Ice cream truck will not be rolling into Victoria-by-the-Sea this summer

·3 min read
Jalen MacLeod, owner of Truckin’ Roll ice cream, says he felt anger and disappointment when he learned Victoria had rejected his permit to bring his truck back to the town this summer.  (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC - image credit)
Jalen MacLeod, owner of Truckin’ Roll ice cream, says he felt anger and disappointment when he learned Victoria had rejected his permit to bring his truck back to the town this summer. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC - image credit)

The owner of a P.E.I. ice cream truck says he's disappointed officials in Victoria-by-the-Sea have turned down his application to return to the seaside community this summer.

Jalen MacLeod, who co-owns Truckin' Roll rolled ice cream with his girlfriend, Amanda Beaton, applied last November to return to Victoria with his vintage French mail truck, where he sells handmade ice cream.

But last month, MacLeod was informed his application was denied.

"It's definitely a last-minute shakeup. We knew it was taking a while, but we thought it would still work out and it's definitely a curveball right now, we don't really know exactly where it leaves us," said MacLeod.

"Definitely some anger, some disappointment. I didn't really understand. My girlfriend and I, we're young Islanders, we're just trying to make a go, we don't really understand the small town politics."

Food trucks not allowed

Truckin' Roll began four years ago with an ice cream truck in downtown Charlottetown.

Last summer, MacLeod's second ice cream truck was set up next to Richard's Seafood in Victoria.

The owner of Richard's, Ryan Doucet, did not want to do an interview, but he said they had no issues with the ice cream truck and would have loved to have them back this year.

Ian Dennison, Victoria's mayor, says many other communities have had problems with food trucks and his town has decided it's not something they want to take on.
Ian Dennison, Victoria's mayor, says many other communities have had problems with food trucks and his town has decided it's not something they want to take on. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

Ian Dennison, mayor of Victoria, said food trucks are not allowed in the community, according to its bylaws. He said last year, the community did grant Truckin' Roll a temporary permit.

This year, MacLeod had to submit another application, along with the owners of Richard's Seafood, to operate his ice cream truck as an "accessory structure" to the restaurant.

That application was denied.

"When visitors come to Victoria, they come for a particular ambiance," said Dennison.

"I mean when people look at the town, or village of Victoria, and they come in and walk around, it's become a very popular tourist destination and it is, in part, because of what it looks like and that's the way our plan and bylaws are structured is to keep a particular viewscape in the village."

Bylaws would need to change

MacLeod is also disappointed with how long it took for the town to make a decision.

He applied for the permit Nov. 23. It was denied during a meeting of Victoria council on March 8, three months before he planned to open for the season.

Dennison says tourists like Victoria because it has 'lovely old homes and craft shops,' not food trucks.
Dennison says tourists like Victoria because it has 'lovely old homes and craft shops,' not food trucks. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

Dennison said municipal governments can move very slowly. The town has also had a series of changes in the chief administrative officer position over the past year, which also slowed down the process, he said.

"We try to do the best we can for the applicant, but unfortunately for volunteer councillors and mayor and for a staff of one, for the CAO position, it's very difficult to get all these things done in a hurry. It just takes time."

'Not giving up'

Officials in Victoria told MacLeod he could apply for a bylaw amendment to change the rules around food trucks.

MacLeod said that would cost him $500 and could take months, meaning he would still miss out this summer.

So, he is hoping community support may change Victoria council's mind. He said he's not giving up on Victoria.

"The community got behind us. It was really fun. It kind of felt like we were in California, with the beach right there and the water and the salt in the air," said MacLeod.

"We're just a couple of Islanders trying to sell ice cream, we're not a ruckus in a community by any means."

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