Nanny State

Chicago Cupcake Crackdown

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a threat to civilization as we know it.

In today's WSJ, a tale of back alley cupcake sales in the Windy City: Slammed with a $275 dollar ticket for selling cupcakes out of a van, one food entrepreneur is on the lam.

Ms. Kurtz, a 41-year-old entrepreneur who quit her corporate marketing job recently to launch Flirty Cupcakes, told her fans to meet her in the alley. "It was like a drug deal," she says. "I said, 'Just take them and run."'

Unlike other cities, where chefs are free to actually cook inside their trucks, Chicago chefs can't unwrap or alter the food in any way once it's on a truck. And food trucks aren't allowed to park within 200 feet of a restaurant. Such roadblocks have kept all but a few chefs from taking to the streets—even as the food trucks fight to change the rules.

Take note of the sentence in bold. In many cities where food trucks and flourishing—including Washington, D.C.— restauranters are siding against the mobile vendors, and using law enforcement to eliminate the competition:

The City Council is currently considering some changes in food-truck laws. Brick-and-mortar restaurants are fighting the mobile insurgency, chasing trucks from their street fronts, calling police and snapping photos of the vendors in hopes of catching them illegally parked.

Holly Sjo, owner of The Cupcake Counter, a year-old downtown shop, called the cops when she spotted Ms. Kurtz parked near her business in a spot she believed to be illegal.

"She seems to only park next to other people's cupcake shops," Ms. Sjo says.

Ms. Kurtz denies the accusation. "I would never want to do that to another cupcake business," she says.

Food truck operator Matt Maroni has the right idea:

"Just step up your game," he says. "McDonald's doesn't ask Burger King if they can open up across the street."

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  1. This is nothing that hefty permit fees, sensitivity classes (operated by a company headed by the mayor’s brother-in-law), and some zoning restrictions can’t fix.

  2. When they’ve come for the cupcake vendors, all hope is lost….

  3. Also, I find the illustration delightful. When I die, I want it to be at the…hands?…of a giant cupcake monster.

    1. The form of the destructor has been chosen.

  4. In many cities where food trucks and flourishing ? including Washington, D.C. ? restauranters are siding against the mobile vendors, and using law enforcement to eliminate the competition[.]

    And so it has been, since the times of the Sherman Act onwards. Whaddya think Law and Government are for???

  5. “Just step up your game,” he [Matt Maroni] says. “McDonald’s doesn’t ask Burger King if they can open up across the street.”

    Not yet…

    1. Only because it’s two giant corporations that could care less about two itty bitty franchises in Bumfuggle Corners, Iowa. But one restaurant using the law to stop another opening up across the street (or even in the same town) happens all the time.

      I’ve had personal experience with this when a city councilman and restaurant owner blocked a friend from opening a brewpub. Thankfully the brewpub got opened, and the councilman got voted out of office (and subsequently saw his restaurant wither away).

    2. McDonald spends a lot of money studying whether a location can support a franchise. Other restaurant corporations freeride on that and build next to or across from McDonalds.

      1. My favorite fast food sign was at a Wendy’s, across the street from a McDonald’s: “If you want frozen meat, go across the street.”

    3. “Just step up your game,” he [Matt “McDonald’s doesn’t ask Burger King if they can open up across the street.”

      In Los Angeles, they have to ask the elected princes.

  6. Imagine, businesses located wherever customers are to be found. Chaos! Madness!

    1. I expect a Fatty to take the side of the cupcake vendor.

  7. After spending a good deal of time in China, I was struck how, in many small ways, they are more ‘capitalist’ than we are. Starting a small business here gives you indigestion and sleepless nights, starting a business there just requires an idea and some capital. (and a knowledge of who to pay off if necessary)

    1. Same here, it’s just your list of people to pay off is much, much longer.

      1. That is the price we pay for civilization.

  8. I saw one of these Flirty Cupcake vans doing business parked in front of City Hall last week, within 200 feet of several non-cupcake restaurants. And there are always cops in front of Chicago City Hall. So I’d assume that she’s only getting in trouble when people complain.

  9. “She seems to only park next to other people’s cupcake shops,” Ms. Sjo says.

    My heart bleeds for you.

  10. “Just step up your game,” he says. “McDonald’s doesn’t ask Burger King if they can open up across the street.”

    Yes, but McDonalds has to buy land across the street from BK, rather than just taking an empty parking space. A big part of the food service business is simply getting people to come to your place of business, and if a food truck is parking right next to another restaurant, they’re leeching off the restaurant’s ability to draw customers.

    Holly Sjo, owner of The Cupcake Counter, a year-old downtown shop, called the cops when she spotted Ms. Kurtz parked near her business in a spot she believed to be illegal.
    Ms. Kurtz denies the accusation. “I would never want to do that to another cupcake business,” she says.

    That’s easy enough to verify — check the police report. If she was parked there, that means Mrs. Kurtz is lying. It would not be plausible to blame it on coincidence, since I seriously doubt there are many blocks with cupcake shops on them.

    1. Oops, that was me.

      1. According to Gawker, Tulpa’s password is Facebook. Or Facebook’s password is Tulpa. I didn’t actually read the story in morning links.

      2. I don’t go to a restaurant to be lured away by a vendor in a van. At best, the restaurant was the only convenient dining establishment and therefore I went there. The van then provided another convenient dining establishment, hence I compared and started buying from the van. At worst, I simply knew where the van would be and went there, and it happened to be near a similar dining establishment. If the van came to my place of work, I wouldn’t even have to go near the other place.

        Having said that, Vans can be kicked off premises (read parking lots) by the owner of the restaurant. But just because its nearby isn’t a violation of anything.

        1. “I don’t go to a restaurant to be lured away by a vendor in a van.”

          DAMMIIT. THERE GOES MY “FREE CANDY” VAN ATTEMPTS. AND OH, YES. EVEN THOUGH IT’S NEARBY, THERE WILL BE VIOLATIONS.

          THERE WILL BE.

          1. “Hey kids, want to come to my rape van? I have candy, a puppy, and an XBox! And rape!”

            1. You had me sold at rape…

      3. “Oops, that was me.

        We could tell by nonsensical argument.

    2. Oh noes, competition! Please explain how anyone is “leeching” anything. This ought to be fascinating.

      1. If they weren’t leeching, they wouldn’t just happen to show up outside a restaurant selling the same thing.

        If you park in a random spot in Washington, there’s probably less than a 0.1% chance you’re near a cupcake shop.

        1. You noticeably didn’t define what was being leeched, of course. Because there isn’t anything being leeched.

          1. I think you need to read my original post again. “leeching” occurs within a phrase that makes quite explicit what is being leeched.

            1. Businesses leech customers all the time, because they provide a better or cheaper service by having a better business model. No one is guaranteed success. Vans vs. foundation restaurants are no different.

              The only risk is vans don’t necessarily have health and safety checks to be allowed to stay in business (given their ability to roam) whereas restaurants that aren’t paying someone off do. So the risk of food poisoning may be slightly lower in a fixed restaurant, but there’s no guarantee. Eh, I’ve had many successful tasty meals from the back of a van, so I’m sure I’m biased.

            2. No, I want you to explain exactly what is being “leeched”. You’re sidestepping because you can’t.

              1. I think Tulpa has defined leeched as “competition” and anti-leeching as “rent seeking”. Further clarification is unecessary.

              2. For people who purport to be pro-enterprise, you guys seem to have little idea of what it takes to be successful in any service industry. The first rule is you have to get the potential customers to come to your shop or your website or whatever the nexus between your business and customers is going to be. Whole volumes of marketing studies have addressed the best ways to do this. *That* is what food trucks that set up shop next to restaurants serving the same type of food are leeching.

            3. No, they are showing up selling a better product. Even if you are parked in front, I am only going to buy your cupcake if it is better or cheaper than the one I can get inside. Again, it is just called competition.

              1. They’re only cheaper because of the difference in overhead for operating out of a truck vs. operating out of a building.

                1. I could give two fucks why they’re cheaper.

                2. brilliant!!!

                  we should all be operating out of vans then!

                  1. If everyone was operating out of vans, then there wouldn’t be any particular place for those yearning for cupcakes to go.

                    1. I’m pretty sure the twitterverse would be able to feed potential cupcake locations to its sweet tooth customers..along with facebook, the google and many other media, or maybe, just maybe, cupcakes could be delivered to my house, thus I wouldn’t even need to travel to enjoy such tasy treats.

                    2. What’s stopping this from happening now?

                    3. It is happening now. That is how many food trucks let their customers know where they are.

                      I would respond more, but its covered in the other thread on this exact same thing from earlier today/yesterday. In true PM questions fashion, I refer you to the answer I gave some moments (meaning that other thread) ago.

                    4. Wouldn’t they just go to the vans?

  11. Cops and cupcakes go together, well, like cops and doughnuts.

  12. food trucks aren’t allowed to park within 200 feet of a restaurant.

    I’d love to hear the rationalization for that. I doubt the restaurants are going to want to argue that being within 200 feet of most restaurant kitchens is, in and of itself, a health risk.

    I saw one of these Flirty Cupcake vans doing business parked in front of City Hall last week, within 200 feet of several non-cupcake restaurants. And there are always cops in front of Chicago City Hall.

    I would say the odds of cops chasing off a cupcake van that is convenient for them, personally, is very low.

    1. there is no argument. Its rent seeking pure and simple. I only wonder if there is an equivalent law regarding similar food item restaurants being located within 200feet of each other?

    2. I’d prefer food trucks over brick & mortar food establishments because there is less likelihood of a rodent problem at the food truck.

  13. The food truck concept is “a quaint idea,” says Dan Rosenthal, owner of Sopraffina Marketcaffe, a chain of Italian restaurants in Chicago. “But when you get right down to it, it creates an unlevel playing field.”

    Sort of like computers created an unlevel playing field with typewriters, cell phones created an unlevel playing field with land lines, and fiberglass created an unlevel playing field with asbestos.

    The established must be protected! Innovation is scary! We can’t compete with their wheels and such!

    1. Not even remotely comparable. The food trucks aren’t doing anything more useful or advanced than the restaurants they park near are doing; they’re just siphoning away the customers the restaurant draws.

      1. What about another brick and mortar restaurant opening across from another already established restaurant? Are they stealing or leeching away people from the established restaurant? Why should that be permitted but food trucks aren’t? Should we have only 1 restaurant per square mile or some such rule?

        1. And what about the opposing Starbucks directly across the street from each other. Is the corporation trying to steal from itself!?!?

          1. This is a special case: it proves that the end times are upon us.

        2. They have the same costs due to operating out of a building that the original restaurant does.

          1. There is no guarantee that the cost of running a food truck (overhead) is lower than running a food establishment out of a building. There is no guarantee that the supply/demand risk is lower operating out of a food truck. In fact, I could think of dozens of reasons where running the business out of a truck is more expensive/risky (ignoring the legal risk) than running the business out of a building.

            More importantly, I can’t even understand why the city even gives a flying fuck about one method versus the other. The hypothetical “loss” in property taxes on the permanent structure can easily be offset by the increase in other taxes and fees on the mobile business.

            1. I’m extremely anxious to hear your reasoning for how operating out of a truck is more expensive. Surely if there are dozens of reasons, you wouldn’t mind sharing the three most significant ones.

              1. risk = cost.

                In that regard, the store has no risk of auto repairs, no risk of auto accidents, no risk of traveling liability, etc.

                Significance is in the eye of the beholder.

                Certain businesses are a rather stupid idea to run out of a truck, like a hardware store. Certain business are a rather stupid idea to run out of fixed real estate, like a cupcake store.

      2. Good god man, you mean food trucks aren’t serving food in a convenient way? I’ve been doing extra work to get tasty tacos. My world is turned upside down!?

        1. There’s no gained convenience if they’re parked in front of a shop that sells the same thing.

          Food trucks are fine for selling food where it would be unprofitable to have a brick and mortar restaurant. That’s a niche that can only be exploited by mobile eateries.

          My fairness concerns pop up when they set up shop right next to another restaurant. Again, I don’t advocate coercive remedies, but still think they’re douches if they do that.

          1. So they’re douches. And if they steal business from the business they’re parked next to they are successful douches. Just like WalMart.

            I am glad you don’t advocate coercive remedies.

          2. My fairness concerns pop up when they set up shop right next to another restaurant.

            This is just silly.

            “Wah! I’ve made a big investment in aggregating eyeballs to my restaurant site, and those guys have showed up and taken those eyeballs away!” Too fucking bad.

            To convince me that was unfair, you’d have to convince me that you have a property interest in the preferences of others – that once you attract them, you own them.

            1. Whoa whoa whoa. You’re talking about the standard for illegality, not the standard for unfairness.

              1. —“You’re talking about the standard for illegality, not the standard for unfairness.”—

                Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear a complaint about fairness, I pretty much assume I’m about to get fucked somehow.

                1. No need to assume that. You are dead on.

      3. The people who buy from the wagons are not the building-based restaurant’s customers. They are potential customers who decided to spend their money elsewhere.

        They are, to be explicit, free individuals who do not in any way belong to the restaurant. The restaurant has no property interest in these people whatsoever.

        Surely this is obvious?

        1. So, the people looking to buy cupcakes just happened to be walking around on the sidewalk in front of a cupcake shop. Just a coincidence, right?

          1. I don’t know about you, but I rarely go out of my way for a cupcake unless there is something particularly special about said cupcake and then I doubt I’ll be persuaded to buy a different cupcake when I’m there. Now, if I happened to be wandering by and thought a cupcake would be nice, it might be nice to have two options, but then its always nice to have multiple choices.

            The only thing that could be considered douchy is taking up parking spaces for potential customers. Then again, I doubt this story is as simple as that.

          2. Of course not. But that does not matter.

            I repeat: the restaurant has no property interest in those potential or former customers. None. Not even a little bit.

            If the customer wants cheaper or faster and is willing to stand in the weather for it that’s tough luck.

            If they want to sit down, linger over a hot drink out of the cold or avail themselves of a wide menu selection they’ll come inside.

            Differential costs are immaterial; who was there first is immaterial; where the buyer has been in the past may be immaterial (or not, depends on the person). That’s capitalism for you.

      4. Hey Tulpa! So what? Is there something inherently awesome about brick and mortar restaurants that they need to be sheltered from the competition of food trucks? You could make the same argument that a Mexican restaurant opening next to a Japanese restaurant might draw customers away, even though it’s not doing anything more useful or advanced. Such is the nature of competition!

      5. Hmm, maybe the restaurants can respond by starting up their own food trucks?

        I have a soft spot for the roach coaches from my time in the shipyards.

      6. “they’re just siphoning away the customers the restaurant draws”

        So? Does a restaurant automatically OWN a customers’ wallet contents, like Rs and Ds think *they* own the votes of people headed to the polls every two years?

        IMO, this is much about nothing. The whole premise of banning these trucks is bullshit, unless they’re selling tainted food products.

        1. I never said they should be banned.

          I only advocated boycotts and creative ways to block the trucks from parking.

          1. I didn’t say YOU advocated banning them, Tulpa.

          2. You failed to insert SLDs anywhere in your post.

            To be FAIR, if you dont and you start talking about “unfairness”, Im going to assume you are supporting the laws.

            Personally, its business, I dont see how it is unfair at all. I dont think Amazon had an unfair advantage on Barnes & Noble either.

            Plus, I assume cupcake places would clump, like antiques or hats or hammock districts.

            1. if you dont and you start talking about “unfairness”, Im going to assume you are supporting the laws.

              That’s a bit presumptuous, no? I’m not going to change the way I express myself to satisfy your warped perception of the meaning of words, however understandable the reason for that warping may be.

      7. I didn’t know restaurants were owed people’s money. The food trucks are doing something more useful than the restaurants; they can bring the food to where the customers are, rather than have the customers come to the food.

      8. But, they are doing something more useful. They have a lower overhead and therefore can offer me a cupcake at a lower cost. Spending less is something I’m very interested in. Lowering overhead costs is something every competent business owner is interested in.

      9. Tulpa is one of those people who is completely the prisoner of the business models he grew up observing.

        Because “restaurants” are the only model he knows, people who open “restaurants” are entitled to prevent people from competing with them while making a lower capital investment than “restauranteurs”.

        It’s just not fair that someone devised a less capital-intensive way to deliver the same product. That’s “cheating”.

        1. Actually, I’ve eaten out food trucks quite frequently in my life, you presumptuous douche. Above I stated that they fill a niche when they travel to places where it would be unprofitable to operate a permanent restaurant, like construction sites and schools and such.

          Food trucks have been around for decades, by the way — if they were a viable replacement for brick and mortar restaurants that revolution would have happened already.

          1. …if they were a viable replacement for brick and mortar restaurants that revolution would have happened already.

            Then I guess your outsized concern for protecting restaurants from competition isn’t necessary. Right?

            1. Specifically targeting the locations of existing restaurants is a new tactic.

              1. No it isnt.

                That has been going on since the first business existed.

                1. Get off my corner, bitch!

  14. Chicago Cupcake Crackdown

    At first I thought this was going to be an article about Rahm Emanuel.

  15. For the record, I don’t think the govt should be stopping the food trucks from parking where they want, but it is an extremely douchey move on the part of the food truck operators. I’d be all for restaurants using creative, non-coercive means for blocking the food trucks, though. Maybe have employees fill up all the spots in front of the restaurant before the times when you get busy (of course then you’re screwing your customers too).

    1. Competition: An “Extremely Douchey Move”

      1. I smell a Michael Moore film a brewin…

      2. This is unfair competition. It should not be forbidden, but it should be boycotted and have other non-coercive penalties applied to it.

        Guess what happens to the cupcake truck after the cupcake shop it parks in front of goes out of business and gets replaced with a boarded up building?

        1. What the fuck is “unfair competition”? There is no such thing.

          Congratulations, you’ve graduated to making shit up out of thin air. I’m so proud of you.

          1. but but….the chineses

          2. What the fuck is “unfair competition”?

            It appears to mean “an entrenched interest is getting its clock cleaned”, but I could be wrong…

          3. What the fuck is “unfair competition”?

            It appears to mean “an entrenched interest is getting its clock cleaned”, but I could be wrong…

        2. Ummmm….the cupcake truck owner buys the building for a song and expands his/her operations?

        3. What the fuck is unfair about it? If I wanted to by a cupcake from a truck today, I’d have to stand outside in sub-zero weather and 20 mph winds. Or I could go INSIDE a heated cupcake shop.

          The cupcake may cost ten cents more inside the store, but I am paying for the convenience of getting out of the cold.

          Chicago 1879: Those goddamn cupcake stores are unfair competition to the horse-and-buggy cupcake sellers with their clean floors and fancy eatin’ tables. There ought to be a law against them there goddamn “restaurant” things.

          1. And the cupcake truck person can just decide not to show up today and leave their truck in the garage, so as to save on energy costs. The brick and mortar shop doesn’t have that option; they have store hours to keep, employees to pay, and they can’t just shut off the heat to the building lest the pipes freeze.

            1. Which means that they are reliably present and comfortable for the customers giving them an advantage over the vans.

              How can the vans advantages be unfair and the building based vendor’s be “just the way things are”?

              Answer: They can’t. The market will decide if one business model serves better than the other (or perhaps that both are useful).

              1. Which means that they are reliably present and comfortable for the customers giving them an advantage over the vans.

                Have you ever been a “backup date”, EWOTBM? That’s the status you’re relegating the cupcake shop to. It’s obviously not a profitable status.

                1. ::sigh::

                  No, I haven’t.

                  If—if—the customers prefer a cheep, fast, cold-n-windy cupcake experience then they have relegated the shop to second place.

                  And that is OK. Sucks for the shop owner, of course, but it makes the van owner pretty happy. And it makes the cupcake eater happy, too.

                  1. Are we talking about Barrow, Alaska or downtown DC here? Most days of the year it’s not unpleasant to be outside in populated places.

            2. The brick and mortar shop doesn’t have that option

              A typewriter does not have the advantage of FireFox. Does this make computers unfair competition to the typewriter?

              1. Is anything preventing a typewriter manufacturer from expanding their product line to also make computers?

              2. Firefox is an added feature that the customer can use, making computers inherently more powerful than typewriters.

                Being able to leave the food truck in the garage is not a feature that customers can use.

        4. It goes to the cupcake shop that wasn’t run so badly that it couldn’t leverage the inherent advantages of having an actual building?

    2. I’m not sure it’s a “douchey” move to exploit the weakness of a competitor.

      Next thing you know, people will hate Walmart. And Whole Foods.

      1. I hate WalMart.

      2. I hate Wal Mart

  16. “She seems to only park next to other people’s cupcake shops”

    “Cupcake shop.” Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

  17. Our job is to insure that domestic tranquility prevails. Where there is competition only disorder can follow, and that is counter to the greater good of public safety.

  18. God, opening up some guerilla cupcake shop seems to be the fall-back career for every laid off PR/Marketing skank. “Oh, wow. I totally have to pay off this boob job and I got laid off for a hotter version of me…I KNOW I’LL BAKE CUPCAKES BEST IDEA EVAR. And my sorority sisters will help me market! OMG I USED TO BE IN MARKETING!!! YAY!!!!” *shoots self in the face*

    1. I’m on to you, Lepus. You just want a glut market of cheap call girls. Creeps like you are what makes this job worthwhile.

  19. OH MY GAWD I’LL GIVE PEACE OFFICER FREE CUPCAKES THEN HE’LL LET ME DO WHAT I WANT *unbuttons blouse and jumps up and down* DID I MENTION I WAS IN MARKETING?? *chugs sugar-free Red Bull*

    1. Before we get started on that, I have to ask, you are aware of what this stick is really for, right?

  20. The horror! The horror!

    1. Your cupcake-making methods are…unsound.

  21. you guys seem to have little idea of what it takes to be successful in any service industry.

    says the tenured college professor.

    1. I know, right? I shouldn’t be the one lecturing you guys about this subject.

      Do you deny that a service business needs to draw customers to their point of sale before they can do business?

      1. If a van draws them away, then they suck at it.

  22. Not Safe for Work:

    http://www.bitoffun.com/weird_…..pcakes.jpg

    I can’t believe no one’s posted this yet, given the subject matter.

  23. If this keeps up, I’m tellin’ that lazy husband of mine to send in the National Guard. These bastards are selling poison that could wind up in the mouths of Our Children.

  24. Guess what happens to the cupcake truck after the cupcake shop it parks in front of goes out of business and gets replaced with a boarded up building?

    I give up; what?

    1. I give the cupcake shop stimulus money from My Personal Stash.

    2. A Walmart. Or a Whole Foods. Definately not some stupid hipster museum.

  25. You know who else didn’t like street vendors….

    1. Learn the words.

      //thought you said street performers…

  26. Guess what happens to the cupcake truck after the cupcake shop it parks in front of goes out of business and gets replaced with a boarded up building?

    (1) The truck stays where it is. Why not?

    (2) The truck moves to the next cupcake shop on its never-ending search and destroy mission?

    (3) The truck goes wherever it thinks it can get more customers?

    1. (1) and (3) are pretty unlikely, as the reason the truck parked there was because cupcake buyers were already coming to that location. I doubt there are enough cupcake shops around to make (2) a viable option either.

      1. By your contention the cupcake addicts abandoned the shop to patronize the van. If the van stays around why wouldn’t they keep coming?

  27. Do you deny that a service business needs to draw customers to their point of sale before they can do business?

    I do not deny this; why should I?

    What does this have to do with claiming an existing business has some exclusive “right” to customers wandering down the sidewalk?

    1. I’ll give you this, P Brooks, your eschewing of the comment nesting system allows you to misrepresent the context of other people’s comments. Maybe that’s a good strategy.

      Assuming it’s just an honest mistake, you should go back and read your comment that I was responding to.

  28. “Just step up your game,” he says. “McDonald’s doesn’t ask Burger King if they can open up across the street.”

    That’s kind of funny considering almost all fast food joints rely on McD’s locations to place their own. McD puts a ton of money into research for locations and everyone just follows them.

    1. Demographics is hard!

      Let’s go shopping!

    2. I’d think the attractiveness of a fast food location would take a nosedive when there’s already a McDonalds nearby.

      1. And you are wrong. People dont want to eat at McDs every day, so if there is a cluster of 5 fast food places, lunch is handled for every business day. Ta Da!

  29. Why do we you automatically believe the cupcake lady is intentionally targeting brick and mortar cupcake competitors?

    It is entirely possible that a downtown pedestrian office-worker population is only present in a fairly concentrated area.

    1. We’re talking about Washington, DC, not Paducah. The downtown ain’t exactly small; just happening to show up next to a cupcake shop is not plausibly ascribable to coincidence.

  30. It’s just not fair that someone devised a less capital-intensive way to deliver the same product. That’s “cheating”.

    Not only that, the proprietors of these gypsy feedbags are obviously antisocial hedonists who want to deny the right of their betters to regulate them.

  31. “She seems to only park next to other people’s cupcake shops,” Ms. Sjo says.

    Ms. Sjo, I understand that Ms. Kurtz seems to be taking away from your business that comes into your shop and it seems to be a conflict of interest. Two similar businesses seeking to supply comparable products is bound to clash when it comes to the profit and loss of your corporation.

  32. Assuming it’s just an honest mistake

    Wait, what?

    You are the one who accused the great unwashed masses of not understanding marketing (or something), Professor.

    You also veered off into the weeds at a high rate of speed, nattering about “predatory” guerrilla marketers who unfairly “poach” customers from the poor oppressed (and stationary) brick-and-mortar competition.

    And, as long as we’re on the topic of reading comprehension, I feel it only fair to point out that the story is set in Chicago, not Washington.

    1. Chicago has a large downtown too.

      Since you agree with my point that service businesses have to attract customers, it’s odd you continue to denigrate me as a professor who knows nothing about business — the original post I was responding to.

  33. Tulpa, this has to be one of stupidest positions, if not the stupidest position, I’ve ever seen you argue on this blog.

  34. There are street vendors in DC other than dirty water hot dog and half smoke carts? Coudl have fooled me! Or, at least none of them are in the Foggy Bottom area.

  35. Food trucks cannot be seized for eminent domain, and therefor must be shut down.

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