Food vendors can apply to sell in city parks

New process for obtaining commercial park use permits goes into effect March 1

Noel Lyn Smith
Michael Etheredge orders lunch on Thursday at a Pizza 9 food truck off Beckland Drive in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — The city has given the green light for mobile food vendors to operate in designated city parks.

A new, streamlined process for vendors to obtain commercial park use permits goes into effect March 1, said Cory Styron, director of the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department.

The department identified 10 locations in Farmington parks that will be permitted for food trucks — the south, north and upper/pool areas of Brookside Park, Kiwanis Park, the east and west sections of Berg Park, Animas Park, the east and west portion of the Farmington Museum and Lake Farmington.

Styron said those sites offer the best spaces for vendors to set up, and selling from those locations will not disrupt other park activities.

Vending areas within the parks will vary. They can be either designated parking spaces or specific areas chosen for the safety and convenience of customers and vendors.

Lillian Rose, left, waits while Cheri Montoya, center, and Jeremy Montoya prepare her order at Silver Star Barbeque on Thursday off of 20th Street in Farmington.

Last year, 25 licenses were issued city-wide for vending wagons and trucks, including those that sell snow cones or food, according to the city's Business Registration office.

Nick Fish is a co-owner of the Pizza 9 franchise in Farmington, which has been operating a mobile unit on Beckland Drive since October.

“I would be interested in it,” Fish said of vending in city parks.

Jeremy and Cheri Montoya opened Silver Star Barbeque in July in the west section of the Smith's Food and Drug Store parking lot on 20th Street. Jeremy Montoya said he is happy with the location, but, he added, if there is a park event that would allow for more business and exposure, he would be open to submitting a vending application.

“It definitely gives us more options,” he said.

Copies of the application, guidelines and fee schedule are available at Applications will be accepted starting Feb. 1 at the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs office, 901 Fairgrounds Road.

A pizza is prepared for a customer on Thursday at a Pizza 9 food truck off Beckland Drive in Farmington.

In December, the city council held a public hearing about a proposal to expand the permitting process that allows vendors to sell food in city parks. Councilors decided to leave the decision of whether to implement the policy to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department.

The department is also partnering with San Juan College and the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau to offer a Recreation and Tourism Business Workshop.

The workshop is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park, 3401 E. Main St. It is designed to provide information and resources to help commercial vendors build their businesses, according to a city press release.

Pre-registration is required, and the cost is $15, which includes dinner.

For more information about the workshop or to register, call 505-566-3699 or email

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.

From left, Gabriel Montoya, 12, and Julian Montoya, 9, attempt to hang a sign at Silver Star Barbeque on Thursday off 20th Street in Farmington.