In our culture, nothing is more valuable than time and businesses are adapting to offer customers unique experiences in a timely manner.
One of the ways Abilene is striving to reach more people is through mobile food units or food trucks. The food truck trend has been steadily sweeping across the country for several years and is just hitting its stride in Abilene.
Joel Trueblood, the head chef of Gypsy Blu, a local food truck that is tied to Bonterra Blu believes that with the popularity of food trucks, America is joining a long lasting global movement.
“Street food happens all over the world,” Trueblood said. “It just took a little while for America to catch on.”
One of the most popular food trucks in town is The Smokery, a barbecue truck run by Anna and Garrett Risley who graduated from Hardin Simmons University in 2009.
“Being mobile was the best option for us,” Anna said. “We liked the idea of being able to follow the fun.”
Eating at a food truck doesn’t mean customers lose out on the dining experience. The Risley’s usually set up tables at their locations and team up weekly with Big Country Coffee Co. and The Winery at Willow Creek to enhance the eating experience with an artistic atmosphere.
Trueblood has a similar approach to his business. He strives to provide a unique dining experience in conjunction with quality food and calling Gypsy Blu a mobile food circus as opposed to a mobile food unit.
Food trucks are especially unique in a small town like Abilene where they are just now becoming popular.
Gypsy Blu was started in conjunction with a restaurant and catering business. The restaurant has since closed but Gypsy Blu, with its smattering of Southwest cuisines, continues to bring in business and provide Trueblood with a creative outlet.
Food trucks are an especially relevant trend for college students.
“College kids are a little more experimental in their approach to life,” Trueblood said. “Their natural instinct is to try something different and food trucks are a great opportunity for college kids to start experimenting with food.”
Anna adds that food trucks are unique because they provide an opportunity for customers to be actively involved in their communities.
But, like any aspect of community, without support food trucks will disappear.
“Abilene’s behind the curve on everything but especially food,” Trueblood said. “We’re just trying to make a living. Support is the biggest part.”
Students can stay up to date on where The Smokery and Gypsy Blu will be next by following them on Facebook and Twitter.