by Mikaela Antonelli
There are a lot of crazy food trends that we have seen in the past couple years, but one is here to stay. Food trucks have taken over many big cities for their convenience and culinary uniqueness, and they have recently taken over our small town of Fort Collins. You can see them at any event around town or at your favorite brewery.
These tasty entrepreneurial endeavors require a lot of time and playing the guessing game. The owners of Common Link were in the hospitality industry before opening their food truck. Owner, Jesse Doerffel, said that one of her biggest struggles was figuring out the market and researching demographics. “It’s a guessing game, seeing what people will want and what people will eat,” said Doerffel. The weather also plays a large part in owning a food truck. Working with the breweries around town is rewarding but can be tough on rainy days in the summer. Bill Almquist of The Waffle Lab explains that if they have a rainy day at a brewery, a lot of people may not come out but the trucks are still required to stay there until the brewery closes so it may not be a very profitable day. Despite the risk, there is much reward.
Each restaurant on wheels has an owner behind it that is in love with this community and serving its inhabitants. Doerffel, who is also the operator and janitor of Common Link, graduated from CSU and after years of travel with her husband decided to come back to Fort Collins. “I always wanted to get back to Fort Collins and if we came back we wanted to be engrained in the community,” said Doerffell. Along with owning a food truck, Doerffell and her husband Derrick sit on various boards on town. Oregon transplant, Bill Almquist, of Waffle Lab loves the reaction he gets from his food. “I get a real kick out of people-positive reactions,” said Almquist. “I put a lot of heart and soul and energy into this and it’s really nice to exceed people’s expectations.”
The community within the food truck owners in Fort Collins is very communal and supportive of each other. “It is really great and collaborative,” said Doerffel. “We support each other and give each other information on upcoming events.” Almquist described it as, “cooperative… we all get along quite well. Everyone has their own thing going on.” In the end, their food trucks are their creations. “It’s ours by design – we love it,” said Doerffell. “It’s so much fun.” Next time you are out in Fort Collins, support our local food trucks.