Is the Northeast able to handle a food truck hub?

Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
March 11, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — In a recent story in the Kansas City Star, Michael Foust — chef/owner of the farm-to-table restaurant Farmhouse in the River Market — announced his plans to open a food truck hub along Southwest Boulevard.

The idea was spawned after Foust bought a 1953 Spartan Aircraft Trailercoach, a roughly 35-foot recreational vehicle, and purchased it with the idea of using it as a food truck. After rehabbing and turning it into a food truck though, he realized it wasn’t a truck that could be driven around everyday.

“It ended up being a little bit too heavy and little bit too big,” Foust said. “It can be mobile for catering and things like that, but we didn’t really want to be driving it every day. So we came across a former used car lot along Southwest Boulevard.”

Along with building a commissary kitchen, Foust plans to rent out spots in the lot, located at 3014 Southwest Blvd., to other trucks to create a hub, something he saw a lot during recent trips to Portland. His goal is to open around May 1st.

When officials from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] saw the story, they reached out to Faust and Nael Leno, the Farmhouse’s general manager, about the possibility of bringing a food truck hub to the Northeast area.

“I don’t think as big as some people,” Foust said. “To me, this was just a one-off thing.”

Leno said HUD representatives explained to her that after they received the funds for the Paseo Gateway project, they began looking at ways to improve the area and bring people to the Northeast again. The difference between the two hubs, though, is the Southwest location will be chef driven, Foust said. If they go forward with a Northeast location, it will be more community kitchen and classroom oriented.

“They wondered if it was something we were interested in doing for the Northeast,” Leno said, adding HUD would fund or help fund, if it becomes a reality.

Intrigued by the idea, Foust and Leno asked for a couple of weeks to do their homework. Is this an idea residents of the Northeast want? Is this a business venture that could thrive in the Northeast? If they decide to move forward, where would the food truck hub be located? Over the next two weeks, the two plans to gather intel and assess the, possible, venture.

“In that time, I would contact the people I know in the Northeast and post in Facebook groups to see if that’s something the community would embrace and want,” Leno said.

If you want to let Michael or Nael know what you think of the idea, send an email to nael@eatatthefarmhouse.com or tweet them @TheFarmhouseKC.

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