View from the Top: Some thoughts from the Founder
It’s been an incredible summer, not only dealing with a virus that keeps spreading and threatening and keeping us home and quarantined but has impacted our travel and vacation plans. What vacation? Who would have ever dreamed last spring when this was all beginning that we’d still be dealing with it all come Labor Day? Whatever challenges you are still dealing with – back to work? Back to school? Neither? – it has been a long, very hot summer in so many ways. Our food truck friends – or those who’ve been able to hang in there and survive these challenging times – have struggled to stay alive. Our Neighborhood StrEATs program has helped a little to not only support some trucks but also bring some relief to cooped up neighbors and neighborhoods.
Now that vacations are over, and we are heading into what will be our “new normal” in the fall, remember StrEATs – let us know if we can book you a couple of food trucks and give you a day off from cooking while also supporting the trucks. Visit StrEATs for more information on how you can bring a truck to your neighborhood. -Anne-Marie Aigner, President and Founder, FTFA & Neighborhood StrEATs
StrEATs is meant to supplement dining options for suburbanites. Yes, we are heading back to outdoor dining at area restaurants, with plenty of take-out/pick-up. And, there’s been plenty of home cooking. Our StrEATs program is just one more dining option but this one comes to the neighbors and neighborhoods with all orders online in advance. We are challenged by arbitrary health departments, like Arlington, Weymouth, Revere and Brockton who simply say, “No food trucks allowed.” Why? No explanation given – but clearly the health departments who block food trucks are also blocking an additional safe dining option for their residents ostensibly to “protect their restaurants”. Ironically, the rules for food truck deliveries are more hostile than for other delivery services, such as Amazon, Door Dash, etc. who are not blocked. And, the food trucks are not Amazon – they are all small businesses. All of them.
But there are plenty of other communities – such as Newton, Canton, Stoughton and many others, who “get it”: they understand that extraordinary times demand extraordinary solutions. The struggling food trucks appreciate that support – and the neighborhoods who’ve hosted some trucks as part of the Neighborhood StrEATs program have appreciated the opportunities to bring a little relief – and some delicious meals -- to some folks.
If you're a food truck fanatic, you'll want to catch up on this week’s Truck Tales Podcast, where we spoke with one of our most loyal food trucks who has taken our StrEATs program by storm, and a Neighborhood Ambassador who is utilizing our program every single week to bring new food trucks into her neighborhood. In this episode, we also spoke to a New Jersey-based food truck owner who created an initiative to “Feed the Frontline” during the pandemic with her food truck. Listen here
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In the News:
Food trucks are a part of a growing demand for sit-down restaurant alternatives—check out the growth of pop- up shops and trucks and how restaurants are considering going mobile here.
Not only are brick-and-mortar shops thinking of going mobile, but successful trucks are settling down and opening up permanent locations. The Cookie Monstah, a company that started as a handful of food trucks, expands to Swampscott after opening in Burlington and Danvers.
FTFA’s StrEATs program is catering to a new national trend: food trucks finding business in the suburbs during the pandemic. Read more about what this looks like in Washington here.