A meal, snack, or drink on wheels — whatever you may be craving, there’s probably a food truck that has it.
“Since opening our food truck we’ve seen a lot of growth in the food truck industry,” co-owner of Swirls Ice Cream Steve Hirlehey said. “A lot of new trucks [coming in] every year.”
After hitting the road in Lethbridge in 2017, Swirls Ice Cream has joined a throng of new food trucks in the area.
However, the pandemic is putting a wrench in their operations.
“Instead of going to the big events with tons and tons of people, we’ve been going to smaller communities around the city and towns outside the city,” Hirlehey said.
As a result, Hirlehey says they’ve expanded their sights to new locations, and have been able to see the silver lining.
“Since we have a brick-and-mortar as well, the food truck gets our name out a little more because people see it,” Hirlehey said. “It’s kind of advertising on its own.”
Maria Moreno and her daughter Alejandra Estevez say the season has been difficult with their event revenue gone, but their food truck Churros Anyone? has provided some benefits over indoor restaurants.
“It’s kind of like take-out, so [they] don’t have to in a confined space,” Alejandra Estevez. “It’s more open.”
In March, the family partnered with a gas station to feed truckers who were limited in their options, back when many restaurants were closed altogether.
“Some of them told us it was really hard for them to be able to grab a meal on the road,” Estevez explained. “A lot of them were really grateful.”
They say although business is slower than normal this year, they’re planning on continuing as long as weather permits, and hope to further bolster the food truck community going forward.
“One thing we want to do is organize all the food trucks that are in town to create a web page where everybody can see where the food trucks are and all the places we’re going,” Moreno said.
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