Norfolk, Va. – In less than a week, the food truck season will officially start up again in Norfolk. Today, the city held another lottery and will attempt another go-round for the program to make sure this year it’s a complete success.
Six food trucks will be featured downtown. Three of last year’s food trucks will make a return and there will be three new vendors.
Luke Donkle, with Granby’s Hot Dogs is one of the trucks on the block.
“I was very surprised and happy,” he said after learning he won a spot in the city, “I like that they are being careful about it and I like that they are listening to feedback and they sort of changed the rules of the program for this go around .”
The city worked with vendors to stir up ideas and fix some problems the program ran into last year.
First the city decided to bring the food trucks in a more centralized area. Two trucks will be placed on Freemason Street; the other four will be in MacArthur Square.
“We are so glad there will be a gathering in the area,” said Bobby Hernandez, owner of Bobby Q. “The more food trucks there are, the more foot traffic for people to buy our food and we love that.”
The city also changed the rules when it comes to applying. You must have a food truck before entering the lottery. Vendors tell NewsChannel 3, two of the six winning companies last year, never physically had a food truck and never showed up for hungry customers. This year, all applicants into the lottery had to have a food truck and necessary permits.
The city has also decided the food trucks should rotate around the six spaces downtown every month, compared to every week. Hernandez says this will be much better for business and building a customer base.
“Last year was very difficult because it was so short of a time to establish your clients in the area and then you have to move, now one month is perfect,” said Hernandez.
The Norfolk Food Truck Program will begin on April 1st. The winning vendors are Panavoir, Diesel Foods, Bobby Q, Jeepney Express, Surfside Mobile Food Service and Granby Street Hot Dogs. Alternates include Sofritos, Karnage Asada, Bros Fish Tacos, Captain Chefs, The Coop, The Lucky Peach, Pita Pit and Malbon’s BBQ.