(NYCFTA), founded in 2011, and
author of The Food Truck Handbook.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25
Success on wheels
Today’s food truck revolution is
generally pegged to the astounding
2008 success of Los Angeles’ Kogi
Korean BBQ-to-Go (http://kogibbq.
com). In its first year, with just one
Track the trucks
USE THESE APPS to find food trucks in your area
and around the country. Be sure to test apps for
reliability; some update their data with the trucks’
Twitter feeds and GPS data. Others rely on the
trucks to manually update their locations. Search
i Tunes and the Android Market to find more food
truck apps specific to your town.
TruxMap Lite (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android; free)
Eat St. (iPhone, iPod, iPad and Web version; free)
Roaming Hunger (iPhone, iPod, iPad; free)
Food Truck Follower (Android, 99 cents)
truck, this Korean-Mexican fusion eatery’s profits were more than $2 million.
Kogi also leveraged social media.
Owner and Costco member Roy
Choi used Twitter and Facebook to
update hungry followers on the
truck’s constantly changing location.
Other successful food truck owners
quickly followed suit. Today you can
even download smartphone apps to
track your favorite food trucks (see
“Track the trucks”).
Kogi’s success inspired Seattle
Costco member Kamala Saxton and
business partner Roz Edison to
launch their Korean-Hawaiian food
truck, Marination Mobile (http://
marinationmobile.com), in 2009. “We
wanted to take back some control of
our work and our money, and opening a food truck was our answer. It
seemed like a manageable way to get
started,” recalls Saxton. Her own ethnic background inspired the creative
marinated meats menu.
magazine marketing job and his business partner, Scot Sherwood, moved
cross-country to get married. Both
friends needed a fresh start, so they
settled on launching a funky falafel-and-more food truck in Newark and
Jersey City, New Jersey.
Bill Todarello, a Costco member
in Gold Hills, Oregon, started Rocco’s
Amoré Italian (
food truck last September after retiring
from an educational labor union
career. “I’m still young, I had the time
and money, and I decided that food
was something I was really passionate
about,” he says. “This made total sense
for me as a second career.”
Miami, Florida, Costco member
Alex Miranda also started his food
truck as a career change. After 20 years
as a realtor, Miranda felt increasingly
uneasy about the stability of the real
estate market. He still sells property
part time, but he’s doing
well enough with his
Frozen Drink Company
expects to eventually move
to it full time.
Mama Toledo’s Phoenix, AZ
26 ;e Costco Connection JULY 2012
Mobilizing new careers
A common theme for many food
truck owners is the desire to reinvent
their careers. Marination Mobile’s
Saxton was an out-of-work education
and public-policy consultant looking
for stable employment. Her business
partner, Edison, was looking to supplement her part-time work at the
University of Washington.
Two Pitas in a Pod
was launched in September
2010 after Costco member
Athos Kyriakides lost his
Financing for foodies
Starting a food truck
isn’t necessarily an easy
way to shift gears. Saxton
and Edison used personal
funds to buy their custom-designed truck, since they
couldn’t get bank financing. In fact, home equity
lines, savings, credit cards
and generous family
members and friends are
still the most common
way for food trucks to get
rolling, according to
Tawnie Nelson, small-business manager for Wells
Fargo Bank’s Northwest region.
While some owners may be eligible for loans guaranteed
through the Small Business
Administration, they’re still required
to put up 30 percent of the money
required as a show of good faith.
h required as a show of good faith. The Frozen Drink Company Miami, FL
Molly Clauhs, a Costco member
in Grand Rapids, Michigan, talked
her supportive dad into helping
finance her food truck, Silver Spork
http://silversporkgr.com), with a
home equity loan.
The Costco Connection
Costco warehouses carry a variety of fresh
fruits, vegetables, meat, cookware and more for
your kitchen—be it mobile or stationary.