MAPLEWOOD, MO (KPLR) – Churches struggling to keep the doors open are always trying to find new ways to increase revenue. A Maplewood congregation floated a new idea Monday night to bring in money and city officials so far are in agreement. The plan revolves around food trucks even though food trucks are not allowed to operate in Maplewood.
Christ Church UCC Maplewood wants to turn its commercial kitchen into a commissary for food trucks. Church members said it will help them continue to serve the community while the trucks serve up tasty food in communities across the area. Ron Gaus is a member of the congregation, “All we’re trying to do is allow food trucks a place to prepare their meals and wash their dishes when they’re done.”
Christ Church spent $20,000 improving its kitchen to commercial grade and only learned afterwards the place could not be used for catering or food truck food prep, all because of zoning rules.
So church members went to planning and zoning at Maplewood City Hall Monday Night to ask for a change. The first thing the congregation wanted everyone to know is that they are not trying to open Maplewood to food trucks which are now against the rules. They want to give food trucks a place to fix their meals and make some money from the operation.
The church has been a part of Maplewood for more than 125 years and serves the community by helping adults and young people obtain a GED. Plus, they offer places for 12 step meetings.
After much debate and lots of questions the church won round one, they got approval from planning and zoning. Church member Donna Ratkowski said, “I’m thrilled we’re really excited.” Church Member Jan Pryibin added, “Very happy, it’s a good thing for us and the community.”
The next step is city council approval. Church members are hopeful no one will spoil their recipe for what they believe will be a success.