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Food Trucks Expand to Philly Suburbs

Food Trucks Expand to Philly Suburbs


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Originally found in the heart of cities, some food trucks are headed out of the city and into the suburbs

Only a few years ago, customers would drive all the way to college campuses in West Philadelphia or the hip area of Northern Liberties to indulge in gourmet food trucks, but times have changed since then. More and more entrepreneurs are starting to realize that the outskirts of Philly is a hot spot for people who have the cash and stomach for high-end food trucks.

An increased number of these food trucks have been appearing at suburban festivals and farmers markets. Some of the favorites so far include Sum Pig, Hillbilly BBQ, PJ’s Wing Truck, and the Cow and the Curd. George Bieber, owner of the Sunflower Truck Stop, which serves gourmet sandwiches like a Green Curry Bacon BLT and Artichoke Grilled Cheese, said that customers saw his truck as something different than “just a hot dog truck."

Similarly, former fashion model Thais Viggue parks her cupcake truck in West Chester and the Main Line, starting her day in the kitchen at 3am and ending late in the night. Josh Goldstein, a former Four Seasons chef, left his job to open the Pizza Wagon, located in Norristown, where workers call the truck “a big improvement over [the nearby] Wawa.”

Last year, Montgomery County licensed a total of 76 food trucks. Every other Friday, the county invites one truck to sell their eats outside the Norristown courthouse as a treat for the workers. “I would say the [food trucks] are growing. You see them everywhere,” said health official Pam Lawn.


Over 15 Things to do in the Philadelphia Suburbs this March

Visitors to this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show —now 191 years young— at the Pennsylvania Convention Center will be transported to a luxe destination, thanks to the “Riviera holiday” theme.

New Shanghai Circus

The New Shanghai Circus brings its colorful and energetic performance to the Keswick this month.

Plein Air Inside Out

Artists will gather in the atrium of the Brandywine River Museum of Art t o paint, sketch and photograph nature during this two-day twist on the plein air tradition.

Gatsby Gala

Celebrate the roaring 20s—the 2020s that is—in style at this Great Gatsby -themed gala aboard the Moshulu.

Philly Craft Beer Festival

The Navy Yard will play host to over 50 craft breweries from around the world, which will offer samples of their sips during this beer-centric festival.

Wine and Cupcake Pairings

March 7-29, Chadds Ford

On weekends this month, Penns Woods Winery is pairing its vintages with Dia Doce cupcakes for a truly sweet experience.

Spring Honey Dinner

Learn about the importance of pollinator bees at this special dinner at Terrain in Glen Mills. The restaurant is teaming up with nearby Brandywine Bee Company to incorporate honey into the cuisine.

Taste of the Main Line

After a one-year hiatus, Taste of the Main Line is back and bringing together some of the area’s finest restaurants in one place. Held at the Grand Atrium at Radnor Financial Center, the evening features live music and great bites. Need an even better excuse to indulge? The event benefits the Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania Foundation.

“For the Girls”

March 13, Philadelphia

Multi-talented award-winning stage dynamo Kristin Chenoweth is headed to the Kimmel Center, where she’ll perform songs from her latest album, “For the Girls.” Paying homage to great female singers who paved the way for today’s artists, including Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton, the show is a fitting way to celebrate Women’s History Month throughout March.


Burgh Bites

What can you say about a food truck that has the Pittsburgh skyline painted across the back of it? Well, if it is Burgh Bites, the food truck / catering company, you can say a lot. This food truck has a huge offering for its size and the nightly menu often features a selection of sandwiches, loaded hot dogs, and nachos with their homemade tortilla chips- a must try item that is among the best in the city.

Burgh Bites publishes their schedule on their Facebook page and menu page.


15 Food trucks with names as good as the food they serve

Food truck owners are geniuses when it comes to naming. So much so, it’s becoming hard to find one that’s not a clever name, but some are still better than others. These 15 food truck names are so clever we just had to share &mdash just don’t expect us to share lunch.

1. Be More Pacific (Austin, Texas)

This truck serves up Filipino-American fusion in the Austin, Texas, area, and we couldn’t be more in love with this Pacific-Asian ode to a common way Americans mispronounce a common phrase.

2. Hook and Ladder (Denton, Texas)

What’s the hook at Hook and Ladder Pizza Co.? They serve up oven-baked pizza and beer from a modified firetruck.

3. Serial Grillers (Tucson, Arizona)

At Serial Grillers, some of their specialty pizzas have clever names like Natural Born Killers, Copycat, The Bone Collector and more.

4. Grillenium Falcon (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

For a short time, Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese made their gourmet grillers mobile via the Grillenium Falcon, where they’d smuggle some tasty, cheesy goodness to a street corner near you.

6. Maximus Minimus (Seattle, Washington)

At Maximus Minimus, get your pork or chicken sandwich one of two ways: MAXImus (hot and spicy) or miniMUS (sweet and tangy).

7. Patty Wagon (Los Angeles, Californa)

Serving up 100 percent grass-fed mini-burgers, the Patty Wagon also uses sustainable, local ingredients as much as possible.

8. The Dump Truck (Portland, Oregon)

After meeting in Beijing, this happy couple started The Dump Truck, where they steam up a variety of Portland’s best dumplings.

9. The S.W.A.T. Truck (Orlando, Florida)

The S.W.A.T. in The S.W.A.T. Truck stands for “skewers with a ‘tude.” And yes, it’s served out of a decommissioned and repurposed SWAT team truck just like the ones you see on TV.

10. The Tamale Spaceship (Chicago, Illinois)

The Tamale Spaceship serves authentic Mexican cuisine inspired by lucha libre (Mexican wrestling).

11. Big Gay Ice Cream (New York, LA and Philadelphia)

The Big Gay Ice Cream truck became so popular with quirky (and tasty) flavor names like Bea Arthur and Salty Pimp, they’ve expanded.

12. India Jones (Los Angeles, California)

Authentic Indian street food takes to the streets of LA in India Jones food truck.

13. The Angry Friar (Denton, Texas)

For those who aren’t devotees of the Bard of Avon, this is likely a reference to Friar Laurence, who became angry with Romeo for wishing to commit suicide rather than be separated from Juliet. Ironically, the British owner of this fish and chips truck was a bit of an arse who frequently made fun of his customers on his website, which may be why it’s closed. No word on whether he was a friar.

14. Sticks and Cones (Mint Hill, North Carolina)

Sticks and Cones won’t break your bones, just give you a choice of whether to patronize their Sticks truck, specializing in nostalgic favorites on a stick, or their Cones truck, which gives you a variety of cones, sundaes and floats made with soft-serve ice cream.

15. The Greasy Wiener (Los Angeles, California)

At The Greasy Wiener hot dog truck, they serve New Jersey-style dogs and a little bit of irreverence. Their tagline is “Loads of fun&hellip in a bun!”


Food Trucks Expand to Philly Suburbs - Recipes

People started lining up outside SEI's sprawling headquarters in Oaks even before Thais Viggue and her sunflower yellow Dia Doce cupcake truck rolled onto the campus.

Dave Bell got there 15 minutes early so he could be first, because, he said, he'd seen the line "go all the way down the road." He ordered a half-dozen of the $3 treats - three Black Magic, one churro, and two key lime - for himself and some friends.

It was just a couple of years ago that a customer like Bell would have to drive all the way to West Philly's college campuses or the hipster mecca of Northern Liberties to indulge in the dining craze of the 2010s - gourmet food trucks.

But times have changed. A growing number of entrepreneurs realize that Philadelphia's suburbs, and even an exurb like Oaks, are barren deserts for trend-seeking foodies who have the hunger and the cash for delicacies like Korean tacos and gourmet pizzas.

Increasingly, you'll find these haute cuisine meals-on-wheels at suburban festivals and farmers' markets, steel-and-glass office parks and leafy college campuses - the kind of place where a visit from an ice cream truck blasting "Turkey in the Straw" used to be a rare summer treat. The newcomers bear names like Dog Bites, Sum Pig, Vernalicious, Hillbilly BBQ, PJ's Wing Truck, and the Cow and the Curd.

"Honestly, when I started, I was thinking I would be in the city a lot, but now we're hardly ever there," said George Bieber, a Pottstown restaurateur who started Sunflower Truck Stop in August.

Bieber, whose truck offers gourmet sandwiches such as Green Curry Bacon BLT, Crab and Artichoke Grilled Cheese, and Sweet Potato Quesadilla, recalled that in one town, two older permitting officials eyeballed his rig as if it had landed from Mars.

"They saw that it was not just a hot dog truck, it was something different," said Bieber, who ultimately was invited by the officials to park at the town's Community Day.

Last year, Montgomery County licensed 76 mobile food vendors.

"I would say they're growing. You see them everywhere," said health official Pam Lawn.

Every other Friday, the county invites a truck to pull up outside the courthouse in Norristown as a special treat for workers.

On her first day at SEI, Viggue, whose company name means "sweet day" in Portuguese, sold out of the 1,000 cupcakes she packs into her truck in 15 minutes. She returned the next day with twice as many and sold out again.

Maybe it was her appearance not long before as winner of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars. Viggue had only been in business six months when she appeared on the show in March. In a day that sounds anything but sweet, she and a partner beat three other contestants in a three-round contest that ended with their whipping up 1,000 cupcakes in an hour and a half.

"It was insane," said Viggue, who only uses local, sustainable ingredients, some of which she and her husband grow.

Since then, the former fashion designer, who lives in Chester Springs, has been on the road six days a week, mostly in West Chester and the Main Line, starting her day in the kitchen at 3 a.m. and ending late at night.

That the work is brutal is an understatement. Josh Goldstein, a former Four Seasons chef, left a job as a top salesman for a tomato products company to open the Pizza Wagon, a mobile pizzeria that features a $15,000, Italian-made, wood-fired oven that can turn out 120 perfectly crisp pizzas an hour.

But imagine standing by that 1,000-degree oven on a 103-degree day, as he did one day last summer in Norristown. Or spending 12 hours on a freezing pavement at Spring Mountain, where he sold pizzas on weekends last winter.

"It's the business we choose to be in, so we don't complain," said Goldstein, 35, who lives in North Wales and recently was manning the stove at Evolve IP Corporate Park in Wayne.

A steady stream of customers filed out of buildings for a $10 lunch - a good-size pizza and a drink - that was in and out of the oven in a minute and a half.

The Wagon is a big improvement over Wawa, the closest place to grab a quick lunch, workers said.

Anne Dieter, who lined up with her office mates, bought an extra Buffalo chicken pizza to bring home for her husband's birthday.

"He loves this pizza. So does my son," who is 13 months old, she said.

Though some have suggested that the food-truck trend may have peaked, the National Restaurant Association estimates mobile vendors will generate about $2.7 billion in revenue by 2017, a fourfold increase from the 2012 revenue estimate of $650 million.

The Philadelphia Mobile Food Association, which organized in May 2012, has 93 members, about 20 percent of whom work primarily in the suburbs, said Sunflower's Bieber, an officer of the group.

Since there isn't the walk-by traffic that can make or break a city-based business, suburban truck owners have to pick the best locations, which vary by town.

"You can't just park curbside and hope for the best," Beiber said.

Most communities have embraced the trend, but not all. "Lower Merion was a bit unwelcoming," he added.

Sum Pig co-owner Steve Koste, 37, who lives in Warminster, said not everyone gets his barbecue-theme truck, which hit the road on Labor Day weekend.

"It's not an everyday sight like it is in the city," he said. "We pull up, and people look at the truck and say, 'What is that, an ice-cream truck?' "


The Great Food Truck Race Road Trip: California

Customers await their turn to order food from the Lime Truck in North Miami, as seen on Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race.

Photo by: Claudio Beier ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Claudio Beier, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

This past Sunday on The Great Food Truck Race, the eight new food truck teams rolled into Hollywood and began the first leg of the cross-country journey. Day one had them selling in Beverly Hills, Calif., and day two took them to the city by the Bay, San Francisco, where they had competition from local food truck businesses. In both cities, Philly's Finest Sambonis racked up the most sales, winning the weekend. Unfortunately, Murphy's Spud Truck was beset with issues that put them in the bottom and got them sent home early.

Even without ever selling from food trucks before, the teams proved they could stand among some of the best mobile businesses in the city. And that's a pretty big accomplishment since the Golden State has some of the best and most popular food trucks in the country. We've got a road trip planned for you: From San Diego to San Francisco, you'll find some great mobile eats on the West Coast.

Start your road trip in San Diego at Devilicious, a former Food Truck contestant. Here you'll find sinfully made comfort foods with the motto "food so good it's bad."

Then move on up to Los Angeles’ Cafe con Leche, which serves authentic Cuban cuisine, including the popular cafe con leche.

And in San Francisco, get your dessert fix at Twirl and Dip Soft Serve, which uses local and natural ingredients to make its ice creams and even serves them up in hand-rolled sugar cones or compostable cups.

Get the entire California Food Truck Guide to complete your road trip and find more restaurants with Food Network On the Road .


Food Network's Food Trucks Guide

Husband-and-wife team Robert Zuetell and Gina Galvan run Chomp Chomp Nation, a food truck that features Singaporean flavors in modern form. Guy loved the crunchy, sweet and salty crab cake topped with slaw and spicy ketchup.
Recommended Dishes: Crab Cake, Lamb Burger
As Seen On: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Wafels and Dinges — New York

Wafels and Dinges specializes in sweet and savory Belgian waffles that have turned Sunny Anderson into a fan. "Dinges" refers to the wide variety of toppings offered.
Recommended Dish: Wafel of Massive Deliciousness
As Seen On: The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Grill 'Em All — Los Angeles

The giant cheese-filled tater tots, named H-100s, from Grill 'Em All will explode in your mouth in rock 'n' roll fashion. It's one of Beau MacMillan's favorites.
Recommended Dish: H-100s
As Seen On: The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Coolhaus — Austin

Inspired by their love of food and architecture, Freya Estreller and Natasha Case came up with the name Coolhaus for their truck, which features unique ice cream sandwiches.
Recommended Dish: Balsamic Fig and Mascarpone Ice Cream Sandwich

Camille's on Wheels — Kailua, Hawaii

Camille's on Wheels specializes in tacos done up in global style by former film set decorator and food stylist Camille Komine.
Recommended Dishes: Chimichurri Beef Tacos, Mango Pie
As Seen On: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs — Denver

Biker Jim's offers hot dogs and sausages made from different game meats, but it's the Elk Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst that Chef Susan Feniger won't stop raving about.
Recommended Dish: Elk Jalapeno Cheddar Brat
As Seen On: The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Leonard's Malasadamobile — Honolulu

Local Hawaiians, like Iron Chef Chairman Mark Dacascos, know that nothing beats a malasada (Portuguese doughnut) from Leonard's. The one filled with haupia (coconut milk custard) is a customer favorite.
Recommended Dish: Malasadas with Haupia Filling
As Seen On: The Best Thing I Ever Ate

El Gallito — Chula Vista, Calif.

El Gallito's tortas ahogadas are one of Marcela Valladolid's favorite street food dishes when she wants something fast. The name roughly translates to "drowned sandwich," which in this case is made of pork covered with two spicy sauces.
Recommended Dish: Tortas Ahogadas
As Seen On: The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Hello My Name is BBQ Truck — Charleston, S.C.

In Charleston, Roger Mooking and Aarón Sánchez went on the search for the hottest street food and found the Hello My Name is BBQ Truck, which offers a fiery meatloaf sandwich.
Recommended Dish: Meatloaf Sandwich
As Seen On: Heat Seekers

Spencer on the Go — San Francisco

Spencer on the Go Chef Laurent Katgely succeeds in creating perfect on-the-go renditions of classic French food, such as his escargot pops served on a lollipop stick.
Recommended Dish: Escargot Puff Lollipops
As Seen On: The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Diggity Doughnuts — Charleston, S.C.

Diggity Doughnuts in Charleston is known for its signature doughnuts. Roger Mooking and Aarón Sánchez sought out the peanut butter and Sriracha combination.
Recommended Dish: Peanut Butter and Sriracha Doughnut
As Seen On: Heat Seekers

The Treats Truck — New York

Baker Kim Ima serves all kinds of sweet confections from cookies to crispy treats in her mobile sweets shop, The Treats Truck. Her signature dish of Dessert Nachos is made of cookies, brownies and chocolate frosting.
Recommended Dish: Dessert Nachos
As Seen On: Kid in a Candy Store

Guerrilla Street Food — St. Louis

Chef Brian Hardesty and co-owner Joel Crespo crank out Filipino street food in their truck, Guerrilla Street Food.
Recommended Dishes: Blue Crab Ceviche, Pancit, One-Inch Punch
As Seen On: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Seti's Polish Boys — Cleveland

Seti's Polish Boys offers a sandwich that Iron Chef Michael Symon says "not even a silly Philly cheese steak" can top. The Polish Boy is made of a hot dog in a hoagie roll topped with fries and hot sauce.
Recommended Dish: Polish Boy
As Seen On: The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Kogi Korean BBQ — Los Angeles

On the Kogi truck, Chef Roy Choi takes Korean ingredients and flavors and puts them into tacos and burritos. Adam Gertler calls the all-natural, grass-fed beef short rib taco "a flavor bomb" in your mouth.
Recommended Dish: Korean Short Rib Tacos
As Seen On: The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Don Chow Tacos — Santa Monica

Don Chow Tacos fuses Chinese and Mexican cuisines to create such unique dishes as Chimales (Chinese-Mexican tamales).
Recommended Dishes: Tacos, Chimales
As Seen On: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

A&M Halal Food Truck— Philadelphia

You can find the A&M Halal Food Truck parked in an alley behind Drexel University. It may not be easy to find, but Robert Irvine loves the falafel omelet hoagie.
Recommended Dish: Falafel Omelet Hoagie
As Seen On: The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Luke's Inside Out — Austin

Inspired by French cuisine, Chef Luke Bibby creates some of the most unique sandwiches in his truck, Luke's Inside Out. The Rabbit is made with rabbit braised in Korean flavors and topped with kimchee.
Recommended Dishes: The Rabbit, The Shrimp
As Seen On: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Melt Mobile — Stamford, Conn.

Melt Mobile offers ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches made with the best ingredients: applewood smoked bacon, herb-baked country ham, and even strawberries and mascarpone.
Recommended Dish: The Insanewich
As Seen On: 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay

White Rabbit — Canoga Park, Calif.

White Rabbit features Filipino fusion food in the form of tacos, nachos and burritos. Its claim to fame is a six-pound burrito. Those who finish one make the hall of fame.
Recommended Dish: The Six-Pound Burrito
As Seen On: Outrageous Food

Sugar Philly - Philadelphia

For French macarons and other homemade sweets on the go, Duff Goldman found the Sugar Philly truck roaming the streets of Philadelphia.


‘This Is Our Livelihood’: Philadelphia Food Truck Owners Claim They Were Blindsided By New City Ban

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A food truck fight is brewing in Philadelphia. The battle is over trucks’ location and a move that some owners say seriously hurts their sales.

If you’ve ever walked west on Spring Garden Street off Broad Street, you’ve likely walked by Mike Debesai, who owns the Mike’s Breakfast and Lunch Deluxe food truck. He’s been parked in the same spot on the same south side of the street for the past 21 years.

“This is our livelihood,” Debesai said. “We started in 1998.”

“You got to move. There is no reason and all of us, we are very anxious,” he said.

The change was set in motion as construction redeveloped the block more than a year ago with new storefronts being built.

The city asked the six or so food truck operators to temporarily move across Spring Garden Street.

“In April, it was presented to add this block to the prohibited streets list,” said Matt Rossi said, who owns Brick and Mortar Nick’s Roast Beef on Cottman Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia.

But since no trucks were currently parked on it due to construction, Rossi, who’s also the president of the Mobile Food Truck Association, says no operators were notified and therefore, no one could appeal the new rule.

“It’s something we wish we could have been a party to before it was made into law,” Rossi said.

The only vendors allowed right now are street carts, but city council is looking at banning them there as well.

“It’s a massive difference in business from here over there,” Abbas Kahn said.

Kahn estimates he sees a 30% profit cut when he’s across the street, saying it’s simply quieter with much less foot traffic.

“I thought that cart was there, but it’s not there anymore,” a Community College of Philadelphia student said.

Regular customers from the nearby community college don’t seem to have the time to bounce back and forth across four lanes of traffic.

“If you come up on this side, you’re not going to cross the street,” a student said. “It’s really busy.”

So now, Rossi, Debesai and others are planning to petition council and have them roll back the new ban.

“We’re hoping that once city council gets the whole story, they’ll be behind us,” Debesai said. “That’s what we believe.”


Why You Need to Stop Using Foil and Use Parchment Instead

Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.

APPLY NOW

Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!


Mobile bars adapt

Norris occupies a singular, somewhat wonky place in the mobile booze world that’s dominated by trucks and trailers designed to serve drinks at events and festivals.

Since Ben Scorah and Mark Wiseberg launched their Road Soda airstream bar nearly a decade ago, the duo has worked the festival circuit eight months a year. They have partnered with brands to make 10,000 or so craft cocktails at events like Coachella, SXSW and Lollapalooza.

Last March, they were on their way to The Après in Aspen, Colorado when word of the pandemic reached them. Their two trucks have been parked ever since, one in southern California and another in upstate New York.

With deep industry connections and their own commercial kitchen, Scorah and Wiseberg quickly adapted.

At first, they made wellness shots of ginger, lemon and turmeric for healthcare workers. They then developed ready-to-drink cocktail mixers for their partners. Working with liquor brands, Scorah batches and sends cocktail kits for influencer marketing, bar staff trainings, product launches and virtual events.

“It’s keeping me busy,” says Scorah. “We launched a whole new company and learned to deal with the supply chain, different bottles and keeping everything shelf stable. I’m shipping 30 boxes a day from FedEx. For the last six months, it has felt like I’m running a fully operational factory”

People have approached Scorah about bringing Road Soda to smaller events, but it’s expensive to move the trailers. Plus, Scorah says California has uniformly denied event permits. “I don’t know when big events will happen again, but our business model is different from other mobile bar operations. We rely on alcohol companies to support us, and their corporate responsibility is bigger than ours,” he says.

“They don’t want the liability of underwriting a festival during a pandemic. Hopefully, at some point, brands want to spend money on events again.”

Kate Bolton is less concerned about the return of events. Bolton launched Silver Julep, a 23-foot airstream cocktail trailer, in 2018. Based in Portland, Oregon, she focused on weddings and corporate events for companies like Nike, Adidas and Intel. She also quickly pivoted to making craft cocktail mixers.

Bolton sells about 100 bottles a week from her airstream, which now operates like a storefront for her mixers and goods from other local producers. She also hosts virtual classes from the trailer, such as Holiday Syrup and the Art of Building a Drink for the Junior League and a French 75 class for the Campaign for Equal Justice. Bolton supplies a few Portland distilleries with mixers to help boost their direct-to-consumer sales.

Instead of making hundreds of drinks for a bridal party or a corporate sales team she’ll never meet again, Bolton’s new model has allowed her to build a real community.

“I’m focusing on the local market, and the fact that the mixers are non-alcoholic has worked to my advantage,” she says. “Families stop by, pick up a mixer and then come back the next week to tell me that they were able to have a happy hour with their family, mixing with soda for the kids and something stronger for the adults. It’s a bright spot in hard times.”

Bolton, who’s a mom herself, has enjoyed the change and plans to make it permanent. Upon reflection, she realized that she doesn’t get much gratification out of events with their long-lead sales and frenzied execution. “It would have never happened without Covid,” says Bolton. “When you’re running a business, you don’t stop to ask whether I enjoy it or not. This was totally unexpected.”

The unexpected is the industry’s new norm. “There’s so much that’s unforeseen,” says Morales. “Will people recognize we stuck in here when others were forced to close? Will people continue to support us when things open back up. I don’t know.”

Geller says that trucks need continued support from diners and regulators. “I hope we realize as a society, that alcohol isn’t the devil,” he says. “There are five food trucks parked in Marina del Rey every night, and I would love to see a beer trailer pull up. Something like that would help food trucks get back on their feet.”

“Just streamlining the process so trucks can serve alcohol without going to the city to pull a permit. If you could just fill out online form, and boom, bring a keg to an event on private property, that would be huge. But we’re a long way off.”


Watch the video: Philly Connection Food Trucks, Inc. Food Truck #1 Built by Prestige Food Trucks (July 2022).


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