Healthy Heavenly Foods, one of three food trucks formerly located in front of Sproul Plaza, reopened on Bancroft Way and College Avenue on Monday after being shut down for seven months due to construction on Lower Sproul Plaza, which started in December.
The other two food trucks, Kettle Corn Star and Dojo Dog, are still negotiating with the city about the new terms that the city has presented them with in order to operate at the new location.
Some owners of the food trucks, as well as Councilmember Kriss Worthington, claim that the terms of the contract have changed since their original date, because they say they are no longer promised a return to their original location at Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way in two years’ time. Instead, owners say the trucks are to stay at the new location for two and a half years.
Ann Vu, owner of Healthy Heavenly Foods, said that the original location of her truck brought her business more profit than her new location does — she estimates two to three times the number of people would pass by the Sproul Plaza area. Despite this issue, Vu said she is OK with the location but wants an extended contract.
“I’m still worried because the terms (of the contract) are not nice,” Vu said. “The other trucks are negotiating with the city, but I had to sign because I need the money. I have to work.”
Jack Huynh, the owner of Kettle Corn Star, wants to be able to operate at the new location but return to Sproul Plaza when the construction is completed.
“We aren’t asking for compensation from the city but only for them to allow us to work and operate at our original location,” Huynh said. “We want them to work with us so that we can have the best conditions for a food enterprise.”
During the hiatus, when her business was shut down, Vu said she lost money paying to park the truck in a parking house, paying for a permit license and having to throw food away. She said she lost many of her employees and income and stayed at home during the seven months.
Huynh said that he and other food truck owners were presented with new terms in May that allowed them to stay at UC Berkeley — but only at the Bancroft Way and College Avenue location and only for two and a half years.
“I was upset when (the trucks) got moved because (Vu) used to have her store inside a building,” said Berkeley resident Sabine Mackey. “Then she got moved outside, and now she has gotten moved out here. There was a huge time period during which she lost all of her money.”
Contact Sasha Costello at [email protected]