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July 18, 2011

The Deal With Caplansky’s Food Trucks (Corey Mintz reports)

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Great story today in the Toronto Star about the future of Caplansky’s (and its transformation from its roots), centered on the soon to emerge food trucks. Written by none other than Fed maven Corey Mintz, an early Caplansky’s convert.

The thriving deli business of Zane Caplansky, who originally intended to sell his smoked meat from a street cart, has come full circle.

Three years ago, he applied to participate in the Toronto À La Carte program so he could sell his Montreal-style sandwiches on the street. Near broke, he couldn’t afford one of the City’s expensive carts, one of the many mandates that made the street food initiative a disaster.

“I had to make a choice,” he says. “Do I spend $30,000 on buying a cart, only having $5,000 to my name? Or do I go into the Monarch and do this for nothing?”

He rescinded his application. Starting with a Cookshack smoker that could hold eight briskets, operating out of a tiny kitchen at the Monarch Tavern where he paid $300 a month rent, he launched Caplansky’s Deli.

Three years later, that little business has grown into a proper, thriving restaurant, and he is refurbishing two food trucks for private events and lunch-hour service in downtown Toronto. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST


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