From thai fusion, Italian, breakfast fare, shaved ice, tacos, coffee and everything in between, food trucks have come to Delaware, and The Rolling Revolution is leading the way.
The Rolling Revolution began with the goal of bringing food trucks and their owners under one umbrella organization. This sort of trade group set up allowed trucks to maintain standards on par with brick and mortar restaurants, as well as networking and marketing the businesses.
The first big test of the new group was during a recent First Friday Art Loop. The trucks were parked outside of the Delaware Center For Contemporary Art. It was a coming out party of sorts for the group that had been having trouble breaking in to the Wilmington market.
The food was amazing, and there was plenty of variety. More than a thousand people came out on the night of the art loop, and people were waiting in pretty long lines. Those I spoke with talked about how much fun they had, and how great the food was. Not a single person I spoke with complained about the lines.
To say the event was a success would be an understatement. We ventured out to the event to capture it for WHYY’s First, and while it seemed to start slowly, you can tell from our video above and pictures below, it didn’t take long for the crowds to show.
Karla Fleshman works in the Java Puppy food truck, a founding member of The Rolling Revolution. “Rolling Revolution came together to create a culture and advocate to change the laws that will allow mobile food and vending businesses to be able to do business in Delaware,” she said.
Unlike a traditional restaurant, the trucks don’t have to wait for customers to come to them, they get to go to the customer. The Rolling Revolution trucks have already appeared at several events around Wilmington and Newark including the Wilmington Grand Prix, Wilmington Flower show, and the Art Loop.
Chef Wit Milburn of Kapow food truck got some of the owners of the various trucks together one night to start what would become the Rolling Revolution. “It was first called the Delaware food truck and mobile vending services. That didn’t work, it’s kind of like Agents of Shield, we just go by SHIELD now.”
For the owners, it isn’t only about the food. “People are just amazed and drawn into this experience, it creates community. So it’s more than just the food,” Fleshman said.
And it’s not just a community of like-minded business owners, but the local residents, too. On the night we were out with the trucks, there were people from all walks of life and income brackets. Kids and adults alike were out for a nice evening of food and fun.
The food certainly didn’t disappoint either. If you couldn’t find something you liked at one of these trucks, you weren’t trying hard enough. There were barbecue sandwiches, pasta dishes, various types of egg rolls, coffee drinks, and just about anything else you could want. And almost nothing was of the ordinary variety.
“We just want customers to say ‘Wow, there is more than just Irish pubs, chain restaurants, and fried food around this area. You can actually get really good food from these guys,'” Chef Milburn said.
The trucks work together to help promote their business, but also by helping each other to become better business people.
“I like to say we’re like Voltron, cause each of us bring a piece of the puzzle. We all work together, because at the end we all want to have a successful business. It’s almost like a family now. It’s really awesome,” Milburn said.
“The excitement of just meeting and interacting with [the customer] and growing a relationship with them, that’s one of the pleasures I have and that’s why a lot of people come to our truck.”
It was a great experience and atmosphere, and there will be more to come as the Rolling Revolution expands and starts being invited out to more events around New Castle and Kent counties.
“To create this incredible experience, that’s a dream come true,” Fleshman said.
You can find more information on Rolling Revolution, including links to them on twitter and Facebook and how to book the trucks for an event when you visit them on the web.