As food truck craze catches on

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

pretty much 12-hour Otis says.

‘‘Then Mon­day, Tues­day is sort of like 12-hour days but not cook­ing and not in the truck. We do ad­min and so­cial me­dia.

‘‘It’s like an 80-hour week. Some­times we joke that be­tween 5 and 9 o’clock on a Sun­day, that’s our week­end.

‘‘We are work­ing seven days a week on a dream – we are lucky in that way.’’

On top of food ser­vice and prep they look for ways to sell their Lucky Taco Hot Sauce.

‘‘For us we are try­ing to build a brand, we love the food, the food is the star but it’s also part of the brand.’’

The Lucky Taco has a big fol­low­ing of reg­u­lars who gather at the reg­u­lar week­end park-up on Pon­sonby Rd.

‘‘We are blessed with that spot, our other friends with trucks are find­ing it hard.’’

Pete Ste­wart of Auck­land food truck The Roam­ing Dive is re­ly­ing on pri­vate book­ings. ‘‘I would like to shift that. ‘‘It’s been a bit of a whirl­wind, so I would like to be­come more avail­able to the public,’’ Ste­wart says.

His truck is pop­u­lar for wed­dings where cou­ples want to cre­ate a ca­sual vibe.

‘‘It’s a real priv­i­lege to be in­vited to some­one’s wed­ding, it’s some­thing we take re­ally se­ri­ously.’’

The Roam­ing Dive started in De­cem­ber af­ter Ste­wart came across an exlaun­dro­mat ve­hi­cle on Trade Me.

The Dive sticks to an Amer­i­can theme of­fer­ing up slid­ers and po’ boys [sub­ma­rine sand­wiches] along with chilli dogs, wings and fries.

‘‘I’ve al­ways re­ally been

days,’’ into food and I haven’t had cheff­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘All the in­ter­nal fit­tings are sec­ond-hand and bought from auc­tions. As much as I could squeeze a penny, I had to.’’

The Roam­ing Dive team do all their prep in hired com­mer­cial premises – of­ten sports clubs or RSAs.

Ste­wart would like to see roam­ing zones set up for trucks in the city, as has been suc­cess­fully tri­alled in Sydney.

‘‘It’s a tough sit­u­a­tion to find a suit­able spot for parkups as brick-and-mor­tar es­tab­lish­ments would not be im­pressed with food trucks park­ing out­side.’’

There is also the mat­ter of set­ting up and pack­ing up which can take some time.

A roam­ing zone in Auck­land is a pos­si­bil­ity but would re­quire a mar­ket li­cence or in­di­vid­ual street trad­ing per­mits, an Auck­land Coun­cil spokesper­son says.

‘‘If op­er­at­ing in a public place, food truck ven­dors need a street trad­ing per­mit and have to com­ply with any dis­trict plan re­quire­ments.

‘‘We also look to avoid con- flict with ex­ist­ing estab­lished busi­nesses,’’ the spokesper­son says.

The Frizzells have faith that the food truck move­ment will grow.

‘‘The idea of there be­ing enough trucks to sus­tain a bit of a move­ment is an idea that I like,’’ Otis says.

‘‘It is some­what re­liant on the coun­cil com­ing to the party and re­al­is­ing there is an im­por­tant cul­tural as­pect to this.

‘‘It adds di­ver­sity and a cul­tural rich­ness to a city.’’

Ste­wart would like to see more trucks on the road too, but is wary of the mar­ket be­com­ing sat­u­rated.

‘‘There are so many food trucks in the States, and you see ones that are ab­so­lutely pump­ing, but to every one that’s pump­ing there are nine that aren’t.’’

‘‘It’s about qual­ity and do­ing some­thing spe­cial.

‘‘Food trucks are re­ally per­son­able.

‘‘The peo­ple in the trucks, they’re the own­ers so that’s why peo­ple get be­hind them be­cause it’s sup­port­ing some­one’s dream.’’

Photo: BEN ROGERS

Serv­ing up: Ruby White and Sarah Frizzell dish out tasty tacos to the cus­tomers. The counter is adorned with hot sauces and Frizzell’s home­made sal­sas.

Photo: IAIN MCGRE­GOR

Foody heaven: The Tommy Taco food truck at work in Christchurch.

Photo: JOHN SELKIRK

City spot:

The Food Truck Garage on Welles­ley St.

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