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Northland Little Store Owner Says New Food Truck 'Pod' Could Mean Trouble For Business

Matt Hodapp

If you've been to Macken Park in North Kansas City recently you may have found yourself suddenly surrounded by food trucks. That's because of a of trial food truck "pod" program the city hopes will bring new tastes and visitors to North Kansas City.

The Northland News reported last week that not everyone from North Kansas City is excited about this new gathering spot.

Phil Shaver, the co-owner of The Little Store and Cafe, says the food truck "pod" could disastrously affect his historic business, originally opened in 1938.

The students of North Kansas City High School have an open campus during lunch. Many walk to The Little Store for burgers, fries and meatball subs.

"They're going to look across the street and see four or five food trucks sitting over there, it's going to make it really difficult for them to get to my store," said Shaver at a recent North Kansas City Council meeting.

Councilman Richard Stewart was responsive to Shaver's concerns, saying that he remembers going to The Little Store in high school, and understands that the store always walks "a fine line between profit and loss". 

On Thursday's Central Standard, Councilman Zachary Clevenger presented a solution to encourage the new food trucks, while supporting existing business.

Clevenger thinks designating certain days the trucks would be allowed to set up will leave enough business for everyone. Every Friday, Macken Park hosts a "Friday In The Park" event. During the summer evenings, they often play movies.

“The Little Store closes at six, the movie starts at eight, bring on the food trucks,” says Clevenger.

North Kansas City City Council is expected to vote on the food truck "pod" at the end of August.

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