Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Food Vending Pilot Takes Off Downtown

Just in time for summer, a “sidewalk vending unit” pilot project (testing less stringent food cart vending regulations from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department) will begin in the BIA (Downtown Tacoma Business Improvement Area).

The Chamber’s Metropolitan Development Manager, Chelsea Levy, who oversees the BIA, “brought a deep knowledge of downtown Tacoma and is a big reason why downtown Tacoma was chosen as the pilot area,” said Tacoma City Councilperson Marty Campbell. “She was instrumental in bringing about the conservation about food carts. [Levy] was able to bring the perspective of many of our business owners and worked hard to make sure this would be a winnable solution for all.”

The hope is promotion and development of street food vending would create a liveliness that would attract more foot traffic and draw more business to the community.

Campbell cited compelling reasons why launching the pilot project in downtown Tacoma is important. “[Not only] will it bring vitality and foot traffic to our streets, along with activating sidewalks and public areas like Tollefson Plaza, it will bring entrepreneurial opportunities to Tacoma. It will provide low cost opportunities to both launch new businesses, but also allow current restaurants to project their presence and a sampling of their foods to people who may be unfamiliar with their menu,” Campbell said.

On June 15, the Tacoma City Council had their first reading of the ordinance changes. Given the level of interest expressed in the program, look for more tasty food choices springing up downtown in the near future.


  1. Ben Ferguson11:45 AM

    Hooray for the BIA getting this done. Well done. Now let's get some vendors out there and support them.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.