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July 27, 2020

Portland-area food trucks may be seeing a resurgence

Photo / William Hall On Saturday, food trucks were doing slow but steady business on Portland's Eastern Promenade.

Despite — or perhaps because of — the pandemic, there may be a resurgence in the Portland area’s food-truck industry.

A Portland tech company is now launching a mobile app that helps hungry consumers find local food trucks. And three new food trucks are now preparing to hit the road, according to gourmand website Portland Food Map.

The FoodTrux app utilizes an intelligent interface to help users search for and interact with food-truck businesses based on geographic location, cuisine and personal tastes, according to a news release.

The app, which is also being rolled out in Denver, displays local food trucks on a map, provides turn-by-turn directions, and shows menus, pricing and promotions, according to founder and CEO Matt Noone. On the vendor side, food truck owners can post menu items, specials, prices, events, and current and future locations.

The launch comes after the food-truck industry, which first parked in Portland about eight years ago, grew 20% last year, according to Noone.

"The food sector today is becoming increasingly mobile, fragmented and on-demand," he said. When asked what originally spawned the idea for the app, he added, "It stemmed from a craving for a taco after a hockey game with my son, resulting in an unrelenting, unsuccessful search for a food truck."

Prospects for the mobile-munchie businesses seemed to have dimmed after the pandemic hit. Food trucks rely on large gatherings of potential customers, such as outdoor concerts and festivals — venues that have been shut down as a result of the pandemic.

However, the ability to serve patrons outdoors, with minimal contact, could also make the public health crisis an opportunity for the mobile businesses.

According to Portland Food Map, a new food truck called Little Easy Snoballs is in the final stage of development, and owner Lauren Gauthier plans to launch in the city over the next couple of weeks. Another food truck, Actual Foods, is now launching, according to the website. And Mast Landing Brewing Co. is in the process of developing a food truck that will be stationed at the brewery’s tasting room in Westbrook.

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July 27, 2020

Fork Food Lab is home to many successful food trucks serving the Portland metro area.

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