Food Service & Agriculture, Nonprofits, and Small Business & Startups

Food truck owners roll out association

March 30, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Grand Rapids Food Truck Association
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The area’s food truck industry now has support from a newly formed association.

The Grand Rapids Food Truck Association, or GRFTA, said this week that its aim is to provide food truck advocacy, support and education within the Grand Rapids community.

The association said it has been meeting since January.

City regulations

One major hope of the association is to help the city with new regulations to coincide with Mayor Rosalynn Bliss’ State of the City comments about food trucks being an “entry point for culinary entrepreneurship.”

“We couldn’t agree with the mayor more,” GRFTA President Brennan Summers said.

Summers, owner of A Moveable Feast, added that the association looks forward to working with Bliss and city commissioners “to develop a set of food truck regulations that make sense for food trucks and the residents and visitors of Grand Rapids.”

Formation

The Grand Rapids Food Truck Association was formed with the help of the National Food Truck Association, or NFTA, which seeks the same goals on a national level.

“Food trucks have expanded the culinary landscape of countless cities worldwide,” NFTA Founder Matt Geller said. “The addition of a strong food truck advocacy organization will help Grand Rapids grow into a healthy mobile vending region and increase consumer choice.”

Local resources

Along with advocacy, the groups both seek to provide new and existing food trucks with resources and support.

“Not only can we provide the expertise and resources for new truck owners who are just getting started, but we can also be a resource for existing truck owners looking for a way to jump start their business,” said Paul Lee, GRFTA VP and owner of What the Truck. Lee also owns the Wealthy Street restaurants Winchester and Donkey Taqueria.

Educating the public is also a key goal of the association, which will sponsor public food truck events.

“We can provide a great service to the Grand Rapids public,” Summers said. “Now, if someone is looking to book a food truck for an event or even just looking for general information on food trucks, there is a central point of contact that will immediately provide them with the combined resources of a large group of food trucks.”

While association officials acknowledge Grand Rapids may not be a large-scale food truck city like Los Angeles or Washington, D.C., it can still be vibrant.

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