Open for business: The Fashion Mobile

Stores on wheels

Want to test a retail concept? Do it from a truck in St. Paul

Ever think about starting your own food truck? Now you can ponder other truck-based businesses, too. In May, the St. Paul City Council approved licensing for trucks that sell things other than food  clothes and furniture, for instance. For entrepreneurs on a tight budget, retailing from a truck is considerably cheaper than operating a traditional shop. Expect to pay a licensing fee of $72 and be restricted to certain times and places, but if you want to test a retail concept on the cheap, this might be a good way to proceed cautiously. For more details, go to the city's website and click Licenses, or call the city's Department of Safety & Inspections at (651) 266-8989. For an example of an existing shop on wheels, check out The Fashion Mobile truck, which you might have seen at Marketfest in White Bear Lake. Meanwhile, the likes of Plymouth-based Chameleon Concessions, which has found a niche in tricking out food trucks for celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern (AZ Canteen) and others, might stand to benefit from an increase in truck-based businesses.