Trucks curtail trade

February 05, 2018

Popular venture: The Shepparton Food Truck Festival ran in conjunction with the Federation Internationale de Volleyball World Tour event.

Bec Dennis.

A Shepparton cafe owner says the store’s trade reduced by an estimated 50 per cent during the weekend, which she says is a result of the Shepparton Food Truck Carnival at Victoria Park Lake.

The carnival, run on the same weekend as the Federation Internationale de Volleyball World Tour beach volleyball event, had dozens of food trucks come to the area as part of the Melbourne-based company.

Bec Dennis, part-owner of Friars Cafe in Shepparton’s Fryers St, said the business had expected a drop in business during the carnival.

‘‘It’s really affected our trade,’’ she said.

‘‘We always hope it’s going to be okay, but this weekend has been a lot quieter.’’

Mrs Dennis said while the carnival brought something ‘‘a little bit different’’ to Shepparton, it did not replace a local experience.

‘‘We employ local staff and everything we buy is local,’’ she said.

She said other events, such as major sporting events, had a much more positive effect in Shepparton.

‘‘If there is a tournament on like basketball or soccer, it’s really good for the town, people are spending money in the town and attending events,’’ she said.

Luke Hedger, the owner of Degani in Kialla’s Riverside Plaza, said business had been mostly steady during the weekend and that the festival did not seem to have too much of an impact.

‘‘It’s been a little bit quiet of a night time,’’ he said.

In Saturday’s News, Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Carl Hainsworth said local businesses should have been given priority to be part of the festival.

Cheeky Grog Co owner/operator Jenny Morey and Fryers Street Food Store and The Teller Collective part-owner Tracy Marsden voiced their concerns about the lack of support for local produce at the event.

A Greater Shepparton City Council spokesperson told The News the festival was an inclusive event and said interested local traders were welcome to apply and register with the The Food Truck Carnival Company.

The spokesperson said the event supported the community by providing economic support in other ways.

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