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The Great Westerville Food Truck Fest September 15th Noon to 7 pm

7 Aug

The Great Westerville Food Truck Fest

For more details and to track updates check out their Facebook page

Our members there will include: That Food Truck, Tatoheads, OH! Burgers and Pitabilities. The event will raise funds for W.A.R.M.

Whitehall Food Truck and Fun Fest: July 27th

23 Jul

Whitehall Food Truck Fest Flyer

More information here.

The event runs from Noon to 10 pm. Many of our food truck members will be at the Food Truck and Fun Fest. Last year, we worked with the city of Whitehall to do a National Night Out event which was well received within the community and had a great turn out.

Food (Truck) Fight at CSCC June 25th 10 am to 6 pm – Eat and Fight Hunger at the Same Time!

14 Jun

Food Fight June 25th

The Mid-Ohio Foodbank and the Central Ohio Restaurant Association (CORA) have partnered for several years to work together to fight hunger. The concept is simple. The restaurants commit to donate 5% of sales to the Foodbank on a set day, you eat and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank gets more funds to do good things in our community. This is called Food Fight!

This year working with CORA and Columbus State Community College (CSCC) several of our local food trucks are getting on board to join the cause with a special preliminary round of the fight on June 25th.

CSCC will host several food trucks on their campus from 10 am to 6 pm to feed all diners – students, staff, downtown workers and residents as well as anyone that would like to drop by. The trucks will be set up at the intersection of Cleveland Ave. and Mt Vernon Ave.

Please share this with anyone you would know that is interested.

To learn more:
Mid-Ohio Foodbank

Thank to the many in the community that have partnered to make this event possible including:

CORA, CSCC, 614 Magazine, CD102.5, NBC4 and Yelp as well as our food truck community.

Women’s Day Event at ECDI’s Women’s Business Center June 22nd

12 Jun

Womens Day Flyer Jpg June 22

The Women’s Business Center at ECDI invites all to come with family and friends to celebrate Women’s Day on June 22nd from 11 am to 4:00 pm.

The event will be held on the ECDI Campus at 1655 Old Leonard Ave.

The day will feature family friendly activities, mobile food vendors including Pitabilities and Dan’s Deli 41, an e-waste recycling drive from 10 am to 2 pm, live music and guest speakers. Liz Lessner from Columbus Food League (Betty’s, Tip Top, Jury Room, Dirty Frank’s, Grass Skirt Tiki Room, Surly Girl Saloon) and Eartha Recycling will be a featured speaker at the conclusion of the day.

Speaker and event schedule is listed below:


Speaker Schedule

11:15 – 12:00 p.m.
Jacqueline Holland, RN, CRNP, WHNP- Program Manager, Diversity
Diversity Enhancement Program at the James Cancer Clinic
Health and Balance in Our Lives

12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
Dress for Success –“What not to Wear” Presentation and Make-over”

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Catfish Lily – Live Music

1:00 – 1:45 p.m.
TaKeysha S. Cheney, Founder, CEO and Publisher of The Women’s Book
The Importance of Making Connections

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Dress for Success- “What not to Wear” Presentation and Make-over”

2:15 – 2:45 p.m.
Catfish Lily – Live Music

2:45 – 3:30 p.m.
Liz Lessner, CEO and President of Betty’s Family of Restaurants
The Dream, the Vision, the Budget


RecycleForce Columbus

Donate your old computers, TVs & almost anything with a cord and put
individuals with barriers to employment to work!

What is e-Waste?

Unwanted consumer and business electronic products nearing the
end of their useful life are called e-Waste or e-scrap (computers, game systems, phones, etc.)

A $5 donation/disposal fee is required for computer monitors up TVs up to 27”
and $10 donation for TVs larger than 27”.

Member Spotlight: J Pops

6 Jun

Steve White is the owner of J Pops a gourmet ice pop company which uses the Food Fort as a commissary for his food cart and kitchen space for production. We have been working with him since late 2012.

jpops

What inspired you to start J Pops?

I was living in Atlanta and began to see a trend of gourmet ice pops. I thought it was a great idea and started to play around in the kitchen creating different flavors. But it wasn’t until the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that I decided to make them for real. I had lived in Japan for over 2 years as an English teacher and I fell in love with the country and it’s culture. I felt so hopeless and wanted to do something to help out. I decided to sell the pops to my co-workers and sent all the money raised to the American Red Cross for Japan Relief. Then after much encouragement from my boss I decided I would go into business officially once I moved back to Columbus to be closer to my family.

What inspires your flavor creations?

I get inspired from a variety of things. Sometimes it is as simple as walking around the farmers market or supermarket and seeing what is in season. I then think about what I could pair with that fruit or herb. I also get suggestions from friends.

What is your biggest flavor fail so far?

Well, there have been several. Sometimes it takes 5 or 6 attempts before I get it right. But, the biggest fail I can recall was Caramel Apple. The first attempt was awful! There was also cereal milk. That one didn’t even make it to my taste testers.

Where can people find your pops and your cart?

J-POPS are sold at The Hills Market Downtown and at Celebrate Local in Easton. You can find my cart at Pearl Market on Tuesday and Friday. Easton Farmers Market on Thursday and Worthington Farmers Market on selected Saturdays. Sometimes I pop up in Bexley by Capital University on selected Wednesdays. I will also be at various festivals this summer including Pride Fest and ComFest. The best way to find out where I am going to be is to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook: myjpops

What did you do to prepare for starting your business?

A lot of research. It was a challenge since I initially I did not have a mentor. I enrolled in classes at the SBDC here in Columbus and was very lucky to get Ariana, my business advisor. She was such a big help in being so supportive and helping guide me along the way to what I needed to do. I honestly had no clue about all that it was going to take to get the business up and running. Between all the licenses and all the regulations it can be very overwhelming. Bob Kramer from the Food Fort helped me with questions about licenses and permits. Everyday is still a learning experience.

What was the biggest obstacle you needed to overcome to get started?

There were so many! It was a challenge finding the cart and molds that I wanted and that took a long time. Besides finding the core items the other obstacle was finding a mentor.

Any advice for new food business owners?

Do your homework. Take advantage of any free resources you can find. Sometimes the best ones are the people near you . Realize that it will take time to get things up and going. I try to look at everything as challenges and not obstacles. There were so many times I wanted to just give up because I thought it would never happen because as soon as I took one foot forward, I would get pushed back two more. It is a lot of work so you really have to want to do it and believe in your product.

Food Truck Event at The Naz May 26th 11 am to 4 pm

15 May

Naz Food Truck Event May 26th

Join some of your favorite Food Fort mobile vendors and others for a break from the grill Memorial Day weekend. In addition to food, there will be live music, childrens activities, corn hole, indoor seating and access to the gigantic inside kid’s play area at “The Naz” which puts some amusement parks to shame.

Food Trucks confirmed so far include:
Burrito Bus
Dos Hermanos
Cheesy Truck
Pitabilities
Pizza Cottage
OH! Burgers
with a few more to confirm.

This is the first event food truck event in Grove City. There is plemty of free parking and room to eat inside or outside.

For additional details. See our listing on Facebook as well as the website listing on the Grove City Church of the Nazarre (The hosts of the event) website

Each truck will be making a donation to Refuge for Women, an area charity.

The Conclusion of the “Pig Mass Experiment”

20 Mar

In December, we posted about our relationship with the Davidson Family Farm and our decision to save food scraps for their pigs. Throughout winter, we able to fill one container (or more) to the rim with food waste each week. Collectively, we kept 50 to 150 lbs of food waste out of our dumpster and put it into the bellies of twelve piglets the Davidson’s started feeding in the fall. Each container equalled one or more days of meals for the pigs.

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Today Wendy from the farm came to make her last pick up for the season and it was our heaviest load to date. It was filled with beans, tortillas, bread, apple cores, vegetable cuttings, donuts and more. Wendy shared that the pigs know when a barrel comes back from the Food Fort. The pigs get excited because they know it will soon be time to eat like gourmets for the day. We appreciated the opportunity to put our waste to good use for the winter. We will look for other sustainable uses for our leftovers for the rest of the year.

It Takes a Village to Serve an OH! Burger

5 Mar

We have a collaborative community at the Food Fort. We see it everyday as members share ideas, pass on recipe hints and brainstorm with each other on the next special or business concept. This past week, we saw true team spirit shine through.

Brian Thornton from OH! Burgers had the transmission die on his food truck. It would take $2500 and three or more days to fix the problem. In the meantime, the key to have a profitable mobile food business is to have the ability to…..move. We thought of some different solutions: attaching a horse or mule team to the truck, borrowing another truck or sitting on the curb despondent about three days of lost business.

In a short time better plans came together.

Here is the recipe for getting Brian on the road.

Brian borrowed the Kenny’s Meat Wagon cart from Ken Donnelly and was loaned an SUV with a towing hitch by Alex from Tatoheads.

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For Friday, Laura Lee of Ajumama opted not to take the day off and instead partnered with Brian to do a pop-up combo on her truck. The two partnered with special items from the Ajumama menu and select items from OH! Burgers, so the two could work together to have Aju-Burgers / OH!Jumama set up for lunch at an OSU medical facility. (Please note the infamous, MikeGuyver, in the background of the shot with a thumbs up).

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Friday night, Brian picked up his truck at 5:00 pm and raced to the Instaband Battle of Bands Competition with his repaired OH! Burgers truck but had a back up plan of borrowing the Kenny’s Meat Wagon Cart or having another member sub for him. Kenny worked the truck with Brian to complete the circle.

Food Fort All-Stars at Pecha Kucha February 21st

10 Feb

Pecha whata? Pecha Kucha is a world wide organization that has been expanding the minds and interests of the citizens of Columbus for over five years. Topics range from what is cool about our city, to eating local, going green or anything a person has a passion for and can place key concepts on twenty slides.

The Food Fort has worked in partnership with Pecha Kucha since 2011 helping to source food for the event. This time around, we are taking some of our kitchen members inside the Gateway Film Center to add great food to beer and concesssions at the theater. The menu will include:

Bleu & Fig Catering:
Brown Sugar Thick Cut Candied Bacon
Red Pepper Flake Kale Chips

Destination Donuts:
Maple Sausage
Blackberry Sage
Lemon Thyme
Thai Peanut

Dinner Rescue Crew:
Mini Mexican Calzones with Taco Sauce (vegetarian)

Brown Sugar Bologna, Kettle Chip and Mustard Aioli Sandwich

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Blue Cheese Slaw

Treats 4 Everyone
Baklava
•Pecan/walnut
•Pistachio
Cupcakes
•Two-hearted Ale with Vanilla Buttercream
•Young’s Double Chocolate Stout with Chocolate Buttercream
•Gluten-free Lime with Cardamom Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Cookie Sandwiches
•Loaded Chocolate with German Chocolate Filling
•Snickerdoodle with Cinnamon Buttercream
•Gluten-free Pistachio with Rosewater Buttercream

To learn more about Pecha Kucha, check out their Facebook page. Rumor has it that attendees will be able to see a movie for free after Pecha Kucha concludes. The only condunrum with the event is trying to figure out how to pronounce it: Pecha-Ah Kuch-Ah? Pee Cha Ka Cha? Peach_A Kucha……, it is safest just to say PK.

You can get a sense of PK February 2012 from our Facebook Album.

Food Fort Innovation Station: OH! Burgers Donuts

5 Feb

OH Burgers Donut BurgerAlways on the look out for something different – Brian from OH! Burgers was mulling on something new and different on his menu. His sweet potato chips have been a customer favorite since he launched in the Spring of 2012. Taking the sweet potato core of his menu to another level, Brian launched OH!-Nuts this month. Sweet Potato donuts served as a side. For the culinary daring there is the OH-Donut-Burger.

Here is a review from Wasserstrom written after the world premiere at their site.

02/05/2013

Today I tried something new the “OH” Donuts! Let me tell you, at first sight I think I was imaging my hips getting bigger just from the way the donuts looked. Glistening with caramelized brown sugar atop a big round ball of cooked sweet potato infused dough. What I didn’t know was how I was going to be surprised by the light taste of this donut. I expected something heavy and overly sugary, but what a got was something that slowly melted in my mouth with just a hint of sweetness. And just like the sweet potato chips these donuts compliment the OH mini burgers very well as a light desert after you indulge yourselves in the “OH” Burgers.

OH-Nuts

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