Food Trucks: Reinventing Eating on the Go

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by MALINI BARTELS

Lately you can’t help but notice the explosion of food trucks around town, their presence at our numerous festivals and driving down the street with full force.

People who own food trucks tend to have a lot of respect for food and treat it like an art form. With the creation of The FoCo Food Truck Alliance last year, the business has created a network for up-and-coming trucks to have a unified information source where everyone can stay connected as a team and help each other out. It’s similar to a family where each truck is a different cousin, specializing in something unique, fresh, and all their own. Local laws for the establishments loosened late last year; and with this, the Alliance allows for a highly effective way of functioning in a town where parking real estate, especially at a local brewery, is at a premium. Most of the food trucks in Fort Collins serve food at a reasonable price point that pairs well with beer, and are 100% local. In the spirit of community, the trucks have a good relationship with the breweries.

Not only has the Food Truck Alliance created a family, it also organized the Food Truck Rally, like the one that took place on Aug. 21 at Washington Park, with over one thousand people attending. This rally was the first of its kind in our town, with 13 food trucks cooking and serving their creations. The smell of the air in the park that day was intoxicating. With so many yummy selections, it was very difficult to decide which line to stand in. The Alliance gave a portion of the proceeds from the rally to the FoCo Cafe. It turned into a wonderful way to help a local non-profit and introduce the community to all the mobile eateries in the area at one time. The Alliance is working with the city to assemble another rally; the date is yet to be determined. The Fort Collins Food Trucks feel that they are a part of the community and they want to give back.

Andrew and Abby Andrews are the owners, chefs, and drivers of The Goodness Truck. Launching in mid-June of this year. This is their first time starting a food business and they really like the mobile aspect of the food truck with the ability to go to the customers. They cook everything from scratch, with the exception of bread, which they obtain locally from Fiddletown Bakery. Produce is picked up daily from Shire CSA to create a well-rounded menu of fresh-local-real gourmet sandwiches. Their menu consists of family recipes with the couples’ own unique spin. “We serve glorified comfort between bread,” says Andrews. This husband and wife culinary team are some of the nicest people in the food business with a true passion for what they do. They utilize a local commissary for the prepping of their food, but the truck is also equipped with a deep fryer, refrigerator, flat top stove and grill, and a custom smoker. It’s a complete health inspected kitchen. The Goodness Truck is planning on running year-round and is scheduled with breweries through December. At 25 feet long, the “decked out” Goodness Truck can’t be missed. Fans in search of some goodness on the go can follow up-to-the-minute info on Facebook and Twitter. They also have locations and times posted on www.thegoodnesstruck.com.

Kati Anderson with The Cupcake Cruiser was the first person to start a food truck in Fort Collins. She was also one of the founding members of the FoCo Food Truck Alliance. Born and raised in Fort Collins, Anderson has always wanted to have her own business, so she started the dessert-based food truck over three years ago. Anderson is a self-taught baker with a passion for what she does. She saw that the food truck trend was really big throughout the country, especially in Denver.

A lot of the people starting these smaller businesses were young, energetic entrepreneurs. It’s a new and alternative business model, plus it’s easier to obtain a loan for a smaller business. In Anderson’s opinion, Fort Collins is the perfect community to support trucks. “The more the merrier and power in numbers,” says Anderson. “When you have more food trucks in one spot, there is more to pick from, it’s more interactive, more fun, and it draws more people to the area.”

Since Anderson’s speciality is desserts, she does not seek out the brewery parking lots. “Cupcakes do better at open air markets and family friendly festivals.” A large portion of her business is also catering and private events.

A complete menu of cupcake flavors and a calendar listing of locations can be found at www.gocupcakecruiser.com. Facebook is also a great way to find out the latest happenings with all the awesomeness on wheels in the area.

As Anderson’s says, “Simply put, food trucks are something that everyone can enjoy.”

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