Maggie Gray came to NZ on an OE, worked with Mastercard during the Rugby World Cup and then fell in love with the place. Somewhat unusually, she started a food truck just after she became a Mum.
She wanted flexibility on the job and the ability to work around her kids’ needs, something her corporate career was unable to give her. Maggie was on a run in her local park while training for the half marathon when she spotted a Mr. Whippy truck pull up and people start gravitating towards it. As a busy mum she was an avid smoothie drinker and seeing the truck made her realise how amazing it would be if there was a similar truck but one that sold smoothies instead of ice-cream.
This was in 2015 and despite what the movies showed, running a food truck selling quality food was extremely difficult and still a relatively new concept in Auckland. People associated food trucks with low quality hot chips and hot dog vendors. During winter there was a lack of events and so she partnered with a fellow food truck owner Timothy van der Werff of Double Dutch fries to organise their own street food event.
Amazingly, hundreds of people were lining out the door to support their favourite food trucks and that is how the idea for the Food Truck Collective was born. An organisation that is dedicated to showcasing the brilliant people behind the food trucks we all love to eat at.
Five years on, Maggie and Timothy use their knowledge of food trucks and what makes an outstanding event to organise events all over Auckland. Auckland Fried Chicken Festival, Auckland Vegan Food Festival and Food Truck Fridays at Britomart are just some of their popular events.
On our episode we talk about:
- Realities of running a food truck while also being a Mum
- Why appearances are key, both for the food you serve as well as your food truck
- What it takes to organise a successful street food event
- Working in partnership with food truck owners – why that’s key to a successful event
Listen to the Podcast Here:
The Food Truck Collective on Instagram @foodtruckcollectivenz
Learn more about Maggie’s journey and what she’s going to be up to next @foodtruckmamma.nz
Quotes from the episode:
“It’s worth spending some time making sure your food truck looks professional, crisp, clutter free and high quality. It makes a big difference to the first impression your customer gets.”
“We have our food trucks at heart always, for every event that we organize. If they do well, we do well. We want to make sure that we always maintain a transparent relationship with them.”
“It was about three years ago when we launched the Fried Chicken Festival and it just went viral, viral overnight. In the end, we had 30,000 people interested in the Fried Chicken Festival. It’s crazy what people will do for fried chicken.”