June 1, 2017

​​Morning Sun

Mt. Pleasant area food trucks, restaurants and vendors are set to offer their tasty treats and battle for bragging rights Friday as the first “Food Truck Friday” of the summer begins.

Planned and hosted by the Central Michigan University Research Corporation — located at 2625 Denison Drive — this is the fourth year the event is taking place and second year with an actual competition.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday this summer, residents can try different foods from around the community and vote on their favorite dish as two trucks go head-to-head each week.

This week, Greentree Cooperative Grocery and Little Miss Cupcake will face-off for best cupcake. Other battles this summer will include pizza, barbeque and competitions involving Mountain Town Station and Max & Emily’s.

The winner of each week will be brought back at the end of August for a showcase of champions.

Kirsten Simmons of the CMURC said the weekly summer event is a unique opportunity for residents to try different foods.

“There isn’t another place in Mt. Pleasant that is really bringing all these food trucks together,” Simmons said. “People can come here, enjoy the summer weather and choose from a variety of foods all in one location.”

CMURC, which functions to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, started the event in 2014 when a local food truck went to them for help attracting customers. The group thought to block off its parking lot and has since added other businesses every year.

“Every year we get calls asking if the food trucks are coming back again, so we continue to have it based on the public’s interest in having it,” said CMURC President and CEO Erin Strang. “It continues to allow entrepreneurs and their businesses to grow and goes along with what we’re trying to accomplish as well.”

Simmons said that many new businesses will be in attendance this year along with returners from previous “Food Truck Fridays”.

She added that the event is important to bring attention and support to local businesses, many of which are just starting up.

“We’re excited to be able to support entrepreneurs and local businesses in the area,” Simmons said. “Whether it is a food truck or a restaurant, we are happy to do that. That’s what we’re all about.”

Along with the two competitors, six other vendors will be present this week as the parking lot is expected to be filled. Foods will include anything from burgers to burritos and even specialty desserts such as peach cobbler.

The other food trucks include: Dog Central, Soul Sista’s, Chase’s Place, Phat Matt’s, John Reynolds and The Crusin’ Chef.

Visit the CMURC website for the full lineup of vendors every week. Some vendors accept credit cards while others are cash only. Admission to “Food Truck Fridays” is free.

Picnic tables and grassy areas are available for attendees who wish to eat on site.