If you were laid off from your job, or can’t find one in the industry you trained for, you can always sell food to people on sidewalks. That’s what at least two people are doing in New York, while a third has opened a cart to supplement his regular income. Update: But don’t expect to actually make any money, according to this article tipped to us by Zach.
The cart Schnitzel & Things was opened earlier this year by an investment banker who was laid off by his firm in January. The Cupcake Stop, which enjoyed a lot of media attention (at least in the NYC area) this past summer, was started by a law school grad who couldn’t find work. And there’s The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, opened as a “summer job” by a bassoonist. We’re not sure what makes ice cream any gayer than it already naturally is, but if we see the truck around town we’ll try to investigate.
One interesting thing about all three street carts is that they’re not small-scale operations, at least not when compared to traditional street vendors. All three operate out of food service trucks, and have websites to promote their menus and locations. Another one we’ve seen around parts of Brooklyn is Wafels & Dinges, a Belgian waffle vendor. And another one, Street Sweets, was seen as enough of a threat to nearby restaurants that they’ve done everything from hire a moving van to take up parking space, to call the police, fire department, and HAZMAT teams on various trumped up complaints.
The investment banker says he only makes about half of what he made at his old job, but that he enjoys running his own business. We don’t know if the number of fancy-style food carts will continue to grow, or if this is an economy-fueled trend. But hey, there’s an annual awards ceremony for them called the Vendy Awards.
“Street-Cart Economy: Banker Savors Life as Food Vendor” [CNBC] (Thanks to Cindy!)