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.