Dubuque, IA: Dubuque Follows the Food Truck Trend

Food trucks are a growing trend in Eastern Iowa and across the country. (Hoopla photo)

By Katie Wiedemann   |  Hoopla

Food trucks are a growing trend in Eastern Iowa and across the country. (Hoopla photo)
Food trucks are a growing trend in Eastern Iowa and across the country. (Hoopla photo)

The Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce awarded the food truck called “Beauty and the Beef” as the most promising new business of the year.

But Dubuque isn’t the only community with food trucks rolling into town.

A Los Angeles-based analytical firm says food trucks are the fastest-growing dining industry in the United States. Over the past five years, it’s grown more than 8 percent per year. Another California firm says food truck revenue is expected to quadruple to $2.7 billion by 2017.

Earlier this month, Iowa City started a four-month experiment to see if there’s demand for the mobile restaurants that have typically only frequented construciton sites and the like.

Wherever the “Beauty and the Beef” truck shows up, so do the hungry customers.

Costumer Emily Bradley said, “Yesterday we were like ‘oh they are going to be here tomorrow, it’s going to be the best day.'”

It’s like the old neighborhood ice cream truck, but for adults.

“I got the bombshell and I just think it’s great and really delicious,” said customer Katie Steines.

That was the reaction Beauty and the Beef owners Teri Link and Kathy Kordell were hoping for.

Kordell said, “Teri and I were watching The Food Network and they have all kinds of shows on food trucks. Food trucks are a big thing on the coasts and in Chicago. “

That’s why the two former stay at home moms thought a food truck would work in Dubuque.

“It was always intended to be a profitable business. From the get go. And we’ve just been slammed ever since we started,” said Kordell.

After seeing Beauty and the Beef’s success, Michelle Tollefson and her fiancé started their own fried food truck called Wild Fryers.

“Beauty and the Beef has been a huge help. Even with Facebook. They traveled with us to help get our name out there, “said Tollefson.

Six weeks in, the Wild Fryers are learning the tricks of the mobile food trade.

“It makes things a little tricky too. You have to make sure you have enough potatoes. You can’t just forget something,” said Tollefson.

Both food trucks let the Internet do their marketing.

“We don’t advertise at all,” said Kordell. “We’re on Facebook and Twitter and that’s how people know where we are going to be. What days and time and what the menu is going to be. “