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Food trucks not welcome in Loxahatchee Groves

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 10:57:23-04

Celia Martinez says almost 15 years ago she moved her food truck business, Chela's Mexican Food, to the Red Barn store parking lot on Okeechobee Boulevard. "I would like to stay here, this is my life."

The business to support her and her children was doing well until last week. That's when the town of Loxahatchee Groves told her food trucks are not allowed.

"I can't understand what happened. I don't know what I am going to do, I'm shocked," she said.

Town officials said after receiving a complaint about three food trucks operating in town, Martinez and the other two businesses were warned they would have to stop operating.

"My mom has been doing this her whole life. She has nothing else to do, she is devastated, pretty crushed right now," her son Benny Arteaga said.

"I am going to try to go to another place. I've got a lot of calls to make," Martinez said.

It's disappointing news for customers like Tom Dover. "I thought they were very good for the community and it's going to be very sad to see them go."

The owners of the Red Barn property are at risk of up to a $250 fine per day if the food truck owners don't leave.

Story updated to reflect that the fines would be assessed against the property owners and not the operators of the food trucks.