On Friday, Amber Bryson and Pete Izzillo affixed to the window of their food truck a most important decal.
It’s about the size of an index card, orange and numbered “01.”
It’s the first city of Beaufort food truck permit. And Bryson and Izzillo are the first — and, so far, only — vendors to apply for one since the city passed in early November a food-truck friendly ordinance that the duo says is a game-changer for their business
On Monday the two stood near their colorful, psychedelic, Beatles-inspired truck, “It’s Only Fair,” in their driveway off Pidgeon Point Road in Beaufort. The truck is really a trailer, a mobile funnel cake and fair food stand that, until now, was largely limited to where it could operate in the city.
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“We’re really happy with what the city did,” Izzillo said of the new ordinance. “It’s totally, totally fair.”
We’re really happy with what the city did. It’s totally, totally fair.
Pete Izzillo, co-owner of food truck “It’s Only Fair”
While the ordinance prohibits food truck operations on Bay, Scott and West streets, the Point neighborhood, Waterfront Park and the Downtown Marina lot, it has relaxed regulations governing them on city and private property. Vendors can set up and sell at the 500 Carteret and Bladen streets parking areas from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
And, excluding the aforementioned locations, they can operate in other parts of the city from 8 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays.
Currently, “It’s Only Fair” is the only food truck with a city permit, according to City of Beaufort Business License Administrator Justin Rose. Other vendors participated in the “public review and adoption process” of the ordinance, Rose said in an email to The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette, and he hopes they are aware the ordinance “is adopted and ready to be utilized.”
In addition to state health and safety requirements and a city business license, food truck owners must pay an annual $200 permitting fee to operate in Beaufort.
“I was so excited when we put that sticker on the truck Friday,” Bryson said.
I was so excited when we put that sticker on the truck Friday.
Amber Bryson, co-owner of food truck “It’s Only Fair”
She and Izzillo have been making their money at fairs and festivals, and by selling on campus at the Technical College of the Lowcountry, but as the winter months have arrived and students have gone home, sales have declined.
“When the truck sits idle, there’s no sales,” Bryson said.
But the ability to sell every day, almost anywhere, in the city is a game-changer. The duo will have to do a costs-benefits analysis, but increased Beaufort sales might mean they don’t have to go to Columbia every weekend, which they’ve been doing lately — and which costs them almost $200 in fees alone every time.
“(The) door is open, key is unlocked, come on in (for business),” Izzillo said. “We feel like it’s the grand opening of business,” he said, moments later.
As the pair stood next to their colorful food truck, a car slowed in the street, and its driver asked what they were selling.
Nothing here, nothing today, Bryson said to the driver.
But we’ll be at 500 Carteret St. tomorrow, she told him.
Which will be the first time “It’s Only Fair” puts its orange decal to work.