Community

Food truck owner has ‘beef’ with the City of Beaumont and questions fairness of rules

BEAUMONT — The owner of a popular food truck is concerned that Beaumont may be driving away similar businesses through city restrictions and rules.

Jon Couzens and his father-in-law, James, have taken a corner of Beaumont by storm. In just a short time, their food truck has become a hot spot for its delicious dishes, including barbecue breakfasts and lunches, and also because the two entrepreneurs give back to the community, especially to veterans.

However, Couzens says the city is not making it easy for their food truck at the intersection of North 11th Street and Harrison Avenue. According to Couzens, the city has created obstacles to make it harder on food truck operators.

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“We have to buy our food fresh every single day, but a restaurant doesn’t have to do that,” said Couzens, “so grocery stores in Beaumont, the earliest they open up is 6 a.m. So how am I supposed to go to the grocery at 6 a.m., buy my groceries, come over here, cook it, prep it, and be open at 6:30 in the morning?”

Beaumont City Councilman Mike Getz, a vocal advocate for small businesses in the community, sympathizes with Couzens’ concerns.

“You can’t make it so difficult for food trucks to operate,” said Getz. “For example, if you have a food truck and you want to sell a brisket, how are you supposed to go buy a brisket and smoke it for 18 hours if you’ve got to serve it the same day? You can’t do it, so it’s basically eliminating a whole genre of food there. It’s very difficult if you have a good truck and buy all the groceries you have for the day, early in the morning. Very difficult right now for a food truck operation.”

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Couzens worries the city’s rules are only going to get more restrictive, but Councilman Getz is making sure there’s no rush to do that without a careful study.

“I think food trucks are good for our city because they offer a different experience than going to a brick and mortar restaurant,” said Getz. “I think there’s room for both to co-exist.”

Councilman Getz is advocating for a food truck park in downtown, which he says will drive riverfront development. He plans to present the proposal next week during the city council workshop.

Written by ANGEL SAN JUAN

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