By Nichole Hacha-Thomas | FWDailyNews.com
A giant night of food, fun and live entertainment will introduce the city’s newest food vendors to the public. Food Stock, set for Oct. 12 at 6 p.m., will put the spotlight on Fort Wayne’s food trucks.
Maybe you’ve seen the colorful mobile kitchens rolling around town, preparing to set up shop at the hint of a bustling location. There is Jumby’s Joint serving up gourmet American classics, Bravas Dogs offering gourmet hot dogs, Bravas Food Truck selling gourmet Spanish cuisine, The Getaway Grill with gourmet Mexican, Ragin’ Cajun selling Creole classics and Affine Food Truck dishing up farm-to-fork gourmet plates.
Tasting passes will be available, allowing guests to sample each of the trucks’ specialties, said Jim Garigen, co-owner of Jumby’s Joint and president of the Fort Wayne Food Truck Association. Additional menu items will be available for purchase from each truck. Also taking part in the event will be Kernel Coladas with gourmet popcorn and Whip ‘N Chill serving up sweet treats.
Garigen said the event, which will take place at The Shiloh, 3127 Carroll Road, is threefold. First, it dispels any notion someone may have about getting their food from a truck. Second, it introduces new customers to each of the trucks, and, hopefully, spurs repeat business. And, third, it’s a whole lot of fun, Garigen said.
“We want to show people that gourmet street food can be done at the highest level,” Garigen said.
Live entertainment will be provided by local bands, The Todd Harrold Band, Afrodesiac and more.
The idea for Food Stock, sponsored by the Fort Wayne Food Truck Association, came at the agreement of each individual truck owner in the association. Garigen urged the group to take part in one joint venture.
“It really was a collaborative effort,” Garigen said. One person secured the bands, another secured the venue and others assisted in developing the concept of the event. Thus, Food Stock was born.
The association, founded by Garigen, began meeting earlier this year. Garigen, who took the dive into the food truck industry with co-owner Michelle DuCharme, said the formation of the association was serendipitous.
After extensive research while preparing to launch Jumby’s, Garigen and DuCharme learned plenty of lessons. When the duo happened upon Bo Gonzalez, owner of both Bravas, they offered their tips and tricks to him. Gonzalez was happy to have an ally in the relatively uncharted Fort Wayne waters.
As more and more food truck operators learned of the new group — and the other owner-operators — the association began to take shape.
“Nobody knew the other person was opening a food truck,” Garigen said. “Once we started talking, (the Fort Wayne Food Truck Association) sort of ballooned from there.”
Garigen said the association provides one voice with city government and the Allen County Board of Health. The group already has been instrumental in having one ordinance changed and members have worked on some legislative issues, too.
A byproduct of the association, Garigen said, has been the cooperative spirit of all the owners. Even though they all cook up and serve food from a truck, they don’t see themselves as competition. Instead, they work together to give food trucks a good name.
“Everybody helps everybody else out. If there is a double-booking, we’re on the phone helping each other out,” Garigen said. “I am so blessed to have met each of these truck owners. Without them, there is no association.”
For more information about the association or any of the individual vendors, visit each individual truck’s Facebook page.