MEMPHIS, TN - For a city renowned for southern cuisine, it’s a pretty safe bet that one thing Memphis isn’t famous for is movable feasting.
But that may be about to change.
A group of local food service professionals have joined together to form the Memphis Food Truckers Alliance, which aims to connect mobile food providers and serve as a support and marketing network for members.
The group will hold its first meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday. Locations for the gathering are still being considered.
“We want to organize all operators of food trucks in Memphis and help them communicate with each other and with the public,” said Taylor Berger, one of the group’s founders. “There are only about 45 licensed food trucks in Shelby county, but we think the potential is there to really increase the presence of food trucks in our community.”
Berger is co-owner of the YoLo Frozen Yogurt & Gelato chain of 11 shops and has a food truck he uses to sell his products. He’ll participate in a Downtown food truckers rodeo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday around Court Square and another at the end of June at Shelby Farms.
He believes MFTA, which is being formed as a nonprofit organization, can be used as a vehicle for food truckers to share best practices and boost the profile of pop-up food markets in the Mid-South.
“Memphis can benefit from this by having companies connect with food trucks to offer a variety of food on their premises, for special days or even every day, by having food trucks in parks to offer products to folks who might not want to bring food with them and also to have mobile markets in neighborhoods that are underserved and need revitalizing,” Berger said. “The food truckers can benefit by having a centralized website that shows where all the food trucks are at any given time and by having a unified group that will allow us to respond to specific city and county rules and regulations regarding our industry.”
Erik Proveaux, owner and chef at Fuel Cafe in Midtown, will participate in the food truck rodeo and is excited about the alliance.
“I think having a critical mass is important because it strengthens the voice of the food truckers and it raises our profile in the community,” Proveaux said. “This whole thing is a fun way to offer a variety of food to lots of customers.”
Find the entire article by James Dowd at Memphis Commercial Appeal <here>