Food Truck Rodeo Draws Vendors to Florence Center

by Lauren Owens

 More than a score of food trucks lined the Florence Center parking lot for the first Carolina Food Truck Rodeo.

Festival attendees could purchase a wide variety of foods from Filipino to wood-fired pizzas. Food trucks from all over South Carolina and even some trucks from other Southeastern states came to the festival, including The Donut Hut from Rose Hill, N.C., and Blackjack Grill from Lake Park, Ga.

Some food trucks from the Pee Dee area came to the festival, including Mullins-based food truck Freckles and Giggles Homemade Ice Cream.

“I love it,” said Ricky Ford, the owner of Freckles and Giggles. “Just the interaction with the people and stuff like that I like it a lot.”

Ford said he normally serves at the farmers market on Saturdays.

Donavon Smith, the owner of Sweet Spice Food Truck, said serving food in Florence has been an awesome opportunity.

“They’re open to the culture so it’s been a pleasant experience,” Smith said.

The recipes Smith serves are from ones he learned from his mother.

Chris Count, his wife and two children came to the food truck festival and tried the Fish and Chips and Fried Shrimp.

“My wife saw it online, and we thought we’d sample some of the food. It’s been great,” Count said.

This is the first time the Florence Center has hosted a food truck festival, according to Nick Hooker, director of marketing at the Florence Center.

“We know that food truck festivals are really popular right now and have been for a little while, and we wanted to try and capitalize on that,” Hooker said. “We wanted to see if it was something Florence would support and look forward to, and we have been thrilled… It was better than expected.”

Hooker said this is something the Center wants to continue to host.

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