Monday, September 10, 2012

A food truck funded through Kickstarter? That's only half the story.

I live in the Inland Empire of California, where food trucks are often newsworthy. They're primarily newsworthy here because they are (last I checked) illegal. Well, they can park at specially organized events and sell their wares, but they can't just drive around from door to door and sell their gourmet foods. Part of the reason is competition - stationary businesses who operate restaurants don't want food trucks parking right outside their doors.

That problem does not exist in France, where one truck takes special precautions not to anger their neighbors.

Currently, the unfinished truck parks up a few days each week at farmers' markets and area villages where there are no restaurants – a deliberate strategy that makes the truck a non-threat to local businesses and a welcome addition to the community. Foods served include small tapas and snacks like home-made focaccia bread.

But there's something unusual about this particular truck. The two American entrepreneurs who run this truck funded it through Kickstarter.

Much of the funding for the truck renovations was achieved through crowd-sourced contributors after Lillard pitched the idea on start-up website Kickstarter,and through her blog, Twitter and Facebook. In the end, 92 backers pledged $8,206 for the project, exceeding her $7,500 goal.

Oh...and there's one more thing about this particular truck. While it serves food, it's not strictly a food truck.

An American couple living in southeastern France are stirring things up in their sleepy town with the launch of the country's first mobile wine truck.

It wasn't intended to be a subversive move, says Amy Lillard, a Colorado native. But selling wine out of a truck presented an easy and innovative solution to a logistical problem: the fact that she and her husband, Matt Kling, had no space to build a tasting room for their winery, La Gramière, in the Languedoc-Roussillon town of Saint Quentin La Poterie.

So instead, the couple came up with the idea to take their wine to the consumer.

Yes, you read that correctly. This truck is actually a wine truck.

In France.

So far Lillard and King have not been deported.

Read the story here. Or read the La Gramiere blog (in English) or visit the Facebook page (in French and English).
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