Oregon approves zoning for food truck at shrine

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon City Council on Monday voted 7-0 in favor of a Special Use Exception (SUE) in a residential district that will allow a food truck to locate in the parking lot of Our Lady of Toledo Shrine at 635 S. Coy Road.
        A public hearing was held before council voted in favor of the SUE
        Delana Ball, owner of Sabaidee Coffee and Crepes in Tiffin, owns the food truck, which will be located at the southwest corner of the Shrine’s parking lot.          
        Rules governing food trucks in the city state that an organization, such as a church, school or business, can use a food truck for patrons at a festival. But if the food truck is in competition with a brick and mortar store selling directly to the public, the food truck would need an SUE to operate.
        Some residents, mostly from the nearby Bayberry Creek Condominiums, voiced opposition to the food truck at the Oregon Planning Commission on June 21. Concerns ranged from the possibility of increased traffic to trash going into a nearby ditch.  In light of those concerns, the commission voted 4-1 to accept the SUE for a term of one year. It will be under review by the commission on September 1, 2021.
        After the planning commission meeting, Ball agreed to move the truck further away from the condominiums in the parking lot out of respect for the residents.
        “I moved it. I heard everyone’s concerns at the [planning commission] meeting,” she said at the public hearing on Monday. “I’m trying to appease them and make everyone happy. I decided to move it back more, a little bit more concealed, not out in the open. It will be a little bit more of a struggle for people to see me. But I want to be a part of this community as much as I can.”
        None of the opponents at the planning commission were in attendance at the hearing.
Support from shrine
        Chris Rocher, who is president of the board of trustees for the Toledo Shrine, said he supports the food truck.
        “We spent a lot of time vetting this,” he said. “When first approached about it, there were some reservations. The board did a lot of research. We sent members down to the coffee shop in Tiffin. They came back with a very favorable report. There was quality food, quality coffee. We’re very excited about having a food truck. Most shrines in Ohio have a cafeteria. Our Lady of Toledo Shrine does not. This would provide some food and coffee for people who come here from out of town.” The Toledo Shrine has been at that location for over 25 years and attracts people from all over.
        Ball said she loves Oregon and “wants to be a part of it.”
        “I want to invest here. I have a high end quality coffee shop with high end product. I do loose leaf teas, I do 100 percent fruit smoothies. I’m also well known for very good customer service. I love people. That’s really my heart and soul. I want to make sure everyone is happy when they leave. It’s very important to me.”
Large crepes
        Ball has owned Sabaidee Coffee and Crepes in Tiffin since 2014.
        “I started with coffee and tea. I like to try and perfect things and get things done well. Then I started offering crepes. So I do crepes, salads and omelets. I have all that to offer,” she said.
        Her most popular item is both savory and sweet crepes.
         My biggest seller is my breakfast crepe. My second biggest seller is chicken pesto. They are very big and very filling. I’m not a cheapskate. You’re going to get what you pay for. Trust me. They’re pretty big. People love them. The crepes were a fantastic addition to my business. I have people who come from Toledo, Columbus and Lima,” she said.
        “We’re fortunate to have you come into our community” said Councilman James Seaman. “I think it’s going to really work out well.”
        Online customer reviews gave five star ratings for Sabaidee Coffee and Crepes on Tripadvisor, Facebook, and Yelp.
        Among the comments on Tripadvisor: “They have delicious coffee from a number of different countries. And their crepes were great, too! We all shared some savory ones for lunch and they were big and tasted great. The owner is also helpful and friendly and caring. We will definitely be back.”  Among the comments on Sabaidee’s Facebook page: “This is the cutest little coffee house you ever did see!! The owner is incredibly sweet and makes sure you immediately feel at home. The food is absolutely superb. I would highly recommend this to anyone.”
        Ball said she will be at the Rollin’ Food and Farmer’s Market on Navarre Avenue before she officially opens at the shrine on Sept. 8.
        She may eventually open a restaurant in Oregon. But since she already owns the food truck, she would like to feel out the environment before sinking $100,000 to start another sit-down restaurant.
        The food truck will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday year-round. “I plan on being closed on Sunday and Monday,” she said.
        Councilman Steve Hornyak, a former business owner, asked Ball how she plans to market the food truck.
        “The last thing a business owner wants to do is keep their place quiet,” he said.
        “I don’t want it to be low key,” said Ball. “I will market it. I have a pretty good following. I have a good following in Toledo. I have social media. That’s pretty much how I do my marketing now. At the Farmer’s Market, I will be passing out fliers. Really, word of mouth is what does most of it.” 
        “The individuals who have talked to me about your business speak very highly of your business and of you as well,” said Hornyak.
        Ball said she plans on locating the truck at the shrine permanently.
        “The plan is to leave it stable as a storefront type situation and not move it again,” she said.


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