Hello Denver Cupcake Truck Fans!
As many of you noticed, we posted on Facebook yesterday a mention of having recently encountered issues with Denver Zoning regarding where we can and cannot be/park. It is our goal to resolve and better understand Zoning regulations by months end. Don’t be alarmed, The Denver Cupcake Truck isn’t going away or closing up! We love the streets of Denver and only want to learn how we can be on them without “breakin’ the law”!
We’d love your input and thoughtful advice, my area of expertise as you all know is cupcakes and smiles! Chime in, email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook @ The Denver Cupcake Truck.
By spring time we will be in full swing. For now we will be at private and public events that we are formally invited to be at. Keep an eye on our Facebook updates as we have a few public events lined up in January.
A little history on our plan and process for The Denver Cupcake Truck
In April 2010, we decided to create this amazing truck to drive around town and make random, spontaneous and surprise stops. We never set out to have the truck park in one spot and not move. The Denver Cupcake Truck belongs to Cake Crumbs Bakery; if we wanted another location we would have opened another bakery. We wanted a roaming truck to spread cheer and cupcakes throughout the city, not to a single location. When we went to get the truck licensed we were told by Denver Excise and License that we needed an inspection by Denver Environmental Health and Safety. Once we passed their inspection, we were good to go. According to Denver Excise and License we were free to park anywhere in town as long as it was legal and at least 200 feet from a competing business, didn’t impede pedestrian or street traffic. Super, we were on our way to having a great season while selling cupcakes throughout Denver.
Surprisingly, In November and December 2010 we were hassled over and over by Zoning and Code Enforcers, learning we were not allowed to carry on as we had all spring and summer. After questioning the city employees that approached the truck who made threats of tickets and “mandatory” court, the answers we got were vague, gray and sometimes unavailable.
Here are a few facts we have been told by Denver Inspectors and Zoning:
1. We are not allowed to park at a meter.
2. We are not allowed to park at a bagged meter for a special event.
3. We are not allowed to park in a buildings valet, private parking lot or loading dock without a zoning permit for the specific location, despite a personal invitation from the building owner or manager.
4. We cannot drive around town and make spontaneous stops, much like an Ice Cream Truck.
5. According to Denver Zoning, we must obtain an annual permit at a location first inspected and then approved by Zoning. The permit would allow us to park at that location 7 days a week for a single 4-hour time allotment. The permit would cost $50.00 per year, the location would belong to us and only us, zoning would not allow another truck a permit for that same location. Zoning wasn’t sure if the permit could be shared by other trucks if we didn’t want that location 7 days a week.
6. Zoning did say it was possible that we could have more than one location per year.
7. Zoning didn’t have any answers regarding private events or prepaid parties. Currently we are unclear if we can even park in front of a building or house if the occupant pays for our cupcakes and services.
8. According to our last encounter with Zoning, we should have never received our license without their signoff. Meanwhile our signoff checklist from Excise and License only indicated we needed a signoff from Environmental Health and Safety.
As you can see, it’s been a frustrating string of answers and in fact unclear and very vague. Just who is in charge over at the city building? Why weren’t we informed by Excise and License of our obligations, how were we able to get the license? We need some solid answers! For that reason, we are setting off to get informed and possibly encourage some change. The modern food truck movement that has swept across America and into Denver needs to be mobile, not stationary!
With such a huge success this past year as a result of our truck setting sail, it would be a shame to see Denver lose a great source of revenue. Not only did our sales exceed our expectations and projections on the truck but the truck drove 40% more business to the bakery. It was a win-win situation for us, for Denver, for our neighborhood and fans. Denver would be lucky to have more tax revenue created by the mobile food rebirth.
To our fellow restaurant owners, bakery owners and other food establishment owners, it is not and never will be our intention to park The Denver Cupcake Truck outside your establishments to compromise your business. The Denver Cupcake Truck seeks business in peace with a creative twist.
With that said friends, we sign off. If you can find time to reach out to your local City Council Representatives or the mayor, please do. Together we can make Denver a hot spot for the modern mobile food movement.
Happy New Year!
Sean and Denon Moore
The Denver Cupcake Truck/Cake Crumbs Bakery
2216 Kearney Street
Denver, CO 80207