Any good foodie can tell you that food trucks are the new “it” thing in the restaurant industry. The Awesome Mitten, too, has already sung the praises of several Michigan based mobile food businesses, trying to spread the word about this awesome trend. At the beginning of this year, the mobile food retailers of the mitten gained a huge advantage in growing their niche: the Michigan Mobile Food Vendors Association was formed.
Still in its infancy, the MMFVA was founded by Carl Patron with the purpose of growing and constantly improving the mobile foodservice industry in Michigan. In February of this year, the MMFVA took its first major step to doing just that by organizing its first Food Truck Rally at the Royal Oak Farmers Market. Since then, the non-profit organization has been taking Metro Detroit by storm, hosting rallies all over the area.
While the charitable nature of the MMFVA ( a portion of the Food Truck Rallies proceeds are donated to local charities) helps make the rallies a destination, it’s the incredibly eclectic, delectable cuisine that really makes stopping at an MMFVA event a must. With eight current members, the variety at each Food Truck Rally is something to behold.
Even with the most diverse menu, one restaurant couldn’t dream of offering the selection patrons experience at the typical MMFVA rally. The fare includes everything: Franks Anatra’s tasty sausages, “D-Town” Braised Beef Short Rib tacos from Jacques’ Tacos, awesome burgers from Ned’s TravelBurger, and even some homemade Pistachio Wasabi ice cream from Treat Dreams,for dessert. With the insane range of mouth-watering cuisine, you’d better bring your appetite, if you’re going to a Food Truck Rally!
It’s not just the taste that will keep you coming back, though; while competition is an integral part of the restaurant industry, the camaraderie you’ll experience amongst the MMFVA members will astound you. Dan Gearig, owner of El Guapo, insists that watching his fellow food truck owners businesses thrive is one of the most exciting things for him.
“I love to see them in the weeds, scrambling to satisfy the demand, because A) it’s hilarious and B) I know they’re making good to see another day in the streets doing what they love. That’s what this industry is about. That’s what life’s about,” he says.
And this sense of community doesn’t just apply to the business owners. Carl Patron, the president of the MMFVA, loves that most of the business are family-owned and run.
“It’s very rare for a diner to be able to meet the chef/owner/server while their meal is being prepared,” Patron says. “That’s the connection that really makes it happen for me – to see the smile on your customer’s face when they take a big bite of the food you just prepared and get a thumbs up on your creation.”