Food carts face problems


City Commissioner Randy Leonard cracking down on illegal structures isn’t the only problem facing Portland’s iconic food carts.

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City Commissioner Randy Leonard cracking down on illegal structures isn’t the only problem facing Portland’s iconic food carts.

Low revenues and an over-saturation of the market are also problems, along with the nasty winter weather.

“There are a lot of factors right now that are going against food carts,” [Whiffies Fried Pies owner Gregg] Abbott says. “It’s my hope that the wave of people who are like, ‘This is an easy way to make a million dollars,’ is cresting. It might be over now. We’ll see how these things shake out, but starting a cart in December is a really, really tough way to get going. My guess is that by February there are going to be a lot of carts for sale on Craigslist.”

Other food cart owners agree. After a summer of media love, they’re exhausted, jaded and not much wealthier than they were when they opened their windows. And they share the same worry: Maybe Portland’s cart craze has gone too far for its own good.

“I think the cart thing got a little out of control, to be honest,” says Kevin Sandri, who runs the Garden State cart in the North Portland pod Mississippi Marketplace. “I think too many people came to the party. And somebody called the cops. Usually, somebody needs to call the cops.”

Read more at Willamette Week.

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