08:00 Friday 12 October 2012

Food vendors 'excited for future' with new menus

Written byHELEN KREFT

FOOD traders in Station Street have expressed their delight at being reassigned their pitches.

Potato van in Station Street
Potato van in Station Street

The jacket potato van, doughnut vendor and ‘splash wagon’ will all continue to trade when the outdoor market stalls move to the street on November 22.

Chris Beaumont, who runs the splash wagon with his wife Deb, said: “We were pleasantly surprised when we received the news because we didn’t think it would be positive.

“Everything is looking good now and we’re excited for the future. We’re really grateful for the support that everyone has given us and to the anonymous creator of the Facebook page in support of us.”

John Hodson-Walker, who owns the jacket potato van, said he was pleased that, after months of upheaval, a decision had finally been made, and he would not have to make his staff redundant.

He said: “I’m pleased how it’s turned out for us. All of us have been overwhelmed with the amount of support we’ve had.” Mr Beaumont said that the splash wagon’s core menu would remain the same, but new food would be introduced.

He said: “We’ve had a limited menu for so long and now we’re looking at the possibility of a new trailer and offering a wider range of foods. We’re looking forward to sitting down with the council and working everything out.”

Mr Hodson-Walker is also thinking about purchasing a new trailer and equipment along with different menu options.

He said: “Certainly from what we’re thinking of offering it’s going to be good, and we’ll be giving the public more variety which must be a positive.”

Hot dog man ‘on the scrapheap’

‘I AM on the scrapheap’ were the words of Station Street’s hot dog vendor after he was told he would no longer be able to trade.

The hot dog stall, which has been trading in Burton since 1979, will close on Saturday after its owner, Mark Karakas, was told by East Staffordshire Borough Council that his application had been unsuccessful.

He claimed he hadn’t received a letter telling him to pay for the extension on his licence, when asked by the council, and was later told he was no longer allowed a licence. He was then told by the council on Monday that his application to stay in Station Street had been unsuccessful.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Mr Karakas was the only street food vendor who would not be allowed to continue.

Mr Karakas said: “I will be on the scrapheap. I have given 23 years of my life to Burton and I haven’t got the heart to trade anywhere else, and there are no other street trading pitches around.

“I am just gutted.” He joined the family business after being made redundant in 1988 and took over the reins from his father, Hungarian refugee Jozsef, when he fell ill in 1998.

He said: “What they have done is completely shafted me. At the moment I honestly don’t know what I am going to do.” He also revealed that he suggested producing cuisine-style food ‘which hasn’t been seen in Burton before’ to appeal to the council’s healthy eating initiative, but was ‘brushed aside’.

A spokesman for the borough council said: “The council undertook its annual licensing application process to improve the offer and variety of food available in Station Street, once the outdoor market relocates there in November.

“The successful applicants offered diverse and various food options building on well-loved current offerings. It was based upon these offers that the successful applicants were chosen.

“Mr Karakas did not offer any variation from his existing licence in his application, and had stated on occasions that he was not willing to amend his offer.”

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