Cart culture

Cart culture

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Wanderlust co-owner Vanessa Lurie has to select her merchandise carefully, because only 115 hangers fit inside the vintage goods cart she runs beside Lodekka on North Williams Avenue. "The space inside my shop is a challenge I have to overcome everyday," Lurie says.
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina

Other non-food cart owners say they enjoy carthood and have no aspirations for more permanent locations. They appreciate the low overhead and high visibility, the sense of community within the food pods and the quirkiness and intimacy of their spaces. “There are times when customers will stay for two hours, just chatting,” Sutherland says.

But everything is harder in a cart, owners agree. Arranging electricity and water hookups, keeping out the cold and rain, managing a small space and finding ways to grow all present challenges. Plus, business suffers during the winter months, when foot traffic to the cart pods dies down.

“I still don’t know if I’ll make it,” says Sonya Petroff, who opened Yours Vintage Treasures last May. “But this is my dream. I’m willing to hang in there.”