Decatur awards food cart licenses to King of Pops, Buenos Dias Café, and Icing on the CakeVictoria Patterson and her daughter Caroline, 4, get a King of Pops from Madden Reagan during the grand opening of the Oakhurst Recreation Center in the city of Decatur on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Decatur, GA — The city of Decatur has awarded licenses to three mobile food cart vendors as part of a new food cart program.
Starting Aug. 1, Buenos Dias Café, Icing on the Cake and King of Pops will be able to operate food carts in the city, according to a press release.
“We are thrilled to welcome our new vendors to Decatur’s Business Districts and know our residents and visitors will appreciate the variety they provide and ease of access,” Decatur Business Development Manager Shirley Baylis said in the press release. “Given that discussions about this program began before the pandemic, it’s a meaningful milestone to take this initiative from the planning stages all the way to fruition.”
In the past, the city has stumbled into controversy surrounding vendor carts.
In 2019, the Decatur City Commission approved the reinstatement of a pilot program to allow vendor carts in public spaces, specifically the Decatur Square and in Harmony Park in Oakhurst.
Under the program’s rules, King of Pops was no longer allowed to operate a cart on the Square or in Harmony Park because it competes with a nearby brick-and-mortar business, Steel City Pops. That decision led to an investigation by Decaturish that found the city took numerous steps to benefit Steel City Pops and push King of Pops out of the market.
Steel City Pops later closed its Decatur store, along with 10 other stores, and filed for bankruptcy.
The DDA and the city have established a process for participation in the new food cart program, a process that was not in place back in 2019.
Here’s the full press release from the city of Decatur:
DECATUR, Ga. (July 31, 2023) – The City of Decatur and the Decatur Downtown Development Authority (DDA) announced the selection of three operators as part of its new vendor food cart program, with Buenos Dias Café, Icing on the Cake and King of Pops beginning operations from their mobile carts on Aug. 1.
“We are thrilled to welcome our new vendors to Decatur’s Business Districts and know our residents and visitors will appreciate the variety they provide and ease of access,” said Shirley Baylis, business development manager for the City of Decatur. “Given that discussions about this program began before the pandemic, it’s a meaningful milestone to take this initiative from the planning stages all the way to fruition.”
Established in 2012, Buenos Dias Cafe has been bringing Salvadorian cuisine to Atlanta for over a decade. The husband-and-wife team of Ken and Jeannette Katz began by serving the Georgia State University community in Downtown Atlanta, but have since grown and relocated to The Met in West Midtown. Taking their flavors mobile for the first time, their new food cart will operate in Harmony Park.
Offering delectable treats in sizes both big and small, Icing on the Cake delivers cakes, pies, cupcakes and cheesecakes throughout Atlanta and nationwide. Marking their first physical retail location, Icing on the Cake will be satisfying Decatur’s sweet tooth with its food cart on W Ponce de Leon near Truist Bank.
One of Atlanta’s most recognizable and ubiquitous food cart operators, King of Pops can be found all around the metro area, with permanent locations at Ponce City Market, Colony Square and Old Fourth Ward. While he has popped up to serve the community at special events since 2020, franchisee Michael Vajda is bringing King of Pops’ first physical location in Decatur to the sidewalk closest to East Court Square.
While hours will vary and be listed on A-Frame signs at each cart, all three vendors are permitted to operate their carts for one year during the following times: Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information on the City of Decatur and DDA, please visit DecaturGA.com.
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