September 1, 2010

Boston City Hall


I was over at City Hall yesterday. This is a picture of the plaza they are talking about parking trucks on. If you haven’t been following there is a food truck challenge the City of Boston has launched. We’re entering and really excited about the potential.

So yesterday there was a public hearing. I was contacted by some folks at the City (sorry, I’ll admit I don’t know exactly who you were when you called) and asked if I could attend. I was really glad they called because I wasn’t following this too closely on my own and wouldn’t have known about the hearing otherwise.

When I got to the City Council chambers I didn’t know what to expect. There were 2 log-in sheets: one for “Attendees” one for “Testimonials.” I wasn’t sure I wanted to present a testimony, but I think the person who called an invited me asked if I would. So after a bit of deliberation (sorry to who ever was behind me in line) I put my name on the testimonial page. But I was a little concerned because I was near the bottom of the list (arriving early is another thing I’m not good at), and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay all the way through to the end of the meeting due to some other commitments.

So then the meeting started, Michael Ross (I think he is City Council President? Sorry, I don’t mean any disrespect, I just don’t know much about City politics yet), asked me to speak before everybody. It was an audience of food vendors (including Speeds, M&M, Frosty, etc.). I’ve never been to a public hearing before and didn’t know what to do. They told me to come down to the microphone, which worked pretty well. But you all know I have a pretty loud voice. Not sure I needed amplification.

I kept it simple. Spoke a bit about Clover’s experience with the city (the G-rated version). Fact is Boston doesn’t really have any food trucks. There’s Speeds, M&M Ribs, and some ice cream trucks. Correct me please if I’m missing anybody, but that’s all I’m aware of. Then there are these upstarts, the newcomers like Clover and Fillbelly, etc. But there really aren’t trucks in Boston. Compare this to even Cambridge, a city that isn’t too friendly to trucks (they’ve had a standing moratorium since the late 1990s). Cambridge has at least 9 trucks that operate daily.

So from my perspective, as a lover of street food, it’s exciting to think that there might be more of it in Boston soon. We’ll see what happens. I hope it’s an open, transparent, and fair system that allows a diversity of operators to enter. I’m a fan of a simple fair open process. I’ll stand against any system that “locks up” the market. We don’t need one operator here, or one powerful business running this thing. The ideal would be a process that is open to everybody.

Recent Posts

January 26, 2023
The Pizza Friday Box gave us an idea: calzones! Ayr has been making these at his house and texting us photos. They’re big and saucy and so good. Basically a stuffed pizza/turnover situation with origins in 17th century Naples.
January 18, 2023
As you might know, we love feedback. Survey Day is a tradition that harkens back to the first days of the food truck, over 10 years ago. If you got a card in line today at Clover, or if you ordered on the app today, click here to take the survey. Huge thanks for helping us improve.
January 13, 2023
Thanks all who joined for the first public food dev meeting after Covid. Phil did a great job pulling it all together. If you’re a customer, farmer, vendor (or Clover staff member) reading this, you are invited to Food Dev! These happen Thursday afternoons at the HUB and they’re where all new food ideas are born. Just make sure to sign up – spots are limited.
January 5, 2023
House-made carrot lox, hearty vegetable stews with bread and pickles, Tunisian breakfast bowls, a pizza party kit, and a dream of snow, all in one box. Our Snowed In Box is back. This was Greg’s idea back in 2020. He thought it would be cool to make a box that was equally whether eaten after snowboarding or cozied up on the couch watching a movie.
December 21, 2022
We’ve been getting a lot of requests for the ability to gift a friend Clover Meal Boxes. After a lot of late night tech sessions, we have a way to do this! Yay! I’ve been looking and seeing a few of you have started to discover this feature and are starting to gift away. So cool to see.
December 16, 2022
If you’re a weekly meal box subscriber, you may have noticed way fewer plastic containers in your deliveries recently.When we started the program, we were in the pandemic, new to this whole home delivery thing, and a big concern was making sure that nothing spilled inside the boxes. So we relied on post-consumer recycled containers (aka plastic deli containers) for a lot of the items.
December 13, 2022
We’ve been getting back into the merch game. First up: squash shirts. I thought it would be fun to celebrate the diversity of the squash world. Although butternut is probably the squash you see most in the grocery store, there are actually over 100 types of squash, all with their own patterns, colors, and textures.
December 6, 2022
The Bridgewater is back!! This is probably the most requested sandwich on our menu. Michelle who runs our social media says she reliably gets one message per week asking when it will return. In 2015, Paul and Bryan came up with this sandwich as an homage to the jalapeño poppers at The Charlie Horse, a now-closed tavern in their hometown of Bridgewater, MA.
December 6, 2022
I love the holidays. I love the lights, I love the traditions, I love ornaments and pine needles all over the floor.  I love the movies (“Muppet Christmas Carol”) and the books (“A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”) I love the good songs, I love the schlocky songs (if you’ve never heard “Suzy Snowflake” or “Dominic the Donkey”, stop reading right now and click through.)
December 1, 2022
It was inevitable. Our meal box program had to find its way into restaurants at some point. A bunch of you have been asking if we can sell “on demand” meal boxes in our restaurants – for those times when you have last-minute dinner guests or forgot to subscribe by the deadline. So we’ve been easing into the process of combining one part of Clover with another.
November 28, 2022
Brussels Sprouts are extra sweet this time of year, and King Brussels, in his infinite wisdom, has cooked up a Brussels Week in our meal boxes. Every single subscription box will contain a recipe inspired by brussels! This is the first time we’ve explored a seasonal theme across our entire lineup and we’re excited to dive in.
November 19, 2022
This was Jane’s last week at Clover. We’re wishing her the best in her next steps (but also not so secretly hoping she comes back!)