Food Trucks planned to replace Canteen in 2022

One of the changes planned for Cobourg’s Victoria Park Beach is to “re-purpose” the Canteen/ Washroom building by closing the Canteen and expanding the washrooms.  For many years, the canteen was run by the same contractor but then in 2018 and 2019, the owners of Market and Smor had a try at providing the service.  They wanted to offer healthy food – but that did not fly (it appears).  They also had a friend operate a chip truck there. In the end they gave up just as the pandemic arrived.  After the comprehensive review of how to manage the Waterfront, Council decided that instead of a Canteen, food trucks would instead provide the service.  An RFP was issued early 2022 and two vendors have now been selected.

There were three bids but only two met all the RFP conditions: K and A Personal Touch Catering from Peterborough and Hot Diggidy Dog based in Courtice.  Each has a catering Trailer that will be parked on the concrete pad just west of the existing washroom building.  The photos below are from the facebook pages of these companies.

One of the requirements of the bid was that the Town meet its goal of $20,000 revenue for the season.  Each company will pay the town $2500 per month and will operate from May to September so this goal will be met.

At Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on 19 April, Council will be asked to approve awarding  the service to these two companies for a three-year term, with an option to renew for an additional two years.

Meanwhile, although a 2022 budget amount of $165K was approved to “repurpose” the Canteen/Washroom building, no RFP has yet been issued for that.  Budget documents describe the work for 2022:

Victoria Park Canteen: To be converted into a family washroom and changing room facility as well as a utility and event headquarters room. Engineering, building plans, and permits, along with the construction work for the Victoria Park Canteen Conversion Work 2023 season.

That is, planning and Engineering will be done in 2022 with construction work to be done in 2023.

Also, Staff’s report to Council says that:

Both companies are aware of the multi-vendor setup and are committed to working harmoniously to provide excellent service to citizens and customers. Both vendors are aware that other food vendors will be present during permitted events.

It’s not clear if beach crowds in 2022 will be similar to pre-pandemic crowds given the changes to waterfront parking and the reluctance of many to venture out.

Vendor Vehicles

Resources

Vendors – Facebook pages

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Linda
13 April 2022 1:24 am

Unfortunate that only 3 vendors completed the RFP and only 2 were acceptable. When the decision of food trucks for the beach was presented I know many people were hoping for 5-6 which would provide a variety of options.

Informed
Reply to  Linda
14 April 2022 9:12 am

Hopefully they are successful and more will be there next year

Jay
12 April 2022 4:07 pm

The Personal Touch Catering Company does catering for weddings, birthdays and events all year round. They also own and operate a banquet hall in Peterborough for big events year round. Both owners work full time as well at other jobs especially the “A”. Wouldn’t it be nicer to give it to a food truck that has just this for income?

Pete M
Reply to  Jay
13 April 2022 8:07 am

Sounds like those people have a strong.entrepreneurial work ethic and probably employ several people who support them in these business endeavors. Kudos to them and there capitalistic spirit

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Pete M
13 April 2022 7:33 pm

Peter M

To elaborate on the point I believe Linda was making, the controling factor in our free enterprise system that ensures best range of choice and best quality at the best price, is competition from a number of sources. This seems to be missing with only two vendors approved.

Perhaps staff should have tested the waters more thoroughly before making a commitment of any kind. Issuing a Request for Proposal ,(RFP) is good practice but the Town does not have to accept the results if they are unsatisfactory in any way.

Pete M
Reply to  Keith Oliver
13 April 2022 9:31 pm

Keith
I wasnt commenting on Linda s post I was commenting on Jays when he says ” wouldnt it be nice to give it to a food truck where it is there sole source of income.”

Pete M
Reply to  Keith Oliver
13 April 2022 9:33 pm

I agree competition is always good

Gerinator
12 April 2022 12:29 pm

I’m sure that Harbourlight Delights will enjoy the competition (not). He employs local teens, pays local taxes, pays local suppliers.

Frenchy
Reply to  Gerinator
12 April 2022 9:48 pm

And I predict they will enjoy another great season this year. Plenty of business to go around, and besides, what’s wrong with a little competition?

Pete M
Reply to  Frenchy
13 April 2022 9:49 am

Now if only we could get competition in our cellphone and internet services.
Competition can make for lower prices but also creates an environment for innovation.

Ken
Reply to  Pete M
13 April 2022 1:27 pm

That’s why I don’t own a ‘cell phone’! Largest rates in the free world! It’s criminal!

JimT
Reply to  Ken
13 April 2022 2:22 pm

I pay $25. per month for unlimited cell phone service, voicemail, call display, etc. and my little flip phone has a camera and a radio in it, just no internet, which suits me fine.

Head phones for talking and puttering at the same time. Even out in the garden.

$28.50 after taxes. Per month.

Just don’t ask me to “scan” those little dotty thingies. No can scan.

Last edited 5 months ago by JimT
cornbread
12 April 2022 10:12 am

So the town will pick up $20,000 and probably spend with over-runs $200,000 for new washrooms at taxpayers expense…not to mention the cost of a person or 2 to keep the washrooms clean every day for 2 shifts…add it all up, another $25,000 cost from June to September. And still no free parking passes for Cobourg homeowners…

Concerned
Reply to  cornbread
12 April 2022 11:01 am

The parking plan this year calls for a seasonal parking pass for residents and a parking lot just for residents. Unless the plan council approved as since changed.

New to Cobourg
12 April 2022 8:14 am

Just a side note, The Market & Smør did not give up. Their contract with the town was a 3 year contract which ended just as the pandemic hit.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  New to Cobourg
12 April 2022 8:27 am

It would be interesting to know what the town charged the Market & Smor couple for operating their venture.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bill Thompson
John L. Hill
Reply to  Bill Thompson
12 April 2022 9:35 am

It was not because Market and Smor provided unpopular choices; it’s because the rising Lake levels eliminated the beach and the anticipated crowds as a source of revenue that would have been expected had conditions of previous years prevailed. Even though it was a 3 year contract, Dean Hustwick told me he would not recommend renegotiating the contract due to unexpected circumstances. He told me the contractors would still have to pay the 20K and hope for the best in future years.
What surprises me is that any business would be willing to consider contracting with the Town that treats its businesspeople with such lack of concern..

Frenchy
Reply to  Bill Thompson
12 April 2022 10:03 pm

Not sure that we want to know Bill. We had no idea how much money they made to pay their percentage of profits and between Davey and Hustwick we even ended up paying their HST on the lease. Crazy negotiations.

Beachwalker
Reply to  New to Cobourg
12 April 2022 4:57 pm

And the healthy food was excellent. The long linevuos were testament to that!

JimT
Reply to  Beachwalker
13 April 2022 2:32 pm

The long linevuos are one reason beachies don’t spend much. One pokey little window, one long lineup. Ferget it! Not fun!

Are we about to discover proper marketing and merchandising at the beach at last and give our guests real means, motive and opportunity to $pend their $$ here in town?

Last edited 5 months ago by JimT
JimT
11 April 2022 7:28 pm

Carnival Eats!

Now the Debbie Downers won’t be able to complain that the beachies don’t spend any money, when they have never had anything to spend it on.

I can hardly wait!

Last edited 5 months ago by JimT
SW Buyer
Reply to  JimT
11 April 2022 8:15 pm

Jim T,

Ok. A partial victory…..the Town earns $20K, maybe.
Note that the two “winners” are not local, Not even from Northumberland.
How does this help the downtown merchants?

JimT
Reply to  SW Buyer
11 April 2022 8:49 pm

$25K, actually: $2,500 per month x 5 months x 2 suppliers = $25,000.

Not intended to help the downtown merchants. Local suppliers can follow the example and give it a try if they want a slice of the business.

SW Buyer
Reply to  JimT
11 April 2022 11:52 pm

JD’s article indicates the Town’s target is $20k (May to September) 4 months.
As to the beachers not spending money because they don’t have anything to spend it on, the two food trucks are a replacement for the canteen, not a new opportunity.

Last edited 5 months ago by SW Buyer
JimT
Reply to  SW Buyer
13 April 2022 2:35 pm

May, June, July, August, September. That’s 5 months by my count.

There are basically 3 kinds of people in this world: those who can count and those who can’t.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  SW Buyer
12 April 2022 8:21 am

Considering our climate emergency, will the trucks be allowed to sell bottled water or only soft drinks? Will plastic drinking straws be available? How will Cobourg ensure that all serving plates and eating utensils are recycled? Will the trucks use electric cookers or CO2 polluting propane?

Gerald Childs
Reply to  Ken Strauss
13 April 2022 9:18 am

Why would they not be able to sell bottled water? Every restaurant and cafe I have been to in Cobourg sells it; why would the beach be different.

Pete M
Reply to  Gerald Childs
13 April 2022 12:24 pm

Because the Town intends to do the following:

Install water bottle filling stations in Victoria Park building and Marina building – happening by 1
July 2022.

Selling bottled water runs contrary to the climate saving objectives.
I fully expect a Town bylaw prohibiting plastic bottled water in Victoria Park.

They will sell you a reusable container in order for you to avail yourself of the free water filling station.

So remember folks when you go out now to the beach..bring your your reusable water bottle and reusable straw. The “Climate ” will love you for it.

Pete M
Reply to  Gerald Childs
13 April 2022 12:45 pm

Gerald
Remember the day when you went to a restaurant and NEVER paid for a glass of water.

Concerned
Reply to  SW Buyer
12 April 2022 11:02 am

They had an opportunity to apply like everyone else.

Pete M
Reply to  SW Buyer
13 April 2022 12:42 pm

Maybe the local merchants have a better understanding of Town Hall works and decided it wasnt worth the money or headaches to partner with the Town

Russ
Reply to  Pete M
20 April 2022 3:57 pm

Welcome to Cobourg — Ontario’s “no you can’t” town”.

Cobourg taxpayer
11 April 2022 4:45 pm

Is it possible that we may even have adult beverages served from these canteen trucks, like in much of the rest of the civilized world? It would greatly help them pay the $2500 monthly rent payable to the Town of Cobourg.

Informed
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
11 April 2022 4:59 pm

That wood be great. Some shade would also be nice

JimT
Reply to  Informed
13 April 2022 2:40 pm

In that case, a shady beer garden with wine &c. would really bring in the $$ and pander to those who think Cobourg should be populated with swell folk dressed to the nines and swanning about in a new Gilded Age.

comment image

Last edited 5 months ago by JimT
MiriamM
Reply to  JimT
13 April 2022 8:29 pm

Just like after the last pandemic? The roaring twenties. Bring back a new Victoria Park Beach summer dance pavillion?

Pete M
Reply to  JimT
13 April 2022 9:43 pm

Beer Garden Near the Havel by Max Liebermann. Well Done

Kyle
Reply to  JimT
14 April 2022 8:55 am

But they did not get in cars and drive major highways home. The horses knew the way.

JimT
Reply to  Kyle
14 April 2022 1:20 pm

Yes, true, but I believe they are working on that one – a vehicle that has all the smarts of the family nag – possibly even more.

Pete M
Reply to  JimT
14 April 2022 1:49 pm

And doesn t pollute like the old nag too

Pete M
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
13 April 2022 12:13 pm

From the Town s parks By-law

While in a park, no person shall consume, serve or sell alcoholic beverages unless permitted by applicable law or unless authorized by the Town in accordance with the Town’s Municipal Alcohol Policy and under a permit issued by the Town and with the approval of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

With the above being said, the Town and Food Truck owners need to begin the process now in order to have ready for summer. This would also necessitate a designated area for consumption.

I doubt the food truck owners want to take on the headache of a liquor license.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Pete M
18 April 2022 5:45 pm

Let’s ask Nicole Beattie didn’t she run events there that served alcohol?