Hudson Summer Food Truck Weekends

A thirty-something friend posted mid-afternoon on Facebook : “Hudson needs a Taco Place” and a lively exchange ensued, allowing me to float one of my random ideas for Hudson. Someone in that conversation asked me to write about it and post on Jim Duff’s Blog, in reality he didn’t have to ask I was going to do it one day soon.

We were once a weekend day trip summer destination for shopping and food mostly. It’s part of our history perhaps we can build on.

Summer  Food Truck Weekends at Jack Layton Park

For a waterfront community we have precious little accessible public waterfront, only one small public launch and dock at Jack Layton Park. My suggestion was to have spaces for between two and perhaps three gourmet food trucks open each summer weekend and set up and promote a schedule of changing food trucks and menus throughout the summer.

Open from late morning until evening, they would be a great draw for residents and out of town visitors to get outdoors, visit our waterfront area, share some great food and spend time at Sandy Beach, walk  and shop the village, visit Greenwood, take in a matinee, head down to Finnegan’s Market.

If you’ve done any of the big festivals in Montreal, you may have experienced or at least seen high end food trucks. These are not your garden variety roadside chip wagons but a wide variety of higher end  offerings often from talented chefs. Think a limited menu take-out Carambola wannabe on wheels. Watch the movie “Chef” on Netflix wherever it streams.

Better yet,  perhaps we could encourage some of the fresh food supplied to come from the new Hudson Community Garden initiative: Eat locally grown, play locally and share good times with families and friends. We have a local Micro Brewery who might be able to license sale of their beer, just another random thought to benefit a local business. Perhaps we could host local musicians and artists as well.

Perfect Hudson Summer Days: wind, water, Sandy Beach, great food, craft beer, art and music with friends and neighbors.

A comment on Facebook suggested that such a proposal would be a good undertaking for the SDC of Hudson, who already have a promotion infrastructure on Facebook and work on behalf of local businesses want to bring more visitors and customers to Hudson. Such a weekly event for a whole summer could gain some traction and attract more potential new residents to our quaint village.

I’m not an expert on the logistics or economics of food trucks, but I’m sure many are owned by entrepreneur dreamers who need publicity and market. If you’re hosting a private event, I’m sure you need to pay them to come. I’m sure they pay big bucks for a spot at the Just For Laughs Festival or Grand Prix Weekend. I’d say we should offer them free space and whatever promotion we have and see if we can entice any high quality takers to come.

Sure there will be many defeatists who find reasons not to even consider this idea. First up was immediate skepticism that the town would make it difficult or over regulated.

I’ll remind everyone of the huge success, local benefits and national awareness of Hudson from Greenwood’s Storyfest. Run through the list of wonderful authors we’ve had, and those still to come and remember it started as a modest idea and grew each year. The vision of the Greenwood Board and their volunteer committee have yet another star studded line-up forming for Fall 2017. Authors come to Hudson, find it a truly special place and want to come back or even talk of moving here.  We need more of that type of awareness of the good our town has to offer.

Hudson Summer Food Truck Weekends would need the interest and support of Hudson Council and SDC, perhaps some modest commitments to supporting infrastructure we should have anyway at Jack Layton Park, security and cleanup we should be doing anyway.

Not a lot to lose: Launch it, try it, and if it works try to grow it into an annual summer long event where we might be able to some day charge food trucks for spaces that are proven to deliver customers.

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13 thoughts on “Hudson Summer Food Truck Weekends

  1. OK, here’s a spot for me . I’m your defeatist , Jim. I know you were hoping I’d come out of the closet . Ah, Sandy Beach, have you been there on a that perfect summer Sunday. Garbage and blue bins overflowing , pit bulls running and dumping free, cars pulled up to the beach. It’s a servitude of passage which has morphed into a liability I’m sure Mr. Muhlegg will put an end to soon. Well at least the Parks and recreation people will be picking up a better class of gourmet garbage come the perfect summer Monday morning.
    And I just know that adding a well brewed libation to the recipe of what happens to the fuming line up of watercraft at the Jack Layton launch will absolutely mellow out those pissed off boaters. That’s the best entertainment in Hudson on a perfect Saturday summer afternoon. And I’m guessing the beefed up infrastructure will consist of 20 more Johnny pots to line up beside the two there. But it will be a better class of gourmet poop.
    Why can’t poor Jack Layton park just be let be w/o the gourmet canteens , the world class state of the art performing arts centers , and the gas fuming and feuding and now again free boat launch. Don’t you know what you envision will all but preclude the perfect Hudson summer day? I am now going to confer with Naomi Henshaw on what she has on her mind to see if great intellects truly do pontificate alike. …………My tongue has a permanent residence in my cheek right along side the size twelve in my mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OOOOOOOFFF.. Shots fired at sandy beach! The coalition of Sandy beach savers are going to lynch you Brian if they catch you suggesting the servitude will be shut down for any reason.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Perhaps it’s many years of the the high levels of manganese in Hudson well water that makes the locals so negative and hard to present new ideas to. And I didn’t even mention the EcoTrolley to move those people around.

    Should we not actually have a plan and some eventual justification for installing real public toilets and some limited facilities at Jack Layton park? Or will we be always be a portajohn and bring you own Depends kind of place?

    While we’re Just Fixing It, whenever possible Hudson should become a happy party place full of fun, families and joy in groups of people. The only way to bring people together in a future is to actually get them together.

    What’s wrong is depressing Hudson, we need to bring some of what’s right back. Start thinking outside of the submerged box we’re living in.

    We maybe should have a private sailing school there too and maybe a water ski place. Get the non-yacht clubbers on the water. I’ve been in so many old Hudson homes with waterskiing, boating and sailing pictures that looked like real social fun.

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  3. Actually it’s not the manganese , Peter. Anyone who knows anything of chemistry will recognize cynicasese and sarcasium (119 and 120 periodic table) as the culprits. Even trace amounts in drinking water can cause horrid conditions of negativity.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonder how what are left of our existing restaurants would feel about having outside competition on prime weekends.
    My expensive water filter removes cynicasese and sarcasium (which of course would be radioactive) but lets through large amounts of hermitite.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wayne,

      Prime weekends the top local spots are usually full. And if you’ve got excess hermitite activity at Jack Layton Park won’t disturb you.

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  5. I’m just providing my event expettise here, not saying it’s a bad idea. I just wouldn’t want to see anyone loose money with this.

    1. The event needs to be for a charity so that the event can get an alcohol license. (Only way to get one in Quebec for an outdoor event) If you don’t have an alcohol license, you can’t promise your vendors to make money. Also, for a booze license, you need event insurance (very expensive) and security. (also very expensive)
    2. If you don’t gaurantee a certain volume of sales to the food trucks, they won’t come or it will cost you out of pocket. Ex: for a half day, the Smoked Mete Pete trucks needs a gauarantee of 2K in sales.
    3. Food trucks are mega busy in the summer with corporate, private, and special events. I doubt Hudson can compete with this.
    4. Love the idea of a local food competition involving local restaurants. Now we’re talking.
    5. How will you monetize the event to a) cover your costs b) pay for your expenses c) and make your vendors happy
    6. Sponsors would be a good idea. Just know it takes between 3-6 months to lock in sponsors and again, unless you gauarantee them a certain volume of attendance, it’ll be a rough go.
    7. Food trucks cost environmental issues, noise, and wear and tear (garbage, propane, etc.)

    Again, not trying to bash. Having done it myself, just trying to inform. I would suggest that food trucks is not the way to go for this event, at least not at the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Ian. Very valuable input.

    I’m just the idea guy, you can’t offend me with facts and good experience.

    I’m just tossing stuff out to see if we can get more positive community interaction and better use and awareness of public spaces. Maybe something will develop that brings fun to Hudson.

    There’s no money to lose, Hudson can’t fund it if it costs money.

    Your food competition sounds like a great idea. Maybe make it an amateur BBQ, Chili or Smoker competition or something that progresses through the summer with a best of each class cook-off Labour Day weekend when the Lake is full of sails.

    Maybe some local suppliers of BBQ’s can sponsor the event. Maybe some of the Montreal area restaurant schools could participate, who knows.

    We’ll see if there’s interest and anyone who can put it together.

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  7. As per my standard policy I sent this link to Hudson Council. Won’t say which, but have had three very positive and quick replies and one included comments to town employees to get some discussion rolling.

    Apparently they’re hungry for good ideas and food. Public thank-you to Council for listening.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You know I was getting confused on this issue. Didn’t read the small print. I unjustly accused Jim of the “Perfect Hudson summer Saturday w/gourmet food and local brew on the water” initiative. It wasn’t Jim……..it was Peter who wrote it! Snoozing again.
    I was ready to give it some serious attention and then Peter had to spoil it by saying 3 of our councillors loved the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brian, sorry I confused you. You’re saved, as on Facebook it was clearly stated that Hudson has a bylaw against Food Trucks. Appears we have a bylaw against most things these days, we must have bought the deluxe municipal boilerplate package.

      Jim brought nudists into the discussion, we surely have a bylaw against that. Nudity might attract crowds, but they probably won’t be walking around the village spending money.

      Jack Layton park is a wonderful place, Brian was a major contributor. I’d like to see it filled with people having fun in respectful joy. It’s the only public water access we own. At least I’ve got people discussing and talking. I was excited by the enthusiasm of young thirty somethings many of whom grew up here and are starting families.

      In another discussion somewhere, trying to define what is Hudson, I have referred to Hudson as:

      “Hudson is a place for generations” because a place that is home to three or four (any fives?) generations in the same town are just so rare today.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Glad I’m sitting out this round. Brian modestly doesn’t mention his role in making Jack Layton Park one of the few good things to have happened to Hudson in the past decade. Food trucks? Kayak rentals? Craft beer? I’m in. Because of Sandy Beach’s No Man’s Land status the SQ won’t get out of their cruisers. So anything goes on the beach. I’m surprised we haven’t seen nudists.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice of you to say,thank you Jim and Peter. It seemed a long road from Lucien Mallette to Jack Layton at the time but in fact was about 3 yrs. from the planning till the finish. Say what you want about Mike Elliot but he always moved more or less in a forward direction whether it was giving me carte blanche on the Park design or getting me off TPAC . We had our ups and downs but never let personal feelings hold back either initiative. In the initial stages of the Park a consultant EXP was in charge and brought in their own landscape architect . As I remember he envisioned an orchard down there which I thought wasn’t bad given Oka across the way. I had a series of stone walls mimicking the feel of waves rolling to shore and an agora/stone amphitheater . Originally some councillors wanted a bandstand. We had all the stone and fill on site (sewer project diggings) so in the interests of recycling my design got the nod. Approvals took 2 yrs. , construction 4 months.
    The big shaping (amphitheater) and parking lots and roads cost $190,000. The finished landscape plantings , stonework, furniture, hydro-seeding came in at $85,000. Remember that a few yrs. earlier the point was basically rebuilt with concrete walls removed and replaced by sloped large stone embankments to a cost of $250,000. So all in $525,000. The sculpture on the point was a freebie . I found it washed up on the shore , an old fisheries buoy. Derek Halbert said it was perfect ” Jack Layton as a Buoy”. This came under the heading Just Fix It , Peter and seemed old school Hudson working together.

    Liked by 4 people

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