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 Post subject: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:20 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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https://www.facebook.com/TheCinnamonSnail/posts/10153083323244367

Today is the fifth anniversary of the Cinnamon Snail, and I have to announce some news that is going to make a lot of people upset, us especially.
THERE ARE ONLY TWO WEEKS LEFT FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY THE CINNAMON SNAIL IN ITS CURRENT INCARNATION.
At the end of this month, on February 28th, our permit expires, and there is not a new one available to us. I have thoroughly explored every possible way to continue having our truck(s) on the streets, but it's time for a change for us.
Running food trucks is a very problem ridden business model. Much as I have absolutely loved being able to do it, running the Cinnamon Snail been emotionally and physically exhausting for me and my family.
As many of you know, over the years we have had every type of emergency, from generators catching fire, engines needing to be replaced, to police harassment, parking problems, and being chased off by other food trucks and restaurants. That says nothing of the endless logistical complications of running a food truck year round, things you wouldn't think of, like preventing our plumbing from freezing at night, which prevents us from having working hand sinks and forcing us to take the day to have all our pipes replaced. We have dealt with all the obstacles that have been thrown our way, but there is no light at the end of the tunnel, where running a food truck will be without these types of issues that make the business very difficult to be profitable in.
There is a misconception about food trucks, that we have very low overhead. Like any restaurant, we do in fact pay very high rent on our kitchen, where we prepare everything that we use on the truck from our donuts, to sauces and condiments. But in addition to a restaurant, any little mechanical problem on our truck, can cost us days on the street, and sometimes result in us having to throw out or give away thousands of dollars of food. We face every problem a regular brick and mortar restaurant deals with, plus many more problems that are unique to food truck life.
It's been a really exciting five years on the streets. When I first set out to build the truck, I never dreamed we would receive the national and international recognition that came. In addition to being at the top of so many "best food truck" in the USA/NYC polls, twice our food has made the front page of the New York Times Dining section, we have won 4 Vendy Awards, been named by yelp.com the #1 place to eat in all of NYC and #4 in the entire country, and won numerous awards and accolades from VegNews, Vegetarian Times, New York Post, Gothamist, Huffington Post, PETA, New York Magazine, and too many blogs to mention.
My wife and I started the truck so that we could bring vegan food into the street, where people who would otherwise never patronize a regular sit down vegan restaurant could check it out. The food we created has been designed to shatter the misconceptions people have about vegan food, and to make the mainstream gravitate towards considering a meat free diet. Doing this work, has been a matter of life and death for countless animals who’s lives have been spared, by our customers who have chosen vegan lifestyles, or have even just reduced the amount of animals they consume. This purpose is what has motivated us through all of the hard times, and difficulties we have dealt with running the trucks, and will continue to motivate us in our next project.
Right now, we are just going to focus on getting through the next two weeks, so that we can figure out where we are going from here with a clear mind after the dust settles. We are going to be exploring brick and mortar restaurant opportunities, whether they in the likeness of the Cinnamon Snail, or as a new exciting (vegan) concept. While we brainstorm about what the most fun yummy new project is going to be for us to work on, we are open for input or ideas from our customers and community. If you have some opportunities you think that we should explore, contact us at thecinnamonsnail@gmail.com
Anyone who has gift certificates, may either use them in the next couple of weeks, or please contact us for a refund.
My cookbook Street Vegan will be coming out in May, sharing lots of the recipes from the truck, along with many wonderful creations never before featured on our menu, and of course a complete donut chapter. The book is already available for pre-order from online booksellers at a discount of their retail price.
While we get setup for our next venture, I will be teaching cooking classes, and my wife will continue to be making special order vegan cakes.
It has been an honor to serve all of the communities that have been supporting us over the years. Really, the people who come to our truck every day have made us feel very loved, and have done such genuinely nice things. One defining moment, which our customers really blew my mind, was after hurricane Sandy. After being shut down by the storm for the week, we started doing emergency outreach, providing hot meals to people in badly affected areas. We only had enough money to be able to provide a couple of days of meals. When our customers found out that we were doing the outreach, they set up a donation fund, and collected thousands of dollars, which allowed us to continue providing meals for weeks. So much of the outreach we were able to do was completely made possible by our generous, caring customer base.
There have been a lot of great times, and a lot of hard times, and now it is time to transform once again and do something else to elevate vegan food in a new way.
Some people are going to be really upset, and maybe even angry with us that we are moving on from the trucks. I hope you can all forgive us and accept that we are just planning a different, more sustainable route. I am genuinely sorry.
Thank you for five of the best years of my life.
Looking forward to serving you again soon.
-Chef Adam Sobel


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:33 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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I like Cinn Snail food and all but I think it's a bit sucky to run a kickstarter to fund a new truck/permits just to call it quits 10 months later.


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:34 am 
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Semen Strong
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Well, I donated to their kickstarter and am not upset. The climate of police persecution changed over the last year and they were always tweeting about needing to move because the police were harassing them.

Its why they were initially forced out of Hoboken and into Manhattan. They would spend hours trying to find parking only to be forced to relocated because the police were harassing them. I think they became victims of their own success, and local restaurants were pushing to have them forced to keep moving. I hope they sell the trucks and get a brick and mortar place! Their food is amazing and I need to have a place to get my donut fix!

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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:18 pm 
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i don't regret my $25 contribution either.

it's really sad to hear about the end of an era, but i can absolutely understand his reasons for throwing in the towel. i'm confident that it won't be too long before we see Adam back in action.

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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:08 pm 
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I cannot believe! Ahhh! I am so sad for them! I hope they open a restaurant or something. I can't believe it. If I can't fly to NYC this week I am having my brother buy everything and freeze it for me.

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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:08 pm 
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I also don't regret my contribution and I really hope I can make it there in the next two weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:57 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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This is a huge loss to great food. But I know that whatever is next will be AMAZING.

Sweet T, do you think this was part of some long con? That they are lying about not being able to get a permit? Banking tens of thousands of dollars and were phoning it in these last 10 months so noone would suspect? Adam and his crew have done more for charitable causes than any restaurant I can think of. They are truly wonderful people and have made vegan food accessible to more people than anyone else I've ever seen. I think they deserve our support right now, as there has never once, ever been any sign of dishonesty or insincerity from anyone on the Snail crew.


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:08 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Alin wrote:
Adam and his crew have done more for charitable causes than any restaurant I can think of. They are truly wonderful people and have made vegan food accessible to more people than anyone else I've ever seen. I think they deserve our support right now, as there has never once, ever been any sign of dishonesty or insincerity from anyone on the Snail crew.


Yes absolutely this. When Sandy hit the Rockaways, the Snail was out every day giving out free food. They always give free food to the homeless and Adam and Joey are two of the kindest people I've ever met, and you see their spirit of egalitarian free spiritedness in their crew.

They have said that this is a really hard decision for them, and I know that the Snail was truly a labor of love for them from its inception. I don't think they would have given up on it, if they didn't really have to, and they really did a lot of make vegan food accessible and less scary for people. They absolutely deserve our support right now, and there has never once, ever been any sign of any dishonesty or insincerity from anyone on the Snail crew.

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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:36 am 
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Damn it, another amazing vegan place I'll never get to try.


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:41 pm 
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What a bummer. I really like their food and they've done so much for veganism here in the city. I'm going to stop by on Saturday for one final fix.

I get what SweetT is saying, though (or what I think she's saying). I believe the Snail re: how hard it is to run a food truck in NYC and know that they've got a great reputation for everything they've done charity-wise. I certainly don't suspect them of anything nefarious, but it's disappointing that this is happening so soon after their kickstarter.

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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:11 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Apparently they raised the $85,000 for the permit and the new truck and ended up getting scammed.

Quote:
"We used the money to buy a truck. Long crazy story (which I intend to
write about after we close the truck), but basically we got scammed by
the permit holder who reported the permit stolen after he sold it to us,
so that he could rent it to someone else on the black market. We got
very ripped off. We still have the truck but without the permit we
can't use it in NYC."


And more on how hard it is to operate in NYC:
Quote:
The food-truck business, I realized, is a classic case of bureaucratic inertia. The city has a right to weigh the interests of food-market owners (who don’t want food trucks blocking their windows) and diners (who deserve to know that their street meat is edible, and harmless). But many of the rules governing location were written decades ago. In the ’80s, the city capped the number of carts and trucks at 3,000 (plus 1,000 more from April to October). Technically, a permit for a food cart or truck is not transferable, but Andrew Rigie, executive director of the N.Y.C. Hospitality Alliance, said that vendors regularly pay permit holders something like $15,000 to $20,000 to lease their certificates for two years. Legally, the permit holder becomes a junior partner in the new business.


http://nyti.ms/YAhbdV

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:01 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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doncherryfan wrote:
I get what SweetT is saying, though (or what I think she's saying). I believe the Snail re: how hard it is to run a food truck in NYC and know that they've got a great reputation for everything they've done charity-wise. I certainly don't suspect them of anything nefarious, but it's disappointing that this is happening so soon after their kickstarter.


they were having issues (permit, being forced to move..etc) prior to the kickstarter campaign so the writing was on the wall. i can only go by the info they post online about their business and to me, the 85k would have been better spent on a more long term business plan.


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:20 pm 
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It's easy to say that in hindsight. They had a dream and were at the absolute top despite it being incredibly difficult. They are very good people and tried to make it work in a brutally tough business with critics *ahem* at every step. The world needs more people like that, dreamers and doers.


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:14 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Ugh this is so sad. I really hope they open a restaurant in NJ soon!

We were going to stop by the truck in Redbank tomorrow but my husband caught the stomach bug from my son and can't eat. We won't be able to go next weekend either because of prior plans. DAMN YOU STOMACH BUG, DAMN YOU!!!

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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:28 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Adam is thinking that they can continue to vend in Red Bank for the summer farmer's market, so hopefully we won't have to go Snail-less until they figure out what is next.

I am in so much denial about the fact that they might be closing. I have known Adam and Joey for years and saw the truck while they were working on it, at their house, we were at their opening day in Hoboken and the first meal that I got after I got out of the hospital with Leela was Cinnamon Snail, because B drove all the way there to get it for me to make up for a shitty 3 days. They have donated to every single bake sale we have ever done - trays of awesome donuts and pastries and never asked for anything, but that the money go to help the animals. They've always had a smile for everyone and crazy wild energy to spare and honestly, they have just always been wonderful and their food has always been incredible. They are posting their favorite stories from truck life on FB, and it always sounds like, in the face of some crazy obstacles, they've always had so much fun and always put so much heart and hardwork into their truck.

I really don't want it to end. And I love the cook book, but its just not going to replicate the energy of the Snail Crew.

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:23 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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@Alin pretty sure I've said this very thing on the board once before. Hindsight not necessary.

Apparently reasoned opinions rub your airtight bubble the wrong way so carry on with your head in the clouds or whatever

Edited: "The world needs more people like that, dreamers and doers with a business plan.."


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:45 pm 
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The line today was crazy. I got there 20 minutes after they opened and had to wait almost an hour and by the time I got to the head of the line they were out of creme brulee donuts. Tomorrow I'm going to be earlier. My friend loves those donuts and it's her birthday.

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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:50 am 
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Thursday are my normal Cinnamon Snail day but I'm still recovering from surgery so I reminded my co-workers to go on my behalf.
The line in the flatiron is not bad providing you go before noon. If you go after noon, brace yourself for a 30-45 min wait to place an order


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 Post subject: Re: RIP Cinnamon Snail
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:55 am 
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I wouldn't count on the line being short today at all. It's normally not bad where I went yesterday before noon but I got there at 9:20 and had to wait an hour. Everyone is going for a last meal before they close.

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