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2016 Food Truck Festival offers a plethora of dining options to Oaktopia attendees

2016 Food Truck Festival offers a plethora of dining options to Oaktopia attendees

09/22/2016 Residents of Denton and surrounding areas came out to Denton’s annual food truck festival marking the first night of Oaktopia. Credit: Hannah Breland,

2016 Food Truck Festival offers a plethora of dining options to Oaktopia attendees
September 24
14:48 2016

The 2016 Food Truck Festival took place in downtown Denton as part of the events of Oaktopia.

This year, 25 different food trucks were parked and ready to serve a variety of foods. Some were old, some were new but all were ready to wow the taste buds of festival-goers. There was a wide variety of foods presented at the festival, from waffles to middle-eastern vegetarian and Asian style cuisine.

 Fresh starts for some

Josh Camillo and his business partner Eddie Eckert had experience in the food industry and trucks, never really putting the two together. The two decided to take the leap into a whole new branch of the food industry, food trucks.

They came up with the idea to have a food truck where the base of all their dishes had to do with a classic breakfast favorite, a waffle. Eventually, The Waffle Wagon was ready to drive around Denton and serve customers with a sweet tooth.

Prior to taking on this food truck endeavor, Camillo has four years of experience in catering for food and working with trucks. Eckert was experienced in the restaurant industry as a chef cooking for four and five star restaurants in Colorado and other places.

“We both had worked in the industry for a long time,” Camillo said.

The food truck was a brand new addition to the festival this year. The Waffle Wagon, a newer business, offers nothing other than waffles. Chicken and waffles are a customer favorite alongside waffles that could be garnished with fruit, Nutella or chocolate chips.

“I love breakfast. I love breakfast food. It’s a universal thing because it’s one of the few items you can really eat it at any time,” Camillo said. “So that’s what gravitated me toward that. I enjoy a good waffle and it seemed like something we could sell for a very long time.”

Camillo also said that he and his partner pride themselves in making everything from scratch. They also strive to provide patrons with an experience that will compare to restaurants.

Of course, being a new business and running a food truck has presented challenges. Commuting has been tough, and parking is a challenge at times. The truck is also not the newest model and does not drive the fastest.

However, Camillo said the experience has been valuable and a fun challenge.

“We’re two big dudes and the truck. But that’s what been the most fun: having to learn how to dance with each other and the truck, and serve and do things that we need to do as we go,” Camillo said.

Middle Eastern with a twist

Leila’s Food Truck offered a unique option of dining for vegetarians and those fond of Middle Eastern cuisine. At around two months old, Leila’s Food Truck’s goal has been to distinguish itself from the rest by offering vegetarian Middle Eastern fusion.

Shadan Kishi Price had experience in the food industry prior to taking on the endeavor of a food truck. However, she had no prior experience with food trucks.

She said she also likes the freedom and potential that owning a food truck could be, in terms of moving up.

“I eventually maybe want a restaurant of my own, but a food truck is a good stepping stone,”  Kishi Price said. “It’s really good for somebody who wants to do their own thing.”

Kishi Price has been a vegetarian for nearly 10 years. Living and working in Denton, she wanted to see more vegetarian dining options available. She wanted to see more Middle Eastern dining options in Denton as well.

“It’s a mixture of me,” Kishi Price said when describing her business. “I do Middle Eastern, I do American, but Middle Eastern is closest to me because I am Middle Eastern.”

She also wants to make sure she is inclusive of all kinds of customers, vegetarian or not.

“I’ve had quite a few people come up to me and say ‘Oh I’m not vegetarian,’ and my response is ‘you don’t have to be vegetarian to eat vegetarian food.” Price said.

She also spoke of the unique flavors that are incorporated in Middle Eastern food and that they make for a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

“As far as Middle Eastern food goes, I think there are a lot of unique flavors there that maybe people haven’t tried before, if they’re willing to try something a little outside of the regular. They usually seem to come back and tell me they like it.”

Food Truck Festivities And The Future

Both The Waffle Wagon and Leila’s Food Truck were brand new to the festival. Camillo says although the experience was fun, it was hard work.

“[The festival] was fantastic! It really was. We had a great time. It was a lot of work,” Camillo said.

Business also flourished that day, truly keeping them busy.

Kishi Price also had positive things to say about her experience at the festival, especially the social aspect of it.

“I met a lot of people that I hadn’t met before and I got to meet a lot of new people around town and a lot of them got to see my truck.”

Both businesses hope to return next year to the festival. As for plans of business expansion, Camillo hopes to venture out to other parts of the Metroplex, while Kishi Price plans to spend the majority of her time in Denton, although she would happily take any opportunities to conduct business in other parts of DFW should the opportunities arise. Both businesses also aim to expand their menu, and Camillo hopes to eventually own more food trucks.

“We had a lot of people come to our truck and so we were busy from the second we opened our doors to the second we closed,” Camillo said. “But it was still at tremendous time, we had a lot of fun, and we had to meet a lot of new people.”

Featured Image: Residents of Denton and surrounding areas came out to Denton’s annual food truck festival marking the first night of Oaktopia Fest 2016. Hannah Breland

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Victoria Monteros

Victoria Monteros

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