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The Rebirth of an American Institution

Custom Truck Lettering

The memory is so vivid in my mind: 12 years old, standing at my bus stop waiting to be picked up for school and seeing that old food truck pull up to feed us kids. To us it was the roach coach, but to many in Miami, it was a means of eating lunch every day. I only had a limited amount of money my mom would give me for lunch, but it was inevitable that I was going to spend it on an ice-cold Coca-Cola, a Twix candy bar and a bag of chips from the delightful, Spanish-speaking man at the truck. My purchases would always get eaten before I even arrived at school. It’s a sweet memory.

If you have ever lived in the city, you’ve seen what I’m talking about. These food trucks are usually parked around places where construction work is taking place and are packed with hungry men at lunch time. They are also found next to police stations and big buildings, eagerly waiting for the big glass doors to open and the business men and women to flood out and quickly devour their fast meals. In fact, street food is eaten by over 2 million people a day! These trucks are practically an American Institution.

Speaking of America, the first food truck came about following the Civil War, when the expansion out westward was all the rage. Cattlemen had to transport massive amounts of cattle, often times through regions where railroads were non-existent. They would be on the trail for weeks and even months at a time, and storing enough food on their person for that long was impossible. Charles Goodnight came up with what was known as the “Chuckwagon.” He took an old army wagon and gave it a new look. He built shelves and cabinets inside of it to hold dishes and supplies, and kept all of the food in the bed of the wagon. He would bring along a water barrel and supplies to start a fire and would cook meals for himself and the other men on the cattle drive. Talk about your D.I.Y. mobile kitchen! The kind of food they would bring along usually consisted of dried goods, because they would keep for a long time. The guys didn’t ever get to eat fruits and veggies, and if they got any meat it would be from an injured cow that had to be put down anyway. They would often heavily salt and dry out the meat to help preserve it a little longer. It wasn’t ideal, but it kept them going!

Recently there has been a rise in popularity of the food truck. And we aren’t just talking quick sandwiches, pre-packaged sides and cans of soda. Food trucks these days are featuring gourmet meals and healthy alternatives, as well as decadent desserts and homemade drinks. It almost makes me want to move back to the city just thinking about it.

Just like anything that becomes popular, great signage is important to make your business stand out from all the others. Here are some fantastic trucks I found that would catch my eye if I was walking down the street hungry and ready to attack a good meal:

Truck LetteringCustom Lettering

These vans have a great balance of creativity, relevance and communication. Here at Speedy Signs, we can help you achieve all of that. Whether you are thinking about opening up your own food truck business or just need to upgrade your marketing and advertising, Speedy Signs will gladly take care of your signage needs. We offer vehicle lettering that is customizable, and you can find that by clicking right here!

All of this food truck talk has made me hungry. I think I’m going to go find me some lunch!