Background


After college, James Nuccio and Gabriel Wiesen wanted to start their own business. At first, they wanted to open a restaurant – a pizza shop, but they weren’t able to get financing. So instead, they entered a business with lower startup costs: They bought a food truck.

Jim and Gabe created Beavers Donuts in early 2012. It combines two of the country’s hottest culinary trends: gourmet donuts and gourmet food trucks. In less than a year, they built an enthusiastic following and wherever they go in Chicago and the surrounding area, people line up to purchase the coffee and donuts they make fresh in their colorful vehicle.

But despite the success their hard work has created elsewhere, Jim and Gabe are not allowed to operate in Evanston. That’s because Evanston’s City Code only allows owners or agents of existing brick-and-mortar restaurants to operate food trucks there. That restriction doesn’t serve any legitimate health or safety purpose but serves only to protect certain established business owners from creative competition.

“The Illinois Constitution guarantees equal protection and due process under the law,” points out Jacob Huebert, the LJC’s Senior Attorney. But Evanston isn’t treating people equally. The City is giving restaurant owners a special right that it won’t give to everyone else, for no legitimate reason.”

Arbitrary government restrictions on our economic freedom deny individuals their constitutional rights and damage our economy. Evanston’s law doesn’t only harm two friends who are trying to pursue their dreams and create something new – it also withholds the benefits of greater choice and competition from every consumer.

That’s why, on August 7, 2012, the Liberty Justice Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jim and Gabe to have the restriction struck down.