Rae-Ann Birney, a single mother of three boys, opened The Perking Spot with her best friend and business partner Sonia Champlin in 2019. The pair are passionate about their small business and supporting their community, but The Perking Spot is now at risk of being put out of business after the city of Nampa, Idaho began enforcing its current unconstitutional regulations against mobile food vendors, as well as considering new rules to put in place.

The Perking Spot trailer is run out of a large parking lot, which Rae-Ann and Sonia have a lease with the property owner to use, and the team’s trailer is powered by a private light pole, which Rae-Ann got a permit to install. For more than three years Rae-Ann and Sonia sacrificed everything, including their life savings, to build a loyal customer base. At no point did city officials take issue with any part of The Perking Spot’s operations until last fall, when Nampa randomly began enforcing the city’s current regulations. Most recently, Rae-Ann and Sonia have had to shut down their drive-thru—which had posed no safety concerns whatsoever—hurting their business, and the situation could get much worse. 

In addition to newly enforcing the current rules, Nampa officials have introduced new regulations that would double-down on the bans on food trucks parking overnight, and connecting to power poles, and would bar more than one food truck from operating in a lot at a time unless it is in an approved food truck court. Those rules would drive Rae-Ann and Sonia out of business and devastate other entrepreneurs.

That’s why the Institute for Justice (IJ) sent a letter to city officials in Nampa, on behalf of Rae-Ann and Sonia, strongly urging them to cease all enforcement of current and future regulations against mobile food vendors who are doing business on private property and complying with all safety precautions outlined in the city’s code. Rae-Ann and Sonia, and other food truck owners, have the right to earn an honest living.





Related Letters and Statements

See More