The Morning Sun
Food trucks aren’t an uncommon start up method for entrepreneurs looking to get a start in the restaurant industry. And Central Michigan University Research Corporation recognizes that. Elissa Gagne, marketing and public relations director, said CMURC is starting up a new program to help food truck entrepreneurs get a head start in their chosen industry.
“This fits in with what we do — work with start-up companies,” she said. “Food trucks and carts are essentially start-up companies. We’re looking to kind of nurture that growth here.” Gagne said “Food Truck Fridays” will kick off July 11 at CMURC at 2625 Denison Drive. Held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the weekly event will be a chance for Mt. Pleasant patrons to stop by, grab lunch and network with mid-Michigan’s idealistic entrepreneurs. This Friday will start with Mt. Pleasant-based Wiener Wagon and Mt. Pleasant-based Crep, but as the event continues into the summer, Gagne said, other food trucks have also showed interest. Both Mt. Pleasant-based Jose’s Pig Gig and Pineapple Express are planning on stopping by in the future as well as Lansing-based Trailer Park’d.
CMURC is also working to attract more food trucks out of the Great Lakes Bay region to add to the atmosphere, Gagne said. “We really need, for the people who want to have this kind of fun experience in Mt. Pleasant, to come and support this kind of start-up initiative so we can continue to attract and grow, just like the bigger communities,” she said. Gagne said she’s hoping for about 200 people to make it out to the first Food Truck Friday event, and expects that as more food trucks roll in, so will more customers.
The event will be a full experience, she said, hosted on the hill outside the CMURC building with music, picnic tables and blankets, and will likely continue through this summer and into the fall, she said. Food Truck Fridays joins an already full week of networking events for CMURC. Monday is community lunch day from noon to 1 p.m., Gagne said, where entrepreneurs can bring lunch and network. Tuesday is “Ideation” at 4:30, where start-up companies can network and get answers to their questions. “Wellness Wednesdays” are 5:30 p.m. weekly and Beer:30 is held 4:30 p.m. Thursdays. Gagne said CMURC’s networking events started with community lunch, and grew immensely over the past three to four months. “Each event appeals to a different person’s personality,” she said. “They’ve been very beneficial to the CMURC community and it’s been very beneficial for everybody involved.”
The Morning Sun