David Grant, owner of the Funky Goat Eatery, says he’s invested about $3000 into winterizing his food truck in the hopes he can run it through the winter. He says he spoke with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the health inspector about a few options to set up his truck. He was told the Terry Fox lookout, which once sported a mobile food vendor, is no longer available, and the rest stop at Wire Cache is available, but that is too far a drive for him (almost two hours from Valemount).
Grant thought one of the sledding parking lots could be a good option. He figured he could arrive after most of the sledders had gone up the hill, so he wouldn’t block any parking for the recreationalists, and they would appreciate a warm cup of coffee or a fresh hot meal mid-day.
But the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has denied his request.
An initial response from the ministry said that a commercial venture is beyond the scope of the ministry’s public recreation program, and that allowing the food truck would set a precedent that would complicate efforts to manage the Recreation Sites and Trails BC program. It also noted that the food truck would occupy spots designated for recreationalists, and that garbage left behind is already a concern, and it was felt that allowing a food truck would add to the problem.
The fact that Grant brings his own garbage bin, uses compostable packaging, and would be arriving after most other users had already parked, did not seem to be considered, and Grant says he is quite willing to go through whatever is necessary to get authorization.
A further statement from the ministry says the Recreation Sites and Trails BC program is designed to be rustic and to provide clean, safe & environmentally sound facilities and opportunities for the public to recreate on crown land. It says the ministry does not provide drinking water at its facilities (as it is expensive and would require ongoing testing and monitoring), and the provision of food services would be beyond what is considered rustic. It also noted that many levels of provincial legislation would need to be met.
Grant says he has spent a lot of his savings and time trying to make a go of this business, and will keep looking for ways to keep it running.