Having been doing much writing on the side for other food and food truck websites such as Food Truck Empire, a national publication dedicated purely on articles and projects designed to help guide new owners in business and starting up (I definitely suggest anyone getting into the industry to take a look at it), my awareness for many of the truck industry’s aspects, as well as what it means to run a business, has most surely been expanded. It’s been and continues to be a unique experience that challenges me to think about and write about subjects I normally avoid (I seriously had to write something about Taxes… boy was that taxing –bad-um tish-. Though if you wanna take a look at that article, it’s Here), as well as ones I didn’t realize were so big.
One of these has been the presence, practically the fleet, of Food Truck and Concession Trailer/Stand/Cart Builders throughout the country. A couple years back I had a conversation with Luis from Café Racer where he mentioned how few of them there were in the country, which was bounced off the fact that he works in a shop that has built Food Trucks, though now I’m guessing that was meant in regards of certain KINDS of shops like his (which I still aren’t sure which one it is, having yet to hear back from that question haha).
But in reality there’s tens, dozens, almost if not over a hundred of these builders throughout the country, if you also count vending cart, fair stand, sno cone machine, and other vending crafters and putter-togethers. Some go from scratch, some focus on getting custom and unique interiors while others set their expertise to the truck surrounding it. Those like M&R Trailers, a certified custom builder in Florida, have grown to cater for businesses in multiple states based on the amazing reputations and quality work that they’ve shown and developed.
So I thought it’d be fun to look into our own builder for a little after-Memorial Feature, a thank you for providing some of our local mobile business owners an awesome way to get around and present their ideas!
So far (again, besides the potentially different shop Café Racer came from), we only have one, Chameleon Concessions. These are the guys that have designed and created some of the most vibrant, attractive, and cool-looking trucks on our streets: Melch’s Meat Wagon, Hibachi Daruma, A Cupcake Social, the Taste of Target Field (that’s a cool design really, great TV installation and other things), all that stuff. When Andrew Zimmern went for his Food Truck, Chameleon was the builder that took the job, and AZ Canteen was born. So it’s safe to say they do some serious work.
Besides that, the guys have also done with work Trailers, Carts (from hot dogs to sno cones to doughnuts), Fair Stands, basically every major manor of vending machine has been tackled at least once. Their Gallery is a fun page to roll through; especially for myself after seeing pages of builders who talk about custom work but basically just make the same kind of truck over and over (so the inside is custom, the actual frame not so much).
As for the company itself, it originally evolved from Palm Brothers Restaurant Equipment, which was founded in 1910. Today they’ve gathered team members with over 27 collective years in the restaurant business, not to mention the cart and vending vehicle operation, to assist and help build one’s ideal Truck or Trailer. Not to mention a whole listing of Certifications to back up their knowledge, so they can come in and help with the design at every step, from conceptualization to equipment to the finished build and wrap job.
Safe to say they’ve been doing a rather bang-up job lately, and I’m quite happy that our local trucks have them as a resource (there are some states that still don’t have any you know? So sad). I can’t wait to see what other interesting designs and graphics they come up with for new trucks going forward!