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First Coast food truck business speeding to success

6:43 PM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The number of food trucks in Jacksonville has tripled in the last year and the industry isn't slowing down.

Joe Snowberger is a regular customer for the Gourmet Aviator. He says he follows Jacksonville food truck locations on social media.

"Every day, you get a different freshness and taste for my gourmet palette. It's really a nice surprise every day," said Snowberger.

And as awareness grows, so does the number of trucks. The company Jax Truckies supports local food trucks and says since last year, the number of restaurants on wheels in Jacksonville has grown from 12 to almost 40 now.

That matches M & R Trailers' success in the last year. The company, based out of Baker County, builds custom food trucks and trailers and says its revenue tripled to $1 million. In 2012, they built 54 food trucks for customers all over the country.

"I believe that this business has caught a niche in the market. We've had a bad economy fall in the last few years. A lot of people in the higher-priced income area were laid off from these high paying jobs and these people have some capital in the bank and they're saying 'I'm going to spend $25,000, $30,000 and I'll get a food truck and I'll be out there making revenue every day,'" said Bob Pierson, owner of M & R Trailers.

M & R trailers customizes every food truck to the customer's specifications. They're currently finishing a coffee truck that even has a lower window to let customers visually pick out baked goods.

From custom-made barbecues, to catering trucks with bathrooms, to full coffee shops, food trucks have evolved.

"The trucks that come around serving the lunches, roach coaches, well those days are gone. These are gourmet kitchens; they're built like that and they cost like that," said Pierson.

M & R builds about three trucks a month and these restaurants on wheels range anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000.

Owner of the Gourmet Aviator said the average daily revenue is $350 dollars, but depending on the location, their mobile restaurant could bring in up to $800 a day.

First Coast News

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