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Inspired by Portland, Neuland crafts resource for food truck lovers - INTERVIEW

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Spending three years in Portland, Ore., before returning to Buffalo, Derek Neuland has not only witnessed the rise and endurance of food trucks, he’s been a fixture in the mobile food movement.

Inspired by working for six months on Portland food cart DC Vegetarian and seeing Portland’s food carts rise in number to nearly 500, Neuland recognized the momentum in Buffalo’s own food truck scene and sought to be the unifying agent. As a result, he crafted a website dedicated to local food trucks, aggregating contact information, Twitter streams, menus and Facebook profiles: BFLOFoodTrucks.com.

“There’s a great resource for all the food carts [in Portland],” Neuland noted in an email interview, “and seeing as there are a growing number of food trucks in Buffalo, I wanted to create a similar resource since one did not exist yet.”

Created in 20 hours over one weekend, the site is laid out simply, with a click-able photo for each of the Queen City’s 15 food trucks. Once you click through to an individual truck, a slideshow of large photos greets the viewer with links for further info. BFLO Food Trucks even features newcomers the Black Market Food Truck and Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs, one of which hasn’t officially opened yet.

“While 15 food trucks isn’t a lot yet,” Neuland admitted, “seeing the passion the owners have and how well received they are on the street reinforces my thought that food trucks are here to stay in Buffalo.”

Finding his niche to advance the scene wasn’t difficult, as Neuland has developed websites for over 15 years. He currently runs a web development-design site called Create More Designs as well as running the web presence for local band Lemuria.

Neuland, who was born in Tonawanda but now lives in Buffalo, doles out more food truck wisdom by showing an understanding of why the scene is growing:

“I think food trucks have leveled the playing field in the food industry, much like blogs did for writers. There is much less overhead and cost with opening a food truck than a restaurant. The majority of food truck owners I met in Portland had the dream of opening a restaurant but found it easier to open a food cart. For some it is a stepping stone that helps them follow their dream, but others fall in love with the food cart-truck community and culture.”

Now, if you’re craving food truck fare and want to equally weigh your options, there’s a site dedicated solely to aiding your decision.

TAGGED: black market food truck, derek neuland, food trucks, frank gourment hot dogs, lloyd taco truck, tonawanda, whole hog

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