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The Treats Truck
A little more than two weeks after police pressure drove the Treats Truck out of Midtown, its owner, Kim Ima, is working overtime to ensure her business's survival. When she founded her mobile bakery in 2007, Ima became one of the first of the so-called gourmet food trucks to hit the streets. She earned a particularly enthusiastic following in Midtown, where she was an almost constant presence.
Ima's troubles, of course, are shared to some extent by the rest of her fellow truckers, who are also scrambling to adapt to the newly reinforced half-century-old law prohibiting commercial vending in parking spaces. But because the Treats Truck's income depends on selling a high volume of small-ticket items that are seen more as an indulgence than a necessity, its situation is particularly rocky. Ima certainly plans to stay in business. But, even with the new development of private food-truck courts, she's facing some pretty daunting challenges.
What's business been like since you left Midtown?
The real problem for me is that I sell cookies and brownies. I'm not selling you a full meal, so I need to be in a high-density area for lunchtime. My chocolate-chip cookies are a dollar, and so my sales right now, since I'm not there, are at a quarter of what they were. I'm making one-fourth of what I would make on a normal day. What I make in a day is what I would make in two hours at lunch. It's scary. Yesterday I made so little money between wasted product [and low sales]. I will keep doing it and figuring it out, but I can't do this for a year.More »