Jax Truckies: Bringing Food Trucks to the People

November 10, 2013 6 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Heather Bailey of OutsideTheDen.com interviews Mike Field & Caron Streibich on Jacksonville's Food Truck scene.

What is Jax Truckies working on now?

Mike: We’ve grown through our partnerships. We’ve struck partnerships with the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Intuition Ale Works, King Street Farmers Market, Kona Skatepark, Bold City Brewery, the Veterans Memorial Arena, Sleiman Enterprises and the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. We recently started a quarterly series with the Jacksonville Landing called ‘Truckin on the River’. Our next event at the Landing is on November 23rd. I would encourage everyone to come as we’ll have more food trucks together at that event than any previous event in our city. Having the largest retail and restaurant landlord downtown seeing the value of food trucks has been a big validation as to what we’ve been saying all along.

Meanwhile, the big elephant in the room has been the criminalization of food trucks in Jax Beach. We steadfastly feel that there is a contributing role for food trucks at the beach. The Jax Beach Planning Department has a draft ordinance regarding legalizing food trucks ready. It just needs to be introduced by a City Council member. I really feel that it’s not going to be a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ in regards to bringing food trucks to the Beaches. Whichever elected official leads the charge is going to be admired as a hero that stood up for small business growth. We are also working on upgrading an existing food truck location downtown and adding another location for trucks downtown with the help of Jack Shad at the City of Jacksonville’s Parking Division.

Jack is a very talented public servant and our city is lucky to have. Nearly two years ago, we wanted to stage our first event in Hemming Plaza. It became clear that City officials wanted nothing to do with us as the process became maddeningly cumbersome and prohibitively expensive. Unfortunately, that experience hasn’t changed much. However, despite the inexplicable challenges we will finally be in Hemming Plaza in 2014 with another concept and I guarantee you it will be really amazing.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Mike: It’s easy to effect positive change in Jacksonville. We are not brilliant people. You just have to stop complaining, get off the couch and make something happen. Think about something you would like the change in Jacksonville. Think about what the end product would look like (maybe you want bike lanes in your neighborhood), set a goal, take that first step running and not stop until you hit the goal line. When people get in your way (and they will), don’t give up! Go around them and find someone that is willing to help. The experience in the end will be highly rewarding and our community will be better for it.

Caron: While Jax Truckies can sometimes feels like a labor of love I know that Mike and I enjoy seeing the smiles on people’s faces at food truck events, and knowing that our efforts truly make a difference in the city we’re proud to call home. Never underestimate two young people on a mission to support their community and raise money for local charities. It’s humbling what the two of us have been able to accomplish in a 19-month period with Jax Truckies and the outpouring of support and encouragement from friends, and new friends, we’ve made along the way on our food truck journey.

Heather: Be sure to Like Jax Truckies on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, and use #jaxtruckies on Instagram! A big thanks to Caron and Mike for the interview – now what’s for lunch?

Article by

Alex and Heather Bailey

Alex is a Florida native who grew up with fresh citrus and love bugs. He always imagined himself as a terrible Southerner, but a halfway decent Floridian. He knows that no matter how a day goes, it begins and ends with beauty. Originally from Texas, Heather has lived throughout the East Coast and is happy to now call Jacksonville home. She is a firm believer in Thoreau’s advice of “Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”  Both graduates of history at the University of North Florida, they share a love of finding the story beneath the story. Together they created the blog Outside The Den where they inspire others to get outside of their comfort zones through culinary adventures, cultural explorations, community happenings, and natural wonders.

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