HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Mayor Toby Barker signed a new ordinance for food trucks Thursday after it was passed by the City Council on Tuesday. The ordinance increases opportunities and adjusts requirements to make operating in the city easier for food truck owners.
Kyle Bass, owner and chef of Art of Roux, started culinary school in the Pine Belt, spent time working and furthering his skills in Austin, Texas. Now, he is home in Hattiesburg operating a food truck.
Bass said he has a passion for food and businesses and wants to see Hattiesburg grow in those areas.
“I want this to be a cool place to live and I want it to be an awesome place to visit, you know,” Bass said. “Being born and raised here, and anybody that’s from here and has been here can tell you that there’s a lot of untapped potential here, and I just had it in my head, ‘What’s a small way that I could help?’”
City planning division manager Ginger Lowry said she hopes the new ordinance encourages more chefs to set up trucks in the Hub City.
“Well we hope to see more food trucks and it’s also making the system a lot better for existing food trucks,” Lowrey said. “We were under an old transient vendor ordinance that doesn’t really meet the modern need of modern food trucks. So the new ordinance will cover year-round and will cover more locations.”
“Having the year-round permit is massive,” Bass said. “You know because it used to be just six months and that’s an immediate turnoff for anybody that wants to operate a business.”
The ordinance also allows food trucks to operate in more areas.
“This expands business to any business zone rather than just a few,” Lowrey said. “It also opens up industrial zones and potentially multi-family locations as well.”
Bass said he hopes this inspires chefs to start their own trucks and he welcomes some friendly competition.
“The opportunities are endless, so I mean I think it’s huge,” Bass said. “I just, I want people to look at me and say, ‘I can do that – and I can do it better than him!’”
Art of Roux is currently located at the Southern Prohibition Brewery in Downtown Hattiesburg.