Food trucks are trending, causing many newcomers to try and entrepreneur their way into the field. This can be more difficult than people think. Because of this, Jay Halvorson and Travis Rosenbluth are starting the first Red River Valley Food Truck Association.
Halvorson is the owner of the Texas Q BBQ and Rosenbluth is the owner of Phargo Food. They came together to establish this association in hopes of welcoming newcomers to the business of food trucks and so they can see more success stories.
While bigger cities tend to have these associations, there has yet to be one in the Red River Valley area, until now. Many may think this association would be controlling their businesses, but they wanted to clarify that they do not speak on behalf of those in the association. Instead, they provide guidance.
Their experience is what makes them so knowledgeable on the topic of the food truck industry. When asked why they are qualified to provide this guidance, Rosenbluth said, “Experience and we’re the only ones trying to do this.”
Halvorson explained how he does small consulting for other food truckers, has had many trial and error experiences and reads articles constantly on the industry.
“Some places (events) abuse food trucks” Halvorson explained. “We learn from each other.” They are using this association not only to help food truckers, but also to help educate vendors who call them for an event.
This association gives new entrepreneurs a platform for information. “(It) gives them a launching pad for the experience,” Rosenbluth said. They want food trucks to be apart of the community.
“We’re working to bring you guys (newcomers) in … your business is our business,” Rosenbluth said.
They explained when food trucks are alone, it does not bring in nearly as much business because people want a variety, much like a food court situation. So if these new food truckers do not succeed, in a sense, the other food trucks are losing business as well.
“Singleness of us is not good for us,” Halvorson explained.
Every year during the food truck season they see around three to four more food truckers. Food trucks are trending right now, but Rosenbluth shared that the “future of food trucking is hazy. We’re providing for the now.”
Other parties are interested in becoming involved, and they would not be surprised if other known food truckers became a part of the association. There is a “common understanding it would benefit all of us,” Rosenbluth said.
To make this association succeed, they are meeting with city officials to allow for an opening of the streets so parking is more accessible. They shared that officials are on board and very optimistic about their plans. Mayor Tim Mahoney also supports their association.
Entrepreneur Joe Burgum is also a huge part of how Rosenbluth and Halvorson were able to create the idea. Burgum was an acquaintance of both, so he brought up how both had the same type of ideas for the Fargo area for food trucks.
Passion brought them together and they believe it will continue to do so because food truckers are what they consider ”real people.”
The association is still in the works, but officials see it as an opening for more foot traffic to areas. They have a couple test areas in mind, such as around the Fargo Civic Center or Town Hall. They’re utilizing this association as an expansion for the Fargo area.
They encourage students who are into cooking to think about working for a food truck. They explained how it is great culinary experience, along with a fun and unique experience.
More information can be found on the Red River Valley Food Truck Association Facebook page.