The food truck industry has grown tremendously in recent years with the introduction of ethnic foods prepared and served by innovative vendors who put their own unique spin on food from their homelands. Walking down the streets of New York, I’ve seen any and every type of food from Indian biryani to Colombian arepas.
However, the business has taken a turn down a new avenue—gourmet food trucks for dogs. The philosophy behind such an obscure idea is that dogs should be pampered with delicious meals and desserts on-the-go (during their morning walk in the park) just as we are. Fido to Go, a food truck started by dog lovers Donna Santucci and Tracy Werner, opened up last year in Chicago. Ms. Santucci, who is now the sole owner of the truck, serves doggy cookies and ice cream during the summer months in the city’s dog parks. In Boston last week, The Chef Michael’s Food Truck for Dogs rolled out with a new menu. The line of freshly prepared foods is called Carvery Creations™ and includes savory, meaty meals for canines. The owners state, “we work with animal cognition experts, nutritionists, dog behaviorists and, of course, chefs, to understand everything we can about dogs and food.” Their goal is to take dogs, which make friendly companions for many of us, on a “culinary adventure.”
Another food truck in Orlando named Poochi Sushi serves exactly what its name suggests—sushi for dogs. Hicks’ Sit ‘n’ Stay Pet Café is a mobile food vendor that prepares organic foods for dogs. Some of the items on the menu are creatively named “Ruff-ins,” “Mutt-balls, and” Pup-sicles.”
The response among the community of dog owners has been positive so far. Many are very receptive to the idea of taking their dog out to a gourmet lunch or dinner if they had the opportunity. The idea is especially popular among dog owners whose pets have food allergies or other illnesses that affect their diet.
Nevertheless, the success of this business depends exclusively on how many dog owners exist in the city and the popularity of dog parks, where owners bring their dogs for social hour. Without this culture, a food truck serving meals only targeted towards pets will probably not last long. I’d like to see how a food truck for dogs does in New York, where people walk their dogs at all times of the day and spend much time in parks letting their dogs run free. We’ll see what the future brings for both the food truck and pet industries.
DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com