Outdoor eats: Three mobile food vendors obtain permits
Ice cream! Burgers and dogs! Sausage and peppers! Chips! Soda! Candy!
The outdoor eating season, with its tasty indulgences, was welcomed in by the Board of Selectmen at a meeting last month, where permits were granted to three mobile food vendors — two well-established trucks and one newcomer.
Among the well-established are the Natural Scoop ice cream truck and the Zwack Shack lunch wagon. The new operator is Tasty McGee’s Roadside Grill.
“We had a great season,” Kristin Cerulli of Natural Scoop told the selectmen. She and partner Carin Crook, both Ridgefield moms, have been selling organic frozen desserts since 2014. Last summer, Natural Scoop was doing “more private events,” she said, and “less roving.”
“Ridgefield’s just not that kind of town, to drive around and ring the bell,” said Crook.
Longtime Ridgefielder Greg Zawacki sought renewal of the vendor permit for the Zwack Shack, which sells hot dogs, burgers, chicken, and fries from a pull-over spot off Route 7 — across from the Days Inn motel.
“Eleven to 4:30 every day, except Sundays,” Zawacki told the selectmen.
He’s upgraded from a kitchen on wheels that was towed to one he can drive.
“Now we’ve got the truck — it’s like a UPS truck,” he said.
Does he also work occasional events?
“That’s where a lot of money is,” Zawacki said. “We do the fireworks in town every year.”
The new vendor approved is Ridgefielder Craig T. McGee, who got a permit for Tasty McGee’s Roadside Grill — described in his application as “a concession trailer providing hot foods (hot dogs, burgers, grilled chicken, sausage and peppers, french fries etc.) as well as snacks (chips and candy) and soft drinks.”
McGee told the selectmen his plan for the spring was to work ball games, mostly at “Scalzo Field, by the dog park.” He thinks he could draw customers from four nearby playing fields — with “hopefully, a little trickle in from the dog park” as well.
“You know you can’t roam. You can’t park in a parking lot,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi told him.
McGee said he’d talked to the Parks and Recreation Department about working Scalzo Field, the Parks and Recreation facility itself, and during football season possibly the East Ridge field — where the concession stand has mostly not been operating due to a lack of volunteers.
“I’d work things out with Ridgefield Youth Football,” he said.
He expects to be out mostly on weekends.
“I still have a day job, Monday to Friday,” McGee said.
All three vendors got permits approved at the selectmen’s April 18 meeting.