Cold weather hurting business at Austin food trailers


by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 11:21 PM

AUSTIN -- If you head out to the South Congress Avenue food trailer park, the bands are out and the food is frying, but there's something missing...people.

"The weather and the weatherman had everybody thinking it's gonna rain and snow so I guess a lot of people are staying in," said Darold Gordon, owner of The Original New Orleans Po-Boy and Gumbo Shop trailer. 

Gordon said business is down by a third. Nearly all of the trailers are closing an hour early on these cold, winter days; something the staff isn't complaining too much about.

"They've been wearing us out the whole year, so my staff is ready to go an hour earlier," said Gordon. 

Owners of the food trailers say business not only slows during the extreme cold, but also the extreme heat and rain, so having a decline in business due to weather is something they're just used to.

"We definitely are a little bit slower, but there are those people who come out here all the time, regardless." said J.T. Gulledge who is a cook at The Mighty Cone.

Die-hards like Jesse Mamuhewa and his friends.

"You've just got to bear it up. Put a good jacket on some nice shoes and come out here," said Mamuhewa. 

"I think it's just like the environment that makes us want to come out here," agreed Kim Tran who was also eating at the trailers in the cold, " and it doesn't matter what the weather's like."

Unfortunately that's not the case at the food trailers in North Austin off West Anderson Lane. Owners there said business has dropped 90 percent, thanks to old man winter.

Some of the trailers aren't opening at all. But the property owner notes that this is the new park's first cold snap, so owners are hoping they'll be better prepared next year. Perhaps taking a lesson from the SoCo pros.

"Everybody who's been here for a while, they know to save up for the only two weeks of winter in Austin. So it's not so bad," said Gordon. 

Still, most are looking forward to the time when they can enjoy trailer food in warmer weather.

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