Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Downtown food moves along; Gazette gets it wrong

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 6:27 PM

It took us aback when the Gazette's Teresa Farney wrote today that the 12 or so vendors thought to be participating in the coming Curbside Cuisine CS — see our story here — were down to only four. We'd spoken with Garden of the Gods Gourmet's Sandra Vanderstoep, the driver of the project, in the last few days, and no such cutdown had come up. In addition, mobile-food owners who weren't mentioned among the Farney Four were unaware that they'd apparently been offed.

So we called Vanderstoep and read her the following quote, which the Gazette had attributed to her:


Her reaction?

"No, that’s not true," Vanderstoep says. "She didn’t get that from me; she didn’t get that from me. As soon as we’ve got four that we’ve locked down on, we are gonna open. Those [mentioned four] are not bad, but that’s news to me. We haven’t juried anybody out."

Apparent miscommunication aside, there is the fact that the group will slim down, something of which Vanderstoep is not unaware. And it's something that bore out in our reporting today, when we called Mike Bergman and Zack Travis for their thoughts.

"To me, it was a permanent location and I couldn’t do a permanent location," says Bergman, the co-owner of the Springs Cupcake Truck, as well as the brick-and-mortar Mediterranean Café. "I’ve got too many other commitments that I have to live up to.

"If we could all get together on a Saturday night, or a Friday night, or Thursday night, I don’t care, and have a group of carts, trucks, whatever — and do it like [Denver’s] Justice League does it, where it’s an event and everybody comes there and we pool our stuff and all pay a percentage of our gross for the cost — I’m in. I would definitely do that," he says. "But I just can’t be there on an everyday basis. It doesn’t work for my business model."

Travis owns the Downtown Burrito Co., which already sets up, along with Bill Layton's Bite Me Gourmet Sausage, in front of the parking lot planned for the plaza. He's similarly reticent to link fates.

"What [Bill and I] were kind of discussing was just sort of setting up where we normally set up," Travis says. "I mean, that sounds kind of like riding someone else’s wave, but right now, honestly, that would be the best thing for me to do; and, honestly, just about the only thing for me to do right now.

"I don’t want to create any animosity or anything, but it’s just what I’ve been doing for many months now and I don’t plan on changing, really."

Layton had already detailed concerns that we could only allude to in a half-page news story, starting with the $300 monthly rent.

"That’s a big expense and, of course, my other issues are the water and the sewage," he said in a phone conversation last Friday. "We pull out and get out water and sewage every day, so it’s easy for us. But if we’re trying to leave stuff in there, it makes it really difficult for people."

Regardless, here's what's coming for whoever wants to be a part of it:

"The next process that we’ll go through will be one that will be less popular," says Vanderstoep, "in which we have too many people and we begin a selection process. And we’re gonna do that with a foodie committee not made up of the people who are organizing this."

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