UPDATED May 21, 7:41pm: A Yellowknife chef has labelled the owners of Javaroma ‘crybabies’ over concerns about food trucks damaging their business.
Javaroma co-owner Rami Kassem recently told Moose FM that food trucks parked nearby were taking $20,000 in business from his cafe each month.
Kassem wants the City of Yellowknife to intervene and protect his business by limiting the number of food trucks that can operate in the area.
He says a new by-law, set to place a limit of two food trucks per block around downtown Franklin Avenue, is a start.
But Robin Wasicuna, who owns and operates a food truck by the Northern Frontier visitors’ centre, told Kassem and Javaroma to “get over yourselves”.
In tweets posted on Wednesday night, Wasicuna said: “Javaroma needs to stop blaming their problems on food trucks.
“If your menu wasn’t 12 years old, you might get customers.
“Get over yourselves. It’s summer in the north! People want to be outside. We don’t cry when winter comes.”
A day later, Wasicuna deleted the tweets in question and apologized.
sorry about the tweet.The finger pointing for over a year got the better of me. I was taught to fix problems, not complain. #yellowknife
— Robin Wasicuna (@WiseguyRob) May 22, 2015
Earlier this month, Kassem said he welcomed competition but felt three food trucks in the vicinity of his establishment was too many.
Read: Javaroma opening new location at Yellowknife Airport
“You’re looking at $20,000 a month, at least,” he told us, referring to lost sales.
“The food trucks could go anywhere and everywhere there’s business – they choose where to make their business, it’s not as costly for them as us.
“We don’t want to be closing because of food trucks, as long as we can work with them and find designated areas for them.”
Wasicuna is set to open a diner of his own later this summer. The Twin Pine Diner will take over the space vacated by Epic Grill at Yellowknife’s Arnica Inn.