Spring in Hamilton, and food trucks are popping up

It’s springtime in Hamilton, and food trucks are beginning to appear.

That’s just what city officials hoped would happen in April of 2016 when they approved an ordinance allowing the vehicles to park and set up shop.

“It’s something different,” said Gina Hudson of Hamilton as she waited for freshly made delicacies at The Dapper Doughnut. “We don’t have a lot of options downtown for doughnuts, so it’s really great.”

Hudson, who works near where The Dapper Doughnut was parked on South Second Street on Tuesday, said she had never seen a truck in the area other than at special events, “so I figured I’d try it today, get a variety of flavors,” that she planned to take back to coworkers.

Chad Allen said he is in his “seventh week” of operating the food truck. A steady stream of customers kept appearing Tuesday at his window to buy his products, which include a variety of toppings.

“It’s pretty good, just learning the different ordinances from city to city, and finding one location might be good in the morning, but it’s not good in the afternoon, so it’s just finding out where to go,” Allen said. “Hamilton’s been pretty good to me.”

FIRST REPORT: Hamilton updates rules for food trucks

Other food trucks often appear nearby at Municipal Brew Works, located in back of the former Hamilton Municipal Building, at 20 High St.

Allen said he has sold in Downtown Cincinnati, Hamilton and Fairfield. He also does catering and business events.

“What I find is people who work inside a food truck, they’re happy, fun people,” Allen said. “People who come and shop at a food truck? The same. They’re just looking for something outside the ordinary. Something outside the box.”

At a chain fast-food restaurant, “you know what you’re getting, so your attitude going in is predetermined. That’s what I’ve learned,” Allen said. “Going up to a food truck, it’s not predetermined because you have no idea what you’re going to get.”

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So far, six food trucks have registered with Hamilton, down by two from last year. One of the two that didn’t register became a stationary store in the meantime, according to city Health Commissioner Kay Farrar.

Her office licenses local food trucks on behalf of Ohio, and they can travel elsewhere in the state without needing other state licenses, although they can be inspected anywhere they serve food.

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