This is what retail is about – the United Way came up with a great one. Bravo for them.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON October 25, 2012  Awesome – a much overused word but it certainly applied to the several hundred people in the parking lot at 3425 Harvester Road at noon today.

The United Way was running a really novel idea – get a bunch of Food Trucks to park in one place and invite people to walk over for lunch – with 10% of the proceeds going to the United Way.  You would expect some people to show up – wouldn’t you.

When people get into lines this long – you know something is going on. The United Way came up with a great idea – put Food Trucks in parking lots and earn a portion of the revenue for the cause. Great idea – and it worked.

Some people – more than 300 people stood in line to buy lunch.  The Cup Cake Diner didn’t think the crowd would be all that large and because their product is good for just the day it is baked they arrived with enough product to last them for the first half hour of the two hour event.

The Cup Cake Diner sold out in half an hour

Gayle Cruikshank of Food for Thought, one of the United Way agencies came up with the idea as a way for the agencies served by the United Way to do their own thing to help with the fund raising.  Cruikshank had no idea the line ups would be like this.

When people eventually got to the front of the line – they found it was worth the wait. Yummy.

Mayor Goldring was on his way into city hall for a meeting and thought he’d drop by for lunch – the line ups were too long and he had to pass up on the chance to eat and help out.

Clearly Cruikshank and the United Way people are on to something.

Food Trucks are an “in” thing right now; a different approach to lunch.

Two food trucks were open for business in a parking lot. A third, Cup Cake Diner sold out within a half an hour.

Cruikshank would like to hold a couple more of these and thinks holding one in the downtown core would work very well.  There are other parking lots along Mainway that would work very well.  Parking five or six trucks in one location would ease the line ups and Cruikshank thinks John Street leading into city hall would work quite well.

They lined up for a premium grilled cheese sandwich.

The window of opportunity is pretty small – colder weather is close – but if they move swiftly – this could happen.  The folks at city hall that handle the paper to make things like this happen should be ready for applications.

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2 comments to This is what retail is about – the United Way came up with a great one. Bravo for them.

  • It was indeed a fantastic event…..but as we all know it does take a team to pull something like this off! I would like to thank the organizing team (Food for Life, Community Development Halton, Community Living Burlington, ROCK and the UW staff). I would also like to thank Angela Robinson from the City of Burlington who helped move the permits and requirements for the Food Trucks with lightning speed! It was great to mingle with people as food always brings the best out of people and opens all kinds of dialogue. The Food truck vendors were pleased with the event and they are going to spread the word of how many people came out to other trucks….. So next gig will be bigger, with less line ups. All around, great day….thanks everyone, take care and see some of you at the Rude Native for the fashion show on Sunday! On Saturday morning they are serving up pancakes and doing a treats in the streets for Halloween downtown….. businesses will give out candies for kids……My we live in a tremendous city don’t we!! Gayle

  • Gorilla Cheese was there????
    Dang, would’ve come!

    Editors note:
    Had you been reading Our Burlington faithfully – you would have known about the event.