Browsing articles in "food trucks"
Apr 8, 2014
Kim Rivers

New Plans For Food Truck Court In Midtown


A new food truck court is being planned for the Midtown area and truck owners are excited about the idea to share their unique food with more people.

The empty lot sits at N.W. 10th St. and Harvey, but if everything goes according to plan, it will be transformed by mid-summer and open for business.

Food trucks are not a new invention, but during the last five years, the popularity of the mobile restaurants has exploded in the Oklahoma City metro area.

“It’s turned into where it’s really good food. It’s more of a gourmet type food,” said Larry Starns, owner of The Smokin’ Okies. “We’re not the only ones but the food trucks that are out there are really good at what they do.”

Starns supports the vision of a food truck court, and plans for one are coming close to reality in OKC. Pending approval from the Downtown Design Review Committee, organizer Hunter Wheat believes the Bleu Garten will be an opportunity to grow small business.

“Right now banks and getting financing for opening up a brick and mortar restaurant, unless you know a lot of people isn’t really possible these days,” explained Wheat. “But the food truck kind of allows a way to break though the barrier for innovative chefs and you see a lot of creative food.”

Wheat said that the number of food trucks in other cities doubled after similar parks opened up there. Truck owners, like Starns, see the Bleu Garten as an opportunity to grow their businesses too.

“Everybody can go and have a variety of food. If they want to come by and get a sample of what we have and a sample of what some of the others have. Then all of a sudden it’s like wow a smorgasbord.”

In addition to the food trucks, Bleu Garten will serve as a community gathering space showing movies and hosting events like workout groups and art shows.

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Apr 8, 2014
Kim Rivers

This Food Truck Serves Its Fare With A Side Of Hope For Young People

Three weeks ago, a new food truck joined the ranks of New York’s mobile eateries. But instead of simply dishing out yet another novel culinary creation, this truck held the promise of something deeper.

Parked on the sidewalk in Manhattan’s Union Square, the truck’s gray metal paneling mirrored another somber, overcast sky in a city long overdue for spring sunlight. On the driver’s side, a snowflake design made out of strips of burnished wood spiraled around the truck’s name, “Snowday.” On the other side, a team of workers shuttled stuffed pancake poppers — small, fried dough balls — between the truck’s serving window and a tent with tables set up for free samples.

drive change snowday main
The “Snowday” truck in Union Square.

Five of the seven young men helping prepare and serve the food had an extra reason to be in good spirits — besides the smell of kale pesto, brie and warm maple syrup on a cold day. They’d beat the odds and found gainful employment after having been incarcerated as teens.

Overseeing it all was Jordyn Lexton, a young and energetic teacher-turned-social-entrepreneur who is the founder and operator of Snowday and its umbrella nonprofit, Drive Change. By this fall, Lexton hopes to have an eight-month re-entry program operating in tandem with the food truck. Sales from the truck will be recycled back into the program, Lexton said, creating a self-sustaining system that employs previously incarcerated young people and helps them return to society.

One of the young men, Frederick Coleman, 27, handed out informational sheets about the truck and fielded questions from curious customers. “I’m very excited about being able to work with Jordyn and the cause,” Coleman said. “I love food, and I enjoy cooking and being with these guys.”

The truck’s Union Square debut was a “soft launch,” designed to get the word out about the enterprise and give New Yorkers a taste of things to come. It also marked the end of a long journey undertaken by Lexton — a journey that started in a place where dreams aren’t born, but instead, where many come to an end.

drive change jordyn jaquille2
Jordyn Lexton (left) and Jaquial Jackson (behind, right) serve stuffed pancake poppers to passers by.

Two years ago, Lexton was teaching High School English to incarcerated teens on Rikers Island.

Lexton and her class of 16- to 18-year-olds were in an overflow trailer set up as part of a large, concrete detention center near the island’s southern entrance that holds youth awaiting trial. They were reading Langston Hughes’ poem, “A Dream Deferred,” when a student raised his hand and asked Lexton if she thought he could become an architect. She responded that while it would be difficult, if he set his mind to it and worked hard he could absolutely become an architect.

A student seated near the back of the room challenged her, Lexton recalled. “This kid who had slept through the first half of class suddenly perked up,” she said. “‘Oh hell no. No way,’ he said. ‘I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but you’re selling dreams.’”

It was a transformative moment for the then-25-year-old teacher from New York. She realized he was right.

During her three years teaching young people on Rikers, Lexton said, she watched as student after student cycled in and out of the correctional system, despite the “desire, potential, and capacity to change.”

New York is one of only two states that prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults (North Carolina is the other), so many of Lexton’s students left Rikers with felonies, greatly limiting future employment opportunities. “Even with the willingness to make better decisions, their options are so limited,” she said. “To really take care of themselves and stay out of jail, what they need is a legitimate source of money.”

rikers island
A security fence surrounds the inmate housing on New York’s Rikers Island correctional facility in New York.

Efforts to change the current system have been underway for several years, and the issue has received national attention as a regressive correctional policy. Studies show that minors transferred to adult prisons have approximately 34 percent more re-arrests for felony crimes than youth retained in the youth justice system. Additionally, “some 80 percent of juveniles released from adult facilities will reoffend, and they are likely to reoffend more quickly and with more serious crimes” than their counterparts housed in juvenile facilities, according to a 2013 study commissioned by the National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Justice Systems.

Advocacy groups like the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, the New York Center For Juvenile Justice (NYCJJ), Raise The Age | NY and others are working to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility. Even New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pledged his support for reform, saying in his 2014 State of the State address, “It’s not right, it’s not fair — we must raise the age.”

The seemingly intractable problem pushed Lexton to seek “a direct pathway to a better future” for the kids, she explained. So in 2012, with the accusation of peddling dreams echoing in her head, she decided to leave teaching to forge that missing path.

She was aided in her exploration by two past experiences — one on a Canadian mountain and the other from her time on Rikers Island.

In 2011, while she and her family were skiing in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Lexton witnessed a peculiar ritual. Several trucks pulled up to the base of the mountain and unloaded huge cauldrons full of maple syrup. The local maple farmers began pouring long strips of boiling syrup over 30-foot-long mounds of freshly packed snow and then twisted the hardened, sticky concoction on small wooden spoons to serve to the gathering crowd.

A lifetime traveler and food enthusiast, Lexton was struck by the simplicity and elemental appeal of the unique treat, dubbed “Sugar on Snow.” “It was pure, simple, and awesome — like trees and water,” she said.

Lexton was also inspired by something she’d witnessed while on Rikers — a culinary arts program that managed to inculcate “discipline, structure, and focus” in its students. The course taught kitchen and food preparation skills to inmates, preparing them for jobs in the food industry. “I remember this amazing sense of pride the kids felt when they saw the food they cooked themselves,” she said.

With both experiences in mind, the answer suddenly crystalized: a food truck.

jordyn and jaquille
Serving samples in Union Square.

Unlike other sectors where a criminal past can haunt job applicants from interview to interview, the food industry is one where “your background isn’t really going to block access,” Lexton explained. “If someone is a hard worker, showing creativity and spirit in the kitchen, people are less focused on where they’re coming from.”

It was the perfect fit — an industry open to those with checkered pasts and one that tapped into her passion for food.

To fine-tune her plan and learn the ropes of the food truck world, Lexton spent the next two years working stints on a Kimchi taco truck and at a number of re-entry programs. She also networked widely, connecting with others in the food truck community and working for organizations like the Correctional Association of New York.

Her efforts came to fruition three weeks ago at the GrowNYC farmer’s market in Union Square, when Drive Change unveiled the first in what she hopes will become a fleet of food trucks. The Snowday food truck features maple syrup-themed dishes, and its menu includes maple bacon brussels sprouts, maple grilled cheese, maple pulled pork sliders, and of course, “Sugar on Snow” pops, among other syrup-focused fare.

Lexton’s optimism during the launch was shared by the Snowday staff, who moved through their tasks with more than the usual degree of alacrity. As he handed the stack of promotional handouts to a colleague to pick up a tray of ham and gruyere poppers, Coleman reflected on his past experience and current position. “I know what it’s like to be in a cell,” he said. “It’s more fun to be doing what I’m doing.”

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Apr 8, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food Truck Hearing – WROC

The public got a chance to comment on food trucks in the city today.

In March, Rochester City Council voted to extend the current food truck agreement for one month. The original deadline was set to expire March 31st of this year.  The new legislation is expected to include more vending locations, along with new hours.  Still, food truck owners have been frustrated with the current state of the legislation.

“We have people that call us and say, hey I have this event next week, can you come and serve my employees, my friends and whatnot. It would be nice to go on to private property and be able to tackle that,” said Shaina Sidoti, owner of the Effortlessly Healthy food truck. 

City council will vote on the food truck legislation April 23rd.

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Apr 8, 2014
Kim Rivers

10 best food trucks in Washington, DC

Washington D.C.’s burgeoning dining scene sports a healthy and vibrant food truck culture which rivals those of larger cities such as New York or Los Angeles. Home to over 150 active food trucks, you can find unique and approachable cooking such as Hula Girl’s Hawaiian fusion, Cajunators Cajun/Creole po’ boys and What The Pho’s traditional Vietnamese soup.

Food truck pioneers The Fojol Bros., with their colorful carnival costumes — and the kind of mustaches you twirl when tying a damsel to train tracks — are still thriving. Recently, they tipped their turbans to Thai cooking with Volathai, the third truck in their fleet, in addition to Indian-inspired Merlindia and Ethiopian Benethiopia. Last fall, they even took their traveling circus across the country on Elastic Highways, a ’50s-style, blue municipal bus retrofitted with dining tables.

New regulations were passed in December 2013 to improve how food trucks operate in the city’s busiest street food clusters. The trucks enter a monthly lottery system for the chance to freely vend at designated mobile roadway vending zones (MRVs) such as Franklin Square, Farragut Square, Union Station, Metro Center, George Washington University and L’Enfant Plaza, thereby eliminating the worry of parking tickets and parking space competition. Plans to add more MRVs in the future mean more and varied mobile food options throughout the city.

By their very nature, food trucks offer accessible, crowd-pleasing options at outdoor festivals and movies like Taste of DC, Snallygaster and the NoMa Summer Screen, even spawning their own annual caravans of feasting such as Truckeroo and Curbside Cookoff.

Some food trucks have graduated to permanent parking spots — brick and mortar restaurants like El Floridano’s Mothership, Pleasant Pops and PORC Truck’s Kangaroo Boxing Club.

With so many moving options, you can keep it together with mobile app Food Truck Fiesta to track locations in real-time by map and list format. While you’re on your phone, pay for your meal at trucks like Peruvian Brothers, which accepts digital dough Bitcoin. But what to eat first? Here’s are 10 solid places to start.

1. Red Hook Lobster Pound

Must-try: The Connecticut-style lobster roll poached in butter ($15)

2. Rito Loco

Must-try: Rib Rito with pulled baby back ribs ($8)

3. Hula Girl

Must-try: Seaweed-wrapped Spam musubi with fried Spam and rice ($3).

4. Pepe

Must-try: Pepito de Ibérico sandwich with seared Ibérico pork and Serrano ham ($20).

5. Pho Wheels

Must-try: Maple-glazed pork belly banh mi with fresh vegetables on a French baguette ($8).

6. Goodies Frozen Custard

Must-try: Red velvet doughnut sandwich with Madagascar vanilla frozen custard, cream cheese frosting and chocolate sauce ($8).


Must-try: The Istanbul ($11), which Food Network Magazine calls “one of the best sandwiches in the US.”

8. The Big Cheese

Must-try: The all-vegetarian Mt. Fuji grilled cheese sandwich with brie, Fuji apple and honey.

9. Woodland’s Vegan Bistro

Must-try: The insanely good vegan mac ‘n’ cheez ($3.30).

10. Peruvian Brothers

Must-try: Pan con Chicharrón Sandwich with pork tenderloin and sweet potatoes ($8).

SEE MORE: 10 best food trucks in New York City

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Apr 8, 2014
Kim Rivers

Emporium Logan Square to House a Food Truck; Hoping to Open Before Summer

emporiumtruck.JPGWhen the Emporium Arcade Bar Logan Square location opens, a few things will be different than the original. You already read about the focus on table games, but here’s another tidbit: There will be a food truck inside the space serving sandwiches utilizing bread from Mindy Segal’s bakery next door. While the original Emporium Arcade Bar doesn’t serve food, many people bring in grub from local restaurants.

Another difference is the beverages will focus on canned beer, which co-owner Danny Marks hopes will minimize spilling on the flat surfaces of the table games. He also acknowledges the trendiness of canned beer.

Ownership still hopes to open the expansion before summer.
· Emporium Arcade Bar Expanding to Blazing Hot Logan Square Block [-ECHI-]
· All Emporium Arcade Bar Coverage [-ECHI-]

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Apr 8, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck talks to continue – Petoskey News

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014 10:05 am

Updated: 11:46 am, Mon Apr 7, 2014.

Food truck talks to continue

Steve Zucker (231) 439-9346

BOYNE CITY — During the next several weeks, the Boyne City City Commission will continue its discussion of how food service trucks should be regulated in the city.

At its most recent meeting on March 25, the commission heard a report on the input city staff have gleaned so far from the public on the issue of food trucks in the community from surveys distributed at several public information sessions.

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Monday, April 7, 2014 10:05 am.

Updated: 11:46 am.

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Apr 7, 2014
Kim Rivers

2nd Food Truck Mania draws thousands to downtown

Thousands of people descended upon Woodland’s downtown for the second month in a row to get their grub on.

Woodland’s First Sunday Food Truck Mania event saw 13 food trucks – five more than in March, including four sweet and nine savory – along First Street between Bush and Main.

“The crowds were bigger and better and much more organized this month,” said Christy Hayes, owner of Kitchen428 and Mojo’s Lounge.

Hayes is also a Historic Woodland Downtown Business Association board member, and said she is excited to see the event grow. Crafters and nonprofit group booths are in the works for future months, she added.

“It creates a restaurant and food culture,” said Hayes. “People talk about the foods they tried, and they want to go out more and try different places in Woodland.

Food Truck Mania is a collaboration between the Historic Woodland Downtown Business Association, the city of Woodland, Mojo’s Lounge Bar and SactoMoFo, or Sacramento Mobile Food Trucks. The idea is that bringing in the trucks benefits local businesses by getting more foot traffic downtown.

“As a member of the downtown subcommittee to revitalize downtown, it can’t be any better than to have a downtown full of people on a Sunday when it’s usually empty,” said Woodland City Councilman Jim Hilliard, who moonlights as a bass player for the Highway 16 band, which performed at the event. “This was great. We had a lot of fun. The food was awesome.”

On offer was a wide variety of fare, from fish and chips to gelato. Among the trucks were Krush Burger, Gyro King, Bacon Mania, Game Day Grill, Ciao Chow (southeast Asian and Italian cuisine), Drewski’s (gourmet grilled cheeses), Happy Cow (ice cream), Costa’s Finest Kettle Corn, Volks Waffle (Belgian waffles), Rudy’s Hideaway (seafood), Papa Dale’s Drivin’ Diner, Chandos (tacos) and Lucianos (gelato).

“It went really well. I think the flow was a lot better,” said Ernie Hernandez of SactoMoFo. “Lines were smoother with reasonable lengths. I think us coming downtown has helped (Woodland’s) downtown. Everyone seems to be happy with the increase in foot traffic on a Sunday.”

Food Truck Mania will take place year-round on the first Sunday of each month. The next event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, May 4 on First Street between Main and Bush.

Every month will have different trucks in the line-up, some may stay the same and others will rotate in and out depending on availability.

Follow Elizabeth Kalfsbeek at

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Apr 7, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck debate continues Monday


The debate over food trucks in Jacksonville resumes Monday night with a meeting at City Hall.

A committee had been working since the beginning of the year, to figure out restrictions on where food trucks can do business.

Food truck owners said they are ready to figure out where they can and can’t do business. They said the sooner they can learn of any restrictions, the better, so they can move forward with their business.

“I think the main issue is let’s stop talking about where food trucks can’t park and where we can, that’s the main issue,” said Jennifer Kline.

Kline is a co-owner of ‘Up in Smoke Barbecue’ food truck. They love Downtown and have developed a big following. Her business is in jeopardy though.

In February, Jacksonville City Councilman Reginald Brown proposed a bill that would put restrictions on how food trucks do business; mainly where they can and can’t park. The food truck committee was formed and they have since held meetings to figure out the legislation.

Kline feels the last meeting wasn’t very productive and hopes they come to some conclusions Monday evening.

“I’m hoping to figure out how far we can park from a brick and mortar… I think the biggest issue is, can we park from a like business or someone else selling food and how far we have to be from there,” said Kline.

Something else food truck owners are anxiously awaiting to learn, is if they can park next to commercial buildings. Kline said if they are banned from that she will lose a lot of her lunch locations. Most of all, she’s just ready to learn the future of her business so they can move forward with doing what they love.

“Right now technically, I guess, I can park anywhere but no we wouldn’t be able to park here anymore and we’ve built a really good business… We love downtown and we have a big following, and we really want to be here,” said Kline.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

Kline wants the community to be aware and to voice their opinion.

The food truck organization is having an event April 19th to bring awareness to the situation called ‘Rally of the Trucks.’ It’s going to take place at the Salem Center on 7325 Bonneville Road from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

They will have an Easter bunny at the event, family entertainment and bounce houses at the event.

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Apr 7, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck commissary slated for Central City – The Times

Trevor Nall’s original plan was to launch a food truck. He’s spent a decade working in the food service industry. Three years ago, he worked with Alex del Castillo of Taceaux Loceaux to learn the secrets of cooking in a kitchen on wheels.

Nall quickly decided the city needed a food truck commissary even more than another truck.

“I felt like that was a better fit for what I do,” said Nall, who currently designs and consults on food trucks.

All trucks are required to prepare food in a licensed kitchen. Many have worked out arrangements with restaurants.

New Orleans food truck operators, however, cite the lack of a shared commissary where truck operators can cook and store food as the biggest hurdle facing the sector.

Nall along with his business partner Joshua Joseph are about to start construction on a commissary in Central City with a 2,600-square-foot kitchen.

Nall said that his commissary would be a one-stop shop for food trucks. It will offer not only food storage and kitchen space but also propane, disposal of greywater and a secure lot to park the trucks.

The commissary should open, Nall said, “around the time the Saints start playing.”


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