Leith food truck owner forced to shut after resident complains customers might ‘film children' and noise could scare dogs
A FOOD truck owner and her customers are up in arms after she has been forced to shut until further notice.
Lynsey Stuart, who lives in Leith, recently took over the Vanilla Pod truck.
She set up her new cafe on wheels in Leith Links, a park often used by dog walkers and families, and has already made loyal customers.
But since receiving a letter from the Edinburgh Council last night listing complaints from one angry resident in the area, she has been asked to shut temporarily until further decisions are made.
The resident’s complaints included: “There are considerable child safety issues with potential customers at the Vanilla Pod using smartphones to film children in the area, not appropriate”, “the trailer and noise would disturb and scare young children and dogs using the play park” and “the weight of the trailer is damaging to the grass.”
Lynsey said her customers are furious and are demanding her swift return.
“I just think it’s a real shame that just because one person has complained, I have to shut,” the mum-of-one said.
“I originally wanted to set it up in the street, but was told it was fine to set it up in Leith Links so went ahead.”
Lynsey said she was shocked to read the complaints because she has purely been hearing praise about her new business.
“People love coming here,” she continued.
“It’s a great spot for dog walkers to grab something while they’re walking through the park, or for parents on the school run, or for kids when they’re in the park.
“I am not sure about the safety comments re the filming children using smartphones and the fact that the generator would scare children.
“It’s a park, kids come and play here all the time.
“And he complained about the grass being damaged, but I’ve seen children playing sports in this park and no one else seems to mind.”
Lynsey said she has to just sit tight and wait until the council makes a decision on the Vanilla Pod, which serves crepes, home bakes, tea and coffee, opening in the area again.
“It could be two or three weeks I’ve been told,” she said.
“It is a bit of a pain because it’s my wage.”
In the meantime, Lynsey is trying to find someone to help her move the truck, and somewhere to hire to store it until further notice.
Her announcement of closing temporarily has caused uproar on social media.
Resident Raymond Young said: “This is bizarre, look at the other side of things, it’s not just the selling of coffee and tea, things like the Vanilla Pod offer security and safety in somewhere like Leith Links.
“If a kid get lost in the park or if there’s an accident where are they likely to look for help. The guys in the pod are another safe pair of eyes in the park and their constant presence can only be a good thing.”
Another poster said dog walkers were looking forward to using her food truck while out walking.
Resident Pamela West Rutherford added: “Well I hope the person who complained is proud of themselves. All we are doing is trying to make Leith a better place, hopefully all is resolved soon.”
An Edinburgh City Council spokesman said: “The trader requires a licence before starting trading and because an objection has been received relating to the application it will be referred to the Licensing Sub-Committee for hearing as required by the relevant legislation.”