A Win-Win with Food Trucks

by Christy Nealey, Marketing and Technology Specialist, Department of Human Resources

If you have been in the Western Government Center around lunchtime the past few weeks, you may have seen food vendors and a small crowd. The “Food Truck Wednesday” events began this past month with vendors scheduled through October. Each week, two area food trucks will be stationed in the common area between the parking garage and the administration building to sell lunch from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. In case you are curious, her is the why and how all of this came about.

“Unfortunately, there has been a delay in opening Café 1611 and for those that work at the Courts and visitors that are here all day, there’s no onsite food available except vending machines. We knew we needed to address this and who doesn’t love a good food truck?” expressed Deputy County Manager Tony McDowell.

“We were in a staff meeting trying to brainstorm a solution when Tony said, ‘Food Trucks.’ We liked the idea! The more we thought about it, we realized it truly helped everyone. It has been a difficult year for local food vendors, and we wanted to help these small, minority-owned businesses. Plus, it is a safe, outdoor, onsite food option for employees and visitors.” explained Deputy County Manager Monica Smith-Callahan, who is spearheading this venture.

“I reached out to the local Food Truck Association to see who would be interested in participating. We had several responses and will have wraps, pizza, vegan food, southern food, etc.- something different each week. The goal is to have two different genres to mitigate direct competition and to provide more variety. So far, we have had a lot of positive feedback so we will see how long this goes.” she stated.

Many employees have already taken advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the mobile cuisine while socializing with their coworkers. Greg Adams said he is “interested to see the rotation and try different food trucks!” “I love the idea! I usually bring my lunch, but this is a nice little treat! I hope they keep it up!” exclaimed Captain Kim Johnson of Henrico Police.

The exact schedule of the vendors is subject to change but, be on the lookout for the General Notice email each Monday with the menus and trucks for that week. If you have any recommendations for a vendor, please reach out to Monica Callahan-Smith ([email protected]).