Congratulations to Art Sheppard! He and his blog are the winners of the 2014 Mobile Cuisine’s Local Food Truck Blog of the Year – Wandering Sheppard!
The more you learn about Art Sheppard, the more you’re likely to read his WanderingSheppard.com. His enthusiastic palette and sense of adventure fuel his discoveries and keep you wanting and reading for more.
Sheppard is an accountant by day that was searching for a creative outlet. He wasn’t necessarily a writer; only that he loved to travel. He wrote about what he loved and his experiences.
When he started the blog, he originally hoped to travel the world on someone else’s dime allowing him to write about his global adventures. Luckily, he found a new passion to fulfill sense of adventure – food trucks.
Food trucks were relatively new to the Triangle Area of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Knowing Sheppard’s love of food, his friends prompted him to check out the local food trucks. His first experience – a beautiful summer night at the Doughman Banquet on Rigsbee Street – seemed to change him.
As he walked the street “I remember being attracted to this blue trailer with graffiti art all over it… Like a blue light for a mosquito,” Sheppard recalls. It was KoKyu; known for their TaKos and duck fat tots.
With the first bite, came amazement. “No fancy tablecloths, fine china or anything to signify a ‘high quality’ experience other that the flavor pushing my boundaries on my enjoyment of a tofu taco.” He was instantly a food truck fan. How could he not be?
Wandering Sheppard began in April 2012 with its first food truck post in June. The blog was still focused on travel, but he found himself becoming more involved in the food truck community and seeking out food trucks on his travels. “Then one day the ratio of posts flipped to travel/food trucks to food trucks/travel.”
He continued writing about food trucks because he saw an impact. The food trucks were responsive and appreciative. Sheppard was motivated by the stories of these small business owners that took pride in serving their passion. He wanted to share it as much as possible.
In the last six months, he’s noticed many new food trucks with a more diverse cuisine enter the market: Halal, Czech, Belgian, Israeli and Colombian. He sees the food truck business model being used as a means of testing new cuisine before opening a brick’n mortar location.
That’s still good news for Sheppard. He’s added a section to the site that covers those once only rolling restaurants to now cover their brick’n mortar ventures in Wheels And Mortar.
When Sheppard isn’t crunching numbers by day, you may find him on his bike, in his kitchen or traveling to a new place. He’s never far from food trucks. He seeks them out wherever he lands, always excited to meet the owners and try their food.
Mobile Cuisine met him in San Antonio at the ROAM Conference over dinner at a local food truck park. What a better place to meet with other food truck industry professionals! Sheppard thought the conference brought “great value” and was another excursion and excuse to meet new truck owners and try their food.
You’ll want to keep an eye on Art and his blog, Wandering Sheppard. His activity in the local food truck community is where he’ll concentrate his efforts, becoming the “go to” spot for both fans and owners.
We can’t wait to see how the Wandering Sheppard grows. Mobile Cuisine congratulates Art and his award winning blog! We are always happy to talk about other food truck enthusiasts. Art always asks, “R U Wandering?” Well, we hope he never stops!