Mecklenburg County neighbors invite food trucks to community to support small business

Mecklenburg County neighbors invite food trucks to community to support small business

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - While it may be a while before another big food truck gathering is allowed to take place in the Charlotte area, one Mecklenburg County community has decided to offer up their support to the mobile vendors.

Residents in the Bridlestone neighborhood have started inviting different food trucks to come to their community to sell food.

Jennifer Coates, a Bridlestone resident, is one of the neighbors spearheading the effort.

“We saw a couple other neighborhoods do it so we thought, ‘hey that’s a great idea’,” explained Coates in an interview with WBTV.

Kiersten Hogan, another neighbor, said she had seen a food truck operator post on social media about the struggle to find business during the pandemic. She said she liked the idea of inviting the truck into the neighborhood.

“Great way for us to support them, great way for us not have to cook, get out of the house,” explained Hogan.

This week the neighbors invited the Caribbean Buzz truck to the neighborhood. The truck stayed for several hours and served up food to neighbors from Bridlestone.

Natacha Candio, the owner of the truck, said the pandemic has made it hard for food truck operators to find business. Events and venues where they would normally serve food have been shut down due to social distancing restrictions.

“I’ve been getting a lot of cancellations because we did a lot of breweries, a lot of corporate events so now it’s kind of slow,” said Candio.

According to Mecklenburg County’s ordinance, food trucks are allowed to continue operating as long as they practice social distancing. However, Candio said she is not allowed to sell food in a neighborhood without first getting permission.

“We can’t just drive like an ice cream truck and be at different neighborhoods. No, we need permits. We need to make sure that the HOA, the community, allowed us to be there,” explained Candio.

Coates said that having the food trucks come to the neighborhood has also helped her get to meet more of her neighbors while still practicing social distancing.

“People are walking through the neighborhood and I’ve met people who I didn’t even know lived here,” said Coates.

The residents said they already have plans for more food trucks to visit their community in the coming weeks.

“I think if more neighborhoods can try to do something like this, it would really help our community,” said Hogan.

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