Laws kept food trucks from flourishing in St. Petersburg. The City Council changed that this week.
Maggie Loflin been on the move for almost a decade. She’s whipping up Greek food with a Maryland twist from inside a truck.
“Now it seems to be getting easier and easier. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a lot of hard work,” said Loflin, owner of the Maggie on the Move truck.
Now it’s going to get even easier for Loflin.
St. Petersburg scaled back its food truck laws this week, making permits and spots to park more available to food trucks.
The new laws will allow food truck rallies, let vendors buy an annual permit instead of costly temporary use permits, and allow trucks to park on streets in certain downtown areas.
Opponents, though, believe it will negatively impact the brick and mortar restaurants who serve food and pay taxes in St. Petersburg.
“I think that’s ridiculous," Loflin said. "Bringing the food trucks and bringing food truck rallies to the area brings new people in, and they look and they see other businesses."
Charlie Davis, who works at Dome Grill in St. Petersburg and owned six restaurants in Kansas City, agrees with Loflin.
“So I think food trucks will just add to the personality of the entire community, and it should draw more people because there’s different things to do," he said. "Just like when there’s a broader range of shops, it brings a different mix of people."
Davis and Loflin believe competition breeds success, and food trucks will only improve the St. Petersburg food scene.
City Council still prohibits food trucks in most of downtown by limiting parking and creating a buffer in the city’s core.