The St. Charles Parks Department is savoring the success of its launch of Food Trucks in Frontier Park on Thu., Oct. 4. In fact, Director Maralee Britton says she already has a meeting scheduled in November with the St. Louis Food Truck Association to discuss plans for 2013.
Britton says her department estimates some 3,000 people turned out last week to taste the fare brought into the city on 11 food trucks. She says the estimates were made by counting people in lines as well as discussing the amount of meals sold by truck owners.
“It was extremely successful and very much exceeded our expectations. We had five trucks sell completely out of food in an hour and a half,” Britton says. “There were unfortunately people who waited a long time in line who were unable to get food from those trucks.”
Part of the reason for the meeting with the St. Louis Food Truck Association (STLFTA)—the group that promotes the food truck industry—is to not only look for ways to improve the event for next year, but to collaborate with other entities on scheduling.
“This was a test for us to see if the trucks wanted to come and if the public wanted an event like this,” Britton says. “Obviously, they definitely responded very positively to our food truck event. But we want to be cautious in the whole metropolitan area that we do not saturate it with other food truck events.”
Britton says she also wants to be sure there is enough food. Thursday’s event competed with a Rams Football rally downtown so more food trucks were not available.
The STLFTA was founded in 2011. Its products include Korean, Italian, hotdogs, Filipino, Greek, Mexican, Pizza, Vietnamese, desserts, cupcakes, ice cream, American and more. For more information visit www.facebook.com/SLFTA or email email@example.com.
Thursday’s event featured trucks from Cha Cha Chow, El Gran Taco and Hot Aztec, Go Gyro Go, Sarah’s Meltdown, Papa Tom's Fancy Franks, Sarah's Cake Shop and The Sweet Divine, Speedway Eatery, and Zia's. Trailhead Brewing Company and Little Hills Winery sold beverages.
Britton says the Parks and Recreation Department received positive feedback about the wide variety of food that was offered as well as the music.
Musicians Clayton Jones and Eric Prewitt, from Rhythm Music and Performing Arts Studio provided “acoustical entertainment in the form of soft background music,” Britton says. “People told us they could converse yet enjoy the music in the background.”
Even the skies were friendly during the event, Britton says. “Weather is our life in Parks and Recreation. Seventy percent of what we do is outside. I wish we could say we controlled the weather but we couldn’t. But we had absolutely perfect weather for the event.”
Britton says another topic for discussion at her November meeting will be getting the food trucks permanently licensed by the St. Charles County Health Department. In this instance, the trucks received permits for the day for which they were required to be inspected. Because the food trucks were stationary and were hosting a specific event and not being used on a daily basis, the city needed only to provide a promoter’s license through the city’s finance department, Britton says.
She says she has already received fact-finding calls from other municipalities in St. Charles County on how and what her department did to organize and legalize the food truck event.
For more information on Food Trucks in Frontier, call the St. Charles Parks Department at 636.949.3372, or visit historicstcharles.com.