Perry Food Truck Friday affecting local businesses

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PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – For one Friday out of the month throughout summer, the streets of downtown Perry are packed with food trucks.  Hundreds come out to Food Truck Fridays, according to the city.

The amount of food truck vendors has doubled this year, from 15 to 30 trucks. Which means for some businesses  – double the trouble.

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“I want food truck to be successful for the coordinators and for the community. I want every event to be successful. I just feel like there’s a better way if we all come together so we can all better benefit if we can just get our officials to listen,” Sugar Plum owner Juli Waller said.

Sugar Plum has been in Perry for more than 40 years. Waller says it’s the longest running business downtown, but with the Food Truck Friday’s back for its second year it’s not impacting her business the way she hoped it would.

“We are down as of the first weekend in May, that First Friday sales versus this Friday when we had Food Truck Friday, we were down 76-percent. In the month of April, we were down 90-percent for Food Truck Friday,” Waller said.



She says she loves the concept of Food Truck Friday, but she’s asked the city multiple times, not to place vendors in front of her store.

City Manager Lee Gilmour says they’re still in the early stages of coordinating by seeing what works and what doesn’t for the event.

“When you have a situation like that you’re always going to have a mix bag. Some are for, some are against, more are kind of neutral, but any time we can make some sort of accommodation that works for our businesses then we’ll try to do that,” Gilmour said.

Megan Brent, owner of The Perfect Pair, says Food Truck Friday’s is the event she’s been waiting for. She says it’s great marketing for people to see her restaurant.

“We don’t want to be a ghost town. This is what it’s all about. We are unique and we want not just the folks in Georgia, but all those traveling down I-75 and all over the country to see what Perry has to offer,” Brent said.

Gilmour says some of the concerns reported are food smells in businesses and street closures while food trucks set up. He says the city is working hard to find a solution to please all businesses.