Pensacola, Florida
Friday October 24th 2014

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The Buzz 1/30/14

Trucking Along While the back and forth conversations about the future of food trucks in the city of Pensacola continues to remain just that — back and forth depending on whom you talk to — the trucks are starting to roll in.

Or at least one truck.

Want proof? Look no further than Plaza Ferdinand at the intersection of Palafox and Government streets on Tuesday-Friday, and you’ll find Mimi’s Bistro on the Go.

Owned by Christina Leavenworth, Mimi’s is an idea that originated back in September. With the help of Parisian crêperie chef, Milan Brunet-Sabastia, Leavenworth has been able to bring her vision of crêpes-on-the-go into fruition.

If you have yet to spot Mimi’s around, this bright yellow bistro on wheels is adorned with French vibes and a menu board showcasing the crêpes of the day. The menu includes both savory and sweet crêpes.

Pretty much the same day Mimi’s popped up outside the IN office windows, Mayor Ashton Hayward sent out notice of a proposed “Pilot Program” in his Upwards Newsletter. The idea of the program is to be a test run of sorts, with the intent of establishing a workable framework for food trucks and carts to operate within — one that makes sense for both the mobile vendors, as well as the long-established restaurant community.

According to the mayor’s memo: city staff will work with local food vendors and obtain feedback from the community in order to draft a mobile vending pilot program. After the end of the pilot program, city staff will develop rules for a possible ongoing mobile food vendor program based on interest and feedback from the vendors and the broader community.

As far as we can tell, there’s no date set for the when the program will launch. But we hope it’s soon, since this issue clearly isn’t going to sit on the back burner for long.

To keep up with Mimi’s whereabouts and learn more, visit facebook.com/mimiscrepes. We also highly recommend the Nutella crêpes — trust on this one.

Satoshi’s Forest Applies for Permits After an Escambia County Code Enforcement Special Magistrate hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 21, the team behind homeless outreach group, Sean’s Outpost, immediately got to work filing documents to have Satoshi Forest, a 9-acre parcel of land on Massachusetts Avenue, permitted as a campground.

Since October 2013, three months after acquiring the parcel of land, Sean’s Outpost opened the property to homeless individuals, letting them camp there free of charge. The activity on the property caught the attention of the county and residents of the surrounding neighborhood. In early January, county code enforcement posted two notices at the property listing eight code violations and called for an expedited hearing on the violations.

At the hearing, special magistrate Janet Lander ruled that the code violations did not constitute an emergency and granted a delay in proceedings until Feb. 11. The following day, Landmark Engineering & Land Planning Inc., the engineering firm Sean’s Outpost has enlisted, filed an application for pre-permitting Satoshi Forest as a campground. On Friday, Jan. 24, Sean’s Outpost received word that the documents had been accepted and the pre-permitting process would begin with a meeting the week of Jan. 27.

“We’re starting to get a working relationship with the county,” said Michael Kimberl, a co-founder of Sean’s Outpost, of getting the land planning and permitting process moving. “The county knows we want to work with them. We’re not trying to be an adversary.”

Kimberl, a co-founder of Sean’s Outpost, worked locally in homeless outreach for over three years, and said that he realizes the importance of communication in any community effort, which he believes the organization is beginning to achieve with the county and neighborhood. “It’s about building community,” he said. “The last thing I want to do is upset somebody.”

The organization now has five staff members who keep things running at Satoshi Forest, and will continue to do so while co-founder and usual spokesperson, Jason King, is walking cross-country to raise awareness of Bitcoin and homelessness, a venture he began on Jan. 26. “We’re feeling very positive,” Kimberl said of the discussions with the county.

For additional information about Sean’s Outpost and Satoshi Forest, visit: seansoutpost.com.