Food-truck coalition expands to second venue in downtown Phoenix

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The Phoenix Food Truck Coalition, which has a presence at the Phoenix Public Market on Food Truck Fridays, will begin hosting a second Friday event south of the Phoenix New Times building. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

Food trucks are in popular demand in downtown Phoenix. To satisfy the craving for gourmet on wheels, the Phoenix Street Food Coalition is expanding to a new location on Fridays.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. south of the Phoenix New Times building on 12th and Jefferson streets. Parking also will be available on 13th Street.

The event is a team effort between the Phoenix New Times and the Phoenix Street Food Coalition. The Phoenix New Times is handling more of the property and promotion logistics, and Beatrice Bullock of Buzz N Beez in the Street Food Coalition is coordinating the food trucks.

They formed the basis of a working relationship at a Phoenix New Times festival located at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale in January.

Food Truck Fridays will remain in the Phoenix Public Market at the same time. A new food truck will be added this month, bringing the total to 11.

“With this big craze, there’s definitely a need for another large venue,” said Bullock, coordinator for the new location and co-owner of Buzz N Beez. “I wanted to make sure there was another downtown area for people to try the new gourmet trucks that are in rotation in the other location.”

All trucks at both locations are part of the Phoenix Street Food Coalition, but, unlike the original location at the Phoenix Public market, this location will have rotating vendors, Bullock said.

“People can try a variety of things,” she said. “They can try something new every week.”

There are currently 20 trucks in the rotation, and six of those trucks will be at the new location every Friday.

The vendors for Friday in addition to Buzz N Beez are SuperFarm SuperTruck, Luncha Libre, Q UP Barbeque, Epic Hot Dogs and T-licious.

“We’re not anywhere near saturation point,” said Brad Moore, co-owner of the Short Leash food truck and chairman of the Phoenix Street Food Coalition.

He and the coalition has been encouraging its members to go out and find new events, locations and attractions for the food trucks, especially because they are at capacity in the Phoenix Public Market.

“It’s going to be a complement to what we’re already doing,” Moore said. “I think there is a lot of interest, and it’s a whole new group of clients and customers to capture down there. “

Moore named Bullock as one of the pioneers to help develop this growing phenomenon. A key component of the expansion is maintaining quality.

“It’s very important to me that there are quality trucks there, and people walk away with the same impression that they’ve just eaten gourmet food,” Bullock said.

Food truck-enthusiast Jared Davis found out about the food trucks on a Yelp review during his most recent vacation to Phoenix.

“It’s great to see this level of cooking on the back of a truck,” he said. “The focus is purely on the quality of food.”

The coalition is not only inviting food-truck vendors to be a part of this event, but also other vendors and artists. As the event grows, Bullock said the coalition wants it to have an open-air market feel where people can enjoy quality lunch and live music.

Bullock is looking to further promote the coalition’s efforts by potentially buying the billboard on 12th and Jefferson streets.

At its quarterly meeting last month, the Phoenix Street Food Coalition estimated it would have a total of 50 food trucks by the end of this year, Bullock said.

“We’re trying to make this into a landmark type of situation,” she said.

Contact the reporter at aiyana.havir@asu.edu

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