Why Not Akron?
Hope you're all in the mood for a mini novel packed full with all sorts of info. Last week we posted a little teaser of what we've been up to, a little sneak peek if you will. I'm about to let the cat out of the bag a little. So here we are... the beginning of our second season, and start of 2017. We're off to an awesome start, and really... we're panning out to have a pretty incredible year. There's only one thing truly standing in our way of Akron Food Truck greatness, and well... its actually the current legislation set in place in regards to food trucks IN Akron. This is something some of you may know about, but most of you probably are not as fluent with. We get asked all the time why there aren't more food trucks in Akron, and that is precisely why. Haha... we're apparently the only ones crazy enough to pursue this.
A quick brief down of what exactly we are talking about here: The current legislation in place for Akron Food Trucks was constructed about 5 years ago, a different time, a different perception, and a different mayor. Times have changed pretty dramatically around here since then, yet the legislation hasn't been revisited since that point and time. To nutshell what is currently in place right now... its essentially and literally almost impossible to operate a food truck freely within the city limits of Akron, like you see in so many of our neighboring cities. There are some "loop holes" such as private property and public sanctioned events which in turn does umbrella us... however... anything in regards to city property (again... aside from a sanctioned event) in a no go. Period. Yes, for a mere (nearly) $2,000 a year, you can obtain a "downtown Akron city permit" (quick reference: Downtown Cleveland Permits are around $365 a year, and food trucks pretty much have free range within reason.) BUT what isn't always fully disclosed there, is that that permit actually means to obtain one spot in a specific location that is painted, and is designated to you / your truck... and thats it. Thats all you receive, a painted spot in a really not exactly foot traffic friendly location tucked away from everything. Now... here's where things get a little more interesting in two parts. 1.) An argument currently used to rebuttal the pleas for a new food truck legislation is that obviously it is something that isn't in high demand, since said Akron Food Truck permits have not been purchased.. and comically enough part 2.) Those spots are not even available at this point and time anymore. They have been promised off for another (non food truck) reason. (And really... I'm not even going to bother with starting to list the crazy amount of rules and regulations, you're already reading a novel as it is...) So there you have it, as "briefly" and fact filled that I can put this. Basically, the Akron permit fees are insanely high, for a single painted spot difficult to pull people to, which also actually isn't even available for said food truck permits. And no, we can't make this up - this is legit. NOW with ALL this being said, our point is not to make you angry or to revolt against the city with hungry fists of fury, but to further explain and educate about what we are currently up against and fighting for such changes.
You see the sides of our truck right.... ? "MADE WITH PRIDE IN AKRON OHIO" our pride in our city, and what we do is literally plastered onto the sides of Betty. To further prove this point, Akron is in our name. Scullery essentially means "small kitchen" - and Square meaning Highland Square of course. (our neighborhood, and where our hearts thrive.) Our name in full translates to "Highland Square's Small Kitchen (on wheels)" - that is about as genuinely "Akroncentic" as you can get. Akron is part of our brand, who we are, and where our hearts are. We are a part of Akron, like Akron is a part of us. I can't tell you how many people (of all sides) have told us pursuing Akron (and almost exclusively) would ultimately make us fail... "it's not worth it...", "things will never change...", "you should be up in Cleveland.", "Maybe you should open a restaurant instead..", "You'll never thrive in Akron." the list goes on... and on.... and on. The sacrifices that we alone have made to continue pushing through the barriers are pretty extreme. There's no doubt that we would absolutely thrive in Cleveland, we both know that we would. But thats not the point - or the route for us, we've made that pretty clear since day one. Those of us who know us well enough, know all too well that we have never EVER chosen the easy route. (I say this slightly comically... but its true... we're completely nuts.) When we tell you that we've put it all on the line to chase our dreams, we really have, and doesn't just end with "get a food truck on the road." Thats a very small portion of what we're all about, and our mission.
Last year we made a promise to our city, and our people that we would fight for changes, we didn't take those promises lightly. Last week, last Monday to be exact, we had an extremely positive meeting at the City of Akron Mayor's Office with two pretty incredible city officials (that I will leave unnamed for the time being.) Not only were our voices heard, understood, and processed, but we left that meeting a couple steps closer to making those promises. The road ahead of us is still lengthy, this certainly isn't just a wham bam thank you ma'am type of situation, but it is one that I know has a positive future. It's worth the fight and pull to get to that point. Things are starting to change, and will continue to do so - its pretty incredible to be a part of to say the least. We are taking this on predominately lone wolf style currently, but also have the undying support of some of our most favorite Akron people. Seriously, the love and support we have both collectively received makes me all sappy and mushy. You all are so amazing. To get to where we are standing at now is a huge accomplishment for us personally, and professionally, but we certainly couldn't be here without our people. We are Akron, this is us... this is where we belong, and where we will continue to stay. We are proudly an Akron Food Truck, even if it may not be the most "popular route" it's the route we are pursuing. So thats it, thats the majority of our secretive big news that we've been keeping under wraps. There of course is plenty of news to come... but we gotta keep you guys hanging around somehow. ;) BUT step by step, brick by brick...the start of 2017 is indeed turning out to be pretty damn awesome.
To be continued:
Much Love, Heather & Chef Matt