Paul's Sub Shop To Slow Food Truck: You're A Dagger In My Heart

Categories: Food Fights
Thumbnail image for slow food truck.jpg
Slow Food Truck's Oren Bass (on Left) is surprised to find local opposition to his truck.
Paul Ripa, owner of Paul's Sub Shop in North Miami Beach, was Googling North Miami Beach election results when he found something interesting -- a notice on the City's website announcing Slow Food Truck would be serving lunches in front of City Hall.

Ripa, whose family has had businesses in NMB for over 30 years, was livid. "It's incredible. All these little businesses are struggling. They need their lunch business and the City of North Miami Beach decides they're going to park a food truck for four hours a day and promote it on their website? These people are absolutely out of their minds," he told Short Order.

Ripa added that in this economy, local restaurants rely heavily on city employees for lunch-time traffic. "What do I do? Do I tell my guys to leave early? Do I close? The guy with a food truck - what's his overhead cost? No water bills, no garbage bills, no rent, no license. It's a dagger in my heart."

Michael J. Casey, currently a candidate in the North Miami Beach City Council (Group 5) runoff election, agrees. "All of a sudden we're going to decide who's going to do business here? That's socialism. They're playing favorites with one business. And it's incredible," he said. "I went to Mr. Bonner's office and he wasn't in, so I left a note on the back of the [food truck] notice saying did you jackasses ever consider the small shop down the street?"

The Bonner whom Casey was referring to is North Miami Beach City Manager Lyndon Bonner. While he wasn't available for comment, Short Order received a call back from assistant city manager Roslyn B. Weisblum, who conferenced us in with Brian O'Connor, purchasing manager, and Paulette Murphy, director of leisure services.

Weisblum told us that Slow Food Truck won a bid to operate the cafe located at the city's performing arts center. While the cafe is under renovation, they asked Slow Food Truck to park their mobile kitchen adjacent to city hall.

"Many local government offices have food service in their buildings. It was a big convenience when we had the other organization that was here. They weren't able to sustain themselves, and we're hoping this partnership works well. We would have been happy if Mr. Ripa applied for the RFP, but we're hoping this partnership will work."

O'Connor said the city first reached out to local businesses, "We sent out several RFP's. The last time we went and reached out to local businesses and received no bids back from them."

Slow Food Truck co-owner Oren Bass was shocked to hear about the opposition from local businesses, "We're offering a service to the city hall complex. The reason we brought out the truck was to offer simple concession services to the employees so they don't have to get into their cars. We won a bid with the city. We'll never park somewhere without permission of the owner. We don't want to get fined."

More and more, food trucks roll out onto Miami streets weekly. As their numbers increase, they may find growing opposition from brick-and-mortar restaurants. But as long as people want interesting and economical places to eat, both truck and traditional eateries will have to find a way to get along somehow.

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15 comments
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MatsudaClan
MatsudaClan

Paul cant dictate who the city allows to sell food on their property or promote on its website. and as far as directing customers away from his business its a big city. if your food is great no ones going to pass your place to go to city hall to eat. time to get off your butt and promote your business to the local offices, schools, colleges, homes, etc, after 30 years a smart businessman would have had a few shops established where the grazings good. experiment come up with new sandwiches on your menu, promote lunch specials, give customers incentive to come to your restaurant hell even open a food truck yourself and send one of your guys to hard to reach places or to scout around for good spots. many mom and pop shops rely on old priciples you have to adapt to changing times, keep up with trends, diversify your product or the services you offer. simply find out what people want and supply the demand.  getting the public's patronage is a privledge earned from good service and a quality product thats better than the guy down the street, its not an entitlement.

lori
lori

Slow Food Truck has great food! As an employee, who must often work thru lunch, I went looking for a quick meal twice this week and was disappointed to see they weren't out there. There is such a thing as competition. If the food was lousy or expensive, I would go elsewhere to other local businesses.

Paulssubshop
Paulssubshop

“Fighting for the Mom and Pop Restaurants in North Miami Beach" I own Paul's Sub Shop in NMB. While viewing the official NMB website I was astounded to find a full page advertisement. The advertisement reads as follows; "GOURMET LUNCHES AVAILABLE FROM SLOW FOOD TRUCK AT NMB CITY HALL. The Slow Food Truck is in front of North Miami Beach City Hall, located at 17011 NE 19 avenue between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday”. ...Mom and Pop restaurants are struggling today. Many small restaurants live or die with the lunch business and for their employees lunch time is tip time. Why is the City promoting one business to the detriment of others? These small restaurants eagerly await lunchtime as many NMB employees are their customers. Every customer is precious to these Mom and Pops during these hard times and the NMB website is directing customers AWAY from them! These small restaurant owners chose to build their businesses in NMB; they hire residents and enrich our city. Does a lunch truck do this? The competition for the lunch business is fierce. Mom and Pops must compete with chain stores selling burgers, pizza, subs, etc. Convenience store and gas station chains AND the supermarkets are now in the lunch business. Now small restaurants in NMB have to compete with North Miami Beach City Hall itself! I welcome any entrepreneur that wants to open a business with a physical location anywhere in the City. The City of NMB is afflicted with empty store fronts, "for rent' signs and the resulting loss of jobs for NMB residents. Does the City of NMB want more Mom and Pop restaurants to fail only to be replaced by mobile food trucks? The city officials who approved this idea should visit the small restaurants in the vicinity of NMB City Hall and give the owners and their employees a copy of the cities website promoting the lunch truck at City Hall and ask them what they think of it. I suggest these officials bring their ear plugs. Paul Ripa

Socko2u
Socko2u

"The city officials who approved this idea should visit the small restaurants in the vicinity of NMB City Hall"

That's exactly what happened they did visit the worn down Mom & Pop shops such as your own for too long now they want better for their hard earned dollar. You really Suck Paul you should go away no one wanted your tired subs in the first place the only reason you have been there so long is that no one made the leap!! The leap is made Now you must JUMP!!

Bye Bye Paul Doomkoff.....Hello Slow Food Truck!!!

JimHenson
JimHenson

If you look at Micheal J. Casey's (the NMB city council candidate who made the socialism comment) website, you will see that he was awarded a consulting contract with a local government agency. Looks like he has been dealing in the same type of socialist behaviour. Tisk tisk Mr. Casey!

TheFireWithinFT
TheFireWithinFT

This is all about keeping up with the changing times and giving the public what they want. This is free commerce at its finest. Yay for Slow Food Truck! Do the victory dance, guys! Another battle won in the food truck war!Food Truck Road Trip!

Jack
Jack

The local brick and mortar businesses should bid on government contracts if they are to compete with the food trucks. This is capitalism at its finest.

Yak
Yak

In Drew's own words "Seriously guys, common." I think you mean to say "come on"

People in glass houses...

Allie
Allie

First of all, Mr. Ripa is a fool if he thinks Slow Food Truck doesn't have overhead expenses. Owen and Zach have the EXACT SAME expenses he does! They have licenses, get inspected regularly, and pay rent and other various other utilities. If Mr. Ripa's restaurant is good, customers will continue to go there. However, if his food is as poor as his logic, he'll shut down soon enough.

Mr. Casey needs to keep this in mind...the food trucks have thousands of followers (read voters) supporting them. Last time I checked it's politicians that have no overhead.

FightBackPaul
FightBackPaul

Paul,

Make up some flyers, send one of your most outgoing individuals over to the food truck and have them stand out there and pass them out.

Fight fire with fire.

And don't forget to make sure you are serving better food that the food truck and also make sure the experience is better.

You probably don't even do any marketing for the restuarant so now is a great time to start.

Allie
Allie

That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. These guys are small business owners too. Why do they need to be put out of business

Drew
Drew

1. ". . . would (be) serving lunches in front of City Hall." Does ANYONE edit these articles before they are posted? Seriously guys, common.

2. "The reason we brought out the truck was to ofer (offer) simple concession services . . ."

3. Step up your game. It sounds like a third-grader wrote this piece.

Sad
Sad

"Seriously guys, common."

Perhaps you mean "come on" or "c'mon"?

It's easy to point out the New Times errors because they happen frequently but if you're going to throw stones, don't do it inside your own glass house of grammar errors.

chris
chris

"grammar errors" nope.

grammatical errors, yes.

Idiotic local business owners who make crappy food but feel entitled to force it upon people, nope.

Mediocre trendy food truck to provide okey-dokey option? Why not.

Allie
Allie

Mediocre? You must not have tasted their food. It's fabulous!

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