love it!
Francie October 01, 2012 at 09:33 PM
We love Brawners as a venue..............really enjoy the healthy food and variety....would like to see more healthy foods given at the local festivals instead of "fair fare". Will attend until cold weather. Thanks to the organizer for your work.
Marley October 02, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Bettie, You never responded to my post last Thursday. Should I just come tomorrow? Thanks.
Bettie October 02, 2012 at 03:17 AM
You should contact me and get me all of your company's information to see if you would be a good fit. We are full for tomorrow. All of my contact information is on the Facebook page. Thank you, Bettie
Marley October 03, 2012 at 02:37 AM
You didn't say you were full in your first post to me. I Why would the city limit vendors if each brings in customers and that means more money for the city? I thought Food Truck Tuesdays was about bringing money to Smyrna. I would like to know more about your company. Please provide me with your company's info in this open forum. Thank you.
Bettie October 03, 2012 at 02:57 AM
The City is not limiting the number of vendors. However, there is an appropriate number of trucks for the size of our crowd. That number for now is 8 or 9 savory trucks and 3 dessert options. As the event planner it is my job to determine and organize each vendor and manage the relationships. It is also very important to me, to maintain the integrity of the event, much of my research in the food truck market has been derived from successful community food truck gatherings in cities like Seattle, Austin, LA and New York. While this is not an exact science I have done my very best to maintain the spirit of the 'food truck; culture. I would say based on the success of the event, attendance and exciting publicity we are doing a good job of that. My official business name is under EEC Events. As a 11 year Smyrna resident, it is my pleasure to work in partnership with the City and to have introduced this concept here in my home town. What is your name? I would love to know who I was talking to in this open forum as well. Do you live in Smyrna? Have you attended the event?


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