Indio business mobilizes food, culture and entrepreneurship

Courtesy of CV Food Truck Park. Coachella Valley Food Truck Park founder, Erick Becerril preparing for a Coachella event.

ALEXANDRO ZATARAIN

STAFF REPORTER

Entering the food business is difficult. Food trucks? Even tougher here in the Coachella Valley. Breaking down that barrier is Erick Becerril, who is mobilizing food, culture and a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Becerril is the owner and founder of the CV Food Truck Park, one of the Coachella Valley’s newest unique startups. Food, art, music and soon comedy, are all portions of what makes this company vital to the community. However, it is much more than that.

The development of the CV Food Truck Park came as what Becerril described as the “social injustice in the mobile food industry.”

“What I felt was unique about the food truck industry is how much pressure they get from the restaurant industry. They’re seen as the lower tier restaurateurs. They don’t get the respect other restaurants deserve.”

A building inspector with the City of Indio, Becerril deals with permits on a consistent basis. Through his background dealing with various developments in the area, including restaurants, this Fontana-born businessman had a good sense of what it took to enter the food business.

“I kind of started diving into it and seeing what it would take to start up a pop-up food business,” Becerril said. To his surprise, he found very little help for those who wanted to start such an endeavor. It is here where the idea of helping others start their food business came to fruition. However, the next big thing was missing: a place for these new restaurateurs to go.

“I got more and more involved in the legislative part about what the rules were.” As Becerril obtained more information, the CV Food Truck Park was born. The premise of the operation was to educate vendors on how to get their permits and provide them with the platform to sell their items.

The initial reception was mixed when this was all but an idea in Becerril’s mind. Start-up food vendors and the public was on board. “The reception that we initially got was that it was a good idea.”

There were questions as to how it would impact local, established restaurants. “It may not be in the forefront, you may not see it, but you’ll see it in the rules and regulations,” Becerril said about the various roadblocks put in place to deter mobile food vendors.

“I know that by doing this, I’m opening up a lot more doors for people to want to do something similar, or preferable start up their own business.”

The city of Coachella hosted the first mobile food event in March of this year. With over 20 vendors, the first event featured diverse food spanning from tacos to vegan options, and boba drinks to ice cream. The nine day event spanning over three weekends saw 28 thousand visitors from around the valley.

Seven months later, and business is progressing. In that span of time, the group has received permits for more than 15 businesses. Becerril has now been approached by several cities and restaurants to take part in more significant events. “We’re becoming a vital resource to the community,” he said when asked about what has surprised him about since launching the tangible product.

The most recent event Becerril participated in was the Indio National Day Out for local law enforcement, which featured three food trucks and attendance of roughly 3,000 people. As for the last event put on solely by the group, the Eggstravaganza over Easter at the Indio Grand Marketplace saw over 5,000 people.

The Palm Springs Police Department National Night Out, will take place on Oct 1. This event will be the next place CV Food Truck Park can be found.

For more information on the CV Food Truck Park, you can visit their website www.cvfoodtruckpark.com or follow them on social media at CVFoodTrucks.

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