Mobile-food fight? Lumpia World truck booted from Rite Aid

Are food trucks a threat to fixed-location restaurants? Lumpia World, which has set up at Rite Aid south of The Junction on Saturdays and Mondays for the past month or so, says its permission to be there just got pulled – after what its co-owner says was a confrontation on Saturday with someone making that argument. We just talked with co-owner Derrick – but first, here’s the backstory: Today, via their Facebook page, they announced they won’t be there tonight, claiming that an “unidentified man” approached the truck on Saturday, saying something about health rules, and “was/is upset about the rise in mobile food vendors & the fact that our overhead/taxes are not what his is based on him having a physical location.” As a result, Lumpia World said in its second FB post, the man caused “a very large scene at our trailer as well as in Rite Aid. With this said, Rite Aid has asked us to halt our operations temporarily until they hear back from their legal team.” And in a third and final FB post:

… We hope this matter will be resolved in a quick manner so we can get back to doing what we are passionate about & love in West Seattle. It is not our mission or goal to take business away from any one, we just want to bring & make available our cuisine that we are so passionate about.

We just talked by phone with Lumpia World’s co-owner Derrick, who confirms that Rite Aid has withdrawn their permission for Lumpia World TFN (he says at least one other area business with a sizable lot has invited him to contact them, though). He reiterates that the man did not identify himself or his restaurant but demanded to see food handler cards and claimed one was invalid because it’s from a different county (Derrick says that’s not true – we’re researching the rules) and then became irate, going on about taxes and overhead that he has to pay compared to a mobile operation, after which, Derrick says, the man went into the store and complained there. He’s waiting for final word from Rite Aid; in the meantime, LW tried White Center last weekend, by Big Al Brewing, and Derrick says they’ll return there 5-8 pm Friday.

Meantime, we have a message out to Rite-Aid media relations to ask about the reported permission withdrawal. But the one person we don’t have a message out to, because we have no idea who he is, is the “unidentified” person who complained – we issue an open call, if that’s you, we’d love to publish your side of the story too – or that of ANY local restaurateur who feels that street-food trucks are hurting their business. It would be an important viewpoint to hear.

73 Replies to "Mobile-food fight? Lumpia World truck booted from Rite Aid"

  • The Velvet Bulldog March 21, 2011 (3:48 pm)

    If the mobile food trucks are taking business away from you, maybe you should make better food.

    I’m sorry to hear that Rite Aid caved in to this loon. TR, if you hear back from a Rite Aid contact person, will you please share their info so we can advocate for the food truck? Thanks.

  • kate March 21, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    Food trucks are awesome! One of the best things about Portland is their thriving food truck community. A food truck is only a threat to a restaurant if the food truck serves better food at a better price than the threatened eatery. Is that so different than restaurants competing against each other for business? Having said that, dining at a restaurant is a completely different experience than a food cart or truck; it’s like comparing a drive in movie theater to an indoor movie theater. Food trucks and vendor carts tend to stay open later into the night than most restaurants around Seattle, too. I’m all for more trucks!

  • MB March 21, 2011 (4:06 pm)

    Seriously!? Hmm, really wish we knew what restaurant this guy was from, I’d love to “help” him get even less business. I hope they secure a new spot soon, i’ve been craving some lumpia, but haven’t had a chance to stop by the “truck.” Is there even anywhere else to get lumpia, beyond making it yourself? As stated above, they are only your competition if their food is better, not because they drive away at night. Wow, the nerve of some people. If you legitimately have a complaint, then put on your big boy pants and go through the proper channels…yelling at random people in a place of business is honestly just pathetic as far as I’m concerned. And dude, I hope you read this. If anything, it makes me want to give them my business even more just to prove not all west seattlites suck.

  • Austin March 21, 2011 (4:10 pm)

    That’s too bad for rite-aid. I won’t do business with them anymore; instead I’ll just head on down the road to Bartell’s (who I should be giving my business anyways, since they’re the local guys.)

  • george March 21, 2011 (4:11 pm)

    I for one would like to know more about how safe this food is prepared. Isn’t is regulated by the Health Dept like any other resteraunt? Shouldn’t health cards be current? Isn’t there business permits required? With all the food trucks out there, I would feel safer knowing that they are being regulated with posted licenses, health cards, etc. for the benefit of everyone. None of this under the table stuff please.

    • WSB March 21, 2011 (4:14 pm)

      I’ll update the story but what Derrick told me is correct, verified by this Department of Health page – a food handler’s card issued anywhere in WA is “good throughout the state.”

  • Peter March 21, 2011 (4:13 pm)

    If this is how a business man behaves, I’m guessing the complainer’s business (if he really has one) is having trouble not because of food trucks but because of his own lack of professionalism.

  • Scooterista March 21, 2011 (4:14 pm)

    I live really close to the Rite-Aid and was quite happy to have a food truck nearby. Frankly, when I want to eat at a food truck, I don’t usually want to eat at a restaurant and vice-versa. They are two completely different dining experiences and if you want one, you don’t want the other. As for Rite-Aid, I don’t tend to shop there, but I would end up there more often if they had one or more food trucks in their lot.

  • Peter March 21, 2011 (4:20 pm)

    In answer to George’s post, mobile vendors such as trucks and stands have the same licensing and health requirements as all other food vendors and restaurants. Nobody has alleged the truck’s lisencing was in question.

  • Bill March 21, 2011 (4:28 pm)

    Personally, I’d rather eat quality food on the go. The new generation of food trucks serve that purpose quite well. Goodbye McDonald’s (forever), goodbye mobile vending trucks (forever) and goodbye greasy spoons (forever). Oh, and goodbye Mr. Bad Attitude (forever).

    Hello to the new generation of niche entrepreneurs. The times are a-changing.

    Rite-Aid. You goofed badly.

  • odroku March 21, 2011 (4:40 pm)

    Definitely with the majority here. Sounds like the complainer is looking for a scapegoat for his own problems without checking his own backyard all too thoroughly. I can’t honestly think of one time where we changed course on our dining plans in order to hit a food truck in place of a dine-in experience. We have, however, opted to go sit down somewhere, rather than deal with ordering, waiting and driving home. The complaining business owner is delusional and should stay quiet as to his identity; I don’t think it would be good PR for his business. Then again, my sense is he has other issues.

  • cj March 21, 2011 (4:48 pm)

    I know this Right Aid. There is nothing inside that I would consider competition with the food truck unless they are talking about items that are sealed and dry goods. I’m assuming the food truck doesn’t carry milk, beer and wine.

    I think unidentified man needs to be known as he seems to think its cool for him to make changes to OUR neighborhood with out asking the rest of us.

  • Deanie March 21, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    According to a March 8 Seattle Times story, new legislation intended to make it easier for mobile food trucks to operate are expected to go before the City Council sometime before the end of the month.  

    Among those changes is a possible proposal to have a requirement that trucks be 50 ft from other food service businesses, including not only restaurants but grocery and convenience stores.

  • toddinwestwood March 21, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    Is there Phillipino rest. in W.S. that they are competing with? Why should Mr. Complainer worry then?

  • SarahScoot March 21, 2011 (5:00 pm)

    Cj, the man in question wasn’t saying the food truck is competition for Rite-Aid; presumably, he thinks food trucks are a threat to his own restaurant.

  • Genesee Hill March 21, 2011 (5:02 pm)

    Witch hunt, anyone?

  • WSB March 21, 2011 (5:03 pm)

    Eek, I didn’t see that earlier comment. PLEASE no guesses with specific names/restaurants. We have NO idea who this was – I even asked Derrick if he saw anyone snapping a photo perhaps while this reported kerfuffle was under way, and there was none that he knew of. I would love for that person, if he reads this, to accept our open offer to tell their side of the story … so far, nothing in the inbox. – TR

  • bebecat March 21, 2011 (5:07 pm)

    When a new food facility comes into a neighborhood there is a permit system signage goes up and the neighborhood can make a complaint if they see fit as this could be a change to the neighborhood. These trucks just seem to pull up and park. Now the trucks are the ones making the change without notice or asking the neighborhood. Not the unidentified man!

  • Eliza March 21, 2011 (5:07 pm)

    I bet we see Lumpia World show up in another WS lot very soon. I sure hope so at least. Too bad Rite Aid folded so quickly, not cool.

  • Aaron March 21, 2011 (5:13 pm)

    I’d like to know what restaurant is his so I can make sure not to go. Or maybe go make a huge scene at his place of business.

  • Rod March 21, 2011 (5:13 pm)

    Well, I kinda doubt that he will identify himself at this point, considering the comments already made.

    • WSB March 21, 2011 (5:17 pm)

      I’d publish first-person commentary anonymously if this person (or any other restaurateur) wanted to make their case that way – after all, we don’t require people to publish their names when commenting – but of course, they’re free to leave a comment as well! – TR

  • MB March 21, 2011 (5:17 pm)

    @bebecat: huh?

  • marty March 21, 2011 (5:22 pm)

    I don’t like to see the childish behavior of the person mentioned here rewarded by giving him his way. Rite Aid will not make many friends in the community with actions like that. They are not the only drug store in the area. I will go elsewhere if the food truck is not invited to return.

  • Michael March 21, 2011 (5:33 pm)

    bebecat: no. trucks must be licensed and jump through the same hoops (sometimes more) than your restaurant. They can’t just “pull up and park” either, there are rules for that.
    Your arguments seem kind of alarmist and not well-grounded.
    Or maybe you’re right: maybe the neighborhood SHOULD have a say…perhaps a vote, between the food truck and whatever restaurant is complaining? I’d love to see that!

  • Beth March 21, 2011 (5:36 pm)

    @bebecat: The trucks don’t “just pull up and park”. They’re subject to rules and regulations like any other business. I too hope Lumpia World either returns to Rite Aid or finds another home. Their food is good and the proprietors are friendly.

  • Genesee Hill March 21, 2011 (5:45 pm)

    RiteAid is a drug store. RiteAid sells cheap booze. I like RiteAid. RiteAid owns the parking lot. If you don’t like it, I hear there is a WalMart in Federal Way lookin’ for customers. Or, a Sam’s Club in Renton.

  • Traci March 21, 2011 (5:50 pm)

    Oh no… Lumpia World has been nothing short of gracious and delicious from day one here. I hope this is resolved quickly, and vow to give them TONS of business on their grand return!

  • Alki Bee March 21, 2011 (5:57 pm)

    Bullies are not just in schools. Shame on Rite Aid for allowing the bully to prevail.

  • marty March 21, 2011 (6:10 pm)

    The Rite Aid phone number is 206-937-2191. I just called and left a polite message for the manager. I wasn’t rude, didn’t want to lower myself to the level of the individual whe threw the tizzy-fit over the weekend. Give them a call!

  • westsea March 21, 2011 (6:30 pm)

    For Petes sake….

  • Genesee Hill March 21, 2011 (6:44 pm)

    Hey, Marty!

    I just called Rite Aid and asked them to please keep their parking lot open for Rite Aid customers only. No taco trucks, no lumpia trucks, and ABSOLUTELY NO LUTEFISK TRUCKS!

    I want all the Rite Aid parking available to me when I go on a bender. Rite Aid ROCKS with low cost BOOZE PRICES! Park those heathen food trucks elsewhere. Like Catholic Churches, for heaven’s sake.

  • Big Doug March 21, 2011 (6:46 pm)


  • March 21, 2011 (6:47 pm)

    First, I want to say that food truck people are nice, but Derrick from Lumpia World is INSANELY nice. I really hope they find another West Seattle spot that’s worth of them.
    Second, if you’d like more information about the proposed street food legislation, you should visit their facebook page at
    Love live the food truck!

  • cj March 21, 2011 (6:51 pm)

    Thanks Sarah I think I see it more clearly now. To the owner of the very near by restaurant hehe as some one else put it. Your food is priced too high for the neighborhood, just saying :D

    I left a message with the manager. The person on the phone just laughed.

  • Amanda March 21, 2011 (7:05 pm)

    I guess you will all have to come to Big Al’s on Friday and get your Lumpia World on! Woo hoo!

  • MrJT March 21, 2011 (7:05 pm)

    Unless they have bought it recently, Rite Aid only leases the building/lot. It used to be owned along with the building the Psychic Barber is in and the big brown house behind it.

  • Traci March 21, 2011 (7:13 pm)

    I think it’s VERY uncool to point fingers… We have no idea who the man was and it’s not fair.

  • ksr March 21, 2011 (7:17 pm)

    I’m glad I was able to stop by rite-aid on Saturday for my first Lumpia World visit before they got the boot. The Lumpia are indeed very tasty and the guys are friendly and nice. I didn’t happen to see the obviously jealous local restaurateur/teabagger complaining to whoever would listen about his taxes. I wish I would have seen him..I would have told him to shut his pie-hole or stick a Lumpia in it!

  • Concerned Citizen March 21, 2011 (7:19 pm)

    We really can’t blame Rite-aide … they are a business, they probably felt “threatened” themselves and they have to be there!!!! They did say they would check with their legal people! Lets give them a break (for now anyway!) … so sorry for the Lumpia Truck! It’s great and NOT a threat to any restaurant! Competition is good for business! Whoever you are just keep doing a good job at your establishment and quit being a bully!!!!

  • MB March 21, 2011 (7:20 pm)

    Ooh, yet another reason to go check out Big Al’s! I live within walking distance, but still haven’t made it down there. Beer AND lumpia!? I’m in!! And I could be wrong GenHill, but you sound like you may have been to Rite Aid today :)

  • Genesee Hill March 21, 2011 (7:37 pm)


    Not today! But, as you can probably guess, I stocked up.

    But when I desire lumpia, I drive to oLUMPIA, and when I desire a taco, I drive to TACOma. And when I want cheap booze, I drive to West Seattle Rite Aid!

    Now, please! Leave my Rite Aid parking lot alone!

  • Kelly March 21, 2011 (7:41 pm)

    This thread is weirder than the zombie snopocalypse story (and not nearly as funny).

  • food vendor March 21, 2011 (7:48 pm)

    I worked for a street food vendor a couple year ago when we parked opposite of the true value hardware near the junction. a very large white man who had little or no hair driving a large blue or black pickup pulled into the parking lot and demanded the same thing. Wanted our health cards and to see our business license. he said it was invalid as we didn’t pay our taxes for the area and kept telling us that we had to leave and he’ll call public health and the police to have us shut down. We had all of our permits and health cards… everything was on the up and up. we asked him what authority he had to try to shut us down and he kept telling us that he is a business owner and he pays his taxes! we politely asked him to leave. this sounds exactly like the same guy… I wish I knew which business though…

  • JoB March 21, 2011 (7:54 pm)

    Genesee Hill..
    do you require the entire parking lot when you visit Rite Aid to buy your booze?
    If you are having that much trouble parking..
    perhaps you shouldn’t be driving. :(

  • Alki resident March 21, 2011 (8:19 pm)

    I agree JoB,if Genesee Hill has a drinking problem and drives which is obvious he does,Im sure to keep away from Rite Aid to protect my family.

  • DP March 21, 2011 (8:26 pm)

    It’s called sarcasm, JoB.

  • miws March 21, 2011 (8:48 pm)

    Genesee Hill, I’m not even gonna ask you what you are desiring when you head out to Humptulips! :lol:



  • doggydodo March 21, 2011 (8:51 pm)

    Can’t we all just get along? Rite Aid is a drug store, after all…so you could stop by Lumpia before lunch, and pick up some yummy lumps — next run into Right Aid and buy your booze, smokes, condoms, Maybelline, vicodin, and Easter basket, and you’re still good to go next door to Ephesus for dinner at 5pm. GenHill, perhaps they will dig a large whole for parking if the market will bear.

    • WSB March 21, 2011 (9:31 pm)

      Editor’s note: Have excised all references to a speculation, without any evidence suggested, of who it was. Thought I had killed it earlier, just back from a few stories and I hadn’t, and it had picked up further references. Sorry for a bit of helpful information lost along the way, but we do not edit comments – they either stay or go in their entirety as posted … TR

  • Gina March 21, 2011 (8:57 pm)

    It wasn’t the manager of Herfy’s complaining, was it? The Hi-Hat? Sambo’s? Taco Bell? New Luck Toy? Spencer’s? Webster’s? Chuck and Sally’s? Bison Creek?

  • MGarden March 21, 2011 (9:15 pm)

    I was all set to stop by Lumpia World tonight to get a lumpia ‘fix’ on my way home from work. I am so sorry that someone caused a hassle for these guys, who are SO nice, and their food is delicious. I’ve been raving to everyone I know about them! Will have to trek on over to Big Al’s on Friday – want to give Derrick and Lumpia World all the support they deserve.

  • twicksea March 21, 2011 (10:10 pm)

    Not sure why I read this whole thread since I can’t eat lumpia and don’t shop at Rite Aid but I’m glad I did. @doggydodo and @gina you both made me laugh out loud.

  • Derrick Ellis March 21, 2011 (11:18 pm)

    West Seattle Family, we are truly humbled by all the support and feelings expressed. I personally read every comment posted and I speak for the entire Lumpia World Staff when I say, we appreciate the time each of you applied to voice your opinions.

    We are focusing our energy on making good food, providing good service, and continuing to strive to improve on all levels. Thank you to each one of you again for your support. Blessings to all of you. -D.E

  • Gabe March 22, 2011 (12:07 am)

    This is too bad for such a great business and great guys, I know that Derrick and the boys do everything on the right way. I’ve been trying to get them to head up to Burien and I was told that they have to go through all the legal channels to do so. They are also family men trying to raise their families with the business they love. So just because people have hang ups, they want to shoot down their dreams?

    For a truck to be anywhere there has to be an agreement between to owners/businesses. They are going to be people who disagree, but that should not stop the dream. For the dream stealers, are you that unhappy with your life that you have to make someone else miserable?

    Derrick and the boys are living their dream and it’s an awesome one. I am a true supporter of Lumpia World, where ever they go, I will follow. If that means being away from people that just want to spoil everything, then so be it…

    For the supporters, please help the boys find a new place that will gladly have them. According to this thread, it shouldn’t be too hard.

    Derrick & the boys, when I get back from vacation, I will get in touch with you and find you.

  • JanS March 22, 2011 (1:36 am)

    Derrick…I’m thinking that maybe y0u need to find a nice location up here in the Admiral District…we’d welcome you with open arms – and mouths :D

  • Ken March 22, 2011 (5:58 am)

    Will you publish the serial food truck abusers name once it is confirmed? He obviously craves publicity for his restaurant…. Maybe you could extort a sponsorship for a charity event out of him in return for withholding the name?

    As a former chef and restaurant manager, I would be happy to visit and write a review of his place of business. :)

  • Chrisw March 22, 2011 (7:15 am)

    Y’all should head to Portland and check it out. Neighborhood food carts sit right alongside the restaurants there, and everyone co-exists. Yes, they compete with restaurants, but the experiences they offer are vastly different. If you want to go sit in a quiet place, be waited on, go to a restaurant. If you want to grab a quick bite of better-than-fast-food (but not as expensive as a restaurant) and take it home – food carts are perfect.

    Food carts can be an vital part of a community. They allow for more small scale ($$$ efficient) businesses to experiment and specialize.

    I hope Lumpia (and the Mexican food cart on Fauntleroy) are front-runners in a new W. Seattle movement. Bring on the carts!

  • westie March 22, 2011 (7:57 am)

    @ Chrisw
    I love to visit Portland and visit the food truck land!
    @ Dennis
    Thanks for the great grub at Big Al’s and Rite Aid. This is a new food experience that needs to be recognized!
    @ Rite Aid
    I support your decision to put a hold on this until things become clearer. Please consider having trucks again when things clear up. Thanks for trying!

  • Halyn March 22, 2011 (9:00 am)

    Seriously? Cry me a flippin’ river. If you don’t like the taxes and overhead and whatever other costs are associated with owning a non-mobile business, then change your business. This is your problem, not the food trucks’ problem. Also, I seriously doubt that food trucks and sit-down restaurants are eating from the same plate, so to speak. It’s two different customer bases.
    I find stuff like this to be so obnoxious…fix what’s wrong in your life, don’t screw around with someone else’s because you’re unhappy.

  • Mark - Kent Parks Dept. March 22, 2011 (12:49 pm)

    Derrick and crew are some of the best people to work with in the mobile food industry. I’ll work with them any day.

  • Genesee Hill March 22, 2011 (7:29 pm)

    Just teasin’.

  • Junebug March 22, 2011 (9:43 pm)

    I was really looking forward to trying the Lumpia! I agree with commenters who say that the market for a food truck is different than for a sit-down restaurant. Like most people, I go to both. I’ve been enjoying walking my dog and grabbing a bite on the way back from one of the local food trucks — either Marination Mobile or the new taco truck on Fauntleroy. I wouldn’t go to a sit-down restaurant and leave my dog outside, but it’s nice to grab a bite to-go from a food truck. When I want to sit down and talk with my spouse or friends, we go to an indoor restaurant. Both kinds of restaurants have a place in my diet and food budget, as long as the food is good! I think having a food truck in the parking lot would only increase the walk-in business for Rite-Aid, not be a drawback. I never shop there, but I would have if I were already there to buy Lumpia. I hope Lumpia World will continue in West Seattle.

  • sun*e March 23, 2011 (9:04 am)

    Comment by miws: “Genesee Hill, I’m not even gonna ask you what you are desiring when you head out to Humptulips!” :lol:
    As usual you crack me up! :lol:
    C’mon GH! Rite Aid has a huge parking lot and I’m with those that think having a Food Truck there could only bring them more business – pretty much one stop shopping. I really don’t see where it would hurt their business, that’s for sure!
    Lumpia is tasty stuff and now their truck isn’t as convenient… darn it! :cry:

  • dawsonct March 23, 2011 (1:02 pm)

    OH EFFING BOOOO! I haven’t been able to make it down there yet, and some ASS has to ruin it for the rest of us! Skru you, whoever the coward is, and skru Rite-Aid for knuckling under to the pressure. That is the final reason I need to not give any more of my money to yet another huge national chain. Convenience no longer triumphs.

  • dawsonct March 23, 2011 (1:35 pm)

    What a tool. He ought to purchase his OWN food cart and sell some signature dishes from HIS restaurant; make damn certain there is a clear identification with his restaurant (i.e.: {your restaurant name here}-Mobile, To-Go, On-The-run, Whatever), and find some place in their neighborhood to sell their food. Maybe right out front of their own place!
    They would have the further advantage over the food truck of already having their commercial kitchen, so no need to pay THAT overhead.
    Hard to believe people like this man stay in business.

  • tax free March 23, 2011 (10:01 pm)

    Darrick could switch to Medical Marijuana Dispensing. No city license required, no health department license required, no B&O taxes required, no sales tax or use tax required. It’s the best LICENSE FREE business to be in! …Just ask G.A.M.E. Collective on California Avenue!

  • tax and license free March 23, 2011 (10:28 pm)

    Darrick could switch to Medical Marijuana Dispensing. Low competition, no enforcement, no city license required, no health department license required, no food worker card required, no B&O taxes required, no sales tax or use tax required. It’s the best LICENSE FREE business to be in! …Just ask G.A.M.E. Collective on California Avenue!

  • tax and license free March 23, 2011 (10:55 pm)

    WSB found GAME Collective’s license, under their non-acronym name. Their seattle license is expired but their corporate license is current.

  • dawsonct March 24, 2011 (9:05 am)

    So, what is your REAL agenda T&LFree?
    Are you the WS cowardly yeller?

  • paxitona March 25, 2011 (11:30 am)

    Sorry, but people who live IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD were surprised and didn’t especially like a food truck popping up in the MIDDLE of the RITE AID car entrances (not in the back, not along the side, but between 2 curb cuts – do you know how many people have died in this crazy 1/2 block with the crosswalk?!). And I’m surprised at the peabrains out there who are ditzing RiteAid – they tried something new, and a leap (were they getting paid rent from Lumpia truck, I’m wondering?) – you should thank them for sticking their neck out in the first place. And no, I don’t have any other relationship with RiteAid.

  • MJ March 25, 2011 (2:24 pm)

    Hmmm, Paxitona, you sure don’t speak for me. Regardless of what people IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD thought, what the restaurant owner did was completely rude and uncalled for, and quite frankly, bizarre.

  • Michael March 27, 2011 (4:23 pm)

    @paxitona – I think people who live “in the neighborhood” like good businesses in their area, like reasonably-priced good food.
    Well, now we disagree. Unless you can tell me exactly how it is that you know better, it’s a standoff.
    All: in local business you succeed more by cooperating than by trying to drive your competition out. The man who yelled at his competitor essentially failed Local Business 101. No doubt his restaurant isn’t doing so well.

Sorry, comment time is over.