Food trucks are on the rise

Annie Ellison, Staff Writer

The TriState area is no stranger to the food truck craze. Cincinnati is home to more than 30 food trucks, serving everything from ice cream to grilled cheese. Food trucks are on the go, quick eating, mobile trucks that serve food. Running food trucks takes dedication and years of preparations to be successful.

The idea of the food truck comes from a man named Charles Goodnight. In the mid 1800s Goodnight came up with the idea during a lengthy cattle drive. He wanted to have a mobile way to feed the cattlemen. They were called chuck wagons. This idea spread fast around the world and food trucks started to evolve, but they didn’t really become popular around here until about 2008.  Each truck probably has its own interesting background, and Marty’s Waffles is a good example.

Mr. Marty Meersman, creator of Marty’s Waffles, started making baked goods at the age of 16. When Mr. Meersman was a young boy, his mom enrolled him in baking classes taught by a local economics teacher. He started off his career early. On the Marty’s Waffles website, it states that long before Marty knew what food trucks were, he fantasized about having a portable, nomadic, food business that would travel around serving people. In 2009, Mr. Meersman and his family went to a German bakery, and he tried a Belgium style waffle. After that his life was changed. He went home and had multiple trials for the perfect waffle. Marty’s Waffles launched in August, 2013. “My favorite food truck is Marty’s waffles because the waffle taste so good and the salt on the waffle is so unique,” said Avery Wiefering, eighth grader.

Essentially, there are eight steps to start a food truck according to FitSmallBuisness.com. The eight steps are research target market, choose a food truck name and concept, create a business plan, get the license and registrations, do all the financing, design your menu board, make all the logos and outfits, and finally market your truck. Mr. Meersman said, “It took a lot of confidence to finally get started.”  He said that it took so much time, money and effort. He used most of his life savings to start up this very successful truck.  “It also took sweat equity,” said Mr. Meersman. Sweat equity means hard physical labor. It can get hectic running a truck, but the Marty’s Waffles team deals with it by having a system. Everyone has their own job, and no one else does it. Someone makes the waffles, someone does the toppings, and someone serves and collects the money.

Today, Marty’s Waffles has definitely made its mark on the tristate area.  The waffles are so popular, that they have partner with some A-list restaurants.  Arnold’s Bar and Grill, downtown offer two savory sandwiches from Marty’s Waffles.  Barleycorn’s in Lakeside Park, KY, feature a chicken and waffle dish.  Even Grassroots &Vine in Fort Thomas have added Marty’s Waffles to their menu with fresh waffles and many tasty toppings from which to choose.

As Mr. Meersman found out, owning a food truck hard work. There are many steps to being successful. It takes a lot of time and money. Mr. Meersman said, “I do have a background and heart for food, and that’s what made my truck a whole lot easier.”