This new food truck is bringing Somalian food to Toronto streets—when it can find somewhere to park
Kal and Mooy (the name means “mortar and pestle”) is the city’s first East African food truck. It launched earlier this month and has since been on a mission to introduce Torontonians to Somalian cuisine—which, according to co-owner Ahmed Duale, is “a fusion of African, Middle Eastern and European cuisine,” combined with something he calls “the Somali taste.” Until recently, Ahmed was working as a different kind of trucker, driving tractor-trailers across the border to the U.S. and back. Now he’s spending his days cooking traditional Somalian food—samosas, rice platters and a shawarma-style wrap made with sabaayad, a Somalian flatbread—with his wife, Aisha Mahamed, and tooling around Toronto in their mobile restaurant.
So far, the street-side reception has been warm, although there have been some challenges, mainly on the parking front. Ahmed is one of the few Toronto food-truckers who waited in line to spend $5,000 on one of the city’s new mobile-vending permits. “I was new to the business, so it seemed worthwhile,” he said. The permit allows him to park on city streets, but only if he’s at least 50 metres away from any operating restaurant. “I’m discovering, even though I have the permit, there’s no place to park.”
Ahmed has been spending most of his time around High Park and Church and Gerrard. “There are hot spots on Front Street, or on Queen Street from University to Dovercourt, but they’re all out of bounds. I’m hoping city council will reconsider.” As for his decision to buy the permit, he’s not sure he’d make it again. “If things stay the way they are, I might not renew it.”
Kal & Mooy, facebook.com
8 thoughts on “This new food truck is bringing Somalian food to Toronto streets—when it can find somewhere to park”
*Somali not somalian. Thanks!
Hi! CP style says that “Somalian” is the right word to use as an adjective, although Somali seems to be used interchangeably in practice. We want to be sure to get these things right and will be careful going forward. Thanks!
Somalian is incorrect. When describing a single person it’s Somali. For plural it’s Somalis. I get why people make the mistake since it’s commonly used, even by some Somalis themselves. Nevertheless, wishing him success with his business and hope to try it out soon :)
I actually ate at this place on Gerald the past weekend. Considering I live in Scarborough, the price and quality of the samosas at K&M was absurd. They normally cost 5-6 for $1. I understand the overhead costs, but seriously not worth it. The shawarma was very tasty and I would recommend that to anyone who lines up for this truck.
This is great! I love to see the members of the East African Diaspora in Canada pursuing business and their passion! Its inspiring! All the best to you and hoping City Council will be more accommodating when it comes to the parking issue for Toronto’s food trucks.
what part of “$5000 licensing fee” don’t you understand?
the city is fucking entrepreneurs over. big time.
add to that the $100000 cost of the truck and,well, food ain’t cheap
Understand? You make it sound like Food Truck owners were ‘duped’ into a contract. Cost Analysis was done and they took the risk. Personally yeah, 5000$ is too much and the rules are way too strict, but thats the way it is. Doesn’t justify serving a sub-par product and an outrageous rate.
Toronto doesn’t really want Food trucks so of course they have permits with ridiculous fees.
For some reason Food trucks coexist with other restaurants in so many other places in the world and can make a living except the Toronto the Great. More like Toronto the Boring and Too Slow to Change. Keep on regressing and crumbling and prevaricating Toronto. Other cities in Canada and the US will be happy to take even more tourists away.
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