Cincy PR entrepreneur developing multi-use Food Igloo in time for winter time food truck eats

For Cincinnati, this was the summer of the Food Truck. Within the last year 10 licensed food trucks have popped up around the city serving everything from pizza and ice cream to burgers and burritos. They've become so popular that the city quickly approved a mobile food vendor program allowing licensed trucks to park at three city-owned parking lots to serve their tasty treats.

Food trucks are a fun and different way to grab lunch or a late night bite. But when the cold, snowy Cincinnati winters comes around, getting a meal from a food truck might not be quite as convenient or fun.

Micah Paldino, a public relations agent whose clients include mobile food vendors Senor Roy's Taco Patrol and Café de Wheels, saw the winter months challenge as a creative opportunity. Enter the Food Igloo, a building concept Paldino is developing along with Norwood architecture firm SHP.

"I was talking to my clients Café de wheels and Senior Roys Taco patrol and I threw out the funny idea of a Food Igloo. They kind of laughed and said 'Yeah, go for it!' And I said 'No, I'm really serious.'"

Paldino set up a new company Orchard Media Group to launch this concept. For his PR efforts, Paldino continues to operate PB&J, Public relations, Branding and Jabber.

The final design is still being worked out, but Paldino described the food igloo as a moveable space that will seat up to 150 people. It would offer protection for food truck customers looking for somewhere to eat in the winter. It will look like an igloo, can be used year round and will be designed to have indoor lighting that makes it appear as if it's "glowing" or "floating," Paldino said.

The space could sit on a parking lot or abandoned open space, which may have to be leased. But the details of where it would sit will have to be worked out with city officials or property owners, Paldino said.

The design will also incorporate sustainability, and SHP is exploring using eco friendly heating options like recycled vegetable oil. The Food Igloo won't be limited to a single type of use, Paldino said.

"I think it's important that it be a mixed-use space that can be used for dinners or dance parties. It’s a fun way for people to embrace their fantasy childhood, it's very kitschy, very pop art inspired," he said.

The igloo is being narrowed to three designs, and Paldino is talking to some companies that are interested in using it as a marketing vehicle.

If all goes as planned Cincinnati could see the igloo by January.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Micah Paldino, owner Orchard Media Relations and PB&J, Public relations, Branding and Jabber

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