For the first time this season, food trucks gathered at Market Street’s Center Park on Friday with two new additions to the street food scene. And there may be two more food trucks in coming months.
Owner Duane Olscvary of Nana’s Famous Frozen Custard, 6707 Hixson Pike, built a truck to take his product to the streets.
The other new addition is King of Pops, which is a cart with handcrafted popsicles made with fresh fruit.
The street food scene in Chattanooga now includes Famous Nater’s, Southern Burger Company, Local Slice, Nana’s, A Taste of Argentina, The Missing Link cart, King of Pops, The Muenster Truck-which should hit streets this summer-and Rock-n-Tacos, which Nooga.com hasn’t written about before, but it’s been open for about a year.
Rock-n-Tacos couldn’t make it to Center Park today because of mechanical trouble, Jim Williamson, vice president of planning and development for River City Company, said.
And this summer, a waffle truck and a burrito truck may join the scene-Mountain Waffle Wagon and California Smothered Burrito, respectively.
Williamson said he doesn’t want to say the trucks will definitely be here, but plans are in the works.
Nana’s Famous Frozen Custard
The Hixson location is a “retro drive-in kind of place,” Olscvary-who built the truck to take his product to the streets-said.
“You can’t buy a book on how to build a food truck-you just sort of look at other food trucks,” he said.
He bought parts from vendors and put the truck together over months. His truck didn’t need a lot of cooking equipment, so he got a big freezer, generators and cabinet and started putting together the metal plates and doing the electrical work.
He passed the fire and health inspections and hit the street Friday.
Local company Printree did the truck’s wrap, which has a picture of his grandchildren on it.
He will be at the market on Sundays and at Home Depot tomorrow.
“The word is getting out,” he said. “We’re doing weddings. We cater. We want to keep the truck on the road if we can. We are learning where to go. We’re excited about this and waiting to see how well it works.”
King of Pops
Hudson Magee has brought King of Pops from Atlanta to Chattanooga.
“It’s not a franchise-we work together to bring it to different places, and we’re a local company wherever we go,” he said. “We start different kitchens in different cities and buy local produce.”
So far, Magee is making them in Atlanta and bringing them to Chattanooga, but he is looking at potentially opening a kitchen here and possibly a storefront one day, he said.
But the King of Pops cart is key to the business, Magee said.
“A lot of our character comes from the push cart and the street sales, and that’s kind of our trademark. It’s a fun way to run the business,” he said.
There are other cart-type street vendors that show up around town, too, such as Monkey Town Donut Company; The Chattanooga Cookie Company; and Pure Sodaworks, which now has a storefront and bottling location on the North Shore.
None of those businesses came out Friday, though.
Williamson said he was pleased with the turnout for the first day at Center Park, which coincided with the season’s first Fresh on Fridays, which is in Miller Plaza.
“There was a huge crowd down there today,” he said.