By Marc Filippino | The Wicked Local Lexington
Lexington — A couple of 100 people gathered around at the Massachusetts Avenue and Woburn Street fairgrounds food trucks from around the area gathered for Lexington’s 2013 Food Truck Festival.
The festival on with Friday, May 31, had picturesque weather and was the culmination of Lexington’s Revolutionary Revelry events, leading into the weekend’s Discovery Day event.
The food trucks Cupcakory, Grilled Cheesed Nation, Lobsta Love, Chicken on the Road, Chicken and Rice Guys joined the festivities. Local entity Wilson Farm set up a stand, while state Sen. Mike Barrett’s band, the Arl-Lex Five & Dime serenaded the crowd with bluegrass tunes.
The festival is just another example of the recent food truck trend storming Massachusetts and the rest of the country. In the past, food trucks have start out as independent mobile companies that eventually turn into brick in mortar restaurants. Now in many cases, restaurant owners are seeing the popularity and opportunity of food trucks in order to capitalize on the recent craze.
For 26 years, Augusta Market has been a main staple delicacy in Billerica. Even without delivery, loyal customers have made their way to the restaurants front doors on a consistent basis.
In 2012, Augusta Market owner Mary Bishop decided to bring the food to her customers, without compromising the quality of her food. The truck was tested to its limits right out of the gate, the Chicken on the Road truck opened right after Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast.
“My business lost power so it was a real test for the truck,” said Bishop. “We parked it out in front of the shop and sold a lot of chicken. It was very successful, but we had to run with the generator. It was the first time our customers saw the truck, and we got see how it worked in action.”
Since then, the truck has been all over Massachusetts. From Boston to Lexington, Augusta Market’s Chicken on the Road truck has worked on its own, in festivals and chartable events.
Now Chicken on the Road and other food trucks are seeing success in an formerly untapped market: suburban business parks.
“Hartwell Avenue in Lexington is easy because we want to go to corporations that don’t have cafeterias and property owners want us out in front of these business,” said Bishop. Chicken on the Road was the first truck to stop in the Hartwell Avenue district, but was soon joined by other food trucks.
“These [property] companies need us to attract companies from Boston and Cambridge,” she said. “Companies from that area are used to having food right outside their door or have employees who live in that area with restaurants all around them.”
Aside from creating more business for their restaurant, Bishop said she’s delighted to bring the food truck experience to people who might have never seen it before.
“Sometimes they don’t know what it’s all about and they think it’s a canteen truck that goes to multiple stops,” Bishop said. “But once they find out we stay on location and cook on the truck; it’s funny seeing how they react. They love it and take a picture in front of the truck just to remember the experience.”