Food Truck Fiesta encourages downtown students to buy local

Buy Local, Be Local
Short Leash Hot Dogs owner Brad Moore takes orders during Tuesday's "Food Truck Fiesta" on Taylor Street. Buy Local, Be Local events are attempting to bridge the gap between Downtown students and the surrounding Phoenix community. (Cydney McFarland/DD)

The Downtown student government kicked off its Buy Local, Be Local campaign Tuesday with a lunchtime “Food Truck Fiesta” on Taylor Street in front of Taylor Place.

“It’s a USGD campaign aimed at encouraging students to step out into the community,” Local Affairs Director Michael Homan said.

The goal of Buy Local, Be Local events is to bring local businesses to Downtown students to show them some of what’s available just a short walk away.

Tuesday’s event brought Short Leash Hot Dogs, Jamburritos Cajun Grille Express and Riteway’s Taste Rite to the block of Taylor Street adjacent to the dorms from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. These three food trucks regularly participate in downtown Phoenix’s weekly Food Truck Friday event at the Phoenix Public Market just north of the Downtown campus.

Brad Moore, owner of Short Leash – a food truck specializing in a variety of specialty hot dogs – said a lot of students don’t know about the vibrant community of food trucks in Phoenix.

“We saw a lot of new faces today,” he said.

Adrianne Macapinlac, a dietetics junior, said she hadn’t heard about Food Truck Friday until she attended Tuesday’s Food Truck Fiesta.

Macapinlac said nearby businesses are one of the things she likes about living Downtown.

“I’m in the city and I have less of the regular college distractions, but there’s still lots to do in walking distance,” she said.

Macapinlac said she plans on attending Food Truck Friday in the future now that she knows about it.

Through the Buy Local, Be Local campaign, the Downtown student government is showing students what exactly is in walking distance. Homan said the Downtown student government wants to help students integrate into the community and feel like locals in downtown Phoenix.

Moore said Short Leash gets about 600 customers every week at Food Truck Friday for lunch between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Phoenix Public Market started Food Truck Friday, a coalition of local food trucks, more than a year ago. It has since expanded to include eight trucks.

At the Downtown student government Senate meeting on Nov. 4, Director of Parliamentary Procedures Andres Cano said they will begin discussing phase two of the Buy Local, Be Local campaign at the Senate meeting on Nov. 18.

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Clarification: November 9, 2011

An earlier version of this story implied Short Leash Hot Dogs owns eight food trucks. The Food Truck Friday event, not Short Leash, has expanded since opening to include eight food trucks.


  1. Thanks for the great information regarding this event. Even though I live in Tucson and am not in college, I may drive north to have some food. Excellent article.