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LOCAL ECONOMY
FOOD TRUCK DAY ARRIVES

Watch now: Are you ready to celebrate National Food Truck Day?

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DECATUR — National Food Truck Day is celebrated on the fourth Friday in June.

Although it isn’t as popular as Christmas, the food truck owners are ready for the festivities.

“I’d like to think that people are really catching on,” said Clint Brumleve, co-owner of the Tornado Truck parked on Oakland Avenue in Decatur.

The Tornado Truck has been a popular stop for Decatur diners for six years. The menu has traditional fair food. “You don’t have to go to the carnival once a year, but every day,” Brumleve said. “And you know where to find us.”

One of the features of ordering from a food truck is the accessibility. However, Carol Denson often travels from downtown to the Smack’n Tacos’ on Decatur's north end for her lunch.

“It’s the food,” she said about the draw. “The food that they fix in these food trucks is a specialty. It’s the atmosphere. And they can go anywhere.”

Food trucks traditionally open to the public in the spring. However, Decatur’s food truck ordinance allows the mobile units to operate year round. A year ago, the food truck season was from March 15 to Nov. 30.

Welcome to the show: It will be a circus downtown

According to the food truck owners, the pandemic didn’t hit food trucks as hard as brick-and-mortar restaurants which has such things as indoor seating restrictions, adding to the popularity. “In a world where trust became really important to people, being able to walk up to a food truck and see your food cooking, people became really open to that,” Brumleve said.

Food truck owners have the opportunity to focus on a specialty. Marcos Fuentes, owner of Smack’n Tacos, serves up his tacos on the corner of 22nd Street and Pershing Road. “I’ve always wanted to own my own business,” he said. “And the overhead is low, to be honest.”

The Smack’n Tacos owner enjoys the freedom of being able to move the mobile unit to other locations if needed. “I do move around,” Fuentes said. “I do private events, catering, all sorts of stuff.”

Employees enjoy the atmosphere as well.

Chelsey Gossard worked at Cheddars restaurant in Forsyth before it closed. She said she missed the work and joined the Smack’n Tacos staff when she was asked by Fuentes. “I like it because I can interact with the community,” she said.

Like many in the community, including other food truck owners, Tamika Coleman, owner of Snowball Effect, didn’t know Friday was National Food Truck Day. “I’ve been so busy, I hadn’t paid attention,” she said.

The summer time is a popular season for Coleman’s customized sweet treats, served from her 10-by-16-square-foot shed in the West Pershing Road location. She also has a bright blue food truck that is ideal for meeting customers where they are. “What I'm trying to do is get my name out there in all parts of the town,” she said.

Owning her own business also gives Coleman the freedom to be creative.

“I hope the color of it attracts them,” she said.


Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR

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