FoodStart Fundraiser kicks off today!

Greetings and salutations!

As you may or may not know, my husband and I have dreamed of opening a gastropub one day. A nice cozy place with soft lights, the works of local artists adorning deep wine colored walls as patrons lounge and listen to a poet or up and coming musician play. Other nights guests enjoy sampling new wines, coffee and food that may soon grace a seasonally changing menu while hearing how wine or coffee is made or taking part in a cooking lesson with their significant other. Still other nights college students, families or groups of friends out on the town scream and yell and jump up and down as they compete for prizes on trivia nights or local groups gather to contemplate the ideas and interests that have brought their members together. All while enjoying freshly made favorite dishes from their homeland and deliciously unique combinations of comfort fusion cuisine.

Well, everything has a beginning and Comfy Confections is the start of our dream gastropub. It is our intention to join the food truck fervor and expand into The Comfy Cafe food truck in 2014. Of course we’ll need your help to make it happen so check out our campaign page on FoodStart and all the perks and rewards we’re offering for getting on board with us and please, spread the word. Help us make our dream a reality!

 

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Change is afoot!

Good morrow fair people.. ok I’ll stop ūüėČ

I hope everyone has had a safe and happy holiday season. 2014 looks to be the year of change for Comfy Confections. As you can see above we are now The Comfy Cafe. The reason for this change is that by May of this year we hope to be able to serve our delicious international comfort food to the masses as a fully licensed food entity operating out of a commercial kitchen and on our way to our transformation from booth to food truck!

In the meantime, while we will still be making and selling our delicious desserts at Ybor City Saturday Market, we will also be adding more savory items to the menu. Our pretzels will be making a return along with their cousins, the pretzel bite and pretzel roll, to enjoy with some yummy dips. We will also be experimenting with donut making and best of all, we  are pleased to announce the coming of freshly made pasta! Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Lasagna will soon be available in Semolina, wheat and gluten free in 1lb packages with more shapes coming soon.

Watch this space for more details. We’ll see you January 18th!

Let’s hear it for the Food Truck!

Ye olde food wagon

The American food truck has been around since the days of the Texas chuck wagon back in the late 1800s. ¬†For a while the general perception was that a person would have to be crazy to eat from a “roach coach” as they have been so unaffectionately called however a recent surge in popularity has made the food truck the latest trend in gastronomy. ¬†In most major cities around the country food trucks, owned and operated by trained chefs and foodies alike, provide diners on the street with everything from plain fare like pizza and burgers ¬†to gourmet delights from around the world including falafels¬†in New York, Baklava in DC, Crepes in Los Angeles and Brisket in Orlando.

While some restauranteurs have gotten wise to this growing trend and see food trucks as a way to expand their establishments, many others cry foul and have gone out of their way to block food trucks from moving into their neighborhoods citing unfair competition.  Some have even used their clout with Chambers of Commerce to influence local laws which either ban food trucks completely or make it virtually impossible for these budding entrepreneurs to do business.

In my opinion, the one thing these restaurants who have been complaining have in common is bad customer service and an uninspired menu but it’s easier to blame the new guy who offers an exciting variety of cuisine to the bored consumer’s palate than to accept fault for their own failings and try to do something constructive to rectify it.

As you may already be able to tell, I am an avid fan of the food truck industry and hope to start one myself, on the way to eventually establishing a cafe or gastropub, and have done tons of research on the subject over the years.  The following are popular misconceptions about food trucks:

You can’t trust food that comes from a food truck!

Food from a truck is no more risky than food from a restaurant. ¬†Food trucks are held to the same rigorous health standards and regulations as eating establishments that stand still and are subject to the same amount of inspections, if not more so. These days many owner/operators are trained chefs who just don’t have the collateral to open a brick and mortar place. ¬†In frequenting a food truck you’re putting money into the pocket of a budding entrepreneur and helping your local economy!

Food trucks have a better advantage than restaurants!

I feel like getting a taco YEAH!

Sorry but not so much, if that was the case more restaurants would be jumping ship to join the mobile ranks.  Operating a food truck means dealing with laws, some unfair, that limits operating times, parking areas, how long a truck can stay put at any given spot and how they can attract business.  Food truck business also depends on the weather and in many cities food trucks cannot park within 200-1000 feet of an established restaurant!

Food trucks don’t pay rent or taxes!

Actually, thanks to the ordinances in place that regulate food truck movement, many have to resort to setting up in private lots or areas where they do, in fact, have to pay to use.  They also have to pay for permits and a license like any other business which of course means paying state and federal taxes.

Food trucks don’t give back to the community!

Every time a food truck enters a neighborhood, God kills a kitten!

Nonsense! Not only is contributing to the community good for business (people like knowing the business they frequent is philanthropic:) but it’s just common sense. ¬†You’ll find most food trucks get their goods and supplies from local vendors, which again helps boost the local economy, take part in charitable events and even donate food to local food banks at the end of the day. ¬†Also bear in mind that through social media, food trucks tend to generate traffic from people traveling from other cities, counties and sometimes even states. ¬†When permitted food trucks can establish themselves on the streets or in parking lots of strip malls with empty spaces, generating extra traffic and revenue for the businesses still operating in those malls.

Let them eat CREPES!

Due to the hostility food trucks have faced, many have organized into groups around the country working together to form truck parks, food festivals and to unify in their fight against unfair ordinances, laws and practices being established through efforts by frightened and uninformed business owners and politicians.  So the next time you see or hear about a food truck in your area, check it out and if you would like to see food truck culture in your neighborhood, tell your local politicians or chamber of commerce to lighten up and embrace the revolution!

Chow for now.