“Most trucks, sadly, have to close and find other means of income,” say I.C Waffles food truck owners Zoe and Tom Gaudin, who believe the Omicron outbreak has only made this event-scarce season even more of a challenge.
“We want to change this,” say the Tauranga-based waffle-making duo, who are cooking up a new event for the city’s residents to explore different cuisines while supporting local businesses and schools.
The event – named Foodee Events – will begin running weekly from June 2, from 5.30pm-8.30pm at Tauranga Primary School.
Foodee will feature 10 different food trucks, along with live music and other performers in the future.
Zoe says the food truck business has been rough with Covid-19, and the colder weather is making it even harder. “A lot of the smaller businesses really struggle during this time.
“We’ve gone about trying to do an event that is going to be weekly, that will help these small businesses out so they won’t have to quit what they’re doing and will have a place to go to make some extra money.”
Zoe says the food trucks set to attend the weekly street food market come from Taupo, Matamata, and Rotorua, along with local vendors. “We’re also planning to have some local musicians come along to get their talents out there too.”
A certain amount of the proceeds will go back to Tauranga Primary, and any other school that hosts the event in future, says Zoe.
“Everyone can have a good time. As we progress and things grow, we would love to do other locations and do things like a movie night once a month.
“We’ve looked at expanding to The Lakes, Pāpāmoa and other different areas for the community to get involved with. The schools are really happy to put it in their newsletter and have something on for families.
“Some of our customers have seen our advertising and have said they are excited for the upcoming event – people are sick of the same old McDonald’s but still want an easy Thursday night dinner,” says Zoe.
“Mum can come and get a waffle, the kids might get a hot dog, and dad can come and get a burger. “It’s a real family vibe, and there’s something for everyone.”
For more information on the event, including dates and food trucks attending, visit: https://foodee.co.nz