Janice Rutherford: Let the food trucks roll!

Newly-elected 2nd District County Supervisor Janice Rutherford is on a mission near and dear to Dine 909’s heart — legalizing food trucks.

In the latest issue of her newsletter, the Rutherford Report, she verifies something I’ve heard rumblings about lately, but haven’t confirmed until now.

Food trucks, where the food is actually prepared in the truck, are illegal in San Bernardino County.

Sure, you’ve seen ice cream trucks rolling though your neighborhood, but that’s because they’re selling you prepackaged goods. That’s just fine and dandy.

But if you took that ice cream, dipped it in an egg wash, rolled it in some cornflakes and tossed it briefly in the deep-fryer, you wouldn’t be able to sell it.

The prohibition has been in effect as long as anyone can remember, she notes.

She goes on to write that modern food trucks, such as those that roam Los Angeles and Orange counties, are a far cry from the “roach coaches” of old and are inspected and graded just as their brick-and-mortar counterparts are.

To start the process rolling, she has asked San Bernardino County Environmental Health Services staff members to look at other nearby jurisdictions’ (i.e. L.A. and Orange counties’) food truck regulations and operations in order to open up that avenue here in San Bernardino County.

She makes a point that if the modern food truck industry were allowed here in the county, not only would that create jobs and economic opportunities for the food truck vendors themselves, but also for those convert, clean, wrap, maintain and sell the trucks.

Not to mention satisfying the I.E. masses who hunger (whether or not they know it yet) for Korean tacos or gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

Click here to see the latest issue of the Rutherford Report or here to read her article on food trucks.

In essence, it’s a win-win situation.

At the end of her article, she drops a culinary bomb by offering an invitation to what I believe is the Inland Empire’s first food truck festival (aside from smaller events like these) next month at Don Lugo High School. More on that here.

Thank you, Janice Rutherford, for bringing a little common sense to our Board of Supervisors. Let’s hope this paves the way for new business opportunities for both new and existing mobile food vendors.

  • Annaliza

    I feel that Phillipino food is defintely different from standard chinese take out and am interested in starting a business in the San Bernardino/Yucaipa area. It is an underdeveloped concept and want to move forward. I don’t have the capital to open a restaurant, but felt a catering or perhaps a food truck enabling me to try out my “possible” audience at a swap meet, truck stop, commercial building areas, etc. and am interested in current info, advice, ideas that you have offer. Also of issues that I should vote for/against, write letters about, etc.
    thank you for your time,
    Liza Coldren

  • John Plessel


    Filipino food is something that is definitely rare here in the I.E., at least as far as restaurants go. There are a few places here and there…a couple in Fontana, one in Rancho Cucamonga, one in Colton….you might want to check out the competition and see how things are faring for them.

    If you’re interested in going the food truck route, take a look at the White Rabbit Truck, which operates in L.A. and Orange counties (www.whiterabbittruck.com). They’ve also got a restaurant in Canoga Park. As with many of the food trucks, they’ve got some fusion items: tacos, burritos and fries with Filipino meats, as well as rice bowls. They’ve also got more traditional items like lumpia.

    Of course, food trucks are currently banned in San Bernardino County…but that may change soon, if Supervisor Rutherford gets her way.

    Good luck in your endeavors.

  • Food trucks is convenient for both consumers and owners. It also helps in creating jobs for the community so I’m all for it.