Not to brag, but Portland’s food cart scene is nothing short of legendary. At last count, the city totaled over 880 of the miniature restaurants, many gathered in 40-odd groups (dubbed “pods”). They draw hungry locals eager to grab a mouth-watering lunch on the go, and flocks of tourists looking to sample fare that’s won nods from Bon Appétit magazine and CNN.

But as cute and delightful as food carts are, let’s not forget: These are small businesses trying to make it in the food industry, just like any other restaurant. Food cart owners face numerous challenges, especially as Portland experiences a period of booming growth. Rising rent, competition and logistics are all challenges food cart owners face.

Join us this Friday, Feb. 17 between 1-2 p.m. for an encore Biz503 episode of “Welcome to Cartlandia.” Tune in to hear co-hosts Stephen Green of Elevate Capital and Perry Gruber of Copiosis discuss behind-the-scenes food cart life. They and their guests covered startup challenges, the shifting pod landscape, and why folks should – or shouldn’t – get in the food cart game.

Our panel included:

Steven Shomler – Radio Host of Tasty Tuesday on PRP; Author, “Portland Food Cart Stories”

Todd Edwards – Owner of Ole Latte Coffee

Carina Rumrill – Co-founder, Of Roots and Blooms; previously, Cheese Plate PDX Food Cart

Chris Fontenot – Founder, A Cajun Life

Brett Burmeister – Editor in Chief,

Don Salome – Founder, Burger Stevens

Listen to the encore episode here:

Or listen to the original episode, sponsored by Albina Community Bank, below: