Meet the Organizers: Melina Beeston

As we mentioned, Mack and I are thrilled that we’ve recruited three wonderful individuals to join our organizing team. We’ve asked each of them to share a bit about themselves, and will be posting these profiles over the next few weeks.

First up – Melina Beeston!

Melina

1. My day job is…

I work as an Internet Marketing Manager for a group of car dealerships here in Edmonton. My day-to-day duties can include everything from making social media posts and coordinating the building or re-designing of dealership websites to booking sales training workshops for vehicle sales staff and organizing outdoor and radio advertising to be consistent with our online initiatives. I originally started working for this group as a part-time evening receptionist at age 16, and have enjoyed being able to grow with the organization.

2. Why did you decide to get involved with What the Truck?!

I’ve been an avid attendee of What the Truck?! in the past year and a half, and loved the idea of being able to try multiple food trucks all at the same time. Because of my passion for planning events of all sizes and styles and keen eye for fine details, and I truly admired the amount of attention and love that had been put into What the Truck?! thus far. I had the opportunity to try my hand at organizing a charity fundraiser food truck event this past year, and the attitude and excitement from the truck owners had me hooked well before the big day came. When the call-out to join What the Truck?! came at the end of the summer, I could all but contain my excitement and jump at the chance to be a part of such a fantastic team.

3. What is your favourite local food truck item?

Honourable mention goes to Local Omnivore‘s Bulgogi Chicken sandwich and Bully‘s Deep-Friend Mac & Cheese Bites, but my absolute last meal on earth would be Drift‘s Pork Belly Sandwich.

4. What is one type of food truck cuisine you’d like to see served curbside in Edmonton?

I’m hoping and praying for a dedicated Ukrainian truck to pull into town! Perogies, cabbage rolls, nalysnyky, deruny, kovbasa… I’m hungry just dreaming about it.

5. What about the food truck scene are you most looking forward to in 2014?

After the influx of trucks this past year, I’m really excited to see what new trucks hit the streets this year, and for us to see some fantastic new What the Truck?! event ideas come to fruition!

What the Truck?! 2013 Roundup

Though we’re still at least a few months away from seeing food trucks back on the streets, if you can believe it, the What the Truck?! team has already started thinking about our 2014 season. That said, we were remiss in not recapping the rest of our 2013 events, so bear with us!

What the Truck?! at Louise McKinney Park on August 24, 2013

Our hope, in hosting an event at Louise McKinney Park was to encourage exploration of Edmonton’s river valley. To this, I think we succeeded – we heard numerous comments that night from attendees that the occasion marked their first visit to that area.

What the Truck?! at Louise McKinney

Because it wasn’t our busiest event, those that came were able to enjoy the variety served by ten trucks with minimal wait times.

What the Truck?! at Louise McKinney

They were also able to take advantage of some of the most scenic outdoor seating options we’ve ever offered.

What the Truck?! at Louise McKinney

Thanks to those who came out to join us!

What the Truck?! at Churchill Square on September 20, 2013

How many trucks can we fit in Churchill Square? I think we may have reached our capacity with the current space at sixteen!

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It was by far the busiest event we’ve ever organized, and though the lines required patience, it looked like most people were having a great time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

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As we have been so many times in the past, we are indebted to DJ Thomas Scott and his friends, who always bring just the right party atmosphere to our events.

What the Truck?! at Churchill Square 2013

We would also like to acknowledge our wonderful volunteers who tirelessly helped keep the site tidy!

Finally, thanks to those who came to help us celebrate the end of our season!

What the Truck?! in 2014

As we mentioned, we’ve already started planning events for this year, and at this time, Mack and I are happy to share with you that we’ve expanded the What the Truck?! team.

What the Truck?! at Churchill Square 2013

It will be great to work with these passionate individuals who are bringing fresh ideas and energy to the table. Welcome, Caleng, Dave and Melina! We will be posting profiles about them over the next few weeks so you can learn more about our new team members.

Stay tuned!

Spring in Edmonton: Bring on the Food Trucks!

Although we can’t seem to rid ourselves of the snow this year, the less than spring-like conditions haven’t deterred Edmonton’s fleet of food trucks from hitting the streets this April!

What the Truck?! at Churchill Square

We know of six trucks already out feeding the hungry hoardes. Four are well-known to the street food savvy:

and two are new to the scene:

Our first Truck Stop event of the season will be taking place in a few weeks (an announcement to follow soon), but until then, get out on the street and get your truck on!

What the Truck?! in 2012

It was a busy year for What the Truck?! in 2012.

We successfully partnered with the Old Strathcona Business Association to expand Truck Stops south of the river. Over eight days in May and June, street food enthusiasts gathered in William McIntyre Park to enjoy picnic-style dinners.

Truck Stop in Old Strathcona - June 27

WTT also raised over $5,500 for charity in 2012. In June, What the Truck?! partnered with the 104 Street Al Fresco Block Party, which benefited the Zebra Child Protection Centre. In August, our inaugural Truck Stop: Throwdown Edition featured three trucks battling it out for pulled pork supremacy, all while benefiting the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation.

What the Truck?!

2012 was also the year of the food truck in Edmonton – not only did Food Network’s wildly popular show Eat St. come to town, but our three What the Truck?! festivals also drew its biggest crowds yet. Whether it was 104 Street in June, Victoria Promenade in August, or Churchill Square in September, Edmontonians showed us that their love for food trucks is bigger than ever!

What the Truck?! at Churchill Square

Shoutouts to the Downtown Edmonton Community League and Northlands for their support of our events in 2012.

Even though the streets are still packed with snow, you can be sure that we’re working on the 2013 What the Truck?! calendar already. We hope you’re ready!

What the Truck?! Gives Back

We’re playing a little bit of catch up here recapping the season, but we hope you’ll bear with us! In the meantime, we just couldn’t wait to share the amazing event we were lucky to be a part of this weekend.

On Sunday, October 6, 2013, What the Truck?! partnered with the Bissell Centre for a special Truck Stop. Our desire was to try and replicate the spirit of our other pop-up events, but of course, this one had one major twist: the food was free.

Bissell Centre Truck Stop

Six trucks served over 900 meals to underprivileged individuals that day. We can’t tell you how rewarding it was to see people enjoying themselves.

Bissell Centre Truck Stop

We always knew we were lucky to have such a great food truck community in Edmonton, but the participating vendors that day took that statement to another level. Thanks to The Act Out & About, Bully, Lemon Grass GrillLittle VillageThe Local Omnivore, and Sailin’ On for your generous contributions.

Bissell Centre Truck Stop

Bissell Centre Truck Stop

It was also a wonderful experience working with the staff from the Bissell Centre. The agency has had a rough month, experiencing a fire in their Thrift Shoppe, but the staff were more than accommodating to help us put on this event on their day off! Thanks to the staff and volunteers for their hard work.

Check out a video of the event from CTV Edmonton.

Join us at What the Truck?! on September 20, 2013

Do you have plans this Friday? How about joining us for dinner at the largest food truck party Edmonton has ever seen?

What: What the Truck?! at Churchill Square
Where: Churchill Square
When: Friday, September 20, 2013
Time: 4-8pm
Check out the Facebook event to RSVP and spread the word!

We’ll have 16 trucks for you to choose from, including recent newcomers Knosh and Black Bull Grill. Check out the menus here.

DJs Thomas Scott and Polyesterday will be on hand to provide the soundtrack for the evening.

See you there!