NORFOLK — Food lovers are getting a taste for what local food trucks are dishing up.
The Food Truck Rumble popped up on Third Street and Norfolk Avenue in Norfolk on Friday evening as part of the Riverpoint ‘Fork Fest. Arts Center Assistant Director Denice Hansen says the event exemplifies the opportunities Norfolk has to offer.
“I believe it’s really important to focus on those local places, because again it reinforces the fact that, like I said, there’s something to do here, there’s a reason for people to stay here, there’s opportunity for people here that are creative and that want to do something. ”
Rumble-goers pay $14, sample each truck’s foods, and vote on the best food truck. The winner receives a marketing package for their business.
“A lot of these places are relatively new. They’re food trucks, so they don’t have a standing storefront location. Maybe they have a really small budget because they can’t afford to have a storefront, and so this is a great tool for them to bring their business to the next level.”
The Sportsman’s Grill’s previous owner Joy Griffith says current owners Brent and Kathy Rystrom are growing their business by putting their Mongolian grill venture on wheels.
“I know that Brent and Kathy have had huge success with the Mongolian—busy almost every night since they instituted it—and so they thought it would be the perfect thing for a trailer because there’s no other ones around.”
Griffith says the event is a great way for the local food trucks to grab the attention of residents.
“It’s the publicity and just getting people to recognize what it’s about, what Mongolian is. I just think all these people that are coming, I think the committee says they sold maybe 600 tickets, so that’s a lot of publicity.
In just it’s second year, the different trucks at ‘Fork Fest’s Food Truck Rumble have already garnered the attention of a number of locals.
“I fell in love with some of the food trucks, I know where their locations are and I’m a regular there. I can say that with a lot of people in town, you know you discover something. It’s like a gem in the community that you can find, something that’s really unique and just your own and you can go to it, so it’s really fun.”
Other ‘Fork Fest Activities included sidewalk sales, live music, dine and drive, and Northfork Outfitting activities.