TEMPLE, TX — Whether it’s serving up an ethnic plate of grub or a hot cup of coffee, it’s safe to say food trucks became a safe space to grab a quick bite during the pandemic, all while being one of the safest spots.
David Boyer is part owner of the Atrium Coffee Co., a convenient trailer serving up coffee in all forms for most hours of the day.
“It worried us, it did scare us like every other business, you saw businesses that just went under,” Boyer explained. “Really, COVID really did not affect us. If anything, it actually gave us a boost.”
The other owners, his brother and a family friend, started selling coffee on four wheels nearly four years ago on South 31st Street in Temple.
“Back when we first started, it was something that's not so expensive to start up,” he admitted. “That dream was definitely more reachable.”
However, rising rent prices aren’t the only thing standing in some operator's way.
“There were some instances where the city of Temple was maybe a little more restrictive than the state,” said Mayor Tim Davis of Temple.
Mayor Davis explained that in most instances, it was harder to get a mobile food unit permit than it is for the state itself.
However, it's trying to become more inclusive.
“The city of Temple has, and has been food truck friendly,” Mayor Davis said. “The city of Temple set up our own food truck court called ‘The Yard’ over there, near the railroad tracks.”
So, Mayor Davis and the City Council are easing the rules and regulations already in place after the city passed an ordinance back in December, striking nerves with some food truck owners.
“We didn't want to be more restrictive than we have to be,” Mayor Davis explained, “It's always a balance, right? To keep things safe, and at the same time, allow these folks to do business.”
The council will vote to pass amend the ordinance on Thursday at 5 p.m., and once passed, it would allow mobile food unit owners to not list where they’re serving food in the city, as long as they’re up to health and safety codes.
It will also adjust how wastewater disposal is looked at and handled.
Lastly, it would allow private property owners to hire food trucks for events no matter the zoning district.
“There's great things to happen, especially if you have the mayor on your side,” Boyer said. “The city of Temple is looking at different stuff to kind of help those situations and those business owners.”
Mayor Davis said he expects the vote to pass seamlessly, allowing these small, unique businesses to leave a mark on the community.
For more information on the ordinance, visit www.templetx.gov.