MARTINEZ -- Despite a successful debut at the Martinez marina last month, the food trucks won't be back.
Sham Shivaie and Javid Ebrahimi had planned to bring their "Taste of the World Market," a collection of food trucks representing diverse cuisines, to the Martinez marina every Saturday afternoon.
But during the inaugural event they learned that Bay Area food truck behemoth Off the Grid was moving into the Willows Shopping Center in Concord, also on Saturdays. Ebrahimi said he was unable to find enough East Bay-based food trucks that hadn't already signed up with Off the Grid, so the partners had to give up their idea of bringing mobile dining to Martinez.
"Off the Grid is the champion, they're the big dogs, you don't mess with them," Ebrahimi said. "It's impossible to compete with them. You lose in the long run."
Off the Grid made its first foray into Contra Costa County in July with a weekly Wednesday evening market in El Cerrito. Although it's unclear when Off the Grid decided to move into Concord, the company received a permit for the Willows market on Aug. 23, according to Grant Spilman, administrative coordinator with Concord's planning division. The first market is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Off the Grid did not respond to a request for comment.
Ebrahimi and Shivaie, who launched their Persian food truck in Martinez in April, wanted to use their experience to help vendors navigate the regulatory process and set up shop in a permanent, organized space. The duo also planned to run a food truck market in Walnut Creek to cater to the lunchtime crowd, but that endeavor fell through, too, when they couldn't reach acceptable terms with the landlord.
The Sept. 14 event at the marina featured five food trucks and drew more than 300 hungry people, according to Ebrahimi.
"I'm not upset about Off the Grid and I'm not upset about losing the Martinez thing," he said. "It proves that food trucks can work anywhere."
Now, he'd like to convince Off the Grid to come to Martinez.
Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.