Once the weather starts to warm up and the signs of spring start to bloom, you know it is officially the farmers market season. As we as a society move away from processed food, the demand for local and organic produce and meat grows. This focus on farm to table food and reducing our environmental footprint has increased the popularity of farmers’ markets and today there are a plethora of them in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. And as farmers’ markets have grown they have become so much more than a place for farmers to sell their meat and produce and now there is live music, shopping and food.
Food trucks are now frequently making farmers markets a regular spot on their weekly route. Here are the top 5 Philadelphia farmers’ markets with delicious food trucks:
Held at Germantown Avenue and Winston Rd. in Philadelphia on Saturdays between May and November, this farmer’s markets hosts food trucks like the Foolish Waffle and Lucky Old Souls, a burger truck that emphasizes farm-to-truck goodies like grass-fed burgers, hand-cut fries and thick milkshakes.
Clark Park Farmers Market
Held on Saturdays in Clark Park at 43rd and Baltimore Ave. in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, this farmers market draw a large crowd. Besides fresh flowers and produce, there are many other different types of vendors including Don Memo Taco Truck which offers Mexican cuisine. Enjoy a delicious lunch while shopping.
Sundays in the spring, summer and fall, a farmers market is also held at Headhouse Square at 2nd and Lombard Streets. Besides fresh produce, here you can also choose from artisanal goods like candles and soaps as well as locally prepared foods. POI Dog Philly Food Truck is also a regular vendor. They serve Hawaiian favorites like Kalua Pig and Cabbage and Spicy Ahi Poke Bowl. If you love Hawaiian food or always up to try something knew then check out POI Dog Philly at the next Headhouse Farmers’ Market.
On Wednesdays during the farmers market season, there is also a Toms River Farmers Market at the Ocean County Parking Garage on Hadley Avenue. Usually several produce farmers are on hand as well as other vendors that sell plants and herbs, fresh baked goods, honey, pickles and olives, crab cakes and ravioli. Learn more about the businesses in the local community.
Adding farmers markets to your list of regular stops as a food truck owner is a smart business move and can really create a lot of revenue for you as well as expand your brand, but there are a few things you need to consider before getting started. Like with all locations, there are certain licenses and permits as well as other regulations that apply and it might vary depending on the farmers’ market so make sure you understand all that is expected of you.
When deciding on which farmers’ market to apply to, look at what type of vendors they already have and where you most likely will be situated at the market. Why jump through a bunch of hoops for a location that ends up not being lucrative for you at all? Try chatting up some of the food truck owners already on sell their wares there to get a feel of some of the pros and cons of the location. They can help you get a better sense of if it is a right move for your particular food truck business.
If you are looking to pick up a few other good locations for your food truck, you can’t go wrong with farmers’ markets. They are popular gathering places and bring in diverse attendees who will be open to different types of food vendors. Shopping and listening to music and good eats, what could be better than that?
Are you a new or interested food truck owner?
Are you completely new to the food truck business? If so, before you worry about locations there are a few other important aspects of your business that you should have nailed in place first.
- Don’t skimp on creating a solid business plan. Although you are not creating a brick and mortar restaurant, it is still a business and needs to be treated as such and not a side hobby.
- When factoring in startup costs include any permits, licensing, insurance you will need as well cost of food and supplies, commissary fees and any upkeep and maintenance your truck may need.
- Not many people carry cash anymore so make sure you offer a couple of payment options for your customers.
- Remember that all food trucks are required to have an off-site kitchen for all food preparation.
- Food Safety certification is just as important for your food truck as it would be for a restaurant and you must have a food safety certified employee on board the truck at all times.
- Different cities and counties have different regulations and zoning ordinances that food trucks have to follow. Stay up to date so you know where you are allowed to park and how long you can stay there and any other rules you have to follow.
- Typically, if you are going to be in one spot for more than a couple of hours, you must be parked within a convenient distance from a bathroom.
As you grow your food truck business, consider the farmers’ markets in the Philadelphia area as locations for your truck. The lively atmosphere of fresh air, music and shopping brings everyone together and is a great way to get your brand known in different communities.
Interested in owning your own business and starting a food truck? Contact Zac’s to learn more about our Burger Bus.
Zac's Burgers is presently not selling franchises and does not have a certified franchise disclosure document. Zac's is offering licensing opportunities, however, potential licensees must meet all federal and state requirements.