For those who are interested, Manila Machine posted a response to my article on their blog yesterday. It misses the point of my post, and twists some of my words around, but in a one hour conversation I had with co-owner Nastassia yesterday apologizing to her for any grief I might have caused them and explaining my editorial in detail, I told her I would post any response they had and promote it with just as much vigor as I promoted my own words. But just for the record, I still stand by everything I wrote yesterday- and know that it is 100% true.
What I really wanted people to get out of my post yesterday was that running a profitable food truck is way more difficult than the media and food trucks themselves (who want to protect their reputations for future endeavors) would lead to you believe. As somebody who has spent the past 4+ years supporting so many of these new food trucks (both in New York and Los Angeles) I’ve read too many of these rosey, “closing to pursue other opportunities” PR announcements. Food truck owners need to realize that their actions effect the whole community of street food vendors, old and new. And if you’re considering jumping into the street food world for any other reason than to create a sustainable, long term food truck business, you should reconsider, because it ends up hurting those who rely entirely on their food trucks to pay their bills.
I know that Marvin & Nastassia didn’t get into the food truck business for the wrong reasons. The passion and love they brought to their food was clearly on display every single day, and it’s why I loved the truck from the beginning. In fact, as one of their biggest supporters, and somebody who wants to see great food trucks like the Manila Machine succeed, it’s their continued insistence to spin Friday’s announcement as “good news” (or a “wonderful end”) that makes me so sad.