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GOOD FOOD, FAST NCC workshop helps meet growing demand for food trucks

Quality meals in a hurry.

Quality meals in a hurry.

The growing desire of an increasing number of people to find good meals fast has led to a proliferation of mobile food vendors in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

The Greater Lehigh Valley Mobile Food Alliance had just seven members when it was formed about two years ago; today it has 34, according to Tracey Matthews, alliance president.

And that number is growing, thanks, in part, to a workshop at Northampton Community College that started last May.

“So, you want to open a mobile food business?”

That’s not just a career goal, it’s the title of day one of the three-day, nine-hour workshops at the NCC’s Center for Business & Industry in Bethlehem.

The mobile food truck workshops were developed by the center’s Hospitality and Tourism Department, which offers career exploration classes to the community. The staff there saw the potential in the Lehigh Valley for food trucks to become as popular as they are in Philadelphia, for example.

“We saw this was up-and-coming,” said Lou-Anne Finn, the department’s program coordinator. “We realized we may be a place for culinary students who were looking to get into the business.”

She added that the course is popular and has potential to become a for-credit course at some point. The college plans to offer the workshop again this spring or summer.

“Building your menu, brand and truck” and “Finding funding, suppliers and marketing strategies” are topics covered on days two and three of the workshop.

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