Are food trucks here to stay? Owners sure think so

Evan Mays • Jul 1, 2018 at 4:03 PM

Is the food truck craze over? Not according to local food truck owners. 

Food trucks can be spotted all over our community, especially in Johnson City. Since 2014, the food truck industry has been steadily growing in the area, and even today, food trucks see long lines and dozens of customers daily. 

One of the first food trucks to open in the Johnson City was Noli Truck. It has been a staple of the community since it opened its doors — or rather started spinning its wheels — in 2014. Owner Jason Howze said that in his experience, food trucks are a sustainable business by all means. 

“Our revenue has grown every year since we opened,” Howze said. “Our goal has obviously been to be a sustainable business, and it’s working.

“People should choose us over regular restaurants for lots of reason. A big one is that we cook to order. So, when someone comes to the truck and orders something we start making it then. That means when you eat with us, you are eating freshly made food. The quality of our food is hands down above fast food,” Howze said. 

The Noli Truck has a semi-permanent residence in a parking lot next to Founder’s Park. The regular parking spot allows the eatery to set up picnic tables, giving patrons a place to sit and dine.

Me&K’s Food Truck and Trailer is another bustling food truck in the community and another one of the oldest. The women running Me&K’s are from Southern California. Chef Melissa Dixon said her journey began when she came to visit family in the area in 2010. She began selling salsa from the farmers market, and from there, she and her partner, Kerstein Kline, opened Johnson City’s third food truck. 

“We’ve put a little bit of everything on our menu. We have multiple different palette options: Mexican, So-Cal, guac, some Asian. We are definitely into fresh vegetarian options,” Dixon said.

According to Dixon, Me&K’s business is booming. 

“The food trailer is seeing anywhere from 20-50 people on certain days. And the food truck is constantly busy,” Dixon said. “If you are in it for the passion, and have a great menu, you will work it out and have a business. We are a very tight community and share out work. I think that the food truck industry is totally sustainable and there is a lot of opportunity.”

With so many different options, there is a food truck for everyone in Johnson City. Whether the industry is sustainable long-term is a question only time can answer, but for the time being, they seem to be firmly parked on the dining scene.

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