Wanted: Food truck for Ashmont’s summertime crowds

By 
Meena Ramakrishnan, Special to the Reporter
May. 10, 2012

St. Mark’s Area Main Street is shopping around for a food truck to serve neighbors at the Ashmont farmer’s market during the summer months. So far there has been some interest from a few vendors, but none have committed to the location.

A look at city’s food truck web page shows that most of the vendors are stationed around spots in the Back Bay, Downtown or the Financial District. The demand for a stand at Ashmont has been smaller in comparison.

The Ashmont location is also open for a small window of time and it has taken longer than usual to pin down a vendor, says Edith Murnane, the city’s Director of Food Initiatives. The food vendors have a few times to choose from on Fridays; the farmer’s market begins on July 6 to October 19 every Friday afternoon from 3 to 7 p.m.

Last summer, Staff Meal, serving “inspired tacos”, was the first food truck at the Ashmont T station. The truck operated during the Ashmont-Peabody Square Farmers’ market, and both promoted each other through social media. That’s also something Main Streets Executive Director Dan Larner wants to continue with the next vendor.

When asked if they would return to Dorchester, Staff Meal food truck owner Patrick Gilmartin said that it was unlikely. Even with the farmer’s market nearby, Gilmartin says the crowds are not as strong as they are downtown. Staff Meal is currently stationed on Stuart Street on Fridays.

“We made the attempt to vend in Ashmont Station, but we just did not see the business potential,” Gilmartin said.

Big Mo of M&M Rib’s BBQ, a Roxbury-based food truck, said they might be interested in vending at Ashmont in the future, but at this time they do not have plans outside of their two allowed locations near city hall.

Larner still has good hopes that they will find a food truck to begin around the same time as the farmer’s market. He’s looking for light, healthy fare to be served up during the hotter months.

“As long as it’s healthy food, that’s the main thing we’re interested in.” he said. “If there were a truck that had yogurt or salad, that would be a great fit.”

St. Mark’s Area Main Street is sill in talks with the city and plans to announce the vendor as soon as they know.