Area food trailer park starts strong

City still evaluating whether to make location permanent

Prior to October, the City of Round Rock had no experience in regulating the region's growing food trailer industry. Public and private interest, however, convinced city officials in September to modify Round Rock's zoning regulations to allow a mobile food vendor park on a trial basis.

The Round Rock Food Trailer Park opened Oct. 1 at 500 N. Mays St. with 12 vendors offering foods ranging from cupcakes to Cajun.

"Business was really good at the start and they are still doing good, and they are pulling through and paying bills," said Round Rock Food Trailer Park Manager Shawn Faulk. Faulk is also the owner of Star Co. Coffeehouse & Cafe in Round Rock and a food truck in Austin.

"When [the food trucks] started, they did triple what [the owners] thought they were going to do, so they were really impressed," he said.

The city has kept a close eye on how the park is developing and fitting in with the surrounding area, said Brad Wiseman, Round Rock Development Services manager.

"We are still evaluating, but it seems to be popular, and there seems to be folks going to it," Wiseman said. "We have asked them to do some things to spruce it up from the street. ... They were real receptive to that to help it look more attractive."

The city's development agreement with Faulk allows the food trailer park to operate for a one-year trial period until September 2013. City Council will consider whether to permanently allow zoning for the park prior to the expiration of the current deal.

"It is too early to say [if the park will be permanently allowed] at this point," Wiseman said. "It definitely creates some interest in the area, so you have folks going there, which is good. It also brings people into the downtown. Its been a generator of bringing people into the area."

The park is currently at maximum capacity with 14 vendors. Faulk said he plans to reduce the total to 12 after two vendors leave in January.

"Everything is going well from the city's standpoint," Faulk said. "We had a meeting with the city, and they have gotten good feedback from the community. [City officials] said everything was going well, and they liked it."