Tasty Tuesdays has a new neighbor: another food truck event! Same night, same hours. What's going on?
Note: I want to say something to the Orlando food truck industry. Yes I have a food truck business. No this is not me dissing anyone in the industry. The Daily City is a blog I've been writing waaay longer than I've been running a food truck business. Writing is my passion. I love this blog. I've written 10,000 stories on it since 2007 and this is just one more. I've never had anything but respect for Tasty Tuesdays and will continue to do so.
By Mark Baratelli We told you December 29th a new weekly food truck night called "Tuesday Food Trucks" was moving in next door to an existing similar food truck night called Tasty Takeover in the Milk District. Tasty Takeover's first event of the year is January 2nd. Starting January 9th, both will run Tuesday evenings 6-10pm.
Falon Quillen runs Tasty Takeover and Angie Berio runs Tuesday Food Trucks. Falon is the owner of Etoille Boutique and Angie is the owner of the building and back parking lot at 2428-2434 E. Robinson St as well as The Iron Cow building. Falon's boutique is located in a building next door to Angie's in the building at 2424 E Robinson St.
Tasty Takeover used to take place behind Angie's building. The most recent lease for the space between Tasty Takeover and Angie ended in December. When that contract ended, Angie reached out to Falon to negotiate a new one. This would be the first time Angie and Falon would be negotiating a contract as the previous one had been between Falon's event partner Tommy Mott and Angie.
Falon said on on our Facebook page, "Berio Enterprises requested a substantial increase to what they were previously asking..."
Angie says Falon agreed to bring her a new higher offer than the amount on the previous contract, and did so. Angie says she took a few days to think it over then called Falon to accept it. Falon repeatedly did not answer her phone according to Angie.
On Tuesday December 26th, Angie says Falon told her the offer Falon made was now too high for her to pay and the deal was off. No reason was given. Angie did say that Falon told her no trucks would work with her.
On Wednesday December 27th, Falon announced "Starting next Tuesday, our OG location in The Milk District will be slightly condensed from 13 food trucks to 10, and will only be held in the smaller lot behind 2424 E Robinson St (Etoile Boutique/The Milk Bar Lounge/Apogee Gifts/Rebel Reprints, Echo Base Collectibles) This new set up will provide a more intimate, curated and social atmosphere for trucks and guests alike."
The decision to move was not Falon's, however: it was the food trucks she works with's decision. Falon said "The decision to condense the event and move it to the smaller lot was voted on by all of the trucks we work with, out of necessity."
Viveca Averstedt, owner of SwedeDish food truck said "...it is not cool when people with money try to copy an already excisting event!" According to Viveca, the rent at the new lot will be $45 versus the $80 charged at the other lot. That $80 includes the rent charged to Falon. It is not know if rent will be charged to Falon at this smaller lot.
Angie says she is putting on "Tuesday Food Trucks" in response to Falon's unexplained exit from the contract negotiations. She's been reaching out to food trucks to fill her event, but several have said they won't work with her due to reasons explained to them by Falon which are unknown to Angie.
So how will this all play out on Tuesday nights?
The new event will "feature most likely sub-par as none of our trucks want to work with the partners involved..." says Falon.
She says the new event, combined with Tasty Takeover, "will possibly oversaturate the neighborhood with far too many trucks on one night for any one truck to see true profit."
Falon says the trucks had a hand in building the event and don't deserve this new competition: "...these food trucks have helped build this event for over 6 loyal years, only to have a new property owner take advantage of the following and loyal customers we have built."
Guests will have a bigger selection of trucks to choose from.
Money from the new event will go to The Milk District from the new event according to the owner of The Iron Cow Matthew Scot. "(The new event will) begin growing the Milk District fund again as to provide the most and best infrastructure to the community," according to.
New trucks will appear in the Milk District now. Matthew said "Dozens of trucks over the years were frustrated as they were blocked from participating (in Tasty Takeover)... the (new) event will play host to a much larger food truck rotation..."
Tasty Takeover trucks will pay less rent.
Was Tasty Takeover paying rent the past 7 years?
"Tasty Takeover had been renting (Angie's) lot weekly on Tuesday nights at a set rate for years..." says Falon. Not so says Angie. She told The Daily City that according to the building's previous owner, no rent had ever been paid by Tasty Takeover for the first 6 years.
This was corroborated by the owner of Iron Cow, Matthew Scot. He says Takeover began as a non-profit venture to raise money for Milk District to become a Mainstreet District but Falon turned it into a private business for herself.
Matthew said "...privatizing it for one persons sole benefit is not right... (You should not) dissuade people from the realities of what you were doing with the proceeds of a non profit event you took away from the neighborhood and privatized for your own personal gain... "
According to Matthew, "Tasty Tuesday name was changed to Tasty Takeover to avoid paying proceeds to the Milk District fund" and that "The balance statement of the seed money was shown on paper but never a check written..."
Falon responded to Matthew's claim, "Tasty has been an incredibly generous benefactor to The Milk District. The greater majority of the funds needed to apply to become a Main Street were raised and donated by Tasty partners."
Sources: The content of this piece comes from a phone interview with Angie and statements made on the Tasty Takeover facebook page. Falon did not wish to answer questions but did leave a statement on our Facebook page which we reference.