Originally Published: July 28, 2016 9:20 p.m.
What: Mile High Mobile Food
Contact: Donna Nelson, owner of Smokin’ Delicious LLC, 928-308-1546
Food trucks are no longer just a trend in this country. They’re more or less expected.
“It’s burgeoning,” said Dan Thomas, owner of two food trucks in Prescott, Iron Horse Grille and Red Pony Confectionery.
Unfortunately for Thomas, Prescott’s food truck industry is currently non-existent due to code-enforced limitations.
“We’re illegal,” said Ann Flaherty, owner of a food truck called Annie Thing Goes.
That hasn’t stopped them from servicing hungry customers in other parts of northern Arizona, however.
“I’ve driven all the way to St. Johns for an event and am actually going to Flagstaff this weekend,” Thomas said.
“I went to Williams,” Flaherty said.
To increase their influence in the market, Flaherty, Thomas and a couple other food truck owners have banded together to form a group called Mile High Mobile Food.
The freshly-formed coalition has been working on expanding their presence.
One way of doing so that they’ve just begun experimenting with is hosting their own small food truck festivals within Prescott.
The only way they’re able to do this is work with city planners to pull a special event permit and then rent a piece of private property to post up on.
Their first attempt was over this last Fourth of July weekend. They rented the lot formerly used for Prescott Steakhouse on Miller Valley Road and organized their trucks in an orderly fashion within the space.
“It went pretty well,” said Donna Nelson, owner of another food truck called Smokin’ Delicious LLC.
Their next go at this will be Aug. 19, 20 and 21 in the dirt lot at the corner of Willis and Montezuma streets.
Though it’s good for exposure purposes, the practice is unsustainable due to cost.
“It’s just very, very expensive to do,” Flaherty said.
Therefore, they’ve been looking for other outlets.
Though Prescott has been difficult to work in and Prescott Valley has its own restrictions as well, Chino Valley has so far proven quite welcoming.
For example, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, the group of food truck owners is being allowed by the town to post up in Memory Park, intersection of W. Road 3 North & N. Road 1 West, during its annual celebration of National Night Out.
Town officials are also very seriously looking into allowing food trucks to gather once a week at Memory Park.
“We definitely want to support it because it’s a hot trend, it helps raise funds for the community, and it attracts people from all over to come check out our town,” said Katie Cornelius with the town’s Parks and Recreation department.
Still in its infancy, Mile High Mobile Food is currently looking to grow.
“If there are other food trucks out there that we don’t know, we want to network with them,” said Carol Chandler, owner of the final food truck in the group, Street Slice.