Local popsicle stand becomes first street vendor licensed in Clark County

Clark County Commissioners Tick Segerblom, Marilyn Kirkpatrick and William McCurdy, along with Clark County Director of Business License Vince Queano hand Jose Manuel Carrera, owner of the Paletas y Aguas cart, the license for his sidewalk vending business on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Clark County)

By Jannelle Calderón

May 30, 2024

Clark County issued its first sidewalk vendor license this week to a family-run popsicle and aguas frescas (fruit drinks) stand, a month after Commissioners approved the ordinance that established the requirements, including hours of operation, licensing fees, and cart size limits.

The licensing process for sidewalk vending businesses, also referred to as street food vendors, was a result of SB 92, which was passed during last year’s legislative session. The law aimed to bring the small businesses — that often sell food and snacks out of carts or wagons — out of the shadows and legitimize their enterprises.

Clark County Commissioners Tick Segerblom, Marilyn Kirkpatrick and William McCurdy handed Jose Manuel Carrera the license for his business on Wednesday, after he successfully completed the licensing process.

“It wasn’t difficult, it was just a little bit of a long process … The most crucial thing was having the cart that met the health district’s requirements,” Carrera, owner of the Paletas y Aguas cart, said in Spanish. “It might be complicated with all the licenses and permits, but it’s normal — you always need to hustle a little. It is doable. Once you have all the requirements and paperwork, like insurance and all that, it’s easy and straightforward.”

Vendors are also required to have a state business license, a permit issued by the Nevada Department of Taxation, and a permit issued by the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). The health district requires sidewalk vendors to use professional grade food equipment, but they can request a compliance schedule that allows for short-term use of household equipment.

Clark County officials said, as of Thursday, they have two other sidewalk vending applications pending after Carrera’s was issued.

Part of the controversy surrounding the street vendor regulations has been SNHD’s food-safety requirements, which mandate that food be cooked at a commercial-grade kitchen. Under these regulations, vendors who sell street-style corn are not allowed to cook the corn at home, though ingredients bought on the same day can be prepared at the cart’s location.

Carrera, who also owns an ice cream shop, LV Michoacana, in North Las Vegas, said the popsicles and drinks he sells on sidewalks will be prepared at the ice cream shop.

Clark County established that vendors can only operate from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and those in neighborhoods and residential areas must continue moving unless tending to a customer.

Carrera’s cart will be located at the corner of Cactus Ave. and Dean Martin Dr., in the southwest valley, near a gas station. Carrera said that he came to an agreement with the gas station owner to allow him to sell in the parking lot.

  • Jannelle Calderón

    Jannelle Calderón is a bilingual politics and community multimedia reporter with a passion to highlight the human side to policy and issues as well as showcasing the vibrant cultures found in Southern Nevada. She previously reported for The Nevada Independent and graduated from UNLV.

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