The Colorado Springs meals truck scene has blossomed, however can everybody get a chunk of the pie? | enterprise
Over the past five years, the Colorado Springs food truck scene has grown into a thriving attempt to reach it at a closed downtown gas station on North Nevada and Platte Streets.
With more than 150 trucks selling pizza, barbecue, tacos, Jamaican jerk, Cuban sandwiches, sushi rolls, gourmet burgers, and even Maine lobsters, the question arises: can they all get a piece of cake that is big enough? to prepare it?
Jamie Faulkner, owner of Wild Goose Catering and BBQ, believes this is possible, helped by the buzz sparked by Food Truck Tuesday at the Pioneers Museum and the 719 Hump Day Food Truck Rally on Wednesday before Brayla Wedding and Events on North Academy Boulevard to have.
Megan Diaz fills out an order for Cuban food while working in the Lucy I’m Home food truck outside the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum last week during Food Truck Tuesdays.
“I don’t think there are too many food trucks,” said Faulkner. “I just think it has to be a different marketing scheme.”
Faulkner believes there is strength in numbers. In December, he founded the Food Truck Alliance in El Paso County, an organization that helps truck owners share knowledge, communicate about events, and come together on topics.
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Nearly 120 other food truck owners in El Paso County have joined the Food Truck Alliance, and some, like Autumne Mathews, find the Alliance helpful because of the events they jointly coordinate.
“Not doing enough business is the most frustrating thing,” said Mathews, whose sandwich food truck, the Hot Box, is part of Wednesday’s rally. “We have found that we can do better if we stick together.”
Mathews began setting up in brewery parking lots, but found that events with many food trucks performed better for all vendors.
“It’s not like in a restaurant where you go up against someone who makes hamburgers,” said Faulkner. “We have created a camaraderie here. We’re going to have four grill carts at an event, but we all know we have a different approach to grilling. “
While the nature of food trucks lends itself to joint events, it is difficult for local vendors to find areas where they can congregate.
“The city could be more helpful if we had empty lots that we could use,” said Faulkner. “I’ve been to other places around the country with food truck stuff and a lot of cities have an area where we can park and have connections for water, electricity and sewage.”
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The city hosts food trucks on Tuesdays that have been attended by hundreds of court clerks and downtown office workers with music and al fresco dining on the lawn of the South Tejon Street Museum.
“It was great to see it grow in popularity,” said Haley Davis, event coordinator for the Pioneers Museum. “Down in that southern area of Tejon (street) we have a couple of restaurants, but I think it was necessary to activate the area.”
But with seating for only 10 trucks, there isn’t room for all of the food trucks wanting to participate.
Faulkner organized the Wednesday rally at 2165 Academy Place, which began in February and includes around 25 food trucks.
Michelle Pineda hands a customer an order for Cuban food while she works in the Lucy I’m Home food truck outside the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum last week during Food Truck Tuesdays.
“These rallies make it profitable for everyone,” said Hector Diaz, one of the lead vendors at Food Truck Tuesday and the 719 Hump Day Food Truck Rally.
Diaz opened the Cuban food truck “Lucy I’m Home”, inspired by his Cuban heritage and years of family cuisine.
While his truck was supposed to be his retirement hobby, he quickly realized that it was a full-time job.
“It turned out to be a lot more than I wanted or expected,” he said.
Vendors are often surprised at what it takes to run a food truck, including expensive permits, licenses, and insurance policies, Diaz said.
Customers wait in line for a Cuban lunch from Lucy I’m Home during Food Truck Tuesdays outside the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum in July 2019.
The cost of staff salaries, food ingredients, truck maintenance, parking and storage space all add up. And owners need to be prepared for the time-consuming process of preparing food.
“The food we make takes a lot of preparation, manpower and hours to get things done,” said Diaz. “So it’s a lot of work and long hours.”
But the hard work he put into his truck is paying off. It’s so popular that people go to his truck at these events instead of looking for gigs.
“You have to be willing to pay your dues by starting small and building a good reputation and getting your name out there,” said Diaz. “And of course you have to have good food.”